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15 Francisco, Melwyn V.

Faculty of Engineering ARC 11 Thursday 9 11 AM

October 16, 2014


Mr. Robinson Laxa

Reaction paper in Solo Baston


To know the advantages and disadvantages of using arnis: solo baston, one
must first know what is arnis, and establish the knowledge of its foundations.
Arnis, also known as kali, baton, or eskrima, is a pre-Hispanic martial arts of
the early Filipinos used for the protection and preservation of their dignity and honor. It
includes solo baston (single stick), doble baston (double stick), espada y daga (stick
and knife), dos manos, and mano-mano (bare-hand). The term Arnis is believed to be a
tagalog corruption of the Spanish term arnes, or harness. It is said that arnis originally
came from the Indonesian martial art system known as pentjak silat, some suggested
said that it was brought to us from the southeast Asian mainland, while some said it was
propagated to us by the fleeting Bornean datus from their homeland.
Arnis was bought into use because of the prohibition of the Spanish colonials
on the practice of all native fighting arts and the carrying of bladed weapons. Because
of this the Filipinos were forced to substitute the use of the sword with that of the rattan.
In the beginning, the rattan was used to deliver blows or strikes in the same manner of
that of a blade. It was never or hardly used for blocking and parrying oncoming strikes.
However, through time, the Filipinos began to realize that because the stick had
different handling techniques and qualities, certain lines of attack were made that was
not available with the sword. Once they began to appreciate its use, they started to use
it more aggressively in terms of blocking and parrying, and striking. What distinguishes
arnis from other self-defense is that the striker will usually try to disable his opponents
arms before attacking further.
To have the advantage, the striker must know what are the anatomical target
or the vital points of the opponent. If these vital points were to be attacked, the striker
will have greater results. Here are the most common anatomical target: crown of the
head, eyes, nose, jaw, chin, neck, nape of the neck, throat, elbow forearm, wrist, hand,
abdomen, ribs, spine, groin, knee, back of the knee, and the shin.
The starting point or the back bone of arnis training is the solo baston, or the
art of single stick combat. Through solo baston we learn offensive and defensive
techniques including striking, thrusting, blocking, parrying, and some disarming
methods. It also forms the foundation for the use of the paired weapons, such as doble
baston and espada y daga.
There are three types of solo baston, namely 6 strikes, 8 strikes, and 12
strikes. All strikes attack the head, knee, crown or temple, and the abdomen. But chest
area is added to the 8 and 12 strikes, and in addition to the 12 strikes, it also attacks the
shoulder blades and the eyes. The advantage of these type of arnis technique is that it
enhances the body and eye coordination at the same time it also contributes
development to our physical fitness.
The execution of these techniques involves vigorous movements of the upper
and lower extremities of the human body; namely the arms, shoulders, trunk and
abdomen, and the legs and feet, providing excellent training for muscular strength,
flexibility and cardio-vascular endurance. And also, in addition to this, the skill related

components of physical fitness are also developed in arnis. As a self-defense, emphasis


is placed on coordination, quickness, with right and precise execution to avoid selfinflicted damage. Another perk or advantage of this is that it is suitable for women as it
is for men. Though success depends more upon finesse and timing than upon brute
strength. For the same reason, the elderly can use it to defend themselves. It also
doesnt put excessive strain on the heart and lungs, so even the weak can use it.
Though there are still some disadvantages and flaws in these techniques. If
used improperly it may also cause harm to the striker. Another risk is that if the
opponent uses a gun, it would be hard for the striker to attack unless used in a close
combat. The cause of panic may also serve as a disadvantage, so it is a must for the
striker to be calm, so that he or she can thinks straight and rightfully. But luckily, these
disadvantages may be prevented if other skills are acquired.
A needed skill when dealing with any kind of weapon is knowing how to disarm
your opponent easily and swiftly. The best type of disarming is always the direct hit on
the opponents weapon hand. Disarming may also be accomplished by twisting the
wrist, elbow, or shoulder, beyond its normal range of motion or forcibly towards the
opposite direction of its natural bend. When applied correctly, these may even save a
life in danger, and at the same time inflict damage to the opponent. By doing these, the
striker will eventually developmental qualities such as alertness and precision because
many techniques call for quick thinking, and split-second decision.
Knowing disarming may save life as it is, but like arnis: solo baston, disarming
also calls for some disadvantages. One factor of this is the distance or the range of the
striker from the opponent. Disarming is very handy in close-ranged and mid-ranged
battles, might as well in long-ranged ones, but the problem there is how to attack or to
disarm the opponent directly. Another problem is that disarming may be a little be more
complicated, so it would be a little bit harder to learn. In addition to that, the striker must
always focus and know where and when to disarm to prevent damage to ones self.
To sum this up, arnis has unlimited potential in creative ability. This is because
by putting together various combinations, we develop understanding in coordination,
balance, and timing, in the execution of striking and blocking. Might as well do we
experience grace and beauty in performing this Filipino martial arts. Arnis may also
serve satisfaction and thrill of accomplishment in skillful physical activity. It can also help
us to boost our morale and gain self-confidence, knowing that we can defend our selves
from harm. By practicing arnis, not only does it help in protecting ourselves, we also
help the Philippines itself by protecting, and knowing its national heritage. Plus, arnis
can be learned by anyone, and is almost available in every setting in our daily
environment. Also as a benefit, it is easy and doesnt require to much experience to
learn, and is readily available.
It doesnt matter who you are, what gender you may have, nor what age you
have, as long as you have the guts to learn arnis and disarming, you can stand tall and
be proud, because you know how to defend yourself from the damages of the outside
environment.