Arnis - National Martial Art and Sports of the Philippines
Arnis enjoys the status of the de jure national sport of the Philippines. It is a martial art characterized by the use of “swinging and twirling movements, accompanied by striking, thrusting and parrying techniques for defense and offense.” Having been handed down from generation to generation for centuries, the discipline hones the skill, speed, accuracy and agility of its practitioners. It was developed by the indigenous populations of the Philippines, who used an assorted range of weaponry for combat and self-defense. Encompassing both simple impact and edged weapons, arnis traditionally involved rattan, swords, daggers and spears.
In 1521, equipped with nothing more than bladed weapons and their fearsome arnis abilities, Filipino islanders defeated Ferdinand Magellan’s armored, musket-bearing Spanish conquistador forces when they tried to invade.