Eskrima / Arnis / Kali

Arnis / EskrimaBrief History and Background of Eskrima / Arnis / Kali

Eskrima also known as Escrima/Arnis/Kali is a Filipino martial art, which is mostly weapons based and mostly uses sticks, as well as various bladed weapons. The name Eskrima derives from the Spanish word for fencing and Arnis from the Spanish word armour, while Kali is a western term with numerous suggestions of it’s origin.

The stick system came about when the Spanish stopped the use of the sword in the Philippines, although the actual fighting system was developed much before this, all be it with a very unclear history.

The fighting system was introduced to the non Filipino community in the 1960’s, although American service men did pick up some training during World War 2 and as with many other martial arts, the system has been modified for practical modern application.

Only as recently as 2010 was Eskrima recognised as a National Martial Art and Sport of the Philippines. The oldest organisation in the sport of Eskrima is the WEKAF (World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation).


EskrimaEskrima Training

A practitioner of Eskrima is known as an ‘Eskrimador’, Arnis as an ‘Arnisador’ and Kali is a ‘Kalista or Mangangali’.

A lot of the training revolves around joint locks, control and disarming of the attacker and attacking moves. Trainees start with weapons training and may well go on to apply the same techniques with empty hand fighting, that can include kicks, punching, throwing and grappling. Generally the trainee will train with wooden sticks and a wooden knife that are seen as extensions of the arms to practise a series of moves, with focus on moving each arm independently of each other.

Further aspects of the training include, controlling the range with triangular footwork patterns, learning how to defend yourself from angled attacks and practising set drills of flowing defence and counter attacks. The drills will Arnis / Eskrimateach the practitioner hand-eye co-ordination, body position, target perception, rhythm, fluidity, timing and muscle memory.

The term ‘live hand’ is used in Eskrima, where the practitioner is armed with a single weapon, however the empty hand is used for locking, trapping, supporting weapon blocks, checking, disarming, striking and controlling the opponent.


Eskrima Equipment/Gear Used

There are various dress codes depending on the school.
The use of gloves, forearm pads, elbow pads and body protection are generally all optional again depending on the school.


Weapons used in Eskrima

Sticks – The sticks used in Eskrima are called a ‘yantok’ and commonly known as rattan sticks, as they are made from the rattan palm. They are very strong and lightweight. Other materials are also used and can include various hardwoods, metals and high-impact plastics.

The length of the sticks vary greatly.

Knife/dagger – Knifes are also used and can be of any size/shape.


Celebrity Eskrima Practitioners

Dan Inosanto
Jeff Imada


Movies featuring Eskrima

Title
Year
Enter the Dragon
1973
Game of Death
1978
The Sticks of Death
1986
The Perfect Weapon
1991
Martial Law Undercover
1992
Mission of Justice
1992
Sworn to Justice
1996
Blade 2
2002
The Bourne Identity
2002
Ong Bak
2003
Mano Mano 3: Arnis the Lost Art
2004
Resident Evil: Apocalypse
2004
The Bourne Supremacy
2004
Kick Ass
2006
Mission Impossible 3
2006
The Bourne Ultimatum
2007
The Sensei
2008
Chocolate
2009
Repo Man
2010
The Book of Eli
2010
Wrong Side of Town
2010
Blade Trinity
2012
Eskrimadors (documentary)
2012
The Scorpion King 3
2012
Kick Ass 2
2013

 

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