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#281402 - 05/05/07 07:00 AM Re: Is Pekiti-Tirsia Kali and Arnis the same? [Re: KJ63]
Limbas Offline

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3
No they are not. Arnis is a original term while kali was later adopted during the '80's. It used to be pekiti tirsia arnis. No one in the philippines uses the term kali other than pekiti and those affiliated with them and all of them used to call their system/art as either arnis or eskrima. Traditional FMA is holistic in their approach to fighting i.e. encompassing all available weapons while kali focuses heavily on the knife, the short blade. Classical escrima emphasized defense while pekiti pushes their original counter-offense methods.

#281403 - 05/22/07 09:16 PM Re: Is Pekiti-Tirsia Kali and Arnis the same? [Re: KJ63]
Armed_Man_Piker Offline

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 440
Loc: East Coast U.S.A.


This has to be one of the most misinformed posts I’ve seen in a long time, which leaves me wondering where I should start without offending you or whoever it was who gave this information to you…

I lived in the Philippines for roughly 4 years. Two years while in the Marine Corps and two years after. My wife is Filipina, and we go back quite often. I have trained in the Doce Paras system and the Modern Arnis system.

The history lesson you give us is shoddy at best, with much of it being nothing more the pure speculation or one of many possibilities. Much of the history of the Philippines is unknown include the origins of its MAs. Historians (both native and foreign) have been researching this since the 40’s, without reaching any exact conclusion. Most of what we know comes from Spanish record which I will admit, as with all ruling classes, can be biased, but then again so can native folklore and mythology. Now to correct some things:


The Philippines was under the influence of Hinduism for 800 years stemming from Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinie, Madagascar) which was called the Sri-Visaya empire.

This is nothing more than speculation, and is only one of several possibilities as there is no written record of this, and it is often used to try to connect to Kali to the Hinu God.


After that period, the Philippines were under the control of the spaniard (Ferdinand Magellan-whom they eliminated)for 500 years.

First off, Magellan was not Spanish he was Portuguese. Secondly, Magellan was killed in the battle of Mactan where he and 48 other men had just gotten out of there boats, still thigh deep in water, and were overwhelmed by about 1000 natives. The fact that the battle reportedly last over 30 minutes and that over half of the Spanish soldiers retreated back into their boats and lived, doesn’t say much for the native skill or tactics. Also from Antonio Pigafetta’s (who was Italian) account of the battle most of the natives were using spears, and Magellan was hit in the face with a spear along with several other injuries before falling. The Spanish did not rule for 500 years it was for 333 years from 1565 until the Spanish-American War in 1898 in which America then claimed, and gained control of after the Philippine-American War in 1899.


The term Kali as a verb means to scrape. The root word Kalis means sword. No where in the Filipino language dating back to Babagin (original spoken language) or today's dialects such as Illongo (Tuhons native language), Tagolog, etc... is there a reference to Arnis or Eskrima. In the Filipino sandscripts you can find Ka and Li but you can't find Arnis and Eskrima. Ka actually means respect, honor, majestic, highness. (I don't remember what Li means-sorry).

Again, nothing but speculation, and just one of many possibilities, no one knows the true origin of the word “Kali.” Arnis and Escrima are part of the known vocabulary of many dialects but Kali has only appeared recently.


It is actually ignorant to refer to a Filipino martial art as Arnis or Eskrima. When one does that they are using a spanish term to refer to a Filipino martial art.

OK. I know I said I was not trying to offend anyone but this has to be one of the most (let me use the same word you did) “ignorant” things I have ever heard. Roughly 22 million Filipinos speak Tagalog. About 25% of their vocabulary contains Spanish or are variation of Spanish words. It also contains several words from other ethnic groups. Other Filipino dialects vary but many contain some Spanish. It is not “ignorant” to use words that are part of your vocabulary. I also decided to visit several Pekiti Tirsia websites. There is a lot of good information on these sites that you should read. The funny thing I noticed on these websites was the vocabulary: doble, espada, daga, mano, dose, baston, contra, etc, etc… all Spanish words, and according to you, pretty “ignorant” of them to use this Spanish terminology in their Filipino art.

Here is something to think about that can’t be proven and is nothing more than speculation on my part: The Spanish ruled the Philippines for 330+ years (the USA has only been a country for 230), and in that time never required the natives to learn their language (that is a documented fact). Now in this 300 years very few Spanish women ever made the trip so the hundreds of thousands of Spaniards who went there took natives as wives, had large families, and generally speaking, only the members of these families learned fluent Spanish. So… why would the natives (who supposedly continued to practice their art in secrecy) start using Spanish terminology to describe the techniques such as the ones listed above? There are other such as San Miguel, redondo, and abaniko that are also commonly used.


The term Arnis was even very popular in parts of the Philippines during the 50's, 60's and 70's and that is where it gained its popularity (by those who didn't know).

Again, you are saying that millions of Filipinos are ignorant. My wife wants you to let her know the next time you go to the Philippines, and she will have her family at the airport to meet you, and show you some of the finer points of Filipino culture. LOL.

I am only half way through your post and could spend all day pointing out the pure ignorance of it, including statements about one of my instructors Remy Presas. I am biting my tongue so hard it’s bleeding, and I don’t want this to turn into a personal flame against you. My suggestion is that you do more research before you post nonsense. I will skip to the end of your post:


Here in the US we a grossly misguided in the Filipino way. Everyone is out to make a dollar. They will rip off other arts and make videos. If you want to learn the truth I suggest you go there and see for yourself like I did.

Well, I hate to tell you this but anyone who is teaching MAs, no matter what style, does it for money. Many people claim many things that can’t be proven. Many people want to be apart of something great or that has its roots in greatness. It is very easy to promote these kinds of thing without documentation. Viewing the Pekiti Tirsia Kali websites it appears to be a very beautiful MA… like all the other FMAs including Arnis and Eskrima.

I was going to address all the myths and misconceptions in TJMAC's post, but it looks like you already covered all the bases.
And the rapier blades, being so narrow and of so small substance, and made of a very hard temper to fight in private frays... do presently break and so become unprofitable. --Sir John Smythe, 1590

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