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Arnis Philippines Background

 

On July 11, 1986, Mr. Raymond Soriano Velayo, a young civic-minded and noted sportsman, convened a group of men truly devoted to the art,  Roland Dantes+, Mario Malicsi+, Ernie Presas+, Alex Cruz+, Bienvenido Orlanes+, Ramon Enrille III+, Guy tacorda+, Jerry Dela Cruz, Atty. Ulan Sarmiento and Rene Tongson at the Pulu Restaurant at Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines. They formed the Philippine Arnis Federation which was later renamed to Arnis Philippines, Inc. (ARPI). Succeeding meetings saw the joining of more distinguished men who were bent on making Arnis a pillar in the world of martial arts and combat sports.

Mr. Raymond S. Velayo became its first and current president. The Federation's founding came about barely five months after the historic Philippine "People Power" Revolution of 1986 that catapulted the government of President Corazon C. Aquino. Because of the vacuum and taking advantage of the much preferred democratic space and of course, the renewed enthusiasm of the Philippine society, these founders decided to bring together the various Arnis clubs and styles in the spirit of unity. This was preceeded by the observation that Arnis, which was fast becoming a dying art in the country, should be revived and promoted. Thus, with the firm objectives of PROMOTING, PROPAGATING and PRESERVING the Filipino Martial Arts, the Philippine Arnis Federation was born.

On August 20, 1986, the organization was formally recognized as Arnis Philippines Incorporated. The objectives were: a) to be a major force in preserving our culture and the dying art of Arnis; b) to consolidate and unite the different functions and groups of Arnis aficionados; and c) to develop the Sport aspect of Arnis for and in the hope of its inclusion in major sports events like the South East Asian Games (SEA Games), Asian Games, and ultimately, the Olympics.

 

In a short span of time, Arnis Philippines received immediate recognition from the official sports bodies in the Philippines. It is now the solely accredited Arnis arm and association in the Philippine Olympic Committee (effective 12 January 1987) and was accepted as the 33rd member of the said Olympic Committee. With the official membership, ARPI has the sole right to officially supervise all Arnis affairs in the country as the National Sports Association (NSA). Soon after, it was also included under the support roster of the Project Gintong Alay and is now supported financially by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

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