Professor Max Moratillo Pallen was born and raised in the Providence of Camarines Sur, located at the southern most part of Luzon in the Philippines. He was first exposed to the Philippine martial arts aat the tender age of six by his grandfather Luis Moratillo. His father, Zacarias "Kid Baron" Pallen, also exposed him to the art of boxing "Panuntukan". His experiences in street fighting go back to his younger years in the Philippines.
In the early 60's he met a combat Jujitsu instructor who began instructing him in the combat style of self-defense. In addition, Professor Max began, and continues to practice his training in the style of Kenpo karate. Still looking for a stronger foundation and a cultural identity, he decided to return to his homeland to study and research more Philippine martial art styles. Professor Max also had the opportunity to study here in the United States under several Masters in Kali, Arnis and Eskrima. Today, his quest for Philippine martial art skills continues through his travels to Luzon, Visaya and Mindanao, in the Philippines.
From his extensive experience, knowledge and historical research, Professor Max M. Pallen founded Pallen's Martial Arts Association in 1968 in Oakland, California. His many accomplishments towards the advancement of the Philippine Martial Arts included being the Executive Producer of the 1974 Asian Martial Arts Exposition at the Kaiser Center in Oakland, California. He also founded the Affiliated Martial Arts Promoters Association (AMAPA) and the founder of the Northern California Eskrima-Kali-Arnis Federation which promotes Philippine stick fighting tournaments in Northern California. He served as the Western Region Director of the World Eskrima-Kali-Arnis Federation (WEKAF) in 1997. He also served as the U.S. Director of the World Eskrima-Kali-Arnis Federation in 1998-2000.