The International Kali Arnis Escrima Federation provides valuable insight into the rich history and development of Filipino martial arts. Over the centuries, the martial arts in the Philippines evolved into a highly effective combat system influenced by various tribes and cultures. Some tribes specialized in specific stick-fighting ranges, such as long or short, and these skills were eventually combined to create a comprehensive and efficient martial art.

The three most well-known names for this martial art are Kali, Escrima, and Arnis. Kali, the oldest term, has its origin in Cebuano, a dialect of the middle island groups. “Ka” represents “camot” or “hand,” and “Li” stands for “lehok” or “movement.” Together, Kali translates to “movement of the hand,” and a practitioner of Kali is referred to as a Kallista.


12 Strikes – Control – form training

12 Strikes – Full Power – form training

Shadow Fighting – form training

Footwork and empty hand padwork – Eight box method

12 Defence & Counter – Full control – Pairs work

12 Defence & Counter – Full power – Pairs work

Lifting & clearing – Pairs work

Empty Hand Manipulation – Disarms – pairs work

Willie Lim training

Escrima Kids

Level 1

1. Introduction to Stick and Movement Concepts

2. 12 Strikes – Control form

3   Blocking – Striking from the 12 point form (pairs work)

Level 2

1. Full Power form

2. Blocking – Striking from the form (pairs work)

3. Kuzushi footwork

4  Eight box method (Footwork and pad work)

Level 3

1. Shadow Fighting Form part one

2. Blocking – Striking from the form (pairs work)

3 Footwork and pad work drills

4 Eight Elbow form

Level 4

1  Shadow Fighting Form  part one – part two

2  Tegumi  (hand drills)

3  Blocking – Striking from the form (pairs work)

4  Free style

Level 5

1  Shadow Fighting Form part one – part two – part three

2  Blocking – Striking from the form (pairs work)

3  Disarms

4  Free style

A number of training pairs work drills can be included in class training sessions from each level

History of Eskrima

The Spanish occupiers named the Filipino martial arts “Escrima,” deriving from the Spanish word “Esgrima,” which describes a brief fight or fencing. This reflects the Spanish influence on the Philippines and their attempt to capture the essence of the martial arts practiced by the locals. These various names encompass the diversity and effectiveness of the Filipino martial arts, which have become renowned worldwide for their practicality and adaptability in combat situations.