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The history and background of Filipino Martial Arts

The peopling of the Philippine Archipelago consists of several groups.  Recent evidence recently found in Palawan Island indicates pre-Mongoloid/prehistoric man can be traced as far as 50,000 years ago. Most Archaelogists and Historians agree that the peopling of the Philippines consisted mainly of the Negritoes or the Aetas, Indonesians and Malaysians,.  Most also add that the Chinese, the Spanish, and the Americans can be included in that mix due to intermarriages, acculturation, assimilation and amalgamation of the mentioned groups to the Filipino population. The aborigines known as the Negritoes or the  Aetas had their own warrior culture.  Generally known for their high level of skill in the use of the the bow and arrow as a  hunting tool & a defensive weapon.

The early Indonesian settlers (also referred to as the "Nesiots") came in two waves of migration, around 3000 BC, who brought along some tool sophistication and some weaponry.  They were the ancestors of present-day Luzon & Mindanao Hill Tribes who were mainly noted for the creation of the Philippine Rice Terraces. The next wave of Migrations (around 4000-2000 BC) were the Malay or the Austronesian groups who sailed into the Philippines  using "Barangays" which are large boats and also  a reference to the general size of about 100 family members compriseds a Barangay. These Austronesians pushed the Negritoes into the mountains and brought with them the Iron Age to the Philippines.  From these migrants, a huge part of present-day Filipino Martial Arts had its origins and can be hugely attributed to these groups. An evolution transpired with the influences of the  Chinese, the Spanish, the Americans, and the Japanese occupation. A sort of evolution of the fighting arts because of the mere fact that the various migrations contributed, the trading with the Chinese, the addition of  Spanish culture during the period of Colonization, the Philippine-American War experience, and the more recent Japanese Occupation during World War II.

From these events, the Filipino Martial Arts evolved due to continous influences and compliation of experiences.  There were various periods of  fighting among the Negritoes, the Indonesians, the Austonesians, the Spanish Colonization, the Philippine-American War, and during  WWII against the Japanese.
Today, Filipino Martial Arts is striving and many groups are involved in the promotion and propagation of these Arts. (More to come later.)