Vicente: Arnis trivia: Yantok

The Path

THE most common term for the stick used by arnisadors is called stick or Arnis stick.

Everyone should know and understand that it should never be Arnis to imply or refer to the stick being used simply because Arnis is not just about the stick.

Among the Filipinos who are practicing the Art of Arnis.

The stick is referred to as yantok, sometimes baston, pat-pat, and rattan. In English, it’s referred to as cane, but most often, the stick used in Arnis is referred to as yantok.

So what is behind the yantok? Is it really a term in any of the Filipino dialect that refers to a stick? The answer is no.

Yantok is a type of elongated plant that is commonly seen in Africa, India and South East Asia that includes the Philippines.

It is used for making furniture because it is strong and flexible. The plant is in the family of vines because of its tendrils that it uses to crawl up a wall or a tree or anything to spread its body, stems and leaves.

Other names of yantok are rattan or uway. It is also fruit bearing and is considered to be one of the exotic fruits you can find in the forest with a size like that of a quail egg with a snake skin like cover and a profound sourness taste called Yantok Fruit or Rattan Fruit.

To turn it into a straight stick for Arnis, it is baked in heat and adjusted to the desired form which is the same procedure that furniture makers do to adjust it to their desired form to come up with beautiful seats, or sala set, bed, Sepak Takraw ball etc.

Yantok and its transformation to furniture and weapon for Arnis shows the ingenuity and creativity of the Filipinos in turning nature’s resources into something useful and amazing.

Although yantok or rattan is the plant’s name, it has been accepted as a term referring to the stick used in Arnis.


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