Bruce Lee Was Shown This Filipino Martial Art And Now It’s Used A Lot In Movies


Everybody knows Bruce Lee for his Kung Fu films, for popularizing Chinese Martial Arts in the West, and for creating his own martial art system, Jeet Kune Do.

Oh, and for beating Chuck Norris.

But did you know that he also has an inseparable connection to Filipino Martial Arts?

Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto

Bruce Lee and Filipino Martial Arts

In the unfinished 1978 movie, Game of Death, Lee fights various martial arts masters. One of them is a Filipino-American. His real life student and close friend, Dan Inosanto, fights him using Kali, a weapons-based style of fighting from the Philippines.

Game of Death was one of the first movies to catapult Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) into the Hollywood spotlight.

In more recent times, Matt Damon’s character in the Bourne series of movies makes heavy use of the fighting style of Kali.

In the movie 300, Kali was used to distinguish the fighting style of Leonidas’ army, since the real fighting arts of the Spartans has been lost to history.

In the Bourne films, Jeff Imada, the fight stunt coordinator, was a close friend of Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon, with whom he studied Jeet Kune Do under the tutelage of Dan Inosanto.

In 300, the head stunt coordinator and fight choreographer, Damon Caro, is also a student of Inosanto.

Filipino Martial Arts: A Quick History

But before Filipino Martial Arts became a go-to martial art style for realistic fight choreography, it was used by the Pintados – tattooed warriors that the Spanish encountered when they first landed on the Philippine Islands.


Pintados from the Visayas. Image from the Boxer Codex (1595)

Each family group had their own fighting system which they used against rival tribes during the precolonial times. When the Philippines was under Spanish rule, native Filipinos, or indios as they were labelled, were prohibited from studying martial arts.

But they preserved and practiced their skills in the form of Moro-Moro plays, which depicted Filipinos fighting with sticks against their sword-wielding Spanish conquerors.

During the Japanese occupation, stories of Filipinos going head to head against Japanese soldiers wielding nothing but rattan or bahi sticks or bolos became the stuff of legend.

Filipino Martial Arts were traditionally never written in a book. Instead, they were passed down from generation to generation through mentoring from a father to his son. As Filipinos were finally allowed to start teaching martial arts openly, it became necessary to assign words and names to the once secret fighting techniques and forms.

Moro Moro

A scene from the Moro-Moro play. Image from The Philippine Islands (1895)

Our past, under Spanish rule, is still evident in terminologies used to describe our martial arts. For instance, the technique of hitting an opponent with the side of the blade (or stick) with a whipping motion of the wrist is called “abanico” in some systems and “witik” in others.

The words Arnis and Escrima are rooted in Spanish — a remnant of a time when Filipinos were required to be polyglots — fluent in Filipino, in Castilian Spanish, and even in English, in addition to the native language of their province! Arnis comes from arnes, Old Spanish for armor. Escrima (also spelled Eskrima) is derived from the Spanish term Esgrima that is the term for fencing.

The word Kali, meanwhile, has many theorized origins. It is said to be derived from words in several Filipino languages which referred to martial arts in different regions such as kaliradman in Visayas and kalirongan in Pangasinan. It could also have been derived from the kalis sword (aka kris sword), or from the word kalis which means, “to scrape” in some Filipino languages.

Depending on who you ask, the word “escrima” is sometimes used interchangeably with the term “arnis.” When escrima techniques are used with bladed weapons (instead of rattan sticks), the art becomes known as kali. Others say the difference in the names either implied the region from which the art originated or the time period when the art was developed.

Regardless of the exact etymology, it was Dan Inosanto who popularized the word “Kali” to refer to the indigenous Filipino Martial Arts of blade and stick fighting.

Escrima and Arnis are the names commonly used in the Philippines. The name Kali is seldom used locally because the term is more recognized outside the Philippines than the other two.

Nowadays, all three terms (kali, arnis, escrima) are simply known under the umbrella of “Filipino Martial Arts” or “FMA.”

Filipino Martial Arts in America

In the past, Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) were taught to direct blood relations and fellow tribe members only. Changes began when the Philippines gained independence after World War II. The first group to formalize FMA as an institution were the founders of the Doce Pares Association in 1930’s who were based in Cebu City.

FMA spread to the States due to the efforts of Max Sarmiento. The story goes that in the mid 1960’s, Max worked in the Defense Depot near Stockton, CA. A few of the workers were practicing karate and one jokingly attacked Max. Max quickly and effectively defended himself with his own FMA, Kadena de Mano (Chain of Hands).

