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Inosanto Kali Empty Hand Numbering System

Dan Inosanto Kali EskrimaInosanto Kali Empty Hand numbering system (Escala), the number system of bare-handed shots called Escala.

Dan Inosanto is a famous martial artist recognized for his expertise in several martial arts disciplines, including Philippine martial arts such as Kali and Eskrima.

He played a pivotal role in spreading these arts and received intense training from acclaimed martial artist Bruce Lee.

The term “Escala” is part of the martial arts system developed by Dan Inosanto called “Inosanto Blend” or “Inosanto Kali”.

Escala refers to a concept of distance or radius within the system, placing emphasis on techniques and strategies for close-range combat.

It focuses on blocking, winding and grappling techniques to control an opponent at close range.

Dan Inosanto’s contributions to martial arts have been significant, and his teachings have influenced generations of practitioners around the world.

These are the 30 shots you have to learn whatever martial art you do but especially if you want to expand your knowledge of Philippine martial arts.

You will find the shots of sports boxing but also what are called illegal boxing and it is important that you know these “boxing” shots well.

No, there are no kicks in this sequence, the focus is on shots with the upper limbs.

Inosanto Kali Empty Hand Numbering System

Escala, as a concept within Dan Inosanto’s martial arts system, focuses primarily on control, blocking, and grappling techniques at close range.

However, it is important to note that technical specifications and hit lists may vary depending on individual interpretation and training.

Below, I give you some general examples of shots and techniques that could be included in the escala:

  • Blocks and Parades: This includes arched blocks, crossed blocks, outer/whole parries, open palm parries, etc.
  • Trap attacks: Techniques involving intercepting the opponent’s attacks and using levers or joint controls.
  • Elbows and knees: Short-range blows performed with the elbow or knee to hit the opponent at close range.
  • Striking: Punch strikes, kicks, open hand strikes and other blowing techniques used at short distances.
  • Clinch: Grappling techniques that involve controlling the opponent at close range, including blows to the body, knees, projections, and levers.

It is important to remember that escalation is only one part of the overall Inosanto Kali system, which also incorporates other distances and techniques.

For a deeper and more accurate understanding of escala-specific techniques, it may be useful to consult system-specific resources or seek out a qualified Inosanto Kali instructor for hands-on training.

Inosanto Kali Empty Hand Numbering System Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

Here is a list of common shots in the Inosanto Kali martial arts system, along with a brief explanation of each:

Jab: A direct punch blow performed with the dominant arm to hit the opponent in front of you. It is a quick and direct attack.

: A powerful direct punch shot performed with the non-dominant arm, which crosses in front of the body to hit the opponent. It is a stroke of power that involves the rotation of the hip.

Hook: A curved punch blow that moves in a horizontal or vertical arc, usually aimed at the opponent’s face. It is effective for hitting sideways.

Uppercut: An ascending punch blow that moves upwards, usually aimed at the opponent’s chin or abdomen. It is useful at close range.

Kicks: In Inosanto Kali, there are various types of kicks, including frontal kicks, side kicks, circular kicks and toggle kicks. They are used to hit the opponent at different heights and angles.

Elbows: Elbows are blows performed with the elbow, usually at close range. They can be directed at the abdomen, face or other parts of the opponent’s body.

Knees: Knees are blows performed with the knee, often aimed at the opponent’s abdomen or lower body.

Open hand strike: In addition to punches, the Inosanto Kali also includes open-hand striking techniques, such as palm strikes, open hammer hand strikes, finger strokes in the eyes, etc.

Projections: Projections are grappling techniques that involve controlling the opponent and throwing or unbalancing to put him on the ground. Projections can be performed with the hands, legs or a combination of both.

Joint levers: Joint levers involve applying pressure or twisting to the opponent’s specific joints to gain control or cause pain. They are often used to neutralize the opponent’s moves or subdue him.

Leg blows: In addition to traditional kicks, Inosanto Kali also includes leg blows, such as tibia strikes, heel strikes, foot edge strikes, knee strikes, etc. These blows can be used to destabilize the opponent or attack his legs.

Forearm Strikes: Inosanto Kali also includes using forearms to hit your opponent. This may involve blows with the outer forearm or spinning blows with the inner forearm.

Close range shots: Close range attacks are specific to escala and include strikes such as palm strike, hammer fist, elbow strike, knee strike, and other strikes that can be performed in close contact with the opponent.

Body Blows: Inosanto Kali also involves attacking the opponent’s body, including blows to the ribs, blows to the abdomen, blows to the collarbone, blows to the spleen, and so on. These blows can be used to weaken the opponent or try to subdue him.

