Q:

What is a brief history of arnis?

A:

"Arnis," also called "kali" or "escrima," is a form of martial arts that formed in the Philippines, although the specific date of origin is unknown. Arnis involves the use of force and bladed-edge weapons, including daggers, swords, rattans and kampilans, along with spears and other combat weapons.

Native Filipinos used arnis to defeat the invading horde of Spanish soldiers led by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. However, even after Magellan's defeat, more Spaniards arrived years later and overpowered the native islanders. After establishing their rule, the Spaniards outlawed all forms of martial arts, including arnis. Many Filipinos continued practicing arnis in secret, however. Arnis and similar forms of martial arts are now legal in the Philippines and are practiced along with more familiar forms of martial arts.


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