History of Arnis, also known as Eskrima and Kali, is the national sport and martial art of the Philippines. The three are roughly interchangeable umbrella terms for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines ("Filipino Martial Arts," or FMA) that emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives, bladed weapons and various improvised weapons. It is also known as Estoque (Spanish for rapier), Estocada (Spanish for thrust or stab) and Garrote (Spanish for club).
In Luzon they may go by the name of Arnis de Mano, Pananandata (use of weapons), Sinawali (Pampanga, "toweave"), Sitbatan & kalirongan (Pangasinan), Didya and Kabaroan (Ilocos region). In the Visayas and Mindanao, these martial arts have been referred to as Eskrima, Kali, Kalirdman, and Pagaradman.
Arnis also includes hand-to-hand combat, joint locks, grappling and weapon disarming techniques. Although in general, emphasis is put on weapons for these arts, some systems put empty hands as the primary focus and some old school systems do not teach weapons at all.
Arnis comes from arnés, Old Spanish for armor (harness is an archaic English term for armor, which comes from the same roots as the Spanish term). It is said to derive from the armor costumes used in Moro-moro stage plays where actors fought mock battles using wooden swords. Arnes is also an archaic Spanish term for weapon, like in the following sentence from "Ilustracion de la Deztreza Indiana" by Francisco Santos de la Paz in 1712.