A documentary film: Eskrimadors (Part 1 of 5)

As a beginner, I have a ravenous appetite for information about this martial art I have chosen to study. Good thing I found Eskrimadors, a 66-minute documentary about the development of Filipino martial arts, tracing it from the 13th century tribes to what it is now.

eskrimadors (1)

I watched it several times because there was just a lot I wanted to absorb. I took notes so I can better remember them. (Note: I can’t claim 100% correctness, but I did my best). ­čÖé

Part 1 (Too bad the video has since then been removed from Youtube due to a copyright claim by Joseph Kerwin Go.) But here are my notes anyway. 



  • the indigenous fighting art of the Filipinos.
  • also known as Arnis or Kali
  • one of the fastest and deadliest martial arts in the world
  • not just stickfighting; also a mastery of short and long-bladed weapons and empty hand techniques


  • an island in central Philippines, now called the Visayas or Visayan Region.
  • home of Eskrima and some of the greatest Eskrimadors – namely:┬áLorenzo┬áSaavedra, ┬áTeodoro Saavedra, Frederico┬áSaavedra, Filemon “Mamoy” Ca├▒ete, Eulogio┬áCa├▒ete, Venancio “Inciong” Bacon, Vicente Carin, and, as seen in this film:
  1. GM Dionisio “Diony” Canete (Doce Pares Multi-Style System)
  2. GM Cacoy Canete (Cacoy Doce Pares)
  3. GM Nick Elizar (Nickelstick Eskrima)
  4. GM Undo Caburnay ( Lapunti Arnis de Abanico)
  5. GM Rodrigo Maranga (Combate Eskrima Maranga)
  6. GM Uwit Jecong (Heyrosade Cuerdas Eskrima)
  7. GM Bonifacio Uy (Doce Pares)

(Note: I was born in Iloilo, also in the Visayas! No wonder my instructor, Master Cris, once told me “You have Arnis in your blood.” He looked serious when he said that. Yay!!!)


  • Srivijayans of Java – a warrior tribe; brought the technology of bladed weapons in the 13th century
  • when the Spanish came in the 16th century, the Visayans were already practicing weapon based warfare with other tribes
  • 1521, Ferdinand Magellan┬áwas killed by Eskrimadors
  • 19th century, fearing rebellion, the Spanish prohibited Eskrima
  • Eskrimadors went underground and practiced with commonly used items:sticks, bolos, and knives


  • became an art form in itself
  • no longer limited to blade-based medium strikes, speed and accuracy became the emphasis
  • attacks can come from more angles and at closer ranges
  • disarms also developed

Interesting reads:
Traditional Filipino Weapons / Philippine Martial Arts Institute
Weapons of Mindanao/ Filipno History in Modern Steel. I like this link’s photos.

Follow this series:

Bye for now. ­čÖé


10 thoughts on “A documentary film: Eskrimadors (Part 1 of 5)

  1. sandi January 27, 2013 / 10:02 AM

    You have arnis in your blood? Wow!

  2. Sukoshiyama May 4, 2013 / 11:36 AM

    thanks. i may have stopped training physically in arnis. but, research is something i’ll never back down from. ­čśÇ – i’ve only memorized a few numbers from orabes heneral and kalis illustrisimo from my past master. better refresh on it every now and then. but for now, i’m focusing on well, karate – it ain’t luck but fate if you get two years of training in different karate ryu’s now? isn’t it?

  3. Lester Usapdin August 15, 2014 / 3:31 PM

    I think the Spanish banned eskrima as early as they first colonized the whole archipelago of the Philippines during 14th Century.

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