The karate students were impressed and asked Max to start teaching them his style of FMA. Max didn’t want to, but did ask other local FMA Masters around Stockton, a city full of Filipino immigrants.

Max was able to convince Angel Cabales to openly teach his style of Escrima, Serrada Escrima, to all those who wanted to learn. The school was the first example of FMA being openly taught in the USA. Angel Cabales is famously known as the “Father of Escrima in the US.”

Angel Cabales and Max Sarmiento

Angel Cabales and Max Sarmiento

Another man who helped change the closed-door mindset is Leo T. Gaje Jr. of the Pekiti Tirsia Kali System. In 1972, he migrated to New York and, inspired by the efforts started by Bruce Lee to break from the mold and teach Kung Fu to non-Chinese, saw the potential of teaching Kali to students outside his own family for the first time ever. Not only as a sport, but as a reality-based combat system, as it was taught to him by his grandfather. His first students, whom he fondly calls his “Originals,” were eager young men from all over the United States and Canada.

The efforts of Dan Inosanto, the original Doce Pares Association, Angel Cabales, Gaje, and other Filipino Martial Arts masters, allowed FMA to shine and be appreciated by the worldwide martial arts community. Another huge step forward in the Philippines was when Arnis / Kali / Escrima was declared the National Sport in 2009 and became a required Physical Education subject in schools.

FMA Training in the Real World

FMA is distinct from other martial arts in that a weapon (training stick) is placed in a student’s hands from day one. Most martial arts withhold weapons training until the higher ranks are reached. With FMA, empty hand techniques are taught when proficiency with the stick/sword and knife has been mastered. FMA is particularly well-liked among fight enthusiasts because it allows flexibility with using either long or short blades, blunt weapons, empty hands, or even improvised weapons.

The system of Leo Gaje Jr., Pekiti Tirsia Kali, is concerned with real life street and combat fighting where “ring rules” don’t apply. They adopt fighting stances that trade off some power for speed and agility against multiple opponents. But the combination of power, timing, speed, precision and accuracy is stressed by Gaje to all who study the PTK system in order to truly master the techniques.

Grandtuhon Leo T. Gaje Jr.

Grandtuhon Leo T. Gaje Jr. teaching in the Philippines

The Philippine Recon Marines train in PTK for when they fight against rebels where proficiency in hand-to-hand combat is essential to survival. In the United States, Gaje and Inosanto are featured as knife fighting experts in the critically acclaimed video Surviving Edged Weapons (1988) used for law enforcement training. One of the highest ranking teachers in the Pekiti Tirsia System, Tuhon Jared Wihongi, currently trains military and SWAT teams in Tactical PTK in Utah, Singapore, Germany, Latin America, and other cities around the world.

Pekiti Tirsia Kali Global City

Pekiti Tirsia Kali

Core team of PTK Global City, Philippines

One FMA club, Pekiti Tirsia Kali Global City, that is primarily based in Bonifacio Global City is dedicated to teaching classical PTK to preserve the teachings of Grandtuhon Gaje to his “Originals” in the 70’s and 80’s. Pekiti Global City also teaches PTK as a reality-based tactical system that is well-suited to urban street survival, as well as warfare.

Head teacher, Guro Christophe Verdot also conduct seminars in France and other parts of Europe to promote FMA. At the first PTK Convention in France in May 2014, he was hailed as an expert in Pekiti Tirsia Kali history and methods. PTK Global City is growing a worldwide network with a branch in Bordeaux, France and will also be offering PTK classes at Ninja Academy – the Philippines’ first indoor Parkour facility. All in an effort to maintain the high standard of training that PTK is known for all over the world.

Bordeaux Team

Guro Christophe Verdot with the PTK Global City – Bordeaux team

Just like Bruce Lee was able to popularize Kung Fu in Hollywood, Kali is the martial art of choice for many cinematic fight choreographers for its rapid, fluid, and brutal yet graceful movements. Most recently, the movie I, Frankenstein (2014) featured a new kind of monster who was adept at using Kali sticks to fight demons. That film was choreographed by husband and wife team Ron Balicki and Diana Lee Inosanto – the daughter of Dan Inosanto and named after her godfather, Bruce Lee.

No longer a martial art taught in secret through stage plays, or in back-alleys by goons, or in far-off provinces by ageing masters to their proteges, FMA now represents the Philippines in numerous blockbuster action movies and used to train law enforcement and even military special forces like the U.S. Navy SEALs.

This last video demonstrates how much FMA has become so popular that it’s now taught around the world, not just by Filipinos, but by people of all backgrounds.

