Is there any special name for eskrima sticks? Like in aikido there is bokken, jo, tanto, is there some original name for the sticks other than just "sticks"? I only know the term sinawali, but this refers more to the action with double sticks than the sticks themselves (and is only for double, not single stick).

  • 2
    For what style/language? Every language is going to have a different term for "stick to whack people with"
    – JohnP
    Commented Apr 6, 2015 at 22:31
  • Sinawali is actually a family of stick drills that all start with both sticks on the same side (closed). Commented Jul 21, 2015 at 18:29

6 Answers 6


They can be called 'kali sticks', 'arnis sticks', 'baston', etc. Just insert arnis style sticks is ok. Or even just 'arnis'. There's diff. styles of arnis and the term depends on which style you're referring too. There are also diff. material for the sticks themselves. People usually just get whatever you refer to :)


I have heard the terms "yantok," "rattan," and "baston" used in Eskrima. "Yantok" is just the Tagalog word for rattan (the most common material for Filipino fighting sticks), while "baston" means "cane." So the words are simple descriptions; "stick" seems an analogous term in idiomatic English.

There are at least two dozen languages spoken in the Philippines, many with a million or more speakers. I would be entirely unsurprised to see some of those languages' words for "stick," "baton," "cane," or "rattan" occasionally used as well.


It is just a stick. A piece of rattan. I heard someone refer to the sticks as arnis but I don't think they have any specific name. And it makes sense from a historical point of view as it was just a stick to train with in times when carrying the sword (or any other sword-like weapon) was prohibited.

  • thanks, I think this is the answer - there's no special term. But I don't agree with the historical point - they used machettes, no swords in Philippines.
    – Tomas
    Commented Apr 7, 2015 at 20:26
  • They used all sorts of weapons. Swords included. Here is one of my favorites. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kampilan
    – user5645
    Commented Apr 8, 2015 at 5:17

In my province in Cebu, located in central Philippines, we refer the arnis/kali/eskrima stick as "OLISI" or "GAROTE." All cebuano eskrimadors young and old alike (the old school) use the terms above. I hope this will satisfy your queries.


FMA terminology

Baston is one name for stick. There are others. This Wikipedia Article states that Garrote (spanish meaning "club") is sometimes used.

  • Thanks, but "Baston" is English word, right? I was looking for some original filipino term... This one seems latin/english according to Merriam Webster: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/baston: "Definition of BASTON: baton; a convex round molding : torus. Origin of BASTON: Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin bastum stick, staff, probably from (assumed) Vulgar Latin bastare to carry, from Greek bastazein to lift, carry"
    – Tomas
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 12:10
  • 1
  • OK, thanks! Tagalog in fact contains lot of words from English and Spanish, so they probably took it from English... but it's kind of strange because they already had these sticks when first colonizers came there... so I would expect more ancient, non-English term.
    – Tomas
    Commented Apr 2, 2015 at 12:20

Filipinos without FMA knowledge usually call it "yantok" or "arnis" (with a stress on the "-tok"), but FMA practitioners would just call it arnis, yantok, stick, kali stick, baston, or (insert FMA style here) stick.

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