You may have heard of the term “eskrimador.” An Eskrimador is an individual who practices Eskrima. Both these terms originated from the Spanish influence in the Philippines. In Spanish, “Eskrima” or “Esgrima” means “fencing,” and “Eskrimador” means a “fencer.” If you read the Philippine history books, you'd see how the Filipino warrior and eskrimador Lapu-Lapu defeated Ferdinand Magellan in mortal combat.
In other words, eskrimadors are badass. And once you've begun your training on Filipino stick fighting and learned enough to defend yourself on the streets, you too will be an eskrimador; a fighter, warrior of the art.
Eskrima has its roots in the Philippines. Also called Arnis, or Kali, Eskrima is a Filipino weaponry system. There are many styles of Eskrima, but these styles follow universal essential principles in striking, defending, disarming body movement, etc. Eskrima is very practical and effective against self-defence situations – especially if the attacker has a weapon.
Filipino martial arts is different from other martial arts in that it trains in the weapon first before proceeding to the bare hands. Becoming proficient in weapons training, the student finds it easy to learn the bare hand's techniques since the basic skills are already built-in to him.
The Filipino arnis fighting incorporates sticks, swords, daggers, empty hands, and even secondary weapons in its self-defence system. The fast and elusive sticks of Filipino Martial arts is feared by all. The constant motion, fluctuating angles, reversals, elliptical motions, and convergence of weapon and bare hands make the arnisador a formidable opponent.
Training begins at the basic level and gradually proceeds to the more advanced levels as the practitioner improves his skill. While practitioners only use practice weapons during training, each pushes himself to train as though they are dealing with real weapons. Thus, Kali martial arts training is fast – compelling each practitioner to sharpen his skills and reflexes so that he will be ready for actual combat. Bare hands training is also emphasized since the weapons are only the extension of the hands. You can learn all these formidable stick fighting techniques by training seriously in an arnis fighting school.
THE ROLE OF DRILLS IN TRAINING
Filipino Martial Arts training is straightforward and direct. There are no flowery or fancy but useless moves. Attacks are done in a simple and efficient manner. The attacks are classified into different angles. The type of weapon – whether stick, bladed or bare hands makes little difference because the principles of attack and defence are the same. This type of training increases the practitioner's speed and reflexes, making him more capable of defending himself in times of adversity. Defending and countering the different angles of attack is a universal part of the training. Through two-man drills is how a student is trained, under the management of a more practiced Eskrimador.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ARNIS, ESKRIMA & KALI
The FMA or Filipino Martial Arts, like many other martial arts, is a system with numerous branches. Depending on the major island e.g., Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, where the art is practiced, the instructor or master or instructor may call it Arnis, Eskrima or Kali. These martial arts are, in fact, part of the FMA. Eskrima is derived from the Spanish term “Esgrima,” meaning fencing. The art’s influence was derived more from the Visayas Region of the Philippines. Arnis, also a Spanish term came from the term “Arnes de mano,” meaning “armour of the hands,” referring to the ability to protect with the weapon. Later, the term was shortened to what we now know as Arnis. In the northern region of the Philippines; Luzon, Arnis was the most common word used. Kali, however, is a Filipino term commonly used in the southern region of the Philippines; Mindanao, as well as a common term used by many FMA practitioners.
On the whole, these martial are all the same. The practitioners of these martial arts influenced each other, and therefore, they have numerous similarities. Often, the difference only depends on who teaches them.