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Dune Sword-Fighting Style Inspired By The Filipino’s Own Arnis

BALINTWAK ESKRIMA – The Philippines’ own Arnis, has inspired the sword-fighting choreography for “Dune“.

If you love films with deep plot lines, amazing actors, beautiful cinematography, and immersive music, then Dune is for you. The movie is based off a science fiction novel and has become the most highly-anticipated films of the decade.

But, with a world so massive, filled with guns, space ships, and interstellar travel, where does “Arnis” fit into all of this. The answer is simple, hand-to-hand combat.

Dune Sword-Fighting Inspired By Arnis Style "Balintawak Eskrima"

During the early days of the Philippines, Arnis was a weapon used to fend of colonists. It was so deadly and feared that the colonizers made it illegal in 1764. Luckily, the art form lived on.

In Dune, Arnis was used as the basis for the fighting style taught to Paul. The specific style of Arnis used was the “Balintawak Eskrima”. This style of fighting blocks the opponents attack using both the weapon and the free hand.

According to the cinematographer, the fighting scenes in Dune were shot as if shooting a dance performance. Furthermore, the goal of the shots was due embrace the complexity of the movements using objective camera angles.

In the film, we’d see the “Holtzman Shields“. The defensive shields protects the user from fast incoming projectiles. As such, guns and other form of ranged weaponry almost become obsolete.

Because of this, man-to-man combat reverted back to sword fighting. However, making fast strikes at your opponents won’t make it past the shield. Due to this, you’d need to slowly maneuver your way close to your opponents so you could slowly pierce them with your weapon. And, with Arnis’ combative and defensive forms, one can easily utilize the style to defeat an opponent with such a shield.

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