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About Author

Jan Dizon

Jan is a freelance writer and storyteller who is working on her first children's book series. In her spare time, she enjoys martial arts and yoga. She keeps a personal blog of her kali, yoga, and healing journey at Kape Kali Karma.


  1. can the jedi force be also used in kali? I’m sure those of high repute in this system must have a high
    Midi-chlorian count, whether used by the jedi’s or the sith

  2. Atingoy Vedua on

    I am glad that Filipino Martial Arts is getting more and more exposures through Hollywood Films. Our culture is very rich and it shows not only through this fighting system called Arnis, Kali, Eskrima or Balintawak. I know an Eskrimador who has been practicing arnis since his early 20’s and now he is 64 and he has developed his own style called Askal Hybrid Arnis formerly called Askal Hybrid Balintawak. This style was developed through his experience living on the streets and his career as a personal bodyguard of government officials here in our city of Cagayan de Oro. So if you guys want to see a more practical and realistic approach in Arnis visit their facebook page

    • oo. pero nag sasalita parin ang karamihan sa atin ng ingles. para na tayong indian. tingnan mo mga pelikula ng mga korean, thai, jap. halos 1 o 2 lang ang ingles. eh panoorin mo mga pelikula natin. puro ingles. walang kwenta.

      • E anong problema mo sa Ingles? Unang una 2nd official language ito ng Pilipinas at tinuturo palang simula Kinder kung nakapag-aral ka. Pangalawa malaki ang advantage ng pagsasalita ng ingles to become globally competitive ang mga pinoy.
        Wala sa paggamit ng wika ang sukatan ng pagiging makabayan. Kung ako sa’yo mag-aral/magtrabaho ka nalang at tumulong sa pag-unlad ng pinas kesa katulad ng iba na puro sisi nalang sa gobyerno pero wala namang ginagawa. Katulad mo walang sense na kinumpara mo pa yung pelikula natin sa ibang bansang di ganun kagaling mag ingles. HOY di mo lang alam na maraming bansa sa Asya ang naiingit sa mga Pilipino dahil sa proficiency natin sa paggamit ng Ingles? Wag ka manghila pababa ng tao kundi hatakin mo pataas.

      • Ultimate Android on

        First off, you referred the majority of Filipinos who are speaking English are the reason why “para na tayong indian”. Unless this is a racist comment, I don’t get your point on that.

        Second, speaking purely Filipino will not affect one’s proficiency when practicing a Filipino martial art. Unless you’re joking, I don’t get your point on this either.

        Thirdly, our showbiz market abounds in Tagalog-based (or mainly Tagalog) movies. Unless you lived abroad, I miss your point here too.

        Well, I guess I am but a clueless person, right? 😉

      • Anton Bautista on

        Don’t knock the way we speak English. English is also our national language and a lot of Filipinos speak it way better than a majority of the “english speaking” world. Also, as a filipino myself, I speak english, tagalog, cebuano, and illongo equally fluently. Plus a smattering of hiligaynon and bicolano and a few words in Ilokano and spanish. As Most Filipinos speak a local dialect and Tagalog, Filipinos are mostly polyglots (that means we speak more than one language). So If our accent is weird to your ears, look to our multi-cultural heritage for insight and blame your own stupidity for your ignorant comments.

        • lol. di ko sinabe panget ang pag sasalita natin ng ingles. yun nga ang nakakahiya. para na tayong mga indians. tingnan mo mga koreano at japanese. Proud sila sa kanilang lenguahe. mga pelikula natin puro may halong ingles. panoorin mo yung mga luma na pelikula natin sa cinema one. Yun yung mas maganda. Halos 95% tagalog. eh ngayun, yung mga anime nalang natin natagalog dubbed eh 95% tagalog. Yung mga pelikula natin puro nagsasalita ng ingles. kakahiya

          • Anton Bautista on

            Haaay….once again into the breach. WHY… are you so ashamed that we are willing to speak speak more than one language?

            Statistically speaking 80-90% of Filipinos can speak or understand english while “only” 75% can speak or understand Tagalog. Cebuano is the Lingua Franca of 20% of Filipinos and that does not include the other Visayan dialects like illongo, or waray.

            By those numbers alone you can see that we have no reason to be ashamed if we speak “Taglish” or “Vis-lish”. So instead of being ashamed at our way of speaking english, revel in it, because Our english is uniquely ours.

          • Korekabells. Isama na rin natin ang gay lingo. Ano ba naman ang gusto ninyong mangyari sa salita natin? Parang Latin, dead language?

