Arnis is word that describes certain Filipino martial arts
. These martial arts are based primarily around the use of the bolo
, and kris
swords common to the area.
Arnis is practiced using sticks instead of "live blades" (in the interest of the health of the students). The techniques used to fight with swords are also valid for sticks, so in the United States where swords are much less common, arnis masters typically teach the stick applications almost exclusively. Most styles of arnis also have knife fighting techniques.
This fighting style is distinctive in its flowing patters of strikes. Angel Cabales and Dan Inosanto are typically credited with introducing Filipino martial arts to the mainland US. Mark Wiley documents the major fighting styles of the archepelago in his book Filipino Martial Culture.
Depending on the region of the Phillipines the master is from, arnis is also called eskrima, escrima, and kali.