Since you're here, it is safe to assume that you are interested in Filipino Stick Fighting (eskrima/arnis/kali) to a certain degree. You may have seen Arnis training in action at the movies or have seen some of the best masters demonstrate their skill on YouTube.
There is no doubt that Kali Eskrima is a formidable martial art that's worth learning. But the question is, who can learn eskrima? Can you learn the art?
In this article, I will feature the various individuals and organizations that have studied Filipino Martial Arts. Also, I will explain the advantages of learning Eskrima and other martial arts and how you can learn it.
Yes, you can learn Eskrima.
Keep reading and you will know how you too can learn arnis…
Arnis Master Shares Kali Combat Tips in Rare Interview
Learn dynamic footwork, lightning strikes and optimum defence from Master Obon. Watch the interview here!
Arnis Develops Both Martial Arts Skills and Character
Eskrima is best learned by individuals of both genders aged sixteen years and older. It's for anybody who desires to get not only the skill to defend themselves but also those who want to develop self-discipline and confidence.
Good Physical Conditioning is Crucial in Arnis Training
Initially, there's no need for you to be extremely strong or have heaps of stamina. The training itself will build up these qualities over time, so even a total beginner to martial arts can cope up. You don't have to hold any martial arts qualifications or experience.
It's always suggested that anyone who has been physically inactive for a long time or has a medical condition must seek medical advice from their GP when it comes to doing a new physical activity, but it is alright to practice Eskrima in most cases.
In the Philippines, many of the practitioners are over sixty years who to reap the health benefits of Eskrima training.
All you need to have is the desire and interest to undertake something new!
Anyone Can do Arnis Training – Including Kids
Perhaps the most important benefit of this Martial Art training for kids is they can develop a good and strong character. An essential part of this noble tradition is a code of principles that are present in almost all martial art traditions and schools, which are Respect, Honesty, and Courtesy, however, they depend on art-to-art and school-to-school.
Beware of Frauds
Eskrima and the majority of Filipino martial arts haven't been bastardized like many other traditional arts. There are no official rankings in Escrima, Kali, Arnis, or nearly all Filipino martial arts. Be wary of somebody who advertises an 8th-degree black belt in Escrima.
Titles like Tuhon, Guro, Instructor, Grandmaster, etc. are used, however, to put a status on the instructor's seniority. You'll never find somebody who declares having a green or yellow belt in Eskrima.
The following are lists of security organizations, police departments, military units, institutions or well-known individuals that have studied or are presently training in Eskrima, Arnis, or other Filipino martial arts. Links and details are provided when possible.
Influential People Who Completed Arnis Training
- Dan Inosanto – A martial arts legend
- Marc “Animal” McYoung – Author of countless street fighting books.
- Paul Vunak – A former Navy SEAL, chief of Progressive Fighting Systems, and a hand-to-hand combat instructor.
- Bruce Lee – Martial arts actor and legend
Organizations, departments, institutions, services, and centers:
- Navy SEALS members – the USA
- Special Forces members – USA
- Army Rangers members – the USA
- San Diego Border Patrol members – San Diego, California – USA
- Wauwatosa Police Department members, Wichita – the USA
- Madrid Police Department members, Iowa – the USA
- The United States Special Operations Command members – the USA
- Tactical Response Systems members, California – USA
- The Philippine Army – PHILIPPINES
- Ed. dept., Far East University (FEU), Manila – PHILIPPINES
- Queensland Police Service members, Queensland – AUSTRALIA
- Dynamic self-defence systems, Alberta – CANADA
Arnis Training is Good for Kids
Mental development an important aspect of arnis, and a child can expect to improve through the training and become proficient in Martial Arts. The focus required for finishing long forms is very difficult for any Martial Arts practitioner; for children in particular.
Concentration is enhanced by requiring a student to execute complex motions under pressure, either through sparring exercises or reflex drills. In the Eskrima tradition, critical thinking procedures are developed in each practitioner, child, and adult.
Each class uses numerous opponent exercises to enhance tactical and strategic thinking.
Lessons in Eskrima
Lectures concerning Eskrima, Kali fighting style, or Arnis principles, theory, and philosophy, are an essential part of the training. Even during training, all students are confronted with difficulties which would test their mind and spirit. The more the student trains, the more he learns and become more capable of dealing with these difficulties.
A good instructor helps coach every student through these difficult times; the child comes out of the test with a sense of self-motivation and an unconquerable spirit that helps him or her overcome greater difficulty as they undergo life. Thus, the lessons in Escrima Kali are universal and can be applied both to training and life.
I have just discussed the benefits of learning Eskrima as well as the famous people and groups that study it. If you have the physical and mental capacity, you can certainly learn Eskrima or other Filipino Martial Arts and become proficient!