          • uniquely ours? lol. halos lahat sa mundo nag sasalita ng ingles. hindi yan unique. para na tayong indian. kakahiya. buti pa yong mga koreanovelas mas maraming tagalog pagdating sa dub kesa mga orihinal na mga teleserye. at di ko sinabe na i’m “so ashamed that we are willing to speak more than one language”. ang nakakahiya ay mas ginagamit pa natin sa ating mga pelikula ang pag sasalita ng dayugan na linguahe kaysa satin. Magaling tayo mag ingles kasi wala tayong sariling alpabeto di gaya ng mga hapon, insek at koreano. eh ang mga taga indonesia kagaya din satin pero pinili nila na mas gamitin ang kanilang sariling wika kaysa mag ingles. puro tayo magaling sa pagsusulat at pagsasalita ng wikang ingles pero mas mabuti mga taga indonesia kaysa satin. wala ng unique satin pre.

          • Richard Salazar Arendain on

            ehh.. ang bobobo nyo naman pla ehh.. nd nyo nagegets ang pinapaintindi sa inyo ni data.. nasobrahan na ksi ata kayo sa pagpipretend na magagaling kayo magingles kaya nd nyo sya naiintindihan. if we think of it deeper he means that we are using english language more than filipino or tagalog and it looks like that he wanted to say that some or maybe more pinoy’s appreciate or prefer to use nglish than tagalog… at para nd ako bias sa pinagsasabi ko hahaloan ko din ng tagalog to.. kya pasensya sa intro ko pero totoo talagang ang bobobo nyo pra nd agad maintindihan ang hinahatid na mensahe ng kababayan natin, kasi mas prefer nyo gamitin ang wikang banyaga kaysa sarili nating wika..

          • Ferdinand Benedict on

            pareho ka rin ni @data, di kayo nagkakalayo sa pananaw, mababaw. kung meron kayong gustong ipabatid sa nakakarami, huwag kayong magsalita na para bang mahihina ang isip ng mga pilipino hindi tulad ninyong dalawa. pinoy kayo, pinoy tayo. hindi tayo bobo katulad ng sinasabi mo, me ilan lamang na nagmamagaling na nagpapaka-makata. ikaw nga itong naghahalo ng salitang banyaga sa komentaryo mo… kuha mo???

      • Ferdinand Benedict on

        wika nga ni gat jose rizal na mahalin natin ang ating sariling wika pero hindi ibig sabihin nito na huwag ka ng mag-aral magsalita ng wikang banyaga. tandaan natin na multi-lingual siya.

        • Anton Bautista on

          Rizal was a visionary. Plus he also spoke Spanish, french, english and German fluently. I cant remember if he spoke more than those I mentioned.

          The reason Rizal is our national hero was not just because he died fighting for our independence, but because when Rizal was alive, he was praised by other people and other races for his remarkable intelligence and understanding of humanity. Rizal was the first to establish the Concept of the “Cooperative movement” in the whole world, and Rizal represented the best of the Filipino culture to the rest of the world at a time when the rest of the world thought that Filipinos were no better than monkeys without tails.

          Be proud that Filipinos are more than what we seem to be and we can be more than what we are.

      • Gerald Manalo on

        Tama ka Data Grab may problema nga ang karamihan sa atin. Ang karamihan kasi sa Filipino ay may wrong sense of nationalism. Hanga ako sa Yellow race they have the right sense of nationalism kaya respetado sila ng buong mundo.

      • juliemar transfiguracion on

        isa lang ang masasabi ko siguro nung nag aaral ka laging 70-75 grade mo sa english subject pagdating ng college masaya ka na namakapasa sa 3.00..

        compare the filipino people to the other asian people, we’re knowledgeable and good in english, weren’t like them, kapag pumunta sa ibang bansa pwdng ibenta kasi hindi marunong sa english..

    • nakakatawa ang tugon dito sa komento mo ng ilang tao na dapat eh gumawa ng sarili nilang mundo. puro nagmagaling eh wala naman sa ayos ang pinaguusapan.
      naabot kaya ng magagaling nilang pagiisip at katuwiran kung ano ang komentong isinulat mo? ang ibang tao nga naman…naglalalim-laliman!

      • Nag-English lang, masamang tao na? HIndi ba pwedeng kasi may iba pa siyang audience na gustong maabot maliban sa mga Pilipino?

        At alam mo ba yung law of projection?

        Yun bang mga qualities na ibinibintang mo sa ibang tao, sa sarili mo pala matatagpuan?

        Pakibasa po ng paulit-ulit ang post mo at hanapan mo ng lalim. Nagsalita lang ng Tagalog, matalino na agad?

