Martial arts have always fascinated us through the many action films we’ve seen from our childhood, be it from the likes of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, or the Western actors we cheered on during their hand-to-hand combat.
So it is with great pride that there exists a martial art that we can call our own– Arnis. In the short documentary from Franco Mabanta titled Rebirth of the Rebellion Sport, we get a closer look at the national sport and how a team of young athletes dominated the competition at the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).
It was during the SEA Games at Clark, Pampanga last December 2019, that the Philippine National Arnis Team made history. They bagged fourteen in twenty gold medals, four silver medals, and two bronze medals in the Arnis competitions.
Rebirth of the Rebellion Sport follows their journey from the hardships of training; the mental and emotional struggles they had to go through; and of course, the sweet victories where it all paid off.
Senator Zubiri shares its brief history
The short documentary also features Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, the Chairman and President of the Philippine Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (PEKAF) who has been with the athletes throughout the competition.
Zubiri himself is a gold medalist of the sport during the 1989 World Arnis Championships. He also authored the Republic Act 9850 which declared Arnis as the National Martial Art and Sport.
The senator explains in the documentary the roots of the sport, and the part it played during our battles against oppressive colonizers.
“[Arnis] was a rebellion sport. It really was popularized and developed because of our revolution against the colonizers,” said Zubiri.
“It has so much historical significance for the Filipino people, that’s why we’re trying to put that in the consciousness and awareness of every Filipino, that Arnis is not just a sport, but it’s practically in our history. It’s in our blood.” He added.
You can watch Rebirth of the Rebellion Sport starting November 23, 3PM at the Migz Zubiri YouTube channel.