Fighting Sticks of Arnis

(7 customer reviews)


In Fighting Sticks of Arnis we journey across the Philippines from Manila to Cebu to explore Filipino Martial Arts and the art of Arnis or Escrima. Our guides on are Datu Tim Hartman, a student of grandmaster Remy Presas and Balintawak Grandmaster Bobby Taboada.

In Fighting Sticks of Arnis we meet many grandmasters who are students of the founder of Modern Arnis, Professor Remy Presas. “I started in Modern Arnis” says grandmaster Rodel Dagooc. “Grandmaster Remy Presas was my godfather. Without him, Arnis would have become a dying art.” For martial arts practitioners visiting the Philippines, Luneta Park is the first and last stop. Modern Arnis Grandmaster Rodel Dagooc begins his first class in Luneta with empty hand drills. It is his skill in stick fighting however that cemented his reputation… earning him the nickname “Smoking Sticks”.

Our movie begins with grandmaster Rodel as he takes us through his typical lesson in Luneta park. Later in the week we travel to his home town of Batangas to the Arnis Village which he is building. Here he takes us through the many steps needed to make the 'smoking sticks' which he and his students use in Arnis. One style that Remy Presas mastered is Balintawak, a dynamic single stick style from Cebu. Many of todays best known Escrima masters grew up on the streets of Cebu in the southern Philippines. Like Bobby Taboada, grandmaster Nick Elizar grew up learning boxing and Karate until he was introduced to Balintawak. Today he teaches at his ‘Nickelsticks’ club with his son Neil. At his Cebu Nickelsticks school, grandmaster ‘Nick’ Elizar explains: “The aim of Balintawak is to disarm your opponent. This means using counter to counter because we assume our opponent is smarter than us.”  Elizar says “Striking is easy.  We teach you to defend and react very fast.” Arnis, like all traditional martial arts requires hard work and sacrifice.

Grandmaster Bobby Taboada talks about his early years of Arnis training: “I learned to accept the pain. That’s the reality of training in the Philippines… are you ready to accept the pain.” As we travel from martial arts schools to training camps, we spend time with more than twelve grandmasters of Arnis or Escrima. Grandmaster Bram Frank introduces us to the Bolo or Filipino long knife... a weapon he has mastered since his first Bolo class with grandmaster Remy Presas. In Fighting Sticks of Arnis secrets are told and technique are shared as our film explores the many different teaching methods and the multitude of styles of Arnis.

Datu Tim Hartman: World Modern Arnis Alliance Master Arnold Narzo:  Kalis Illustrisimo Repeticion Master Ronnie Royce:  Base Laraw Kali Pamuok Grandmaster Kyud Junn:  Lanada Kuntaw Grandmaster Bobby Taboada:  Int. Balintawak Cuentada System Grandmaster Nicomedes Elizar:  World Nickelstick Escrima Grandmaster Samual Dulay:  Int. Modern Arnis Federation Grandmaster Jerry Dela Cruz:  Arnis Cruzada Philippines Grandmaster Dieter Knüttel:  Deutscher Arnis Verband Tuhon Rommel Tortal:  Pekiti Tirsia Kali System Grandmaster Bram Frank:  CSSD/SC Grandmaster Rene Tongson:  Arnis Аbaniko Tres Puntas Grandmaster Rodel B. Dagooc:  DAS / Modern Arnis

Additional information

Digital Format

HD 1920×1080 MP4

Length (Runtime)

60 Minutes


English Language

7 reviews for Fighting Sticks of Arnis

  1. Dieter Knüttel

    Let me say this is an excellent film and a gem of the Filipino Martial Arts documentaries. I really enjoyed watching it especially for seeing so many of my teachers and friends. Congratulations!

  2. Gray Anderson

    Balintawak Grandmaster Nick Elizar was the highlight of the whole doco! I would have watched the whole video on him alone.

  3. Marlon Elß

    Highly recommended documentary!

  4. WTA-IV

    An excellent dvd showing the intricate depth and beauty of the Filipino Martial Arts. Strongly recommended!

  5. Osiris

    Great history from a lot of great teachers.

  6. Gary Meekin

    This video was amazing! The production quality was fantastic! Top notch video giving insight into Arnis in the Philippines.

  7. Kevin S.

    Great video! High quality. I had an issue with the DVD not being able to play on my computer and contacted the producers of the film, Empty Mind Films. They resolved my problem by allowing me a downloaded version at no extra charge!.

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