Curiosities about Filipino martial arts.
10 things you probably don’t know about Filipino martial arts.
Today I want to give you a little premise to tell you how I started practicing martial arts Philippines.
I was practicing wrestling especially Erik Paulson’s CSW when I was intrigued that she was also a Black Belt from inosanto Academy, so an expert on JKD and Kali Filippino.
It was amazing how an athlete and teacher of that level was so dedicated to the practice of Kali, it was enlightenment, and so I started taking Kali’s first lessons out of curiosity, to understand more and feel firsthand why all this.
Kali is a propitious for whatever martial arts you practice, indeed expands your art, it is a “gymnastics for the mind” for all martial arts.
The extraordinary thing is that the more you immerse yourself in this art the more you realize that what you see on the surface is nothing and from the stick you start to switch to the knife, to the sword and the daga, to the fight dumog, at Panantukan (the the most in-depth dirty boxing I’ve ever seen), the Sikaran (the art of kicking), the improvised weapons,etc., up to mysticism.
“But what is all this?”, “But it’s not just the Kali stick??!!.”
even though it is the first thing that is taught to you, but the more time passed, the more I was fascinated and amazed by the potential that gave me practice this art that mixed with the others I practiced.
They “glued” perfectly” and expanded them.
Ps. Lee himself studied Kali Filippino with Dan Inosanto.
Now to understand something more I want to tell you 10 things that you probably do not consoci about Filipino martial arts:
1 – The sticks are an extension of the hands; Without the hands, there can be no sticks.
Although practitioners of many martial arts in words say that they use this principle, only Filipino martial arts practitioners actually apply it with deeds by doing the exact same techniques with and without weapons.
The difference is not the weapon you hold in your hand, but the difference is made by the man holding the weapon with his hands.
This principle is very much in agreement and if you follow the blog you know how often he has written how it is man who makes the difference more than the art itself.
Often some ask: “what is the use of you practicing to fight the stick? Isn’t that how you take your stick wherever you go?” But in reality they did not understand the essence is the propedeutic meaning that is behind the stick.
Do you want some advice?! Study the stick. It will improve every aspect of your martial art as well as expand your sense of location, distance and reflexes.
Ps. The stick goes very very fast!! Your mind and body are acelleran.
2 – Philippine martial arts (Kali, Escrima, Eskrima, Arnis) teach weapons first, after which come barehand techniques.
Although for some practitioners and martial arts masters the concept of teaching weapons first may seem strange, most if not all FMA combat techniques by hand derive from the principles that underlie the movement with the stick and sword.
One of kali’s characteristics is also the roundness of its movements combined with the ability to enter along direct lines derived from the continuous study of cutting trajectories mixed with peak trajectories.
Another fundamental feature is the use of the living hand,so a constant habit of using different “weapons”, of different lengths differently, this approach gets used to continuously changing your position as a result of the variation in distance between your armed hand and the other “naked” hand enhancing the footwork.
This approach makes your mind used to functionally work different techniques by chaining them for a single purpose.
3 – Filipino martial arts are the most in-depth and practical fighting techniques in the world.
They are one of the few arts that go to face and cover all the distances in which the fight takes place in depth:
- long distance (kicks),
- medium distance(boxing, elbow, knee)
- and short distance (clinging, hitting, biting,fighting).
Ps. Consider that they are studied so thoroughly that some specialties such as Sikaran some study them as if they were a martial art in themselves.
They are very practical and modern as they do not focus on imaginative or complicated moves that may fail to work in a real fight.
Filipino systems are very modern because they are one of the few arts that have continued to be handed down and used in the Philippines to the present day, with a true evolution of the system itself.
The forms used by some Filipino systems are also composed of actual combat moves, which historically were hidden in a dance (sayaw) to prevent foreign conquerors from learning Kali.
Personally I don’t use forms or some sort of kata because it’s not my approach to martial arts.
The practicality of the Philippine arts is increased by the versatility of weapons:
- At long distance, you can use the tip of the stick or sword;
- In the middle distance you can use the body of the stick or the blade of the sword;
- At a short distance, you can use the lower part of the stick (punyo) or the handle of the sword.
The similar concept is also used by bare hand using the body’s natural weapons based on distance and giving a continuity and fluidity in striking typical Filipino styles that emphasize the continuity of movement.
Ps. Many systems in the world of personal defense actually have within them parts taken from the heritage of Filipino martial arts and often without even knowing it.
4 – Filipino martial arts are the only ones that can complete any other fighting style you’re practicing.
As I told you at the beginning of this chat, all sectors of Kali are never in conflict with other areas but reinforce them and the same thing happens with other styles of martial arts that are only strengthened.
Whatever martial art you practice studying Filipino Kali will only bring benefits.
Kali as I hope you have now understood includes the arts of kicking, bare hand limbs, pure self-defense limbs and limbs to fight with percussion and cutting weapons, plus also the art of throwing objects of different types, etc.
