Eskrima in popular culture

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Eskrima in popular culture reflects the impact that this class of Filipino martial arts has made outside of the martial arts community. Eskrima, Arnis, and Kali emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, blades and improvised weapons.[1] Because of this training with live weapons, elements of Eskrima have made an impact in film, video games, television, and comic books. Eskrima is often used to train actors and stuntmen how to handle similar weapons for use in movies.[2]



Video games[edit]

Western comics[edit]

  • The character Grail in Whilce Portacio's Wetworks is a Filipino who uses Arnis as energy-projection melee weapons.
  • Several popular DC Comics characters use Eskrima as part of their typical martial arts regimen. Specifically, Dick Grayson as Nightwing[20] and Barbara Gordon both fight with the sticks as a main part of their arsenal, and are defining weapons of their two characters. Other members of the Gotham vigilante population have trained in Kali/Eskrima/Arnis, and it is referenced in the books with some frequency.
  • The character Deadpool in Fabian Nicieza's Cable and Deadpool series, specifically, has been shown using eskrima sticks.
  • Marvel Comics character Mockingbird, Bobbi Morse, a member of the superhero team The Avengers, makes use of a combined form of Eskrima and kobudo, using two 'battle staves' for the former style, which she can attach together to make use of the latter. While she is capable of eskrima, she is a much stronger kobudo fighter, and so tends to proffer using the latter, but has at times also used the former.
  • The titular character Kick-Ass uses eskrima as his primary weapon in both the comics and its live action film.
  • Nightcrawler of the X-Men has occasionally been depicted using eskrima, primarily with his pirate-like swords. In the first issue of his 2014 ongoing series even opened up with a sequence of him and Wolverine training together using the method, with Nightcrawler using his tail to combat with three sticks rather than just the usual pair.

Eastern comics (Manga/Manwha/Manhua)[edit]

  • The character Urushiba Rinka from the manga Tokyo ESP uses this fighting style and gives a brief introduction about eskrima in chapter 7 (on page 32).


  1. ^ Wiley, Mark V. (2000). Filipino Fighting Arts: Theory and Practice. Tuttle Publishing. pp. 1–15. ISBN 0-86568-180-5. 
  2. ^ Coleman, Jim (April 1, 1986). "Bruce Lee's Son Speaks Out". Black Belt 24 (4): 20–24, 104. 
  3. ^ This Frankenstein monster is a Filipino martial arts expert Nepales, Ruben V., Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jan.30, 2014
  4. ^ a b "The greatest Filipino cultural export is kicking ass". Philippine Star. 
  5. ^ Charlie Jane Anders (April 7, 2011). "Why futuristic assassin movie Hanna is the anti-Sucker Punch, according to director Joe Wright". io9. 
  6. ^ "Saoirse Ronan on Combat Training for Hanna: Wondercon 2011". YouTube. 
  7. ^ "Forest Whitaker shows off Pinoy martial arts skills". Philippine Daily Inquirer. 
  8. ^ "The Book of Eli - Behind the Scenes:Stunts". Yahoo! Movies. Yahoo!. 2010. 
  9. ^ "Interview with Chad Stahelski of 87Eleven - the Fight Team of Ninja Assassin, The Matrix and More!". Fight Flicks. 
  10. ^ "Olivier Schneider Martial Arts Background". 
  11. ^ "The Bourne Supremacy interview with Matt Damon and Jeff Imada". 
  12. ^ "Frank Miller's 300 - Journal 5". 
  13. ^ Dog Brothers Forum Thread on Vin Diesel & Riddick Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny, August 18, 2004
  14. ^ a b c d Interview with Kali Master Ama Guro Jun de Leon Hewitson, Nick, Detroit Kali-Silat Academy
  15. ^ "Behind the scenes interview on the knife fighting used in The Hunted". 
  16. ^ MANO, PO! Marana, Joseph, Lakas Filipino Martial Arts, Feb.26, 2014
  17. ^ NCIS:LA KNIFE FIGHT!!! Rafael Kayanan Art Blog, Feb. 18, 2012
  18. ^ a b "V6 Okada Junichi now a martial arts instructor". Tokyo Hive. 2010-09-10. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  19. ^ "The Bourne Conspiracy - Working with Jeff Imada". 
  20. ^ Batman Comics Issue #650

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