Arnis Kali ....??????????

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by Buddroux, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. Buddroux

    Buddroux New Member

    Has anyone heard of this art...

    Please explain what it is ...

    I think it has something to do with the Eskrima or something...

    Arnis = Eskrima ... just different language?.

    But i am not sure ...
  2. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Arnis / Kali / Eskrima

    All names for the Filipino Martial Arts

    Differences are more regional and political tahn in actual content.
  3. DeeTee

    DeeTee Valued Member

    Yoda's right.

    As a gross generalisation, Arnis is a term used in the Luzon region of the Philippines, Eskrima is used in the Visayan region and Kali is used in the United States region!
  4. LabanB

    LabanB Valued Member

    Just to add, you've also got the notion that:

    Kali - is the Mother art of the Phillipines
    Arnis - is the stick or empty hand art
    Eskrima - is the blade art.

    But as both Dave and Doug have said, these definitions are pretty loose.

  5. surgingshark

    surgingshark Valued Member

    I thought it was used in the Mindanao Region...
  6. juramentado

    juramentado lean, mean eating machine

    the topic of kali, escrima and arnis in describing FMA is a hot one. But I think it would be safe to say that the 3 terms are interchangable. I think the root word "ka" can be traced linguistically to most Philippine dialects. Even the Spanish era rebels, the KKK, used the "ka" symbol in their flags and insignia. This is a nice starting point for research into the roots of FMA.

    you can use any of the terms. What's important is what's being taught. Everything else is just terminology

  7. krys

    krys Valued Member

    it starts again......

    Never heard it there, my teachers and friends too..... and no they don't use it in Palawan, the Spratleys islands, the Batanes....
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2004
  8. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    yes. and silat in the southern island of mindanao
  9. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    uh bill, kali/ escrima/ arnis may or may not have weapons, empty hands, or ground skills. kadena de mano is an escrima technique (or at least someone says it is) but is heavy on empty hands. so is mongoose (which isn't really classified in any category). kali may or may not be the mother art. my teacher, bro teach isla says that there are no writen proof that kali is the mother art.

    the defining factor of fma is,, it has a! hard to explain.
  10. dennisservaes

    dennisservaes New Member is a URL to link to an article I wrote for Inside Kung Fu. My research indicates that in the Southern Philippines their arts were primarily Silat and if you asked them about Kali even if they knew what you meant since JKD has popularized the term Kali, they would still tell you they never knew of anyone that studied Kali. The term Kali came from the Villabrelle Escriama system which was practiced by JKD stylist Danny Inosanto. The mother art of all Escriama is Tjakalili, so Kali is not from Madjapahit but more Vissayan and is taken out of the name Tjakalili. The general term in the Vissayans is just Escrima, not kali or Tajakalili.

    We are the choices we make! - unknown
  11. Bayani

    Bayani Valued Member

    Yup! Here we go again :rolleyes:
    No one can make claims about using Kali exclusively even your own article Dennis is copied from what Guro Dan has used is it not? If I am wrong then please correct me and direct me to your source so that I may be convinced of your claims. Where are your refferences to Tjakalele as being the mother art of Kali? What books ? Draeger being one if not the only one of them? Even today it's already common knowledge that some of his findings were innacurate.
    Fact is FMA History is a muddeld mess of Hearsay and speculation because it was never an art intended for commerce but a fighting system handed down with oral traditions that lends to things being exagerated or innacuracies.

    These topics have been debated over and over in this forum with a lot of educated readers so don't be surprised if your direct claims are questioned when making claims are asked to be backed up with facts and not hearsay or refferences from a book or article that amy or may not be acurate itself.

    How can any one term be a mother art a country with thousands of islands and hundreds of dialects?
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2004
  12. Scotty Dog

    Scotty Dog

    "The Word is not the thing"

  13. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    i have yet to see written proof of this claim that we were part of some vast indian- south east asian empire. the alibata/ baybaying scripts found on the islands do not resemble any sanskrit scripts, nor do we share words with the indian mainland. if we were part of such an empire, our architecture would look like bali. the philippines didn't have any of these (save the muslim architecture in the south) by the time the spanish came in the 1500s.
  14. dennisservaes

