Arnis competitions are painless? 2 world champions bear battle scars to debunk belief

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A live stick match at the 16th WEKAF World Championships where opponents continuously batted each other for three rounds of one minute each (left); Rattan sticks used for live stick matches (right). (WEKAF Philippines, Jordan Cruz/ Facebook)

Are stick fights painless? Two world champions showed their bruises as proof that no one is spared even with maximum protection.

Silver medalist at the Southeast Asian Games Jude Rodriguez and national team athlete Jordan Cruz posted videos of their “battle scars” on Facebook, after their respective matches at the 16th World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF) World Championships in Mandaue City, Cebu on Thursday, July 21.

“#WEKAF fights are ‘painless’,” Rodriguez said in a Publish on Facebook showing a bruise on his arm.

“#WEKAF fights are ‘painless (2)’,” Cruz said, echoing Rodriguez on Facebook. Publish showing his bruises.

Both videos have a total of 1,314 views at the time of writing.

Over the years, online martial arts reviews forums point out the absence of the “pain factor” in arnis competition due to the heavy protective gear that each player wears during matches.

They claimed that the “heavily padded” armor reduces the “risk factor” of the sport compared to other martial arts.

Each match requires each competitor to carry approximately eight kilograms of protection. It includes a helmet, kimono-like upper body armor, groin guard, arm and leg guards and padded gloves – which cover almost every inch of their body.

“The only people saying that are people who have never really fully immersed themselves in this type of sports fighting format,” Cruz said, referring to people who said arnis competitions were harmless, in a statement. interview with Interaksyon.

Cruz got most of his bruises in his championship game for “Bangkaw” or category of personnel long against the United States Richard Coley.

Bangkaw is played by striking the opponent continuously with a five-foot-long stick, for three rounds, each lasting one minute.

Rodriguez, meanwhile, said the pain from the bruises she suffered while playing single and double sticks, where she both won gold, was felt the day after the tournament.

“My bruises are [not] hurt, he [is] the body pain the next day that you wake up with. Somehow you feel like a giant bruise waddling around saying ‘ouch’ every time you lift a limb,” she said in an interview.

“I can’t even identify the pain because it [is] everywhere from my neck, to my back, to my shoulders and my muscles I did [not] think I was even using,” Rodriguez added.

The living stick format has the same format as bangkaw, but opponents hit each other with one or two rattan sticks.

Rodríguez, with Annjeanette Brillantes and Kate Iccy Solis, are the best players in the competition. Each pocketed three gold medals and one silver.

Cruz, meanwhile, won two gold medals and two silver medals.

This is their second world title for Arnis.

Risk reduction

Like any combat sport, bruises and injuries are inevitable.

A long-time arnis trainer clarified that the armor used for live sticks does not guarantee a person complete protection from bruises or injuries, but simply places danger at the lowest level.

“Kimono armor is not intended to eliminate injuries, it [is]will reduce its possibility of creating a debilitating injury, your injuries may still occur because [the strikes] will provide comments,” Nathan Espino, an Arnis coach at four different schools in the NCR, said in an interview.

“We want the injury to provide feedback, but not to the point where it becomes fatal, career threatening or livelihood threatening,” he added.

He said the armor is used to protect a person from overhead and side strikes, but some rush strikes can still come into contact with the body.

“Any side coming from below, such as a potential ‘otso’ or a well-placed ‘banda’, can still duck, especially depending on body position…there is always a possibility that it slips away and still comes into contact with the body,” he says.

“Otso”, from the Spanish word for number eight, is a strike typically used in live stick matches where they strike their opponent from the bottom up like writing the number eight in the air.

“Banda” meanwhile is a side-to-side strike where one swings their stick from left to right.

Arnis was declared the country’s national sport in 2009 replacing sepak takraw or “sipa”. The sport was officially included in the Southeast Asian Games in 2005, the third time the Philippines hosted the regional tournament.

The Philippines, made up of athletes from Arnis Philippine National Team and other local teams dominated the 16th WEKAF Championships from July 17 to 21, collecting 149 gold medals, 139 silver medals and 138 bronze medals.

RELATED: The Philippines dominate the Arnis World Championship

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