The Bladed Hand is a documentary on the global impact of the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA)

Olisi Films Set to Premiere Documentary on Filipino Martial Arts

(Los Angeles, CA. September, 2012) - “The Bladed Hand”, a documentary on the global impact of the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) also known as Arnis or Eskrima, or around the world as Kali, is set to make its Los Angeles premiere on Friday, October 12, 2012 at the Aratani Theater in Little Tokyo. The film is the freshman project of director Jay Ignacio, the multi-talented, entrepreneurial chef-turned-songwriter-turned-filmmaker.

In 1521, Ferdinand Magellan sailed onto the shores of the Philippines hoping to conquer the natives of a new land. Instead, Lapu-Lapu and his warriors beat Magellan and his men so savagely, they sailed back to Spain. Some 480 years later, actor Matt Damon single-handedly overpowers some unsavory guards in the movie “The Bourne Identify” in a few technical but effective moves. This technique, called Arnis or Kali, is one of the many styles and systems of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). It’s the same fighting technique style that some believe Lapu-Lapu used to vanquish Magellan.

FMA was first introduced to Hollywood in 1973 by Bruce Lee in the film “Enter the Dragon” after he had learned it from Dan Inosanto. “It was Inosanto who taught Bruce how to use the nanchaku and Arnis,” Director Jay Ignacio explains. “He also introduced the FMA system using sticks, blades and empty hands to Bruce Lee. On both the philosophical and practical levels, Jeet Kune Do and FMA have a lot in common: economy of movement, taking what is useful and discarding the rest, footwork, striking, locks and others.

Inosanto continued to teach martial arts after Bruce Lee’s death in 1973, establishing the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts. His student, Jeff Imada, who trained with him for four decades, is a top Hollywood fight choreographer. Imada, who worked on the “Bourne” movies and “The Book of Eli” has said he consciously promotes FMA in movies because it has the most sophisticated fighting techniques. Most Filipinos have no idea that when Matt Damon or Angelina Jolie are obliterating their enemies in the movies, they’re doing it Filipino-style.

“The Bladed Hand” is Ignacio’s homage to FMA. It is an expose on FMA as a global phenomenon, which, for at least 30 years now, has been considered the most effective weapon-based fighting system by both Military and Law Enforcement systems. But despite FMA’s success around the world, it has been neglected, and even forgotten in the Philippines. FMA seminars are conducted regularly around the USA, Canada, Australia and Europe, where Filipino Masters are in demand. The Philippine government formally recognized Arnis as the country’s own martial art by way of the Arnis Law or Republic Act 9850, declaring Arnis, Kali or Eskrima as the National Sport and Martial Art. FMA is most probably the Philippines’ greatest cultural export, and Filipinos don’t even know it.


Olisi Films in association with
PAE Live!

“The Bladed Hand: A Documentary on the Global Impact of Filipino Martial Arts”
Los Angeles Premiere
Friday, October 12, 2012
The Aratani Theater at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
244 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, California 90012

All tickets: $15.00 – General Admission
Doors Open at 7:00pm
Visit for tickets and additional information or via phone at (213) 628-2725.

Question and answer session with director Jay Ignacio immediately after screening.