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Filipino Stick FightingFilipino Stick Fighting Kali EskrimaArnis!

Differences exsist but in general Arnis, Eskrima, Kali, are catch all terms for Martial Arts taught in the three regions of islands of the Philippines. Like saying Karate when what is Tae Kwon Do a style of Korean Martial Arts. Karate, Gung Fu, Kung Fu are not styles but a catch all terms for Martial Arts of a given culture.

Countering empty handed vs Stick attack
Countering empty handed vs Stick attack
Stick vs Stick counter Inside Sweep
Stick vs Stick counter Inside Sweep
Stick Sparing with armor
Stick Sparing with armor
Briefly about History & Culture    

The Philippine Islands are broken up into three land mass groups. The upper containing Manila is Tagolog speaking, the catch all term for Filipino Martial Arts is known there still today by some as Arnis. The central island grouping (of which Cebu is the central part) speaks mainly Cebuno or Visayan. The catch all term for the few that might know it there is known as Eskrima. Kali is an ancient and all but forgotten term in the Philippines from the (Morro’s) of the southern group of Islands known as Mindanao. Do not go there and use the word Morro as it may be a resented term. In fact the terms like Kali, and Bursilot are not commonly known and practiced there and may be said to contain the sneakiest and deadliest techniques, swords and other weaponry. If you do find those there who know the terms; why? My question is who are they, how much do they know, and watch out, be very careful! Philippines in general can be dangerous if you’re a first time tourist type. Much more so in many parts of Mindanao. The area the of Kali techniques were and are heavily Indonesian and Arab influenced. All though I have explored there as well over the years, many times, and have been able to learn from some, the Art is dead to the general public. If you think it is not dangerous to go there, it can be safe briefly, but it's easy to be deceived, If it does happen you'll be dead, please do not just go there without talking to me first!

Some consider Kali the deadliest of the Filipino techniques and those most knowledgeable in these techniques may be deceptive and deadly to you! Certainly to most Americans. Kali is more commonly known here in the USA then in Mindanao (it’s origin) as a term and in technique. Some of the real techniques are here and the name Kali revived thanks to Dan Inosanto’s use and teachings which has spread now to maybe thousands across the USA and into several other countries now as well thanks to his seminars and followers who teach it.

Unlike Chinese Kung Fu or other cultures, in Filipino Martial Arts the weapon, the stick is first and primary. A stick can kill but is training for the sword. But also for a shorter or longer stick, a cane, a board, a branch, a tire iron,a book, bottle, even a flexible weapon, like Nunchuko's, belt, towel, or Sarong! You'll learn there is always a stick on you or around you, within your reach! The basics of the Art is empty hands and feet verses the same, verses the stick, stick vs stick, sword vs sword, knife vs hands, knife vs knife, Long and short or sword and dagger verses the same, Staff/ Spear and Shield, as well as the YoYo, Blow Gun, Sling shot and Jacks, and other Projectile weapons! An Eskrimador has experience in all areas of Filipino fighting arts. But in general means he is a hand held weapons expert!

Next is a break down of all the divisions or categories that is taught within the Filipino Martial Art at Dahms Academy. There are several systems of Filipino Martial Arts that I am knowledgeable in and can teach or at least elements of. This curriculum (ten weeks) outline only touches on a few.

Classes begin with Warm ups, footwork drills, stick passing A wide range of (Sinawalis) stick exercises. Three, four six beat or count stick exchange drills in a two or three man drill at long distance called Sinawalis or (Visayan)Pinke Pinke. Line amiliarization among other physical attributes. We will teach striking angles of attack of a each system, principles, countering concepts of that system for each. Many Filipino systems have twelve angles of attack we might learn the first five (in ten weeks), maybe three counters each angle, then start to learn a three count flow drill, then maybe a five count flow spar. Next start to change the patterns until flow occurs with out any given pattern, then add disarms, insertions and throws, arm crossing/ stick tie ups, locks (Tranka), holds (Kunsi), pushing, pulling, rolling joints (Dumog) and throws, etc.! For more specifics check the Twelve Categories and the Ten Week class outline below.

