Arnis and Escrima are clearly the same martial art as Kali, the diverse names signify which part of The Philippines the art comes from and a handful minor variations of technique. Kali is unusual in that it teaches students stick fighting first and then open handed fighting as its open hand techniques are based on its stick fighting techniques. Kali is thus ordinarily perceived as a stick fighting style, but unarmed combat is given equal emphasis. Most of the unarmed techniques are batters, but leg and hip techniques to off-balance or throw an opponent are also used. The Spanish Espada y Daga was took into Kali, and thus many schools will also train sword and knife techniques. Similar Sorts: Kalari Payat – This Indian style teaches supplementary weapons than Kali, but open hand, knife, stick, and sword are foremost. Thaing (Bando) – A style from Burma (now Myanmar) in which knife fighting is emphasised but stick, sword and open hand are also taught.
The oldest martial arts in the Philippines were those practiced by the indigenous Filipinos. They were in contact with the aborigines of Taiwan and Borneo which is evident from oral legends and the similarities between their fighting styles. The native tribes focused on combat with sticks, cudgels, knives and broadswords while practicing unarmed combat forms like dumog.
The Filipinos’ battle-tested tactics proved strategically effective from angle of old world weaponry and hand to hand conflict. Highly skilled Filipino martial artists are often characterized by a state of “flow” that is decisively responsive, deployable, agile, versatile, lethal, survivable, and sustainable.
Escrima training might be done in any city in the world and I encourage you to visit out martial arts directory of Escrima to find a school near you!