MANILA – Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said he would push for the creation for a coalition that will reconcile the various styles of arnis, the country’s national martial art and sport.

Under his proposed Alliance of Filipino Martial Artists (AFMA), the senator said he wanted to stage an arnis Congress where practitioners “can harmonize to discuss and create one unified rules for every arnis practitioner.”

The two biggest FMA organizations in the country are Arnis Philippines (ARPI) and the World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation (WEKAF).

“At present there are literally 120 to 150 different styles of arnis in the country. We really have to standardize techniques and forms,” Zubiri said.

He also noted that while arnis is already the country’s national martial art and sport, it has not been taught properly in schools due to its various styles and techniques.

Meantime, Zubiri expressed concern the home-grown sport and martial art is more popular abroad than in the Philippines.

But recent efforts have been made to popularize the sport like the inclusion in the roster of events in the 2010 Palarong Pambansa last April.

The Philippine Sports Commission is tasked to lead the implementation the rules and

regulations, together with the Department of Education and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.(Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)