There will always be the debate surrounding the term "Kali" to refer to the Filipino Martial Arts but, this I am on agreement with Bruce Lee which is, "don't get caught up in a name." After all, it is just a name.
Of course for those who are more "historians" this term will always raise a red flag but, personally I don't really care.
KALI isn't the first term I heard in my FMA practice. In fact, my very first teachers called it Eskrima. However, when I first felt a personal connection with the art, that was with the referred term, "Kali." Maybe that is because of my ignorant American blood of Spanish, Italian and Celtic descents but, now through practice I actually connect with all three common terms, Arnis, Eskrima and Kali.
I chose KALI for "Kali Center" simply because I am American and if Kali is term that derived from Filipino-Americans then the term Kali is the appropriate terminology for me to use in naming my school.
I leave history for those who really deeply care about it but, honestly, I do enjoy learning about it and listening to others about the subject but when it comes to really caring about it, I do not. I care about one thing, how to actually use the blade.
Now of days my Kali technically isn't pure Filipino Martial Arts anymore. Over the years I've been investigating, researching and studying other blade methods from other cultures and integrating them into my own curriculums and courses. This would make my Kali coming back around to a more JKD kind of experience (which I do have a background in).
This means I do not practice some "indigenous" form of Filipino Martial Arts and I'm perfectly okay with that since we do not live in indigenous times. Historians can try to recreate what indigenous FMA is and practice it if they want. Either way, The Filipino people did preserve important ingredients of the Spanish blade arts that I believe are lost or at the ver least very well hidden away from the public martial arts. The Spanish training the Filipino's during the colonial times to fight against the southern Moro resistance simply means that components of Destreza Vulgur are preserved in some of today's FMA and that I am interested in.
For Kali Center, I am concerned with 2 things...
1. Evolving the skill, performance and practice of my Kali
2. Today's current life benefits people can receive from the training we do here
Neither Filipino, American, Spanish or any other history lessons are a concern with Kali Center. We are looking to evolve and more forward in the times. Kali Center believes in diversity as a whole. So, if "Kali" is not a true indigenous Filipino Martial Art, which this may be true, but, it is also true that KALI is a martial art of todays history and one day, today will be historical.
It is now, historical that KALI has been used in warfare for decades in the Philippines by Filipinos thanks to the Philippine Military.
Perhaps, because of the Spanish influence Kali may be the most appropriate term we could use in today's times. Since the words Calis (Spanish) and Kalis (Filipino Translation) are both found in Spanish Colonial Times (found in Spanish to Filipino dictionaries between 1612-late 1800's), this word is the best link to what FMA is today due to the Spanish influence but Filipino ingenuity in the continuation of training methods development after the Spanish Occupation. Perhaps, KALI is the most accurate term to describe the culture that is today and honor it's beauty and diversity? An now that Kali is becoming accepted, practiced and integrated worldwide into other martial arts, again, KALI is the BEST term to use in the honor of it's diversity and evolution.
So, instead of spending so much of today's time arguing over the past we should be strictly looking towards the future of the Kali participation within the evolution of ALL World Martial Arts especially since the Philippine Islands are no longer Majapahit, Spanish, American or Japanese occupied. KALI would simply be a word that would recognize the Philippines FREEDOM!