The term “arnis”, interchangable with the terms “eskrima” and “kali”, most often refers to different systems of Filipino Martial Arts that utilize sticks, bladed weapons and empty-hand techniques. Today, there are hundreds of systems of Filipino Martial Arts throughout the world, although most of them originated in the Philippine and Indonesian archipelagoes, passed down generation to generation through family and comrades.
Detailed Explanation :
Arnis (also called Kali or Eskrima) is a generic term for the deadly martial arts of the Philippines. It contains both barehand and weaponary arts – everything that has got to do with fighting. The barehand combat include boxing, wrestling, grappling, pressure points and locks. Weaponary arts include swords, sticks, staffs, knives, nunchakus, sai and all sorts of “weapons of conveinence” like the hankerchief, walking stick. Contrary to uninformed public opinion, Arnis is not only a stick fighting art.
Unlike other martial arts (eg. Karate, Judo, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do), Arnis has not been exposed to the West until recently and thus retained more of its original essence. It is thus very different from most other systems known to the West.
Arnis places emphasis on using and defending against weapons. In the practical world, a knife or machete is regarded as a dangerous weapon that is easily obtained and used in conflicts. Therefore, Arnis practitioners familarise themselves against knife and machete attacks. Unfortunately, this important aspect is not emphasized in other martial arts.
Arnis requires that the whole body moves as a single co-ordinated unit, involving usage of all muscles. Flow of movement is emphasized. Its practice is therefore excellent for co-ordination.
Arnis regards the arms/legs as weapons. Therefore, the techniques that are used for swords/sticks/knives are the same ones used in empty-hand combat. “Weapons are just an extension of the arms”. Students do not need to memorise so many techniques as in other martial arts.
The main weapon of entry when learning Arnis is generally the stick or baton. This is very convenient to obtain and carry. The elderly and handicapped will easily adapt their walking cane to Arnis. Exercise with a stick is very beneficial to enhance fitness and vitality.
Unlike most other martial arts, strength and speed is not an important factor in Arnis. Thus, it is suitable for ladies, the young, and the elderly.
In short, Arnis is :-
* Extremely practical self-defence
* Great all-round exercise for health
* Great for fitness and co-ordination
* Deadly Art of Empty-Hand, Stick, Sword, and Knife Combat
* Uncomplicated and easy to learn
* Performed effortlessly – no strength required
* Suitable for all ages and sexes
* Complete system of martial arts
* Based on the blade, but applied to empty hands and all weapons
* Spiritual Way of The Warrior