5 – Fighting with the stick and cutting weapons is suitable and beneficial for everyone.
In Kali there are many exercises of movement and coordination such as sinawali.
This form of double-stick combat strengthens the limbs and develops eye coordination as well as any sport.
Children also receive training for the dangers of handling weapons (although they are trained because they are small) when they learn to safely manipulate potentially dangerous weapons.
This modern setting for children is preferable to the old way used in the Philippines but in the world in general including Italy.
When I was young, my grandfather taught me how to handle a living blade while learning how to use it for survival and self-defense.
Filipino arts are perfect for a woman because even if the hands are small they can hold a knife and carry deadly blows.
With minimal training, a woman will be able to keep almost all the attackers at a distance and if one is crazy enough to approach it is definitely likely to be cut or killed.
Don’t you believe it??
Try this experiment!
Grab a big pointy marker and give it to your girlfriend or a friend you know, now put on protective glasses and tell them to hit you with the marker every time you try to get close without getting in.
It’s not easy to do and even less if you don’t have a short fencing training.
Once she has learned how to discreetly carry shots and draw with the weapon precise trajectories, your task will be more exponential if not almost impossible if you are not willing to cut yourself or if you do not use a possibly longer weapon.
Kali is not a game!!
With an appropriate cutting weapon for her she will most likely be able to truly protect herself not only from an attacker but also against many attackers.
For men and police officers and members of the armed forces:
The Filipino arts provide an essential set of very useful skills in personal defense given the extensive use of sticks and cutting weapons.
Men and law enforcement officers need real skills, both offensive and defensive, and the Filipino arts are among the few recent systems that have been tested in real conflicts.
6 – Philippine martial arts help you connect the dots in your self-defense training by focusing on versatile concepts rather than a different technique for each situation.
FMA instructors talk about attack angles rather than specific attacks, so a different approach.
Once you’re able to tell if an attack comes from the inside or the outside and whether it’s from the left or the right, and from different heights you have the basis of what you need to deal with.
After that, your training will be on progressions and combinations that involve those bases going to build attack and defense chances on certain angles regardless of the shots.
If your instructor is good you will never find him splitting your defense from an attack based on the type of shot (apunch, a kick, a grip, a push, etc.) because in the FMA they are all treated as direct attacks from a certain angle.
Kali is simplifying something complicated.
Ps. It is the experience that makes you make slight adaptations based on the type of weapon that attacks you and that you have in your hand or if you are bare-handed, but the basic movement, the skills there the biomechanics of the movement is the same.
7 – Stick combat is not just the use of your weapon.
A major study in Filipino martial arts is related to the use of your attacker’s weapon against him.
Disarmaments and returns of the weapon (not intended as an excuse I took the weapon keep, try again!!)
This ability rarely manifests itself in practice and is often the subject of heated debates, but in reality the study of these skills are preparatory for the understanding of important dynamics and not to mention that if you have the possibility to disarm or return the weapon (
that should NOT be searched
) you need to know what to do without the slightest delay and fuck your attacker.
8 – The formation of Filipino weapons goes far beyond the use of traditional sticks and knives.
I will never tire of repeating how kali is something that goes far beyond the study of the stick.
The 12 areas of Kali represent such an extensive study that requires a study that has virtually no end.
The methods you learn in the FMA work with sticks and knives but by law you can’t take these defense tools with you.
Fortunately, you can apply the skills you’ve learned with pretty much anything:
One of the extraordinary things about the Philippine kali is the ability to use improvised weapons with the same technical quality and effectiveness.
9 – Studying Filipino martial arts can invigorate your training, whether you are a beginner or a master.
As you know if you follow the blog I tend a lot to encourage people not to practice a single martial art.
It is also one of the reasons why I am so interested in practitioners of other arts, I like if I can free them from their mental prisons that they have built around them (personal interests of the masters) or have self-built themselves(comfort zones).
Once you have a solid foundation, if there is no gym near your home that practices a certain martial art such as kali today fortunately there are many possibilities.
You can still learn a lot by using didactic DVDs and online courses with another of your experienced friends but be careful never to give up on interacting with a specialized master or to follow internships when there are possibilities.
Remember that the meaning, principles, importance and history behind the techniques, exercises to develop attributes and qualities, are for the most part hidden.
You need a real master to help you interpret them.
10 – Although some instructors focus on sports, Filipino martial arts are a form of reality-based self-defense and a great example of a complete MMA system.
Don’t be fooled by what you see in stick tournaments or what you hear around. Kali’s not that.
The Filipino arts are a 4D personal defense system,they are much more than three-dimensional.
As I told you before, don’t stop on the surface, if you keep looking in one spot you miss everything around it.
It is one of the most effective personal defense systems in the world.
Filipino Kali is movement so explore!!
Go beyond your art if you really want to discover it!!
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