18 October 2017

  1. The very first mention of kali as the original Filipino martial art can be traced back to the book Mga Karunungan sa Larong Arnis (A Body of Knowledge in the Sport of Arnis) by Placido Yambao and...
  2. There are solid historical proofs showing the profound influence of India on the Philippines. Indian influences on the country may have started seeping in during the first three centuries of the...
  3. Religion and spirituality play an important role in the development of the Filipino martial arts (FMA). Just like in other martial cultures, religion helps the Filipino warrior deal with the issue of...
  4. The first and most important concept of defense in Filipino stick fighting is to hit the weapon hand of the opponent for if he can’t wield a weapon, he is harmless regardless of his size and strength...
  5. Many arnisadors in the olden days saw the burgeoning of komedya as an added opportunity to practice martial arts. The nature of this new form of entertainment brought by the Spaniards offered the...
  6. The kris is among the many types of swords and daggers endemic in the southern Muslim part of the Philippines.  By a wider definition, the kris (also called keris) is the most popular...
  7. Bontoc warrior with spear and shield (photo from Project Gutenberg). “Sibat,” is the general Filipino term for spear. “Sibat” is a noun while “sibatin,” which means “to spear” is a verb. The...
  8. In my opinion, the use of the blade is the highest expression of the Filipino martial arts (FMA). The one thing that separates blade fighting from stick fighting or empty hand fighting is that it...
  9. Courage, just like in other warrior cultures of the world is the cornerstone of Filipino martial tradition. The Filipino term for courage is “tapang.” In the traditional practice of escrima-arnis-...
  10. A martial artist of another style or system is up to reap profound benefits by studying arnis-escrima-kali collectively known as Filipino martial arts (FMA). Through the years I have met people who...
  11. A Kalinga warrior armed with spear and shield (from the book “The Tinguian Social, Religious, and Economic Life of a Philippine Tribe” by Fay-Cooper Cole, assistant curator of Malayan ethnology,...
  12. While there is scant mention of the specific names of the martial arts that pre-colonial Filipinos practiced, I believe that various prototypes of Filipino martial arts (FMA) were already in...
  13. I used to practice escrima on a rooftop of an old Baptist church in Manila during the early 1990s and in the process befriended a fatherly figure by the name of Manong Rudy.  Manong Rudy...
  14. The sport of boxing was brought to the Philippines by the Americans. It was initially practiced within American military camps in the country with the aim of promoting health and fighting resolve...
  15. Arnis as a fighting art has proven its potency through centuries of warfare but how will it pass as an effective exercise program? With Republic Act 9850 better known as the Arnis Law in place,...
  16. I first witnessed demonstrations of sikaran or Filipino foot fighting during the early 1990s; the first was in a martial arts festival held at the Metropolitan Theater in Manila and second during my...
  17. Many tribes of pre-colonial Philippines displayed extreme affinity for war. It was the islanders’ greatest strength and also their greatest weakness. The Spaniards seeing this trait realized that the...
  18. It is a lethal disgrace for an escrimador to lose his weapon in the heat of combat. Even in sports arnis, a point will be taken off a player who dropped his stick during a match. The weapon hand...
  19. A vendor of native drink, circa 1900 (Philippine Photographs Digital Archive, Special Collections Library, University of Michigan).   Now a lost art, the skill of concocting poisons as...
  20. Perhaps the reason why blade fighting evolved into a very high science in the Philippines is that the ancient Filipinos rarely allowed their knives and spears to be dormant – if they were not...
  21. Arma Blanca is the name of the clandestine regiment of Filipino bolomen active during the revolution against the Spaniards and the Americans. “Arma Blanca” is a Spanish singular term for a bladed...
  22. Savage as they may seem in the eyes of Westerners because of their headhunting tradition, the Bontoc Igorots of Northern Luzon follows elaborate conventions of warfare. The Igorots were a warlike...
  23. American soldiers in Bulacan (Philippine Photographs Digital Archive, Special Collections Library, University of Michigan). The blade culture in the Philippines like those in other parts of the...
  24. One non-Muslim warlike tribe in Mindanao that had achieved notoriety during the American occupation of the Philippines was the Tagakaolos. American anthropologist Fay-Cooper Cole, in his book “The...
  25. I first got interested in Bagobo warrior culture after interviewing Master Yuli Romo, a senior student of the late Grandmaster Antonio “Tatang” Illustrisimo in 2003. Prior to our meeting, I have seen...

Pages