Dahms Academy 12 Categories of Philippine Martial Arts (Kali, Eskrima, Arnis)


1. Largo Mano - (long (hand) stick range) striking, countering and sparring. Elements of systems taught by Grand Master Leo Ghiron, Dan Inosanto and Doce Pares multiple systems.
Elastico - long stretching movement
Alimango - crab, cross stepping style
Retriada - retreating style
Sinawali - entry and reflex training drills

2. Filipino closing range systems and intermediate range stick fighting, Elements of and as taught by Dan Inosanto (perhaps the greatest) and from (GM) Juanito Lacosta - Lacosta system; (GM) Villabrial & Tobosa - Numerada; (GM) Master Angel Cabales - Sarrada and Mike Inay -Inayan System Sarrada, (GM) Tortal & Leo Gaje - Pikitiursia; Illistrisimo system of (GM) Antonio Illistrisimo; (GM) Momoy, Euliogio, Cacoy, & Diony Canette, (GM) Vincente Carin all different concepts of Doce Pares. Intermediate range striking, countering and sparring includes locking and double tie ups, throwing, disarming and strips. All single sword or stick (book. bottle or other) staff, whip, flexible weapons (towel, shirt, coat, handkerchief, belt).

3. Hubad Lubag - (close quarter stick or knife fighting) butting range - best for locking, immobilization, throws, disarms, etc.

4. Dagger or Knife training - hands vs. knife, tapic tapic interception of knife attack angles Serrada and Doce Pares style, dumog push, pull, roll joints, shake & bake, add destruction’s fist & elbows, jams, insertions, locks, disarms, shoves, shift side & reverse sides. knife vs., knife defenses and the above, flow drills pallasut, hubud lubog. Balisong use of openings.

5. Espada y daga- (long and short stick or sword and dagger) drilling, immobilization, disarms, throws and sparring. Serrada - lock and block drilling; Doce Pares - striking, countering and sparring.

6. Double Stick / double knife / shield & spear- each person drill and spars with two sticks.

7. Panuntokan - Philippine Boxing, use of elbows & cover and destruction of attacks, counter punch.

8. Pananjakan - (Philippine & Indonesian low kicks and Leg Technique and countering) Sikaran - high line kicking

9. Pangamut - Above and trapping hands and feet the same principles as in Sinawali and countering.

10. Dumog - ( joint wrestling) push, pull, roll joints to manipulate; Babag - trapping, hand touching range.

11. Tranca - Breaking & locking of joints single, double limb tie ups and locks, locks as body shielding and barriers vs two or more opponent attacking. (Use dumog to manipulate)

12. Kinimotay - pinching and biting


Example: Ten week class outline or Seminar format; Taught from a Jeet Kune Do view point

An introduction to PHILIPPINE MARTIAL ARTS (called Kali Eskrima or Arnis)

10 Weeks Class Outline

This class is meant to be a quick introduction and overview of a few of the systems in the Filipino Martial Arts.

    Due to the scope and complexity of the Philippine Martial Arts and the short time to teach it in this class the format is designed to demonstrate an over view of the 12 categories of the Philippine Martial Arts can only be touched on briefly.


      Triangle foot work concepts of Mandalla pattern - Maintain point, Base, Linked

      Seven drills - Step out, Draw up, Take off, Set out kick, & Knee drop, & Squat

      Add hand trap entries 5 of 5 Distractions, Deflections,Guntings,Pat & paunch, Trap & jams

      Wrist twirls, stick passing, stick twirling, stick tucking, stick taps & switching

      5 special types of strikes – Figure eight family, Abinico family, Whatics, Lineal, Florette family

    1st Week: ( Single stick Sinawalis - Entrada #1 (longhand stick entry)

      ( GM Leo Ghiron's system ) Largo Mano range # system

      ( Alcontra ) to meet - countering system

      ( Ubanan ) to follow - countering system

      ( Demo of: (Alimango) crab and Retriada retreat)

    2nd Week: ( Sinawalis ) review & Entrada #2

      Serrada numbering system Corto range ( angle 1 -5 )

