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This maybe a dumb question and I certainly mean no disrespect, but it is one that has been nagging at me for 30 plus years. I have noticed that some schools/systems call them self Joe's Eskrima (or what ever) and some schools/systems call them selves Joe's Eskrima, Kali, Arnis (or what ever). I wonder if anyone else has thought that to call a school/system Kali, Arnis, Eskrima is kinda like saying Joe's Judo, Judo, Judo or Joe's Karate, Karate, Karate, I mean why not just choose one Kali, Arnis, Eskrima, Escrima and be done with it. We all know (most of us anyway) that the Filipino Martial Arts are in reality a blend of the indigenous arts and to name a system Kali, Arnis, Eskrima is a personal choice rather than really being connected to some ancient lineage.. When looking back at the old timers (legends of FMA) most of them called  their school.system Kali, Arnis, Eskrima, etc, but usually not 2 or 3. Anyway, I would love to hear the various comments and again no disrespect to anyone or system, but just wondering why a single system designation is not sufficient.

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no it not a dumb question, maybe they thing it  3 different name for the same thing, althought arnis according to prof ramy prases in his book it misspeeled the word , harness, also escrima , or eskrima cus filipino use k instesd of c, means fencing, kali from 2 words on youtube guru dan insanto explain what it means, the problem with fma that r not standrized like karate, in karate u get 3 k, kihon, kata , kummite=basic, forms, and fighting,, the shotokan style get many organisation, but they never changed the technique names or sequence, but each organization well concentrate on some aspect from the 3 k more then the other,like 1 gruop teach karate as taught exactly by funkoshi, other concentratr on using techneque in competition, this way shotokan karate well expand and attract differnt people, in modern arins the style i learned in the IMAFFin filipine it not same, each of prof remay prases , student , when they get their 8th dan from him. created their own system, with different names, and diffrent drills, and technique, and their student , did the same, so what we get here , that the orginal system of modern arnis instead of being expanding, it lose it name to the new systems, and become fragment


That line of questioning brings a smile to my face. It is not something that is isolated to just Filipino martial arts. I spent a lot of time in Taekwondo, and there are many oddities there as well. One thing that can cause this sort of confusion is that we need to see the difference between the Style and the Sign.

Using a sign is a way to get noticed or present information. The sign I used for the last 10 years I was teaching was a White 4' x 8' sign with the word KARATE on the top half in red and the phone number on the bottom half in blue. I do not now nor have I ever held rank or teaching credentials in any Japanese or Okinawan martial art. But everybody knew what I was trying to say. The point is that the sign just shows people where you are, once you meet them you can begin to educate them.

Anyway, at the heart of your question is the desire to give information: "Attention Please'" Here are all the things I can teach you!". Or perhaps to show qualification, "Teaching in the metro area since 1967" "Black Belt in 23 Karate Styles" "We teach men women and kids". The trick is to look at your sign, really everything you do, through "white belt eyes". Sometimes we overdo it.

In March I am going to do a seminar for a friend of mine who teaches TKD. He was interested in a "Stick Seminar"! He didn't know that there were three ways to identify Filipino martial arts, much less any differences between them. As far as he was concerned I taught the use of sticks and it would be helpful for his TKD students to be familiar with that aspect of self-defense. I didn't get offended or spend time trying to educate him on the terminology, I'll save that for later.

Interesting question. I'm a Modern Arnis instructor. I could say, "Battaglia's Modern Arnis". Professor always told us to make the art for ourself. If I did that, I would feel the need to say the founder is, the late Prof. Remy Armador Presas. I like to give credit where credit is due. He certified me to be an advanced Modern Arnis instructor. Also,he allowed me to go on to make the art for myself.

David Battaglia

I can't really disagree with any comments here since I've noticed that different teachers of FMA teach different things about the history of the arts. My teacher said that it depends on the point in history and the region when it comes to Eskrima, Arnis, Kali, Estokada, Sikeran, Dumog, and so many other systems. Just like some refer to espada y daga as sword and dagger yet others use the same term for stick and dagger. Then some say stick and dagger is olisi y baraw and say that the two methods are different according to tactics and era. My teacher made attempts to standardize FMA in the Philippines but in the end there were too many disagreements.


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