Animated Short Film Using Filipino Martial Arts (Arnis, Kali, Eskrima)

We’ve already seen plenty of Filipino martial arts fight scenes in Hollywood. What about in animated films, you ask? I’m not aware of any that’s popular. But look what I stumbled upon. Below is an animated short film featuring Filipino martial arts (Arnis, Kali, Eskrima).

Not my own words but quoted from the animator’s Vimeo account:

“It has been said that a fighter fights for himself but a warrior fights for his people. Three Filipino warriors fought against the oppression of the Spanish regime in the late 19th century. They come from different backgrounds – a man from a line of chieftains conquered centuries ago; a woman with the conqueror’s blood in her veins rejected by her family of privilege; and a young man from a land across the sea fighting for his new home. Now the three find themselves in a new time. A time where the Philippines is a free nation. A time when the Philippines is as enslaved as ever. Their eyes have seen oppression. They still see it and they act in the only way they can. They fight.”

“Background notes: Very rarely do action films in the Philippines feature traditional Filipino martial arts like ‘arnis’ and ‘eskrima’ and this is why we made our own. The 19th century fighters represent three types of Filipino martial arts: pre-Hispanic, Hispanic influenced and Chinese influenced. These styles are represented by the characters’ weapons – a Kampilan sword, Spanish daggers, and a rope dart, respectively. All three now find themselves fighting a different war, a more ambiguous war, perhaps, in present day Manila.”

Must watch!

I have a few animator friends who do foreign animated TV shows. I really hope to see them incorporate action scenes using Filipino martial arts someday, if given a creative call/chance. That’d be spectacular!

Oh, here’s Arnold Arre’s (the animator behind this awesome film) blog post about the making of and more notes about Lakas ng Lahi. Kudos and more power to you, Arnold! Thanks for showcasing our indigenous warrior art! 🙂


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