    dennisservaes New Member

    Bayai you are right about the Filipino Martial Arts history was word of mouth and speculation, having not been recorded. But if you study the history, culture and archeology you can tie things together with artifacts and stories. I admit Danny's book was my first source, and in fact is one of the reasons I got interested in the Filipino Martial Arts. Reading about the old Escrimadore Masters was fascinating! That particular article of mine I mentioned originally had footnotes in the draft I presented to Dave Cater at Inside Kung Fu, but their magazine doesn't use footnotes otherwise that article would have them. So off of the top of my head I will make an effort to list them all here. The Filipino Martial Arts - Dan Inosanto, Two books by Vic Hurley and one being The 'Slash of the Kriss,' Some books by Don Draeger, Looking For The PreHispanic Filipino- William Henry Scott, Prehispanic Source Materials- William Henry Scott. Also, Remy Presas did had a book with a pink cover that had some history that I wanted to check into more. I rehashed some stuff from various martial arts magazines after first discussing it with people that had been around awhile, also volumes of library books and in particular one book by the Smithsonian Institute that was translated from Latin into English. It was most informative. It was recorded by priests that sailed in various voyages to the various lands to spread Chritianity in the name of the Pope. It led me to briefly search for more information and ask more questions. I met Malaysians and Filipino people at U.C. Davis, Sac State University and other places that were interested in my reseach and helped me. I also spoke with numerous Vissayan and Mindanao people, who are instructors of the FMA or specialize in kriss and other weapons from those regions and they agreed with my research. Some wondered if the term Kali was derived from the ancient term Tjakalili. Independently they said the same thing. They all said Silat not Kali was in the Southern Philippines. I realize some people want more evidence and unfortunately I don't think it exists. It is like asking, "which came first the chicken or the egg?" I believe the original rulers of both the Vissayan and Madjapahat Empires were both from the same family originally, and they were probably from Indian origin, but who is certain they didn't originate in the Vissayas or some other place and make contact with India and other places before establishing their empires where they were? The Madjapahats became agressive and had Monguls and Islamic tribes living among them, both of which were also very war like. The Vissayan Empire was once much larger but always under invasions and occupations of many people for thousands of years. The Madjapahat were primarily in Southern Philippines and Indonesia. Much of the Filipino martial arts resembles aspects of the Indonesian martial arts. The Papal Bull said Spain rather than Portugal would develop Christianity in the Philippines, but Spain and Portugal both had similar ships and weapons. Many of the Vissayan words for martial arts things have a Spanish word. Metalurgy existed in the Vissayas prior to both the Islamic and Portugese making contact with the Philippines, and remember the use of iron drastically changed warefare in Europe a couple centuries earlier to the exploits in the Philippines. So remember Tjakalili was a blade art and not just a stick art! The Vissayns have always had blades.
  15. dennisservaes

    dennisservaes New Member

    I am no expert on baybaying script nor do I know much about Sanskrit. However, I do know that Guru is a term in India and Malaysia meaning teacher. And in the Philippines there is a word Guro which means teacher.
    Perhaps these simularities are just a coincidence or maybe they arrived later. I can't argue about something I know nothing about.
  16. Bayani

    Bayani Valued Member

    Been there done that my friend, Why do you think I no longer arue specifics when it comes to History or terms. It's the meat of what you are learning that I'm interested in. For your info Madjapahit was Hindu in religion defeated by the Sri-vijayans who were Muslim. Mindanao is populated by Islam and not Hinduism. Based on your findings they are a compilation of research with hearsay added to it very much what I too encountered so making direct claims that this came from what with certainty will lend itself to criticism but it's all good :Angel:
    Your perception is your reality. Call it what you may , if it works for you then so be it. who cares what anyone else says.
  17. krys

    krys Valued Member

    No, no, no you are all wrong.... I have another theory, the mother art practiced in all 7000 islands comes from central america and was originally practiced by the Mayas :) jk.
    Many words from different cultures made their way into filipino, and there are not that many sanskri or indonesian words. Actually there are more words from chinese origin...
    Have a look at

    Actually this made me curious and I found out the word palengke (market) comes from the Mayan language...Many of the sodliers used by Spaniards to invade and occupy the Philippines were from mexican descent, perhaps that's how this word came to the islands.. :)
  18. Bayani

    Bayani Valued Member

    Here's a case in point where things could be mixed up and passed on incorrectly, I was mistaken and had it reversed here's the correction thanks to Diego Vega:

    The Sri Vijayans were Hindu who were around from the 5th and 6th century. The Moslem Madjaphait empire existed in the 12th and 13th century. And Mindanao is actually about 70% Christian. But then again, this great Visayan invasion of Mindanao came after the Spanish and American occupation.

    Thanks Diego.
  19. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    One thing is certain though, Kali is a term very seldom used in the Philippines, America, well thats another story, The USA has a lot to answer for including the confusion of what the FMA is supposed to be called.

    99% of the so called experts who claim that Kali is the Mother Arts are not Pilipino. The other 1% live in the good old US of A.

    But then again watch any Hollywood film and you will see that the US is very good at re-wirting history in their favour.

    The Enigma machine for instance, was never captured by the Americans like the film states, as a matter of fact it was captured by the British long before the US even enterd WWII, and oh, WWII started in 1939 not 1941.

    The British, Australian's New Zealanders, Indian's and many other countries also fought the Japanese, as a matter of fact they were fighting them before the US came in to the action.

    So when so called experts from the US claim this and that, I tend to listen then look for the real truth.

    Can you also beleive I was on a flight to the Philippines in 2000 and watched a film that stated that it was the USA that invented TV back in 1926, funny that, that was the same year that the BBC broadcast their first TV program from Crystal Palace.

    Oh I better stop now before I go on all day on this subject.

    No offence meant guys.


  20. Crucible

    Crucible Valued Member

    I think no one doubts that we had an influence from indianized empires, in words like guru or "rajah" lapu lapu, or in the example of the Maranao having a local variation of the 4th centurey Indian epic the Ramayana(the Maranao variation is called Darangan). However lets compare actual artifacts. We have scores of thousands of chinese porcelains, silks, coins, kitchen utensils, farm implements, cookware, pottery from the Tang, Sung, and Ming dynasties, but to my knowledge there have been only two Indian deity statues found in all the Philippines. Wouldn't it make sense that if the Philippines once housed a portition of a vast Hindu empire that we'd have more artifacts? Before the finding of the Laguna copperplate incscription(LCI) anthropologist Lanada Jocano maintaned that based on existing evidence any relations between the Sri Vijayan or Madjaphait empires and the Philippines was perepherial and probably limited to trade. With the LCI we may perhaps have our first real evidence of a Sri Vijian or Madjaphait pressence dating to the 9th century but the document relates only to the surounding areas of Manilla, so at this time we still have not enough evidence to state that the Philippines(not just manilla) was a part of Sri Vijaya and Majapahait.

    BTW anybody know what Tajakalili actually looks like?

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