Sweeps: Sweeps are techniques that involve the use of the legs or lower limbs to hit or sweep away the opponent’s legs, causing him to unbalance and fall.

Subtractions: Subtractions are movements used to avoid or evade attacks from the opponent. These can include dodging, lateral shifts, body rotations, and other strategies to avoid getting hit.

Joint manipulations: In Inosanto Kali, joint manipulation techniques are also used to control or immobilize the opponent. This may involve twisting or pressure on joints such as wrist, elbow, shoulder or knee.

Improvised Object Shots: A unique feature of Inosanto Kali is training in the use of improvised objects such as sticks, handkerchiefs, pens, or any object that can be used as a weapon in a self-defense situation. Specific techniques are taught to use these objects effectively.

Ground Combat (Dumog): Inosanto Kali also includes ground fighting techniques, such as grips, immobilizations, suffocation and joint levers, which can be used when the fight moves to the floor.

Combinations and flows (Flow: In Inosanto Kali’s system, emphasis is also placed on the ability to perform fluid combinations and flows of techniques. This allows the athlete to smooth transitions between various techniques and to adapt to different combat situations.

Importantly, this list represents only a general overview of the techniques and elements that can be included in Inosanto Kali.

These are just a few examples of shots used in Inosanto Kali.

The system is extensive and includes a wide range of techniques and combinations.

Practice and study with a qualified instructor are essential to fully understand the system and to develop mastery of the techniques.

Inosanto Kali Empty Hand Numbering System Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

However, I can give you some examples of shots that could be included in the escala of Inosanto Kali:

  • Jab
  • Cross
  • Hook
  • Uppercut
  • Frontal kicks
  • Side kicks
  • Circular kicks
  • Elbowed
  • Knees
  • Palm strokes
  • Hammer fist
  • Elbow shots
  • Knee strokes
  • Blows with the forearm
  • Heel strikes
  • Strokes with the edge of the foot
  • Strokes with the tibia
  • Projections
  • Joint levers
  • Subtraction
  • Swept
  • Leg blows
  • Blows to the body
  • Joint manipulations
  • Ground combat
  • Shots with improvised objects
  • Finger strokes in the eye
  • Collarbone blows
  • Choking
  • Combinations and flows of techniques

This list is only a general indication and may vary according to the interpretation and specific teaching of Inosanto Kali.

Inosanto Kali is a very diverse Philippine martial arts system that includes a wide range of strokes, techniques and principles of combat.

Here is some additional information about some of the elements you mentioned:

  1. Jab: A jab is a quick, direct blow with the front fist, usually used to measure distance or to create opportunities for more powerful blows.
  2. Cross: A cross is a cross shot with the back fist, which can be very powerful and is often used as a closing shot.
  3. Hook: The hook is a curved shot that aims to hit the side of the opponent’s face or body.
  4. Uppercut: An uppercut is an ascending blow directed towards the opponent’s chin or body.
  5. Frontal, Lateral and Circular Kicks: These represent a variety of kicks used in martial arts, each with a specific angle and goal.
  6. Elbows: Elbows are often used to strike closely and can be devastating.
  7. Knees: Knees are also close strokes that aim to strike with the front or side of the knee.
  8. Palm strikes: Palm strikes can be used to strike with the palm of the hand open, often used to attack or defend against the grasper.
  9. Hammer Fist: This is a blow similar to a hammer performed with a clenched fist.
  10. Improvised Object Shots: In Inosanto Kali, this could include the use of sticks, knives, or other items as weapons.
  11. Heel, edge and tibia strikes: These are types of kicks and leg strikes that can be used depending on the situation.
  12. Projections, joint levers, subtractions and sweeps: These techniques focus on manipulating the opponent’s body and can be used for control or submission.
  13. Joint manipulations: These techniques often involve twisting or leveraging the opponent’s joints to control or immobilize.
  14. Ground Combat: Inosanto Kali can also include ground combat techniques and submissions.
  15. Finger shots in the eye, blows to the collarbone and chokes: These are blows aimed at specific vulnerabilities of the opponent.
  16. Combinations and flows of techniques: In Inosanto Kali, it is essential to be fluid in the transition from one technique to another in a coordinated and effective way.

Remember that Inosanto Kali is a very flexible system, and the list of techniques may vary depending on the teacher and the specific school.

The diversity of techniques is one of the distinctive features of this system.

Inosanto Kali Empty Hand Numbering System Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

The sequence of the 30 shots of the Inosanto Kali Empty Hand Numbering System:

This instead is precisely the list of 30 shots you have to perform and memorize, and it is a very important sequence because it contains the basics of Panantukan or Filipino Boxing.

