IS ARNIS TRAINING SAFE FOR KIDS?
All physical activity is risky in some way.
Martial arts training has a much better safety track record than other sports such as football, cheerleading, basketball, and soccer.
In our experience, Arnis training does not have any additional risk compared to other martial arts training, and is as safe as common styles like karate, taekwondo, and judo.
Our use of tools and weapons early in training gives our students a good awareness of the dangers involved, and the habits we teach are well-grounded in being safe for all participants.
Sparring is an optional activity, and when we spar, we wear a lot of safety equipment and use special padded weapons. Our rule set for kids sparring does not reward points for hits on the head.
Children in the Philippines learn Arnis as the official martial art and martial sport of the nation in physical education classes. We know our kids in the Kansas City area can do the same.
WHAT ARE ARNIS STICKS MADE OF?
Our school trains exclusively with rattan sticks. Rattan is a lightweight, safe, natural material that does not throw off splinters if broken. The safety and low expense of rattan make it the ideal material for our sticks.
We do not allow training with polypropylene, poly-fiber, white waxwood, or tropical hardwood sticks. While these materials are safe, they tend to be much more expensive and will shred rattan sticks.
Dowels, such as you can get at a home improvement store, are typically made of pine and are too dangerous to train with. Bamboo, which is hollow (rattan is not), is also not safe to use in training.
Sparring sticks are padded (ActionFlex, STIX, or other similar brands). We do not use the common foam-covered, hollow-center "safety" arnis sticks you find online - we find that those tend to bend and break.
KPA students only use sticks in class that have been approved by the instructors.
WHAT DO KPA STUDENTS WEAR IN TRAINING?
Uniforms vary based on program.
Doushin Karate students wear white uniforms and go barefoot in class.
In Presas Arnis, kid students under black belt wear solid black uniforms with mat shoes. Adult students below black belt wear black/red pants and a red jacket with mat shoes.
In Force Necessary, students wear t-shirts, shorts/athletic pants, and mat shoes.
ARE ARNIS AND ESKRIMA/ESCRIMA AND KALI DIFFERENT THINGS?
No. They are all different terms for the indigenous martial arts of the Philippines.
Ultimately, there are literally hundreds of different lineages and styles in the Filipino Martial Arts. After all, the Philippines consist of thousands of islands and nearly 170 different languages and dialects.
In our case, the term "Arnis" was chosen deliberately. One of the early books about our style by Remy Presas, the founder of Modern Arnis, is titled "The Practical Art of Eskrima". We could have easily been "Modern Eskrima"!
Note that both "Arnis" and "Eskrima" are words borrowed from Spanish, where "Kali" is not.
WHAT IS "DOUSHIN KARATE"?
"Doushin" means "Association of Kindred Spirits". It is a blend of Shotokan Karate, Kyokushin Karate, and Japanse Jujutsu. We focus on Self Defense, stranger danger and situational awareness.
WILL KARATE TRAINING MAKE MY CHILD WANT TO FIGHT?
No. We teach that martial arts is for SELF-DEFENSE ONLY. What they learn is class is not to be used on friends, family, pets or ANYONE unless the student is in danger.
WHAT'S THE RISK OF INJURY WITH KARATE TRAINING?
Very Low. In all physical activity there is some possibility to be injured. We take steps to insure that the students training in a safe manner.