Modern Arnis Techniques

By Mike McLaughlin

Modern arnis is a Filipino martial art that was developed by Professor Remy Amador Presas, according to the Hilliard Martial Arts Center. Modern arnis teaches techniques that can be performed with sticks, knives or empty hands. Students typically learn the 12 basic striking angles before trying more advanced techniques. These angles include forehand, backhand, thrusting and downward strikes. To begin practicing these angles of attack, firmly grasp one end of an arnis stick.

Forehand Strikes

If you hold a stick in your right hand, forehand strikes are delivered to the left side of your opponent's body when he is facing you. Angles one, three and nine are forehand strikes. On the angle one, your target is the opponent's head or collar bone. An angle-three strike hits his ribs or left arm. The angle-nine strike goes to your opponent's left leg. The knee is a prime target for this attack. When practicing these angles against an imaginary opponent, you can swing the stick through the target or retract the stick after hitting.

Backhand Strikes

The backhand strikes hit your opponent on the right side of his body. Angles two, four and eight are backhand strikes. To perform these attacks, bring your right arm across the front of your body prior to striking. The target of the angle-two strike is the opponent's head or collarbone. The angle-four attack targets his right arm or his ribs. The right leg is the target of the angle-eight strike. You can practice forehand and backhand strikes by hitting a training partner's stick. Both you and your training partner can simultaneously perform the same angles of attack.


Perform thrusts by driving the top of the stick straight at your opponent. Angles five, six, seven, 10 and 11 are thrusts. The target of the angle-five thrust is the solar plexus. The angle-six thrust is directed at the left side of your opponent's chest. To perform the angle seven, bring your right arm across the front of your body and thrust at the right side of his chest. Thrust the angle-10 strike at the opponent's left eye. The angle 11 is similar to angle seven, but the target is the right eye.

Downward Strike

The angle-12 strike is a downward hit. The target of this attack is the top of the opponent's head. Forcefully strike downward like you are cutting through the center of your opponent's body. As you become more proficient with the various modern arnis strikes, you should be able to flow through the 12 angles of attack.

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