(December 2011)


In the recent Consultation Meeting this December 2011 for the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9850, otherwise known as “ An Act Declaring Arnis as the National Martial Art and Sport in the Philippines”, herewith are the salient points on the contents of the proposed Arnis Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).


As stated in the draft IRR, Arnis shall also be known as Eskrima, Kali, Garrote and other names in various regional languages, such as “Pananandata” in Tagalog; “Pagkalikali” in Ibanag; “Kabaraon and Kalirongan” in Pangasinan; “Kaliradman” in Bisaya; and “Didja” in Ilokano. Arnis is an indigenous Filipino martial art and sport characterized by the use of swinging and twirling movements, accompanies by striking, thrusting and parrying techniques for defense and offense. This is usually done with the use of one (1) or two (2) sticks or any similar implements or with bare hands and feet also used for striking, locking and grappling, with the use of the same principle as that with the canes.


As stated in the draft Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), Arnis shall be adopted as the Philippine national martial art and sport, as a such, the following platforms and measures shall be instituted to promote and develop the sport.


a)            The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) shall inscribe the symbol of Arnis in its official seal and logo;


b)            Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) shall promote Arnis as a competitive sport that will enable the creation of champion Filipino athletes;


c)            The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) shall embrace Arnis as one of the priority community-based sporting activities, and a tool to equip the community authorities in the performance of their function of ensuring peace and public safety;


d)            The Department of Education (DepEd) shall conduct a regular Arnis competition on the annual Palarong Pambansa;


e)            The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Polices (PNP) shall include in the training of their military and uniformed personnel;


f)             The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) shall promote Arnis as part of the physical education curriculum and include it as an event in tertiary level competition;


g)            The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) shall institute programs to protect and promote Arnis as part of the cultural heritage of the country;


h)           The National Youth Commission (NYC) shall propagate Arnis as a key to the development of the youth’s physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual and social well-being.


The Arnis Inter-Agency Coordinating Council (AICC)

As stated in the draft Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), there is a plan to create and establish the Arnis Inter-Agency Coordinating Council (AICC) which is envisioned to be an entity which shall promote and monitor all the provisions of the Arnis law. As initially planned, said coordinating council shall be composed of the following members:


1)            Chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission - as Chairperson of the Council;

2)            President of the Philippine Olympic Committee - as Co-Chairperson of the Council;

3)            Duly authorized representative of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), as member;

4)            Duly authorized representative of the Department of Education (DepEd), as member;

5)            Duly authorized representative of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), as member;

6)            Duly authorized representative of the Philippine National Police (PNP), as member;

7)            Duly authorized representative of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), as member;

8)            Duly authorized representative of the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA), as member; and

9)            The President of the National Sports Association of Arnis, as member.    


The Arnis Inter-Agency Coordinating Council (AICC) shall have the following powers and functions:


(a)         Formulate an Arnis National Development Program in the Philippines which shall be synchronized with programs, policies and activities of the national governing body in sport and its partner agencies, and serve as a roadmap for the development and promotion of the sport across the sectors nationwide, and throughout the world;

(b)         Serve as the central coordinating body of all government and non-government entities that will have impact to the Arnis National Development Program or are instrumental for the promotion and development of the sport among Filipinos;

(c)         Craft and institute mechanisms to promote the value of Arnis, with respect to its being a sport that originated in the Philippines as well as its cultural significance;

(d)         Formulate policies and programs for the promotion of Arnis as the national sport and martial art;

(e)         Organize projects during the commemoration of the passage of the Arnis Law;

(f)          Work out the institution of Arnis in major international sporting activities such as Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games, and Olympic Games, among others;

(g)         Formulate and adopt a technical handbook of Arnis as reference during competition.


As stipulated in the draft Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR), the Arnis National Development Program shall include, among others, the adoption and execution of the following priority strategic programs, namely:

(a)          Inclusion of the skills of Arnis in the training of military personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and police personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP);

(b)          Inclusion of the skills of Arnis in the self defense program for Barangay Tanond Training;

(c)          Incorporation of Arnis history in all books and publications showcasing the Filipino cultural heritage;

(d)          Teaching of Arnis as a module in the Community Welfare and Training Services (CWTS) which is a requirement in the tertiary level education in the Philippines;

(e)          Inclusion of Arnis in the national competition program of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and in other tertiary level organized sports competition;

(f)           Establishment of a National Arnic Center as a venue for recreation and training facility to be funded by the government;

(g)          Institutionalization of Scholarship Programs for student-athletes who will display exemplary performances in Palarong Pambansa and in all school based competitions, regardless of levels;

(h)          Teaching of Arnis in Physical Education (PE) curriculum in the tertiary level education here in the Philippines;

(i)            Institutionalization of Research and Development (R&D) of Arnis;

(j)            Institutionalization of other significant programs, projects and activities contributory to the promotion of Arnis/Kali/Eskrima.


