Grandmaster Mike Bowers

Kombatan Chief Instructor of the United States

Grandmaster Mike Bowers hit the road at the young age of 16 and found himself living on the streets in his hometown of San Diego. To gain and maintain respect he got into street fights frequently. He had no interest in the martial arts at that time in his life because what he did was sufficient enough to get the job done. “I would take a trash can, hit the guy with it, and play Captain America with the lid on his head (trash cans were metal back then); anything became a weapon to beat someone silly with. There are no rules when it comes to the streets.” So, on the beaten path of his youth, while still maintaining his respect, he came across an Arnis instructor giving a private knife lesson in Gold’s Gym. He watched as the fluid movements made for quick and accurate attacks. This was to be his first introduction in the world of Philippine Martial Arts.

After learning more and delving deeper into what Arnis actually stood for, he soon realized that a real Arnisador would not be doing what he was doing (Street Fighting). It was after discovering this fact that Grandmaster Bowers began to pull away from his old life and, train as hard as he could under Great Grandmaster Ernesto A. Presas, Sr. “Becoming a direct student of Great Grandmaster was pretty difficult for me as I come from the school of hard knocks. Let’s just put it this way.…. I soon discovered I had a lot to learn and am still learning to this day. Great Grandmaster believed in me when no one else did. I not only learned how to become a better fighter but I also learned how to become a better person, from him.” After more than 18 years, Grandmaster Bowers has come to terms with his past and uses it to aid in the teaching of his students.

Grandmaster Bowers holds the rank of Lakan Siyam (ninth dan), is a Grandmaster, and Master Instructor in the system of Kombatan (Presas Style). He has worked diligently to achieve this level. Although status was not what he seemed to emphasize the most, it is in the doing he says “Either you do it or you don’t.” He has fought with, trained, and instructed martial artists from all around the world. “One of the best things about Kombatan (Presas Style) is that it can compliment all other styles of Martial Arts.” He is honored to be the Chief Instructor for North America, overseeing the wonderful countries of Canada, Mexico, and the USA. His school is appointed as the North American headquarters for Kombatan (Presas Style).

Master Mike Bowers Martial Arts Resume

  • 1995 - 2010 - Direct student of Great Grandmaster Ernesto Presas; achieved 2nd through 9th degree black belts directly from Great Grandmaster Presas; Grandmaster Bowers currently holds the rank of 9th Dan (Lakan Siyam)- Grandmaster
  • 1990 - 1995 - Studied Kombatan under Dave Ryker and Carl Jackly; achieved Lakan Isa (1st Dan)

Grandmaster Mike Bowers's honors include:

  • 2013 - Awarded the Loyalty Award for dedicating more than 20 years to the art of Kombatan - Presas Style. Presented by Grandmaster Ernesto Presas, Jr.
  • 2013 - Awarded Chief Instructor of the Year by Grandmaster Ernesto Presas, Jr. at the 13th IPMAF Camp and Tournament in the Philippines
  • 2013 - Promoted to Chief Instructor of the United States by Grandmaster Ernesto Presas, Jr.
  • 2009 - Promoted by Great Grandmaster Ernesto Presas, Sr. to 9th Dan, Lakan Siyam (Grandmaster)
  • 2008 - Invited to be a part of the 6th annual World Filipino Martial Arts Association (WFMAA); was one of the 6 featured instructors who presented on
    September 19‑21, 2008
  • 2007 - Promoted by Great Grandmaster Ernesto Presas, Sr. to Chief Instructor of North America
  • 2007 - Promoted by Great Grandmaster Ernesto Presas, Sr. to 8th Dan, Lakan Walo (Junior Grandmaster)
  • 2007 - Inducted into the Philippine Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Given the Chief Lapu Lapu Award (highest award of acknowledgement) and was bestowed a Kampilan sword with name engraved on the blade. He was recognized for his outstanding achievements in the art of Kombatan while producing some of the finest students in Filipino martial arts in the world. -- Philippines
  • 2007 - Starred in the movie "Arnis, Eskrima, Kali - The Movie" (released) -- Philippines
  • 2007 - Co-produced and starred (with Great Grandmaster Presas) a promotional movie for Kombatan (not yet released) -- Philippines
  • 2006 - Participated in the making of Great Grandmaster's current curriculum DVDs -- Philippines
  • 2005 - Interviewed by Sports Unlimited (TV sports show that airs in the Philippines) -- Philippines
  • 2005 - Granted 7th Dan (Lakan Pito), Sr. Master Instructor, at the World Arnis Congress and Training Camp -- Philippines
  • 2004 - Invited to perform / demonstrate at the 100th Anniversary of the World Fair in St. Louis, MO
  • 2003 - Granted 6th Dan (Lakan Anim) at the World Arnis Congress and Training Camp -- Philippines
  • 2002 - Kombatan Martial Arts Academy is named National Martial Arts School of the Year
  • 2001 - Inducted into the Sokeship International Hall of Fame as Master Instructor of the Year, Kombatan Martial Arts
  • 2000 - Inducted into the International Hall of Fame as Regional Instructor of the Millennium