Arnis is a composite art in that it was influenced by numerous systems and cultures in its development. The Philippine Islands are located along important trade routes, and as a result their inhabitants were exposed to the martial arts of Chinese and Malaysian cultures, among others. As Filipinos frequently had to defend themselves against attackers from other countries as well as from other villages, it was necessary for them to hone their own effective and simple form of combat. Thus Arnis was developed as a way of defending one’s life (and the lives of one’s family members) when attacked. As a result, the developing art tended to be simple, and therefore easy to teach, in that there was no time to devote to learning a complex system when survival was at stake. It also tended to be lethal, as it originally relied on the use of daggers and knives.