Eskrima, Arnis, Kali are Filipino martial arts specialising in the use of rattan sticks and some bladed weapons. Eskrima competition is a point scoring bout with opponents protected by a helmet similar to that used in Kendo, and a lightly padded coat that does up at the back, rather like a hospital gown! There isn’t a vast amount of protection for the body, the hands and arms are protected by gloves and padding. The stick contact is full-on, hurts like the blazes and leaves welts to show you made a mistake.
Some shots from a recent local competition
The long stick is flexible enough to be whippy and inflicts a stinging attack. A distance weapon, one that takes some mastering.
The idea is to strike and block, any part of the body except below the waist. Points are scored for unimpeded strikes. Its amazingly fast and intense. Not easy to photograph in a small hall with limited room to move and get different angles.
The club is part of the Rapid Arnis International style of eskrima. Nigel Herterich is the UK Chief Instructor at this club. Since its conception in 1993, Rapid Arnis is now recognised as the only system developed by a non-Filipino (Pat O’Malley) that has full recognition in the Philippines.