Basic Arnis Terminology

The following tables contain some of the words and phrases that are traditionally used in Filipino Martial Arts training. They are based on Tagalog, the primary Indonesian language of the Philippines. You'll notice the Spanish influence in some of these terms, not surprising since the Philippines was once a Spanish posession.

(If you're having trouble seeing the charts below, then your browser doesn't support tables and you should check out our text only page instead.)

Rank & Title
Tagalog English Tagalog English
Sa Pinuno Leader (Master) Pundador Founder
Arnisador/ Escrimador Arnis Practitioner Baguhan Beginner
Panggitna Intermediate Abante Advanced
Dalubhasa Expert Taga-Pagsany Trainer
Saligan Taga-Pagturo Basic Instructor Taga-Pagturo Instructor
Abante Taga-Pagturo Advanced Instructor Punong Taga-Pagturo Senior Instructor
Guro Teacher Punong Guro Senior Teacher

Numbers (Counting)
Tagalog English Tagalog English
Isa One Pito Seven
Dalawa Two Walo Eight
Tatlo Three Siyam Nine
Apat Four Sampo Ten
Lima Five Labing Isa Eleven
Anim Six Labing Dalawa Twelve

Actions & Techniques
Tagalog English Tagalog English
Patama Strike Sanga Block
Hawak Hold Pakawalan Release
Sugod Attack Lumaban Fight
Sinawali Weaving Rompida Up & Down
Banda y Banda Back & Forth Redonda X Movement
Corto Short Largo Long
Abanico Fan Palis Palis Sweep Stroke
Crossada Cross De Cadena Give & Take
Tulok Push Tusok Poke/Jab
Hirada Forward Mahuli Trap
Mano-Mano Hand to Hand Cadena De Mano Chain of Hands
Ocho-Ocho Figure Eight Sungkiti Thrust
Hawi Parry Hawi-Sungkiti Parry-Thrust
Doblada Double Movement Abaniko Doblata Double Fan
Suntukan Boxing Anyo Form (Kata)

Tagalog English Tagalog English
Espada Sword Baston Cane
Solo Baston Single Cane Doble Baston Double Cane
Punyal Knife Punyo Sword or
Cane Butt
Daga Dagger Espada y Daga Sword & Dagger
Yantok Rattan Bahi Iron Reed
Tabak Bolo Balisong Butterfly Knife

Misc. & Conversational
Tagalog English Tagalog English
Lakan Male Dayang Female
Galang Courtesy Simula Start
Opo Yes Sir Hindi Po No Sir
Tayo Stand Upo Sit
Sigaw Shout Orascion Meditation
Watawat Flag Yuko Bow
Salamat Thank You Miraming Salamat Thank You
Very Much
Walang Anuman You Are Welcome Kumusta Ka How Are You ?
Mabuti Fine / Good Dinaramdam Ko I Am Sorry

Contents of this page courtesy of Paul Gerardi, Tom Bolden, and American Modern Arnis Associates.
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