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#323781 - 02/20/07 06:57 PM Escrima/Arnis/Kali differences?
JoshuaMonjin Offline

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 427
Loc: Fallon, Nevada
Hello, I recently started learning Doce Pares Escrima and was wondering about the differences between Escrima, Arnis, and Kali. I am very new to the world of Filipino and South East Asian Martial Arts and unsure of how to go about doing any research.
Jikishin kore dojo nari

#323782 - 02/20/07 07:40 PM Re: Escrima/Arnis/Kali differences? [Re: JoshuaMonjin]
modernsamurai Offline

Registered: 04/05/06
Posts: 26
Loc: Hawaii
Kali/Arnis/Escrima-are all martial arts of Filipino origin. Some people believe that the terms are tied to the regions the art originated in, there is little proof to support this claim.

In addition many people think that Kali is primarily used when describing bladed arts and arnis/escrima apply to stick arts. Again little proof exists to substantiate this claim.

In my opinion the terms are interchangable and are more closely linked to the time the art was popularized here in America.

#323783 - 02/21/07 04:33 AM Re: Escrima/Arnis/Kali differences? [Re: modernsamurai]
IExcalibui2 Offline

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City
well the words themselves are different..
I dont know what arnis means but kali = weapon and escrima = stick
like you said, my guess would probably be that the differences came from what people decided to focus on.
Maybe escrima focused more on the use of the stick while kali looked at all of the weapons they used.

the techniques are essentially the same, but sometimes taught differently. Like body positioning for a certain strike might be different depending on who you're learning from.
"you're going to work till you wish you were dead and then keep going.." -Sgt Slaughter

#323784 - 02/21/07 09:35 AM Re: Escrima/Arnis/Kali differences? [Re: IExcalibui2]
ShikataGaNai Offline

Registered: 08/27/05
Posts: 1163
Loc: Bellingham, WA
Another one I've heard is that it is called Arnis or Escrima within the Philipines and it's called Kali everywhere else
In the US, it pretty much all means the same thing.

#323785 - 02/21/07 10:37 PM Re: Escrima/Arnis/Kali differences? [Re: JoshuaMonjin]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
From Wikipedia...

The term Eskrima is the Filipino spelling which comes from the Spanish word esgrima, "fencing". Arnis is thought to derive from the phrase arnés de mano, Spanish for "harness of the hand". The origin of the name Kali is not certain, although some suggest it is related to the traditional weapon called a kris, keris, or kalis. Another explanation is that the word is a portmanteau of the Filipino words kamot, or kamay meaning hand or body, and lihok, meaning motion. This explanation may be a more recent innovation, retroactively fitting an acronym to the existing name.

Also, this article by Bot Jocano, on "Arnis: A Question of Origins", might help:

#323786 - 02/22/07 06:44 PM Re: Escrima/Arnis/Kali differences? [Re: JoshuaMonjin]
KJ63 Offline

Registered: 08/16/06
Posts: 128
Loc: Midwestern U.S.
I don’t think there is any difference between the 3 words unless you want to try to break down the meaning and find a difference that way or what language they originated from, but it does little to show any true difference in techniques, stances, forms, weapons used and/or applications of said weapons.

The true differences in the arts lie in the style or system names such as: Doce Pares, Decampo, Lameco, Modern, Rapid, Sayoc, Sikaran, Suntukan, Kombatan, Balintawak, and so on, just to name a few. The choice of whether to use the word Arnis, Arnes, Escrima, Eskrima, Esgrima or Kali before or after was probably more a factor of what language or dialect they spoke, or what region of the county they were from.

The biggest differences are usually in stance and range. Some cover all while others focus on specific ranges. The next thing people usually notice is the check-hand. Some use high, some low, some focus on keeping the check-hand directly behind the weapon-hand, palm up, palm down, etc, etc… Other minor differences are usually in striking patterns. I seen anything from 7 to 12, although most of the ones I have seen a number one or San Miguel is usually the same: an overhand right going from your right shoulder toward your left hip. Other minor difference: speed or power, light stick or heavy stick, long stick or short stick, edged weapons work or just stick, empty hand translations or none… The differences can be many but they usually have many more things in common than they do different.
You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.

#323787 - 03/01/07 12:13 AM Re: Escrima/Arnis/Kali differences? [Re: KJ63]
JoshuaMonjin Offline

Registered: 10/13/06
Posts: 427
Loc: Fallon, Nevada
Thanks for the responses everyone. I find learning Doce Pares Escrima to be very interesting especially in it's emphasis on flow and finding out what works for you.
Jikishin kore dojo nari

#323788 - 05/05/07 07:37 AM Re: Escrima/Arnis/Kali differences? [Re: JoshuaMonjin]
Limbas Offline

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3
The difference lies in the emphasis of principles and/or applications. Some tries to stay true to traditional/classical/fundamental while some tries to reinvent the weave. Some are recycled stick/blade/wrestling rolled into one combative arts wrapped-up in new/old terms/myths/histories.

#323789 - 05/22/07 09:03 PM Re: Escrima/Arnis/Kali differences? [Re: IExcalibui2]
Armed_Man_Piker Offline

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

well the words themselves are different..
I dont know what arnis means but kali = weapon and escrima = stick

With all due respect, you are incorrect.

The oldest of the terms is eskrima, a Tagalog word derived from the Spanish word esgrima, which means "fencing".

Arnis is another Tagalog word, also derived from Spanish. The original Spanish term was arnes, which means "harness". It should be stressed that, in this case, "harness" specifically means "armor". The original term was arnes de mano (coined in 1853), which literally means "armor of the hands", and it refers to the Filipino warrior's ability to protect himself with his weapon, as if he had armor. This eventually became arnis de mano, and was ultimately shortened simply to arnis.

"Kali" is a term which is often claimed to be the "original" pre-Hispanic term for Filipino fighting arts, but the truth is that the earliest reference to "kali" comes only from 1957, from Placido Yambao's book on FMA. There has long been a sort of revisionist movement in certain FMA circles, that has attempted to replace the historically correct terminology with "kali". Many FMA styles even changed their names from eskrima and arnis to "kali". The entire "kali" myth is soundly debunked in the new book by Dr. Ned Nepangue and Celestino Macachor, entitled, Cebuano Eskrima--Beyond the Myth.
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

#323790 - 04/13/08 04:20 AM Re: Escrima/Arnis/Kali differences? [Re: Armed_Man_Piker]
kalisong1 Offline

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 3
In my opinion they are all interchangeable, Even within the systems that use the same names like Arnis systems, be it modern, Lapunti, Lighting Scientific as an example. All Arnis yet all have different stances, forms, and ways of training Arnis.

The differences really lie on the instructors themselves.

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