By the third week of January 2012, after the Christmas Break, the Technical Working Group (TWG) headed by Philippine Sports Commission Chairman Richard Garcia intends to conduct a consultation meeting with all the stakeholders in the art of Arnis to finalize the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR). They intend to hold the venue of the Technical Working Group (TWG) consultation meeting at the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines so that the authors of the Arnis Law can actively participate in shedding light on the spirit, vision, goal and wisdom of the Arnis Law. This will also neutralize any attempt on some sectors and stakeholders in the Arnis Law to dominate and impose their own agenda on the contents of the IRR of the Arnis Law.



1)            Some stakeholders in the Arnis Law are proposing to increase the composition of the Arnis Inter-Agency Coordinating Council (AICC) to include the following members, namely: the National Historical Commission (NHC), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Health (DOH), representative from the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK), Philippine Commission on Women, Games and Amusement Board (GAB) and 17 Regional Representatives coming from the 17 regions in the Philippines. There is difficulty in accepting this proposal, as worded, because as it is very difficult to get a quorum for an Arnis Inter-Agency Coordinating Council composed of too many members. This would make the whole proceedings of the coordinating council very chaotic and difficult to arrive at a consensus.  It is however recommended that there will be two (2) representatives coming from Mindanao, two (2) representatives coming from Visayas, and two (2) representatives coming from Luzon. This way the composition of the Arnis Inter-Agency Coordinating Council (AICC) will be manageable to handle.


2)            There is also a proposal by some stakeholders to create a Secretariat for the  Arnis Inter-Agency Coordinating Council (AICC) whose function is to provide technical support and inputs to the AICC. The Secretariat shall include in its composition experts, masters and grandmasters in the various art of Arnis/Kali/Eskrima in order to provide quality inputs to the AICC.


3)            There is also a proposal to include in the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) the source for appropriations and funding for the various participating agencies who will proactively participate in the promotion of Arnis/Kali/Eskrima.


4)            There is also a proposal to expand the priority strategic programs of the Arnis National Development Program to include the following, namely: (a) Creation of a standardized system of Arnis as a sports; (b) Promotion and teaching of Arnis as part of the Sangguniang Kabataan activities; (c) Teaching and practice of Arnis and its history and culture in Physical Education and Philippine History curriculum in basic, secondary, and tertiary level, taught by the experts or practitioners whose Arnis style is indigenous to the area; (d) Organization of Arnis advocates and practitioners in their respective territories or areas, as they shall be included as teachers of Arnis in basic, secondary, and tertiary Arnis classes in schools; (e) Standardization of basic and secondary education teaching guidelines that includes the basic ten (10) strikes and good Filipino values espoused by Arnis, as the primary module for Arnis experts to use in facilitating their classes; (f) Standardization of the Rules of Competition for National Sports Competition; (g) Incorporation of Arnis promotion in local and regional festivals and celebrations; and (h) The promotion and preservation of the martial arts aspect of Arnis through leagues and professional competitions.  


These are the recent updates for now in relation to the Arnis Law. I shall provide an update by the February 2012 on the recent development on this issue.


Mabuhay ang FMA!!! Mabuhay Kayong Lahat!!!

Very truly yours,


Jessie R. Rocales

Senate of the Philippines


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Thank you for the post, it welcomed news here in the US. Please keep us posted.

Thank  you for the news, MABUHAY from Brazil

this is the best info and at a time when the action is slowest for all styles and organzations to get on the same page with the dos and donts of ,rules and to have a defining of whats aloud for practice and competition.well done and glad to see that the info is being put out for all to catch up on .sifu ralph parris ,great interview in Blackbelt mah with guru m.scharwz

This is great news, Guro John, this is something that a number of people associated with Mataw Guro Association are very interested in seeing come into being.



