Kali, also known as Escrima or Arnis, is a Philippine Martial Art, which was shaped by the turbulent history of The Philippine Islands.
Early Filipino Martial Arts were strongly influenced by Indonesian, Chinese and Muslim cultures. Native Filipino warriors known as The Moros or Igorots developed an effective and lethal fighting system, using bladed weapons such as the Bolo or Barong. In the late fifteen hundreds, The Spaniards invaded and eventually conquered The Philippines.
The Spaniards suffered such heavy casualties from Bolo wielding Filipino warriors, that bladed weapons and Martial Arts practice were outlawed. In order to preserve their fighting skills, The Filipinos created folk dances by using wooden sticks to mimic the motions of the bladed weapons in combination with intricate footwork. These dances were often performed in front of The Spaniards, who did not realize that The Filipinos were actually training for combat. These folk dances were the ancestors of modern day Kali fighting systems.