    • Actually, why not? This martial art form is a historical legacy. This is one legacy any Filipino, brainers or non brainers, rich or poor from all walks of life should be proud of. This is history dude. And I am very happy and honored that many of our kind sought to preserve it by passing it on to other ethnicities, like a Filipino legacy being taught so that the world could benefit.

      If you can’t be proud of these old masters and of an element of your history then you must be a miserable orphaned swine. Just saying. Have a good day.

      • Anton Bautista on

        Escrima, Arnis, Kali, is not practiced widely in the Philippines anymore. Back in my days, it was taught in schools as part of the daily Morning exercise. Today they don’t even have daily morning exercises anymore. So you can forgive the ignorance of the younger generations.

  3. The Spaniards banned the proliferation and propagation of this priceless legacy. And they must have had good reason to fear it. There are some people who have suggested that Magellan was actually killed by a Kali expert named Lapu Lapu. Not that it echoed thru-out the Spanish era, but it must have been observed by the Spaniards to be truly effective that they should ban it.

    In retrospect, the Revolucionarios paid a high price for their ignorance of the art for I’m sure, battles could have been won if they knew and practiced it and used it against the Spaniards and even the Americans of Dewey’s time.

    • Anton Bautista on

      Lapu lapu was a practitioner, to be sure, and so were his warriors but Magellan was killed by a poisoned arrow in his leg, as much as his arrogance.

      The Spaniards thinking their weapons and armor gave them an unbeatable edge found out the hard way how quickly an advantage can turn into a disadvantage. The Spaniards in full armor came down along a seaweed filled bay which was almost waist deep. They were easy pickings for the local warriors who attacked with light but lethal fire-hardened sticks.

      The Spanish soldiers could not bring their heavy weapons to bear and were easily tripped, trapped and clubbed into the waters where their armor kept them down till they drowned.

      in future battles the Spaniards employed the use of Local tribal allies equally skilled in local warfare. Divide and Conquer was how the Spaniards took the Philippine Islands. For Centuries the Spanish ruled the conquered people with the use of Filipino troops under Spanish commanders. Spanish Galleons and Man of Wars were filled with Filipino troops trained at melee combat, under the command of Spanish captains.


      That OUR OWN Filipino fighters were used against us is an ironic twist of fate. Our greatest advantage became our greatest disadvantage as well.

      In the end, when we finally chose to throw off the yoke of Spanish Rule, it was too late, the Spanish had realized the danger of having a warrior race as serfs and banned the practice of warfare. We had to relearn the art again, and luckily a few practitioners still remained. I learned my skills from Negros farmers who learned it from their fathers, who learned it from their fathers. The reason they were allowed to practice the art was because they were sugar cane plantation workers and they used machetes in the fields, so when they practiced the deadly art in secret, to unknowing eyes, it looked like they were mimicking the slashing action of harvesting sugar canes.

      IN THE SAME VEIN, the Art of Kali was transported to the US by Sugar cane workers who were “drafted” to work the sugar cane fields of Hawaii. the rest is history.

      • Hi Anton, thanks so much for sharing that valuable historical fact and details of Magellan’s demise. It was never taught in my school back then. Your insights are much appreciated particularly on how Kali reached American shores via Hawaii plantation workers
        . A relative of mine was married to a plantation worker who was probably part of the second wave of migrant workers but he hails from the Ilocos region. Do you think they might have had Kali practitioners there in that province too? Thanks again.

        • Anton Bautista on

          historically the practice of Kali was mostly done by the Visayan Islanders who were believed to be the descendants of the Fallen Shrivijayan Empire (thus the term Visaya). They brought their culture and their fighting arts when they fled their downfall and continued to practice and develop it because of constant contact with coastal Marauders and tribal conflicts.
          Northern tribes who found their way and settled the highlands of Luzon might have carried the art with them but the terrain and climate forced them to adapt to highland fighting tactics. But if they had it, then it did not survive to the present day.
          The current crop of practitioners trace their origins from 12 masters from the Visayas and Mindanao region who decided to revive the lost art of “Kali” right before the start of World War 2. By the way “Kali” is not what the art is called in the Philippines. In Luzon its popularly known as “Arnis” while in the south we call it “Escrima”
          They put up a school called DOCE PARES (Twelve Pairs). Practice spread but not like wildfire, more like a creeping vine. Eventually the fighting skill was developed and improved on but the biggest and most common users were underground fighters and shady characters because Kali is less a martial Art and more a Fighting System that employs any and all manner of styles that gets the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. with sticks, knives (preferred weapon) or empty hands.
          I remember in the early seventies we would hear of “death matches” where one style would challenge another style and usually end up with one or both challengers severely injured or dead. This practice was stopped when, in the 70’s, Cacoy Canete turned the fighting art into a sport called “Arnis” with rules and more importantly, safety gear.
          Sadly today, the art is practiced more diligently by foreign students than locals. It is taught in the military and the police forces but for me its more of a fast food type of teaching, the practitioner is not ingrained with the spiritual aspect of the fighting form.
          Still the advantage of the Fighting art of Kali is that it is very easy to learn since it employs the body’s natural progression of movement which we call “The Flow”. (different from Chi or ki). and you will not find Kali in MMA because it is a fighting system not a sport, although you will find some MMA techniques in Kali. Besides you can’t bring a knife into the octagon.