Jerome Barber, Ed. D.  

Dear Mr. Jerome Barber,

This is indeed a major activity happening here in the Philippines these days. Furthermore, we need to ensure to keep the momentum going and delve into the details because much of the intricacies and difficulties are in the details, such as for example the issue on accreditation and standardization of curriculum, standardization in the rules for sporting competitions, source of appropriations, checks and balances, accountability, manner of coordination and many more details that need to be threshed out with fine comb evaluation and discussions. Thank you for your comments po. Mabuhay po kayo Sir!!!


Jacinto R. Rocales

Senate of the Philippines

Is the consultation meeting (which will be held 3rd week of January 2012) open to the public? My husband is an avid stakeholder of Arnis - practiced it, competed in it (national champion in the late 70's to early 80's) and is still actively teaching it in a public school where he is a Mapeh teacher (teaches it for free beyond the teaching hours in the Teachers' Magna Carta). If it is open to the public and if our schedule permits, can we attend the session? This is very good development for Arnis. Now we can UNIFY it with STANDARDIZED rules and regulations and not be held by the neck by those who want to control arnis for their own selfish ulterior motives. Magulo at nakakalito na kung sino ang talagang susundin. With this development, we can professionalize the sport and focus on producing world-class arnis athletes and also separate the REAL arnisadors from the PRETENDERS to the sport. Thank you.

Dear Dr. Remedios Sy,

The Consultation Meeting will be open to the public. This is the reason why we are holding it in the Senate so that everyone can attend and witness the proceedings. In the Senate Proceedings, Stenographers take down the transcript of the whole proceedings and the Transcript of Stenographic Notes are also made accessible to the public. The members of the Technical Working Group has decided to hold the venue in the Senate so that the authors of the Law can shed light into the wisdom and spirit of the Arnis Law. We are aware that other stakeholders want to grab exclusive credit of the activity that is why we are neutralizing this effort by letting the Authors (Legislators) themselves participate in the proceedings. As such, the inputs of the REAL arnisadors will be taken into serious consideration. We will also make an effort to ensure that the output of this endeavor is multi-sectoral, interdisciplinary, holistic, participative and comprehensive, meaning that it will be a collective effort of ALL the stakeholders, UNITY in DIVERSITY. Mabuhay po kayo Ma'am!!!


Jacinto R. Rocales

Dear Mr. Rocales :

       Warm greetings!

       I am so pleased with your reply and the position that the stakeholders has taken with regards to the Arnis Law. Your principle of UNITY in DIVERSITY is the best way to subscribe to this endeavor. I am also glad that it has reached the attention of the "higher-ups" that there is an on-going struggle by some to take exclusivity and proclaim themselves as legitimate when in fact they are not. Truth to tell, we have experienced first-hand the manipulations done at the DepEd level where the "bata-bata" system prevailed over the ones who were truly deserving to win ( with videos taken). Nakaka-awa at nakakapang hinayang po ang mga batang magagaling pero naging biktima ng pandaraya dahil meron pong isang "brotherhood" inside the DepEd who can control the outcome of a tournament. At kapag hindi ka nila myembro, siguradong talo ang atleta mo. What a waste of good talent!  And yes, there are those who have taken up seminars on referee and judges' courses and basic arnis and they now have the gall to call themselves arnisadors. A REAL arnisador does not only practice the sport but has imbibed its principles and actually COMPETED and WON...the experience of which is priceless! My husband is a Lakan 5 under the tutelage of the late Dr. Guillermo Lengson of Kafephil. He has waited this long to finally see that the sport he has loved so much will finally be unified and professionalized under one umbrella organization.

We are not loyal to any one association. We are loyal to the sport and recognize the legitimacy of an entity authorized by the national government as the one to govern the sport. We are only after FAIRNESS and IMPARTIALITY in the conduct of these Arnis tournaments. Ibigay po natin sa mga karapat-dapat na magagaling na manlalaro ng arnis ang kanilang panalo hindi dahil may bata-bata system o dahil may perang involved kundi alam natin na siya talaga ang nanalo at dahil yun ang tamang gawin.

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I hope we will be able to know when this consultation meeting takes place. We also hope to be there to listen and follow the proceedings. God bless po and we shall look forward to meeting you. :-)

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