Escrima, also referred to as Kali and Arnis, is a form martial art and national sport of the Philippines. It is predominately a weapon based art, focusing on single stick, double stick, knife, long blade, and improvised weapons. Escrima also makes use of hand-to-hand combat, joint locking and weapon disarming techniques. It combines early native Filipino combat systems with Spanish fencing techniques, which were incorporated during Spain's early colonization efforts.
It is predominately known for its speed, fluidity and efficiency in combat, making it a dangerously practical form of self-defense
Students of Escrima often begin their training using a Baston, which is a durable and light weight stick that is typically 24 to 28 inches long. Students are taught principals utilizing single handed and double handed approaches to combat, including the five basic striking techniques, counter striking, parrying and combinations. Empty handed techniques are primarily taught only after the student has made sufficient progress.
Escrima core training focuses on the development of muscle memory, utilizing the weapon as an extension of the body and training practitioners to use their limbs independently of each other.
The beauty of this art is the practicality in which it approaches combat, utilizing techniques that are applicable in a variety of situations, which makes it a powerful tool for a Jeet Kune Do practitioner to use.
Escrima is becoming more and more popular, being practiced around the world. Competitions are being held more frequently and feature armed opponents testing their skills while wearing protective padding. So called “Blade Culture” is still very much a part of Filipino culture and the art is constantly evolving.
Escrima can be seen utilized in a variety of blockbuster movies and its popularity among stunt coordinators is rapidly growing.