Bear Martial Arts



Eskrina, Kali and Arnis are all terms used to describe the martial arts of the Philippines - Filipino Martial Arts / FMA.

FMA uses weapons quite heavily, with emphasis on sticks, knives and other bladed weapons. Locks, weapon disarms, hand-to-hand combat and grappling are also taught.

There are 2 main governing bodies for FMA, mainly:

Eskrima is a Filipinisation of the Spanish word for fencing. Arnis comes from arnes, which is an old Spanish for armour. There are many different theories on the origins of the word Kali.


It is most commonly believed that FMA originated in the Philippines, although other theories exist placing its origin in places such as India.

An exact date on when FMA was introduced has been hard to pinpoint, but it has been present in the Philippines and beyond for 100s of years at least. 


FMA uses an array of weapons, including:

  • Eskrima Sticks
  • Knives
  • Bladed Weapons 

Eskrima teaches its practitioners how to use these weapons, and also how to disarm them. 


  • During World War II, many Filipinos fought the Japanese hand to hand with their blades as guerilla fighters or as military units under the USAFFE like the Bolo Battalion (now known as the Tabak Division).
  • Some of the grandmasters who are known to have used their skills in World War II are Antonio Illustrisimo, brothers Eulogio and Cacoy CaƱete, Timoteo Timor Maranga Sr, Jesus Bayas and Balbino Tortal Bonganciso.

For more information please see:

Author: The Bear Martial Arts Team 

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