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AFP Chief of Staff orders mastery of Arnis among military personnel

CAPAS, Tarlac (PIA) -- Some historians believe that Cebuano warriors led by Datu Lapulapu used arnis in beating the Spaniards during the Battle of Mactan.

Historical accounts narrate that the Cebuanos used improvised weapons, like blades, spears, and bows and arrows. They were armed with sticks as they fought Magellan’s soldiers who were armed with swords.

The narrative prompted Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to order all military personnel to learn and master the Filipino martial art of arnis.

Also known as eskrima, kali and garrote, it is an indigenous Filipino martial art characterized by the use of swinging and twirling movements that is accompanied by striking, thrusting and parrying techniques for defense and offense.

Army personnel displayed their skill, discipline and strength in an Arnis performance during the service branch’s 127th Founding Anniversary celebration held at Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac. 

“Now that we have enough instructors, Arnis will be taught to all members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, including the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Air Force,” Brawner pressed.

He explained that Arnis equips military personnel to defend themselves in times of emergencies and if any threat comes to the country.

“We should not only depend on firearms and weapons but we have to be also adept and competent in fighting with our bare hands,” he added.

One of the performers, Private Princess Sicangco, said in an interview that Arnis is a useful sport in fulfilling their service.

“Everything we learned from our training and practices enhanced our combatting skills for real-life situations. We enhanced our discipline, focus, and self-confidence whether armed or unarmed through this sport,” she said.

Members of the demonstration group trained for about two to three months to master the skills and techniques.

This initiative is part of the preparation for the Comprehensive Archipelagic Defense Concept of the Department of National Defense. (CLJD/GLSB-PIA 3)

Army personnel display their skill, discipline and strength in an Arnis performance during the 127th Founding Anniversary celebration of the Philippine Army held at Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac. The event also marks the culmination of the Combined Arms Training Exercise “Katihan”. (Philippine Army)

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Gabriela Liana Barela


Region 3

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