|Author||Remy Amador Presas|
Eskrima or Arnis today is popularly played with the use of cane, it being less lethal than the bladed weapon like itak or broadsword. The cane is assumed to be the extension of the hand so that arnis is also called in Spanish arnis de mano or eskrima. Among the Tagalog Provinces, arnis is known as estocada or arnis de mano; Ibanags is to the pagkalikali; kalirongan to Pangasinense; Kinaadman to the Visayas (Eskrima or garote to the cebuanos) and baston to the people of Panay and Negros Occidental; and Sinawali to the Pampangeρos.
As a fighting art, arnis has three forms of play. They are the espada y daga (sword and dagger) or the long wooden sword and the short wooden dagger; the solo baston (single stick) in which a single ling muton or baston (wooden stick or rattan cane) hardened by drying or heating is used; and the sinawali, so called because the intricate movements of two muton used invariably resemble the sawali, a native martial for house walling made of bamboo splits, woven in criss-across fashion.
In teaching arnis, three traditional training methods were used by the early Filipinos. These were the (1) muestrasion or pandalag, an artistic execution of the swinging movements and strokes for offensive and defensive purpose in repetitive drills; (2) sangga at patama or sombra tabak, technique in striking, thrusting, and parrying in a pre-arranged manner; and (3) larga muton or labanang totohanan where two trainees engage in a free practice, trying to outmaneuver each other with all their skills.
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