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Arnis, true Filipino legacy

Updated on November 2, 2011
Filipino Actor Ronnie Rickets with Arnis in the movie Mano Mano
Filipino Actor Ronnie Rickets with Arnis in the movie Mano Mano | Source

Filipino Combat Sports

Today, I find time learning something about a sports event that Filipinos must be proud of. This has gotten this far to be recognized as one authentic Filipino combat sports and that every Filipino is encouraged to learn the rudiments of the same.

Arnis in the Palaro

As arnis becomes part of the featured combat events in the mainstream annual local and national sports fest like the Palaro (games in English), its introduction in the Philippine sports is in question.

Believed to be a Tagalog corruption of the Spanish word ‘arnes’ which refers to decorations worn by early Filipino, arnis was developed in the Philippines many centuries ago.

Said sport evolved its name from Kali, Pagkakalikali, Sinawali, Kaliradnan and many more until it reaches to its modern name Arnis, the art of stick fighting.

History tells that as our forefathers fought for our independence from foreign invaders, they used arnis and the practice was taught to both men and women in order to make them better prepared for any fighting.

It can be recalled that even our national hero, Lapu-lapu used the techniques against the bladed weapon of Magellan in Mactan in the early part of the 16th century.

This only proves that our forefathers carefully and creatively harnessed its art and styles in manipulating canes.

Therefore,it is but worthy to take the issue of its authenticity as we trace its origins.

Fortunately, the advocacy now up there in the august hall of Congress with House Bill 01173 entitled ‘An Act Declaring Arnis as the Philippine National Sport’ authored by Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri is vital and timely.

Seeing its worth to develop the totality of our nest generation and to preserve our culture through sports, the DepEd is clamoring for its recognition up to the national level.

For after all, arnis is a sport the Filipinos can reckon with and be proud of.


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