Filipino Martial Arts Ideas You Should Try Out For Your Inner Strength

filipino martial arts

Martial arts are primarily practiced to sharpen one’s self-defense, and Filipino martial arts are a combination of ancient and modern fighting techniques that had originated in the Philippines. It incorporates features from both Western and Eastern Martial Arts. Since the Filipinos had to learn how to defend themselves early on due to their country’s countless battles, it has now become a cultural tradition. Their martial art practice is recognized worldwide and is even included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The Filipino martial arts broadly consists of three main forms, and they are as follows.

Filipino Martial Arts – Arnis

A close up of a tree

Also known as the Eskrima or Kali form of Filipino martial arts, the Philippines’ national sport is heavily based on weapon training and unarmed combat like joint locks and grappling. Weapons like sticks, knives, and swords are used with full contact, and this form of martial arts is known to be one of the most practical forms of martial arts. Arnis is similar to fencing, but its origin can be traced back to the old tactics used and practiced by the Philippines’ commoners in the 1500s. Training begins with wooden sticks and wooden knives before moving on to rougher or sharper weaponry. It helps improve and sharpen one’s target perception, body rhythm and flow, muscle memory, and hand-eye coordination. Arnis specifically rose to recognition and notability worldwide when the self-defense above system was remarkably used in the Bruce Lee films and is noticeable throughout.

Pekiti-Tirsia Kali

A close up of a canyon

Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is another form of Filipino martial arts that focuses on weapons, but with impact. It is globally used to train young military and law enforcement to provide them with a good amount of strength and self-focus and better their self-defense system. Influenced by Arnis, the style mentioned above martial arts, Pekiti-Tirsia Kali was further developed around the 1900s for further accuracy and taught an individual to tackle an opponent and take them down within three seconds. Training starts first with mastering combat through empty hands and then proceeds to the handling of weaponry. Due to highly skilled and focused movements, it improves neuromuscular coordination and also serves as great cardio for the body.

Filipino Martial Arts – Dog

Dumog is wrestling but with a Filipino, take it over. It includes various techniques that require an individual to stand upright and grapple through a variety of pushes, weight shifts, and joint locks. While the arms are used as gripping points, the legs are used for tripping. Through intense training, one can locate the “control points” or “choke points” of their opponent and is hence able to then deftly and swiftly tackle them accordingly. While attacks may be blunt, its precision isn’t, and trained Dumog wrestlers never miss. Dumog is usually included in the curriculum for most of the Martial Arts Schools in the Philippines and is encouraged to learn and practice diligently so that they can have better control over their bodies.


Martial Arts in the Philippines is considered an important, traditional and sacred form of art as its roots certainly hit home to the Filipinos, and they embrace it with pride.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter