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Arnis, also known as Kali or Eskrima, is the national sport and martial art of the Philippines. The three are
roughly interchangeable umbrella terms for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines ("Filipino Martial
Arts", or FMA) that emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives, bladed weapons, and various
improvised weapons as well as "open hand" or techniques without weapons. It is also known as Estoque
(Spanish for rapier) and Estocada (Spanish for thrust or stab). In Luzon it may go by the name of Arnis de

The Filipino martial art of Arnis/Kali/Escrima has contributed to both the history and diversity of the
Philippines. There are an abundance of styles and systems of Arnis, that are taught throughout the world to
this day, that have survived and developed throughout the different regions, families and teachers who have
preserved what is sometimes called a “complete” martial art.
It was originally developed by the people native to the islands using simple impact and edged weapons such
as kampilans, rattan, swords, daggers, spears and other assorted weaponry for combat and self defense.
These weapons were also sometimes used as farm implements
The sport also includes hand to hand combat, grappling, joint locks and weapon disarming techniques.
Practitioners of the sport are called arnisador (male athletes) and arnisadora (female athletes).

Arnis was declared the Philippines’ National sport and martial art on 11 December 2009.

The first national organization for Arnis is the National Arnis Association of the Philippines (NARAPHIL)
which was founded in 1975 by Gen. Fabian C. Ver. However, its existence faded post the Philippine
Revolution in 1986. The two major types of Arnis practised as sports are the system followed by WEKAF
(World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation) which was established in 1989 and is recognised internationally.
 The padded stick shall be the official weapon of the player.
 Each padded stick shall be properly foam-cushioned and shall have a maximum grip diameter of not
more than 3.81cm.
 (1 ½ inch) and length of 76.20cm (30 inches for men and women).The length of padded stick shall
be 27 inches for boys and girls.
 Both padded stick shall be color-coded, one red and the other blue.
- Refers to a pair of protective head gear to include an impact worthy face mask, the specifications of
which shall be in accordance with the i-ARNIS standard.
- Refers to a pair of protective body protector, properly cushioned, the specifications of which shall be
in accordance with the i-ARNIS standard.
- Male and female player must both wear body protector and groin protector.
- Both body protectors and groin protectors shall be color coded to match the color of the player.
- Forearm and shin guards are compulsory. Both shin & forearm guards must be color of the player.
- Two sets of red and blue flags, the size of which is 30 cm by 25 cm, are used by the judges in
declaring decisions or asking for consultations.
- One yellow flag, size 30 cm by 25 cm. For timer’s use to signal the start and the end of each round
and to declare a time-out and resumption of the game.
- Stopwatch is use to keep the two-minutes per round. (This include interruptions such as injury,
changing of broken stick).
- A gong and mallet or other similar audible substitutes such as whistle, bell or buzzer shall be provided
for the timer to indicate the start and end of the round


The Arnis Martial Arts Competition is a continuous, full contact, live weapon, stick fighting venue.
Competitors will fight each other with sticks – slender, cylindrically-shaped rattan weapons in 2 round
matches at 1 minute per round with 30 seconds of rest between rounds. This is an open-style competition.
Competitors will compete in an open matted surface whose inbound space ranges from 15’x15’ to 20’x20’.
Single stick fighting and double stick fighting contests will be conducted in a round robin tournament format.
All matches will be scored by judges using a 10-point must system. Divisions of these contests will be based
on weight, age, gender, rank and martial arts experience level.

• Opponents will begin and end all matches with a salute or bow to each other and the judges.
• Referee. will position fighters beyond largo range at the start of every round.
• Only attacks with the stick and feet are allowed.
• Hits, slashes, and witticks are all legal. Punots, pokes and stabs are all illegal.
• Target areas are: 1) front and sides of the body, 2) arms and hands, 3) top, front and sides of the helmet.
• Kicks are allowed below the neck and above the waist only.
• In single stick competition, it is NOT legal to block a stick with your free hand. However, “arm stopping” at
quarto range or arm checking is allowed.
• Fighters are required to exhibit a realistic defense (movement, parrying, intelligent blocking…)