top of page

The Cane as a Weapon

Defanging the Snake

Myrlino Hufana

Arnis, kali, and eskrima are forms of the Filipino Combative Arts as taught by Punong Guro Myrlino P. Hufana, Founder and Grandmaster of the World Filipino Martial Arts Association. The Bellevue Academy of Martial Arts offers regular training in the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA)-led by Punong Guro and several certified instructors. Filipino Martial Arts is a combative art, a complete system of self-defense, and a standalone fighting system.

Filipino martial arts, commonly known as Arnis, Kali or Eskrima, is a combative art indigenous to the Philippines. It is a complete fighting system of self defense, employing several types of weaponry including daga (knife), bolo (sword), baston (rattan sticks), mano (empty hands), sipa (kicks), and more. The strength of Filipino martial arts is in its ability to conform and adapt into any combative and street fighting situation. The weapons utilized are dependent on the range of combat – largo, medio, corto and dumog. The bagong pasok or new student start their education with the single stick as a base tool for training which eventually evolves to sinawali (double sticks), stick fighting, knife fighting, and sword and dagger, all of which develop the empty hands for highly effective and practical self defense.

Arnis or Eskrima is roughly translated as stick fighting. One of the characteristics of Filipino martial arts is the use of weapons from the very beginning of training. Modern Arnis is no exception.

It is said that, originally, the cane was considered sacred by practitioners, and therefore an arnis practitioner was expected to hit his cane at the hand or forearm of his sparring partner and not at the latter's cane. This also had the advantage of being the preferred method in actual combat, referred to as "defanging the snake", that is, making the opponent drop his weapon so that he is less of a threat. However, it discouraged many would-be practitioners who found this training too painful and injury-inducing. The result was that the Filipino martial arts were in danger of dying out; in many areas of the Philippines, Japanese martial arts such as Karate and Judo were much more popular than the indigenous systems. Defanging the snake remains a principle of Modern Arnis, however, and in practical application, one would typically strike the hand or arm. The technique is also used empty-handed, where it is known as a 'limb destruction'.

Training covers empty-hand self-defense (striking, locking, throwing, etc.) as well as the trademark single and double stick techniques of the Filipino martial arts. Other aspects of the art include espada y daga (sword and dagger fighting), sinawali (double stick weaving patterns), and tapi-tapi (locking drills with the stick). In addition to partner drills, Modern Arnis includes the use of anyo (kata), solo forms both with and without the stick. Emphasis is placed on fitting the art in with a student's previous training ("the art within your art"), smoothly reacting to changing situations in the fight ("the flow"), and countering the opponent's attempt to counter strikes directed at him ("tapi-tapi"). Practitioners are called arnisadors or Modern Arnis players.

Punong Guro Myrlino P. Hufana, the founder and grandmaster of the Hufana Traditional Arnis International, is demonstrating several fighting styles with some of his dedicated students from Bellevue Martial Arts Academy.

For more information, visit: and


HUFANA TRADITIONAL ARNIS INTERNATIONAL is founded by its chief instructor, Punong Guro Myrlino P. Hufana in 1992 with the mission to educate and instruct students the legendary fighting arts of the Philippines. Filipino Martial Arts, more commonly known as Arnis, Kali and Eskrima, are indigenous to the Philippines with roots dating back at least 1200 years. To its practitioners, practicality, effectiveness and efficiency are found to be important attributes in the realm of combat and street fighting. Learning to fight with the baston (rattan sticks or impact tools), daga at bolo (knife or any edged weaponry), and mano a mano (empty hands, kicking) are general tools designed against single or multiple attackers, with or without weapons. 

   As one of the known leaders in the Filipino Martial Arts, Punong Guro is a prominent teacher and skilled practitioner whose passion extends beyond the practical applications. PG Hufana educates his students of the rich culture of the Filipinos. He has brought his top students to visit the Philippines several times in order to further develop their understanding and knowledge of the fighting arts. His students have met and trained with some of the world’s best teachers and exponents, an experience rare to most students.   

   Punong Guro has been part of the Pagdiriwang for over 18 years, dazzling thousands of audience and onlookers with his team’s amazing demonstrations of stick-fighting, knife-fighting and various display of weapons expertise. HTAI ARNIS is proud and honored to be part of this year’s Pagdiriwang. Come bring your family and friends to watch and support Filipino Martial Arts! 

   For further information on the HTAI ARNIS, visit You can also contact our Academy at 425-242-0327, or visit at 2753 152nd Ave NE, Bldg. 4, Redmond, WA 98052. See training schedule on our website.

bottom of page