The 26" Tiger Escrima Fighting Stick is a unique weapon with a very unique history. Escrima, Arnis, Kali are just a few name used to describe the martial art brought to the United States by Filipinos. In the seventeen hundreds, when Spanish rule was firmly secured, the teaching and study of Escrima was banned (in the same way as the Japanese overlords banned the ownership of weapons on Okinawa). The carrying of a bolo (a long bladed weapon similar to a machete) or dagger was also forbidden. These orders were imposed in an attempt to “civilize” the spirited Filipinos.
Escrima then became a clandestine art (as did the art of Karate on Okinawa) and was practiced in secret. When it re-emerged it went unnoticed by the Spaniards.It had been set to native music and performed as it was, without weapons, the movements resembled only a harmless dance. This “dancing” even became popular with the rulers and demonstrations were given in public at fiesta time. The real Escrima had not died though, as the Spanish soldiers found out every time there was a revolt. From generation to generation, the many different regional styles,collectively termed Escrima, were kept alive, being handed down from father to son over the centuries.
When Spanish rule ended and the Americans took over in 1898, the ban on the art was lifted. Friendly competitions were then conducted in public at fiesta’s butthe teachers never “opened their doors”, so to speak and Escrima remained a semi-secretive activity. The country was to see a lot more martial arts action in the ensuing years. When the war came, the Japanese invaded the Philippines and a lot of Filipinos worked alongside the Americans in guerilla units. Many of these owed their lives, in countless close-quarter engagements, to their Escrima training–the custom issued machete closely resembled their native bolo. This is an art that has been well and truly tested, over a long period of time in actual combat.