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In support of Republic Act 9850 declaring arnis as the Philippines’ national martial art and sport, a group of arnis masters joined an initiative to teach arnis to barangay tanods of Quezon City recently.
The tanods [watchmen] are the first line of defense of a barangay against criminal elements. A barangay is the smallest socio-political area in the Philippines.
The training, held at District 2, Batasan Hills, Commonwealth was conducted by Grand Master (GM) Earl Bruce Villanueva, GM Godofredo Fajardo, GM Maning Bonsa, GM Rolly Maximo, Master Ramil Villamor, and Master Rolando Castillote.
Villanueva, the leader of the group said that the number of trainees reached 4, 320, because besides the barangay tanods, members of several non-government associations also attended the training.
The barangay tanods do not carry firearms in the performance of their duty but instead were just armed with a nightstick often made of rattan.
Villanueva said that arnis training would teach the tanods how to effectively use the stick as a weapon. The business end of an arnis stick wielded by an expert could travel at 90 miles an hour.
Arnis experts can deliver multiple hits in a second and can use the shaft of his weapon to apply a painful joint lock as well as to throw down or strangle an opponent.
The stick can extend the user’s combat range by nearly three feet in every direction.