Welcome to our San Diego Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) program, offering Arnis / Escrima / Kali training for self-defense. One of the world’s most lethal Martial Arts, our FMA classes provide the perfect way to learn real world self-defense, offering edged and blunt weapons, empty hand and Military / LEO applications.

In fact, Filipino Martial Arts are widely respected and chosen as a primary art by militaries worldwide due to its ability to deal with bladed threats, as well as self-defense uses of knives or blunt weapons. These applications are the primary reason we offer FMA training to our students, particularly as a large percentage are comprised of active duty military.

FMA is an art, not a sport, although it offers many techniques and fundamental concepts that may benefit Combat Sports. But at its root, it is a self-defense system.  As such, we concentrate on self-defense training when teaching Kali (Arnis and Esrima mean roughly the same thing in FMA).

All levels are welcome, and all will learn valuable skills. Beginners will benefit from the fundamental drills that serve as the core of FMA, while everyone will obtain a better understanding of balance, movement and real world self-defense. Knowledge of self-defense is critical in today’s world and could easily mean the difference between life and death.

As students advance, they will move to more specific training and will see a different aspect of Filipino Martial Arts than taught at most FMA schools. The goal of these classes will be constant testing of practical application, with techniques taught in the most effective way possible as applied to actual self-defense.

Our goal is to teach real world techniques that can be used to keep our students safe, whether in the streets or in the field. Our entire purpose of our FMA training program is to enable people of different ages, abilities and experience to become safer in this world.

Willie Laureano is the head instructor of our Filipino Martial Arts program. Originally from the Philippines, Guro (Filipino for Teacher) Willie has a vast amount of experience in FMA, first starting his training in 1980 with the world famous Dan Inosanto. Today, Guro Willie is regarded as one of the top FMA instructors on the planet, particularly for Special Operations training.

Charles Martinez is our day to day FMA instructor and has a large amount of experience in FMA. Guro Charles has been training with Willie Laureano since 2003 and like Guro Willie, has significant expertise in teaching FMA to Special Operations Forces.

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I’ve been training in Filipino Martial Arts the last 12 years seriously. The FMA program we started has a lot of people interested in it. It gives you a reality of self-defense, teaches you angles, entry, exit, as well as takes your existing skills and combines them. Teaches you how to get in and out. It’s probably the best self-defense out there. It’s pressure tested and it’s very effective. The instructors that lead the class are top notch world renowned instructors. They’ve got students from all aspects of martial arts, law enforcement and military.


I’ve been training Filipino Martial Arts under Willie Laureano since 2003. It’s definitely helped shape my thought process behind all the martial arts. It’s a really well-rounded martial art. A lot of real world application, plus the drills that build attributes. It can benefit other Martial Arts and Guro Willie is just one of the best guys to do it with. An amazing teacher. He’s been teaching a long time, been training a long time and really still looks for the best training. He’s actively trying to make things better.



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About The Arena

The Arena is the leading Gym in North America for Combat Sports and Martial Arts instruction, offering one of the largest programs of its kind in the world. With over 150 weekly classes in 10 disciplines and specialized training for Amateur and Professional fighters, our programs are run by some of the top coaches on the planet in one of the best sports facilities in the USA.

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3350 Sports Arena Blvd
San Diego, CA 92110

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