Netflix has added another win on its belt with the success of its new action-fantasy film The Old Guard. The action-packed film starring Charlize Theron, Kiki Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Chiwetel Ejiofor became among the streaming site’s top-watched movies upon its debut, and it looks like it will hold the spot for quite some time.
The Old Guard is based on Greg Rucka’s graphic novel of the same title. Rucka also wrote the script for the film adaptation that follows a group of veteran soldiers who are traveling around the world as mercenaries. The catch? The members of this particular group are all centuries-old immortals who have the ability to heal themselves. (Read: Binge 6 Japanese Films For Free in Eigasai Film Festival 2020)
Upon debut, the live-action superhero film immediately got a massive response from streamers. Many praised the movie not only its interesting plot, but also its amazing fight scenes that draw inspiration from different martial arts around the world—one of which is of the Philippines. (Read: Freediving in the Philippines to Be Featured in Netflix Series)
In the film’s newest teaser video posted on Netflix’s official Youtube channel, Danny Hernandez, the movie’s fight coordinator, cited arnis or kali as one of the fighting styles used in the film. Other famous Asian combat sports like judo, aikido, savate, boxing, silat, wushu, and taekwondo were also used by the actors. (Read: Pamilya Ordinaryo, Lola Igna, other indie films to premiere on Netflix this June)
What is Kali or Arnis?
Known locally as arnis or escrima, kali is an ancient martial art form in the Philippines that uses rattan sticks (olisi), from palm tree (bahi), Philippine ebony hardwood (kamagong), or Philippine ironwood (magkuno). It is claimed that this indigenous style of hand-to-hand combat dates back even before the arrival of the Spaniards in the country. (Read: The 500-Year History of Catholicism in the Philippines)
Kali or arnis has been declared as the country’s national martial art and sport by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through Republic Act 9850 s. 2009.