Arnis began in the Philippines over 1200 years ago. It was the fighting technique used against the Spaniards in the 1500’s. Today Arnis is the main martial art in the Philippines and defiantly the most popular. Modern Arnis was developed and refined by Remy Presas. The word Arnis is taken from the term “Arnis de mano” or harness of the hand. Arnis (practiced in northern Philippines), Kali (practiced in the southern Philippines) and Escrima (practiced in central Philippines) are all essentially the same art.
Arnis practitioners utilize empty hand techniques and weapons such as sticks and knives. There are different forms of combat which use different types of weapons such as a long wooden sword and a short wooden dagger. There is a single stick and double stick Arnis which uses one or two 2 foot long stick(s) made of wood or cane.
Arnis is a serious form of self defense but it is often seen as a sport. It uses almost all hand techniques, striking and parrying and depends strongly on strategy. Students train with drills, sparring and in free style practice and the training is very physical and strenuous.
Arnis practitioners also develop mental, emotional and spiritual qualities.