          • Nice discussion you have there, and also regarding the Mactan battle.
            It’s a good thing I looked up for a martial art that has Filipino origin
            and came across this article. I realized how little I know of arnis.
            Although Arnis was taught a little in our PE during high school and
            college, the training was superficial, such that students wouldn’t even remember even the basic steps the moment the class ended. Or maybe I was just sleeping during class?
            Anyway, I hope FMA will thrive from this point on. I like the sound of
            Kali, as compared to Escrima and Arnis. For someone like me who doesn’t
            have comprehensive knowledge of the art, Kali sounds more original and distinct because escrima and arnis suggests Spanish influence.

      • @Anton Bautista:
        I am impressed with your dissertation on the history of arnis, but I find holes in your story about Magellan. The details of the battle with Lapu-lapu are vividly presented in the massive book, The Philippine Islands by Blair and Robertson. Your veson is not far off from the “official” version, which is more detailed. Just sayin’.

        • Anton Bautista on

          Hi Jerry. No problem with critical analysis. In college we studied texts which were based on the book you mentioned, by Blair and Robertson. They cited primary sources and in this case, the source was from the account of the Expedition chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta. he was part of the group that accompanied Magellan in the ill fated sortie of the coast of Cebu. He was wounded in the battle and managed to return to the ship and eventually back to España along with 17 other survivors out of the 270 men that originally set out.

          However, present day historians tend to look at the accounts with a more critical eye since chroniclers in those days tended to exaggerate the heroic valor of the conquistadors. When Pigafetta returned, he presented himself to Charles V (now Holy Roman Emperor), bringing with him not “gold, silver, or any other precious thing worthy of so great a lord,” but “a book written in his own hand, in which were set down the things that happened from day to day during their voyage.” Now known as “Magellan’s Voyage. A Narrative Account of the First Circumnavigation.”

          Apparently, Charles was not impressed with the book.

          Pigafetta took his story to the Portugese and then the French courts, where he was better received, and in Italy the Pope was impressed enough to give him residence while he prepared his manuscript for publication.

          Along the way, there might have been a few things “modified” to enhance its Sale-ability as a book. Editors still do that to this day.

          Anyway. Pigafetta also made a mistake in writing down the coordinates of Cebu by 15 degrees. A huge error that was inconsistent with the rest of his research writing style, which led experts to believe that he deliberately gave the wrong coordinates for reasons I wont speculate on here. But it shows that citing him as the ONLY primary source should be taken with a grain of salt.

          Battle tactics described in the account say that the Spaniards Challenged Cilalpulapu and honorably allowed the natives to form ranks before wading to shore and there engaged an armed force of about 1000 to two thousand natives. An unlikely number, but even so, the natives were said to have charged and despite the valiant effort of the Spaniards and their lancets, they were overrun and many were killed in the battle before they were able to withdraw

          In Pigafetta’s accounts of the expedition, the Spaniards were described to have often employed hit and run tactics, pillaging coastal villages for supplies and running away while the angered natives gave futile chase. So the question of why the reckless change of tactics from hit and run to a full frontal assault on an expectant and numerically superior adversary? (Some say he was trying to impress his ally the Sugbu King, Humabon)

          Historians identified the area where the Spaniards most likely tried to wade on shore. It was chock full of rocks, coral and sea weeds and made it difficult for the boats to come closer. In fact Pigafetta said that Main Ships were Two Crossbow flights away from shore, so their cannons and crossbow shooters could offer no help in the fight.

          So they got on their boats and disembarked as close to shore as they could but were beset by an ambush, natives hiding among the sea weeds sprang upwards and attacked the Spaniards who were unable to bring their heavy lancets to bear and they were simply clubbed and dragged down into the water where they drowned.

          Historians agree that The Tactics employed by Lapu lapu were intelligent and smart. The Spaniards assumed that the natives would scamper with a show of force, but instead, the warriors moved as one unit, and attacked in a purposeful orderly fashion. Also, their spears and arrows were all aimed at the unprotected legs not the armor. stones were hurled to keep the shields high while archers shot at the legs. Magellan was killed by a poison arrow through the leg.

