16.13) Kali/Escrima/Arnis


Kali, Escrima, and Arnis are all terms for the native fighting arts of the
Philippines, specifically the arts that use weapons.

Arnis is a Northern Term, Escrima more Central, and Kali is from the 
South.In this view, the terms just refer to indigenous weapons fighting 
systems. Arnis would be the term used in Northern Luzon, Escrima from 
Manila through the central islands, and Kali on Mindanao.  People who use 
this definition tend to say that the words don't matter - every village, 
and often every master, has a distinct style, and that's what the 
important thing is - "do you study Illustrisimo, Caballero, or Cabales 
style?"  Not "do you study escrima or kali?"

Origin:         The Phillipines


Kali is an older art than Escrima or Arnis, and more comprehensive.
Escrima and Arnis were developed as streamlined, simplified ways to teach
people to fight the Spanish invaders.  Hence, Kali is more of a "warrior's
art" while Escrima and Arnis are "soldier's arts".  Kali is usually
considered to have 12 areas of combat, with Escrima containing 8 or 9 of
them, and Arnis 4 to 6.


The "full" coverage alluded to above usually contains the following:

      1   Single Stick (or long blade)
      2   Double long weapon
      3   Long & Short (sword & dagger, e.g.)
      4   Single dagger
      5   Double Dagger
      6   Palm Stick/Double-end Dagger
      7   Empty Hands (punching, kicking, grappling)
      8   Spear/Staff, long weapons (two-handed)
      9   Flexible weapons (whip, sarong, etc.)
     10   Throwing weapons
     11   Projectile weapons (bows, blowguns)
     12   Healing arts

A further distinction that some people make is to say that Kali is, at its
heart, a blade art, while Escrima and Arnis are designed to work with
sticks.  This is a matter of some contention among practitioners of the
various styles and schools.

A distinctive feature of all of these Filipino arts is their use of
geometry. In strikes/defenses and movement, lines and angles are very
important. In addition, the independent use of the hands, or hands and
feet, to do two different things at the same time, is a high-level skill
sought after a fair amount of experience.


Filipino styles normally classify attacks not by their weapon, or their
delivery style, but by the direction of their energy - for example, a
strike to the head is usually analyzed in terms of "a high lateral 
strike." A punch to the gut is treated much the same as a straight knife 
thrust to that region would be. Students learn how to deal with the 
energy of the attack, and then apply that knowledge to the slight 
variations that come with different lengths and types of weapons.

Filipino arts place great emphasis on footwork, mobility, and body
positioning. The same concepts (of angles of attack, deflections, traps,
passes, etc.) are applied to similar situations at different ranges, 
making the understanding of ranges and how to bridge them very important. 
The Filipinos make extensive use of geometric shapes, superimposing them 
on a combat situation, and movement patterns, to teach fighters to use 
their position and their movement to best advantage. Some styles emphasize
line-cutting (a la Wing Chun), while some are very circular (like Aikido).
Some like to stay at long range, some will move inside as soon as 
possible. These differences are hotly debated, as are most things, but 
they all work differently for different people.

Most Filipino arts, but Kali in particular, stress the importance of
disarming an opponent in combat. This is not usually done gently, but by
destroying an attacking weapon (break the hand, and the stick will fall.)

Sub-Styles: None; Kali, Escrima, and Arnis are themselves sub-styles of