Rules for Arnis Stick Fighting

General Rules

  • Competitors are required to bring their own stick.
  • There Is No Age Limit for Arnis Stick Fighting Competitors.
  • If there are less than 2 competitors in an age group, the judges reserve the right to combine age groups.
  • Mandatory Safety Equipments: helmet with face protector, gloves, chest padding, and groin protector for men.
  • Divisions: Male division and Female division; not categorized by weight.
  • If there are less than 2 competitors in an age group, the judges reserve the right to combine age groups.
  • Competitor who is disarmed or drops his/her stick 3 times in one round automatically loses.
  • Competitors have 5 seconds to execute a disarm. A competitor who is disarmed loses one point automatically.
  • No punching, kicking, or takedowns permitted. No contact to the back.
  • The format of arnis stick fighting is continuous. Referee stops and restarts the fight if one or both competitors fall on the ground, one or both weapons fall on the ground, or one competitor grabs the handle and takes away the opponent’s weapon.

Duration of Bout

  • Each bout is 3 rounds; each round is 1 minute with 30 seconds rest in between each round. A competitor winning the first 2 rounds wins the bout, without going into the third round.

The Winner of the Bout is Determined By

  • Both competitors’ effectiveness in executing their techniques during attacks and defenses.


  • If the competitor disregards the orders and instructions of the referee and the judges.
  • Disrespecting the referee, judges, or the opponent.
  • Attacking with excessive force.
  • Using violent actions.
  • Using the techniques of kicking, punching, and takedowns.
  • If the competitor continues to attack his/her opponent after the opponent’s weapon falls down on the ground.
  • Using performance-enhancing drugs prior or during the bout.
  • The referee has the right to disqualify a competitor from the bout or competition if:
    • The competitor receives 3 or more warnings from the referee.
    • The competitor engages in unsportsmanlike conducts.
    • The competitor injures his/her opponent using prohibited techniques or attacks to the no contact area, depending on the seriousness of the injury.
  • The referee has the right to stop the contest if:
    • There is a big gap in the skill level between the 2 competitors. The competitor with the skill advantage wins the bout.
    • A competitor is injured as a result of a legal maneuver, depending on the seriousness of the injury. The opponent wins the bout.
  • Courtesy Rule: Salute to the judges first and then competitors salute to each other before the bout begins. After the bout finishes, salute to the judges again and then competitors salute to each other.