Arnis, also known as Eskrima and Kali, 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. It is also known as Estoque (Spanish for rapier), Estocada (Spanish for thrust or stab) and Garrote (Spanish for club). In Luzon they may go by the name of Arnis de Mano.
The indigenous martial art that the Spanish encountered in 1610 was not yet called “arnis” at that time. During those times, this martial art was known as Paccalicali-t to the Ibanags, Didya (later changed to Kabaroan) to the Ilocanos, Sitbatan or Kalirongan to Pangasinenses, Sinawali to the Kapampangans (“to weave”), Calis or Pananandata (use of weapons) to the Tagalogs, Pagaradman to the Ilonggos and Kaliradman to the Cebuanos. Kuntaw and Silat are separate martial arts that are also practiced in the Philippine Archipelago.
Arnis also includes hand-to-hand combat, joint locks, grappling and weapon disarming techniques. Although in general, emphasis is put on weapons for these arts, some systems put empty hands as the primary focus and some old school systems do not teach weapons at all