      Counter & hit only add point stepping

      Three count Punta Sumbrada

    3rd Week: ( Sinawalis ) review & Entrada #3

      Timed drills: Practice Serrada (angle 1 to 3 or 1 to 5)

      Hubad lubag - butting drill (angle 1 & 2)

      Demonstration (1 to 5) work on full counter & Punta Sumbrada

      countering angle 1 (inside sweep, high wing, roof, cross, shield,)

      countering angle 2 (wing block, roof block, outside sweep, pass)

      countering angle 3 (cross block , scissors block, pass, close shield )

      countering angle 4 ( crop, drop, pass, cross block)

      countering angle 5 (crossblock, 2 abanicos, pass)

    4th Week: (Sinawali – Entrada 4 & 5 hand traps and stick)

    Review the following: Largo mano - line flow drill, Serrada counters add disarms and throws

      Serrada - multiple man line attack drilling

      Hubad lubag - butting flow drill, Punta Sumbrada 5 count

    5th Week: ( 2 stick sinawali - 6 counts, )

      Single Sinawali Entrads add switching – Trunk twist to hand trap

      3 Sinawali – Entrada prefixing combinations

      Doce Pares - largo mano - flow sparring drill

      Cabales - Serrada - Sumbrada - flow sparring

      Transgressing ranges of all 3, immobilization

    6th Week: ( double stick sinawali ) 6 count, Doce Pares 4 counts open & close and Cob Cob

      Espada y daga - immobilization's, disarms, throws

      Serrada - lock and block drills

      Doce Pares - espada y daga (stick & knife flow drills /& sparring concept)

      Numerada system - Kali zoning and circle footwork concepts

      Serrada multiple man line drill, Circle drill inner / outer attack & counter drilling

    7th Week: ( Double and single stick sinawalis ) 6 count prone, one knee, sit, on back & up

      Serrada - tapi tapi knife drilling, hand passing knife 5 types knife defense - drill

      Doce Pares - tapi tapi, feed and trap knife

      Serrada stick angels & counters 6-12

    8th Week: Panantukan - Philippine Boxing

      Stance - foot work

      Punch - jab, cross, hook, upper cut & focus drills

      Cover attack drilling, one man covers

      (learns to breath not pannic, use of elbow distructions)

    Pananjakan - Low kicks & Leg techniques (Sikaran is high kicks, not in course)

      9 Kicks: Countering:

      1. sipa 1. toe lift

      2. toe jab 2. parry

      3. heel kick 3. lift leg and kick, leg parry

      4. zinger kick 4. raise knee/shin

      5. toe hook kick 5. lift foot and kick or retriada

      6.low leg sweeps, leg lock, ankle step, foot traps6. pat, parry, low lift foot - toe stop

      (6 sectors for Toe stops, & set down, foot traps)

      7. side stamp or side kick 7. jam (hand) or destruction,

      8. Groin Snap 8. stance allows Knee destruction, shin catch and leg lock

      9. Low Roundhouse kick, 9. toe lift or raise knee/ shin catch

      Added Thai kick, cut kicks, skip knees

    9th Week: (Pangamot) - 5 methods of entry of Philippine Martial Arts (1 to 6 count entry & follow ups)

    Destruction's, Deflections, Guntings, Pat & punch, Centerline (Zone - punch through punch, or trap inside &

    punch then hand trap & chop

    Jamming - 1, and 1,2 counts

    Babag - parry, trapping (wing chun)

    10th Week: Tranka – locking, 3 types counters reverse locking, target, change of stance center

    Dumog - pushing pulling rolling joints, shake & bake, take downs, throws & control

    Multiple man attack drills and line drills, 2 man defend multiple man attacks


    Show some combinations (all hands, feet categories, Bukti Negara, Harimau, Arnis Defense Silat), Stick largo Mano, Retriada, Elastico, Numerada, Illistrisimo, Doce Pares,Dekiti Tiursia, Serrada, hubad lubag, disarm, Lacosta kali,
    hands and feet, take down or throws.

Fear should be in the eye of the beholder, not you! Learn to defend your self for real; agianst a weapon or empty hands, at work, business, inside, outside, getting in a car, even on a plane! Learn fast effective street fighting technique and; Have No Fear!