Published on July 2021 | Sports, Martial arts
The study discussed the cultural and historical significance of arnis, the indigenous art of self-preservation developed by the early Filipinos. As a form of self-defense, arnis, kali, or eskrima is deemed to have evolved in the Philippines during the pre-colonial period through ingenuity, multi-cultural interaction, and friendship between aboriginal Filipinos and Asian traders. Arnis is a graceful yet exquisite hand-to-hand and armed routine intended for combat with a peculiar history linked to rebellion and struggles among commoners who sought freedom from the ruling colonizers. It is interesting to report that the symbolic authentic Filipino Martial Art (F.M.A.), which has been passed on through generations, had eventually reached the pedestal of recognition as a national sport, art, and culture of the Philippines under the Republic Act 9850. Arnis continued to become popular from the local to the international arena, where Filipino grandmasters, masters, and practitioners conduct seminar training and promotional tournaments to brush elbows with their counterparts in high regard and camaraderie. As a sport, it contributed to the physical development, well-being, discipline, and character of the players or practitioners from different walks of life. The Filipino people's sense of nationalism, patriotism, and national identity is reflected in arnis as a part of their rich historical and cultural heritage.