          • Thank you for that very informative discussion about our history. This goes to show that if we study our past, we will surely learn how to deal with our future problems.

  4. badconscience on

    it just revives my interest again in filipino martial arts.
    i am holding my arnis again now after its been in hiding for years in my tools cabinet

  5. A more evolve eskrima for combat also known as Balintawak. Look into it. Hand to hand combat is very effective on my experience.

    • Anton Bautista on

      I love the Balintawak style although I trained in the the Styles of Doce Pares and Ernesto Presas. I try to study all styles that will suit me. Karate, aikido, tae kwon do. However I find that the free flowing styles of Kali suit me best.

  6. Nash Maulana on

    Great!!… Though, I recall Bruce Lee died, unable to finish shooting “The Game of Death,” in 1973. So it’s not a 1978 movie…

  7. Johnny Derpp on

    There is a training for the Philippine Marines Recon (airborne) using bolos to counter the Abusayaff insurgents. I watched it on History channel. Perhaps it’s some sort of Kali training?

    • Anton Bautista on

      Its called Pekiti Tersia. A form of Kali more focused on fighting as a practical ends to a mean, It employs whatever is available in the environment, usually the same environment a recon marine would find himself in. Close quarter combat, knives even guns are employed, because that’s what you will find in the field, guns and knives, and sticks and stones and uneven terrain. Pekiti Tersia strives to be practical and economical. No need to kill when maiming is enough.

      • Rodel Gabiana on

        sir anton i heard that there is also filipino deadly martial arts.One is called Yaw yan and the Other is called Alamid.Is this martial arts exist?If it is exist is it originate in Kali?

        • yussuq madiq on

          Used to study Yaw Yan under my uncle of a year. The kicks were influenced by the Filipino art of Sikaran and some foreign arts. The hands are arnis, or rather Panuntukan. It was developed by an undefeated kickboxer (for 4 years).

          On Alamid, I don’t know if that is an FMA. Sounds like a rock band to me.

  8. kali stick, is a stuff of martial arts which is unique and strongly identifiable only with filipinos. it soars high up in the international arena of self-defense comparable to popularly known karate…

  9. In Arrow episode 14 “The Odyssey”, during a flashback Slade Wilson, Deathstroke, trains Oliver Queen, the main character of the series, in escrima.

  10. mabinibonifacio on

    There is one famous self defense loss in sight of computer technology that is “Bato Lata” game.

  11. سراج إيستون أنتو on

    does anyone know the late Bo Sayoc from Cavite and his students introduced kali to us in the Philippine Coast Guard K9 Group in 2005? FYI.

  12. Alberto rendon on

    WoW! It is a great blog about the skills of the Filipinos. It is my first time to know that in Bruce Lee’s film one of his opponents was a real filipino in person. Thanks for the info.

  13. Bhengxski Majam on

    Lilinawin ko lang kay Ms Jan Dizon itong title nyang “Bruce Lee was shown this Filipino martial Art and now it’s used a lot in movies” Ms. Dizon sana bago kayo naglagay ng title ay nagsearch muna kayong maige tungkol kay Dan Inosanto na katabi ni Bruce Lee.. Gusto kong malaman mo na ang lahat ng moves sa movie nya ay 65% Pilipino Martial Arts lalu na ang Chaku or nunchaku at Kali ay original sa Pilipinas, Hindi mabubuo ang Jeet Kune Do kung wala si Dan Inosanto.. nagpalitan sila ng mga nalalaman sa martials arts kaya nabuo ang “way of the intercepting fist” na meaning ay Jeet Kune Do.. Pero ganoon pa man si Bruce Lee naman ang nagpasikat ng Filipino Martials Art kahit kapwa chinese o kababayan ni Bruce Lee ay nagtataka sa kakaibang Style nya dahil mas marami pa doon ay mga itinuro mismo ni Dan Inosanto.

  14. Jasper Custodio on

    I think Trovador Ramos Sr. should be also recognized in this article becuase of his Martial Arts constributions…As far as i know he’s the teacher of Bruce Lee…

  15. Mark Anthony Clamosa Lactawan on

    Im proud of our traditional and ancient fighting style..the problem we Filipinos dont know how to preserve the way of leaving the cultural thing in our country we are rich in culture. Thats why foreign country is interested.If only we knew how to comfort it..

