Arnis: The National Sport and Martial Art of the Philippines


This was supposed to be published after my Dinagyang specials. Now it’s super-delayed. But arnis does rock, so I’m publishing it anyway!

I’m still overwhelmed by the Dinagyang fever! This post is also contaminated by it! I was so inspired by an arnis competition that was joined by my younger brother that I take pride in arnis automatically.

As you know, I want to present an informative blog that would be enjoyable for people to read. At the same time, I want to show the real me through these posts. Here is one of them. I<3ARNIS!

Here is a brief background:

EskrimaArnis and Kali refer to a class of Filipino martial arts that emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, blades and improvised weapons. Although training starts with weapons, empty hand techniques, trapping and limb destruction are core parts of these arts as the weapon is considered merely an extension of the body. Eskrima and Arnis are the most common among the many names often used in thePhilippines today to refer to these arts.

The teaching of the basic skills in Eskrima are traditionally simplified. With limited time to teach intricate moves, only techniques that were proven effective in battle and could easily be taught en masse were used. This allowed villagers, generally not professional soldiers, a measure of protection against other villages, as well as foreign invaders. This philosophy of simplicity is still used today and is the underlying base of eskrima. Because of this approach, eskrima and the Filipino martial arts in general are often mistakenly considered to be “simple”. However, this refers only to its systematization, not effectiveness. To the contrary, beyond the basic skills lies a very complex structure and a refined skillset that takes years to master.

Even though many modern-day people call it Eskrima or Kali, I prefer it be Arnis since this reflects the ingenuity of the Filipino race and a proper one since the main idea or objective of the art is the stick or “arnis,” which is then utilized to several other types of styles of the art.


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