Arnis Philippines Inc. (ARPI) president Raymond Velayo hopes to see the country’s national martial art and sport showcased in the Olympics someday.
Velayo spearheaded the country’s hosting of the iArnis (Arnis Pederasyong Internasyonal) World Congress on Monday at the Audio-Visual Room of PhilSports Complex in Pasig City and emphasized his dream for the sport to become part of the Olympic calendar.
Velayo, the founding president of ARPI since its creation in 1986, believes arnis has the qualities worthy to become an Olympic event.
“We are closer to the dream of including it in the Olympics. All the essentials or ingredients to be included are all ready there,” said Velayo, adding that more than 200 countries to date are playing arnis.
“We have to pattern it in the requirements of an Olympic system. First, it has to be played in our country. Second, it has to be played in our region and we have done that already by including it twice during the SEA Games (1991 and 2005).”
Representatives from Jordan, Canada, United State, Brazil, India, Belgium, Hong Kong, China, Turkey, and host Philippines attended the congress.
Velayo also raised the conflict between sub-group systems that emerged across the country long before.
“They do not know each other and that is why they do not respect each other,” he said.
Velayo mentioned that part of their plan is to come up with a standard program wherein the 12 pioneer arnis systems in the Philippines, including its sub-group, will acquaint each other and later on arrive with mutual respect.
“Until you come up with the standards, then and then, they will respect each one,” said Velayo.
Meanwhile, true to their objectives of promoting, propagating, and preserving arnis, ARPI will hold a three-day arnis competition starting Wednesday at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall in Pasay City.
The tournament will feature two divisions such as anyo (form) and full contact sparring (laban) events.