  16. accdg. to my great grandfather,arnis,escrima was practced in cebu during spanish times.there instances when the municipyos will be attacked by bandits and pirates,a fight between invaders and the tanods will ensue,talo kadalasan ang mga bandido dahil karamihan sa tanod ay mga master sa arnis at escrima.they use a very hard stick called BAHI doce pares are founded by the canetes but marami pang magagaling na masters lalo na from san fernando kung saan may isang master na lalaban sa apat at nakapatong ang paa sa BOKONG o a halved coconut.

  17. owen j lebaquin on

    the basic martial arts being to taught to the Philippine National Police is KALI, from the lowest rank PO1 to the Supt., they are very proud of their Kali martial arts that is how dreaded and deadly they are in knife defense and close contact street style fighting.

  18. Why do Pinoy always try to talk credit for other people thing? Are they that sad and pathetic? Ofcourse they are! Scum of the earth lol

  19. Sandali, nalilito ako. Filipino Martial Arts ba pinag-uusapan dito o Filipino spokening in dollars?? weeeh. . . .yan hirap sainyo.

  20. pero did you know guys na ang “mongoose martial arts” na original filipino din ay ang pinaka delikadong martial arts sa mundo? isa sa agenda neto ay kayang pagsabayin ang “offense at defense or brutality at fatality style” habang nakikipaglaban. kaya binansagan itong “the forbidden martial arts”, kaya hindi sya mababasa sa kahit anong libro, at marirnig lamang sa mga matatandang mahilig sa martial arts pero ang iba, tago nila itong sinasanay.

  21. Roque Candelario on

    We have friends and close relatives that still preserves their own style of fighting. In Pangasinan one clan still teaches a different form of martial art that was predominant to the times when Datu Macibeg was a legendary pangasinense warrior. They said that secret martial was passed down from the generation of father’s to their eldest son. They don’t share this martial art with other people, only those who are within their bloodline. And we have proofs that during world war ll this clan used their style on unsuspecting Japanese soldiers and was recorded in history of Pangasinense’s.

  22. ceddybaby321 on

    It is not Filipino martial Arts, it was all adopted from China, Malaysia, Indonesia etc…then called “Filipino”, but it is really not.

  23. jeremias Bulig on

    nakakatawa lang isipin na wala naman lang filipino action film ang gumamit ng FMA o gumawa ng action film tungkol dito, kung sabagay kokonti o 1 sa sampong pilipino lang naman ang nnakakalam ng Filipino marshal arts na kali mula pa nuoong 90’s ngayun lang naman ito unti-unting nakikilala dahil mas marami pa ang nakakaalam nito sa amerika yung mga amerikano kaysa dto pilipinas. ang alam lang naman ng iilan ay arnis pero yung FMA na sumasaklaw sa kabuuan nito walang nakakalam.
    may katrabaho ako gusto mag aral ng jujidsu sabi ko ako gusto ko magtrain ng CALi FMA, sabi nya ano yun BEER ba yun na may flavor yung matamis? pilipino sya pero wala syang kaalam alam sa Marshal arts ng lahi nya, nakakatawa.

  24. jeremias Bulig on

    nakakatawa lang isipin na wala naman lang filipino action film ang gumamit ng FMA o gumawa ng action film tungkol dito, kung sabagay kokonti o 1 sa sampong pilipino lang naman ang nnakakalam ng Filipino marshal arts na kali mula pa nuoong 90’s ngayun lang naman ito unti-unting nakikilala dahil mas marami pa ang nakakaalam nito sa amerika yung mga amerikano kaysa dto pilipinas. ang alam lang naman ng iilan ay arnis pero yung FMA na sumasaklaw sa kabuuan nito walang nakakalam.
    may katrabaho ako gusto mag aral ng jui jitsu sabi ko ako gusto ko magtrain ng KALi FMA, sabi nya ano yun BEER ba yun na may flavor yung matamis? pilipino sya pero wala syang kaalam alam sa Marshal arts ng lahi nya, nakakatawa.

    • yussuq madiq on

      Check out the movie “Kamagong.” The first one was under Lito Lapid. The remake was by Ronny Ricketts.

  25. Yong Garganera on

    don’t know how to react… other military forces are utilizing our fighting style. wondered if this is utilized by our own military/police forces to effectively help prevent crime or even taught in schools not only for athletics but availability for everybody for self-defense and to retain our cultural identity as fighters…

  26. Isang pagpupuri sa kanilang mga nagpursigi sa amerika na buhayin at ipagpatuloy doon ang FMA. sila mr. leo gaje ,mr.dan inosante. Ang galing nyo po!

  27. kookie.biased97ARMY on

    lol….sumakit lang ulo ko kakabasa sa comments…..nakakatawa talaga mga nagaaway sa comments xD

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