Eskrima (Escrima) – Filipino Martial Arts Style
Eskrima (Escrima) is a Filipino martial arts that focuses on the use of sticks, bladed and impact/blunt weapons, improvised weapons, and hand-to-hand (empty hand) techniques. Eskrima is also known as Kali and Arnis. This Philippine martial arts style uses weapons such as a Yantok (fighting stick), Baraw (knife), Bolo (machete), Bankaw (staff), etc. Eskrima is best known for its stick fighting skills.
Key Elements of Eskrima/Kali/Arnis
- Weapon Strikes
- Weapon Blocks
- Eskrima Joint Locks
- Eskrima Kicks
- Disarming Techniques
- Eskrima Terminology – Learn the basic words and commands used in Arnis/Eskrima/Kali.
Examples of Eskrima Techniques
- Solo Baston – Single stick work
- Doble Baston – Double stick work
- Kalis Ilustrisimo – The blade based portion of Arnis
- Baraw – Knife Defense
- Espada y Daga – Stick/Sword and Dagger
- Mano y Mano – Unarmed Combat
History of Eskrima
According to the International Kali Arnis Eskrima Federation, “Over the centuries and with the influence of the various tribes and cultures in the Philippines, the martial arts developed to be highly effective. Certain tribes had limited stick fighting skills, such as only fighting at long range or short range, these were eventually combined which made the art a highly effective combat system. The three best known names are Kali, Eskrima, and Arnis. Kali is the oldest term and has its origin in Cebuano, a dialect of the middle island groups, “Ka” stands for camot “hand”, and “Li” for lehok “movement”. As a whole, Kali can be translated into “movement of the hand”. A practitioner of Kali would be a Kallista. The Spanish occupiers named the martial arts of the Filipinos “Eskrima”. That derives from the Spanish word ” Esgrima “describing a brief fight or fencing”.
According to WEKAF Canada, some of the basic rules associated with Eskrima/Kali/Arnis sparring include the following:
- The contest area or ring shall be not less than five (5) meters and not more than seven (7) meters square.
- The contest shall consist of three (3) rounds of one (1) minute each, with thirty (30) seconds rest in between rounds.
- Striking or target points shall be any part of the body above the knee except the groin and the neck. This includes the front and the sides of the thighs and body, both arms and hands, and the top, front and sides of the helmet. Hitting the back of the body is only allowed when the competitors are facing each other (i.e., through the use of curving strikes). Hitting the back of the head is not allowed, due to insufficient padding on the back of the helmet. Only two (2) consecutive strikes to the same target area are permitted.
- Legitimate strikes or blows include cut or slash, wrist-snapping or flicking (witik, kurbada), abaniko (fan), etc. Thrusting, butting (punyo), and footsweeps have been legal in the past, but have been eliminated because the protective gear is presently not sufficient to allow these techniques to be used safely. Improvement in the protective equipment may result in the re-instatement of these techniques. Two-handed strikes are prohibited.
- WEKAF Canada, Rules and Regulations on Sparring Competition, http://www.wekafcanada.com/?page_id=30
- International Kali Arnis Eskrima Federation, History of Filippino Martial Arts, http://www.ikaef.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=59&Itemid=70&lang=en