Use this sequence to warm up and follow it in motion not from a standstill.

Stepping is really very important on the go because if you stand still you will always be a target.

  1. Jab
  2. Cross
  3. Leftbody Hook
  4. Rightbody Hook
  5. LeftUppercut Property
  6. RightUppercut Property
  7. LeftTight Hook
  8. Righttight Hook
  9. LowJab
  10. Lowcross
  11. Wide left hook
  12. Wide right hook
  13. Left overhand
  14. Right uppercut
  15. Right overhand
  16. Left uppercut
  17. Left backhand bottom fist (#1 angle
  18. Right forehand bottom fist (#1 angle)
  19. Right backhand bottom fist (#2 angle)
  20. Right forehand bottom fist (#2 angle)
  21. Left backhand bottom fist (overhead)
  22. Right backhand bottom fist (overhead)
  23. Right backhand bottom fist (overhead)
  24. Left forearm bottom fist (overhead
  25. Highleft backhand
  26. Lowleft backhand
  27. Highleft backhand (spin)
  28. Highright backhand
  29. Loright backhand
  30. Highright backhand

Now that you’ve learned the sequence shuffle the shots and combine them into a fluid and continuous movement the aim is to create continuity of shots and movement.

Inosanto Kali Empty Hand Numbering System!

Important!! The sequence of your shots and actions must flow, you should never feel that a shot limits the next shot or your movement.


Inosanto Kali Empty Hand Numbering System Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


In the vastness of Inosanto Kali’s martial arts system, escala emerges as a fascinating and engaging art.

With its emphasis on close-range combat, powerful and precise shots blend with blocking, grappling and control techniques.

Inosanto Kali practitioners embark on a journey of discovery and mastery, honing their skills to respond with dexterity and precision to the challenges of combat.

From the pulsating adrenaline of powerful punch punches and kicks, to the subtle joints and levers that control the opponent, Inosanto Kali embraces a variety of techniques that adapt to every situation.

The fluidity of combinations and flows gives grace and power to the actions, while the skill in the use of improvised objects adds a creative and adaptable dimension to the system.

In the escala of Inosanto Kali, athletes are faced with the challenge of mastering the art of fighting at close range, developing lightning-fast reflexes, impeccable coordination and acute intuition.

Training in the martial arts system of Inosanto Kali offers not only physical discipline, but also a deep understanding of strategy, control and perseverance.

So whether you are a beginner embarking on a new path or an experienced practitioner who continues to perfect their skills, Inosanto Kali and l’escala offer you the opportunity to discover the inner potential, embracing the martial art with passion and determination.

In the escalation of challenges, in the escalation of techniques and in the escalation of mastery, Inosanto Kali is a fascinating journey that invites its practitioners to overcome limits, adapt to situations and achieve excellence.

Through escala, you open the door to a deep exploration of yourself and the power of martial arts.

Stay Tuned!

Street Fight Mentality


Con una passione per la difesa personale e gli sport da combattimento, mi distinguo come praticante e fervente cultore e ricercatore sulle metodologie di allenamento e strategie di combattimento. La mia esperienza abbraccia un vasto panorama di discipline: dal dinamismo del Boxing alla precisione del Muay Thai, dalla tecnica del Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu all'energia del Grappling, dal Combat Submission Wrestling (CSW) all'intensità del Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Non solo insegno, ma vivo la filosofia di queste arti, affinando costantemente metodi e programmi di allenamento che trascendono il convenzionale. La mia essenza si riflette nell'autodifesa: Filipino Martial Arts (FMA), Dirty Boxing, Silat, l'efficacia del Jeet Kune Do & Kali, l'arte della scherma con coltelli e bastoni, e la tattica delle armi da fuoco. Incarno la filosofia "Street Fight Mentality", un approccio senza fronzoli, diretto e strategico, unito a un "State Of Love And Trust" che bilancia l'intensità con la serenità. Oltre al tatami, la mia curiosità e competenza si spingono verso orizzonti diversi: un blogger professionista con la penna sempre pronta, un bassista dal groove inconfondibile e un artigiano del coltello, dove ogni lama è un racconto di tradizione e innovazione. Questa sinfonia di abilità non solo definisce la mia identità professionale, ma dipinge il ritratto di un individuo che nella diversità trova la sua unica e inconfondibile voce e visione. Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport! Andrea


  1. Thanks for this information, can you give an example of corresponding footwork for the sequence?
    Also assume this can be practiced as double knife attack sequence.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Thanks for the info, can you give an example of kali footwork to complement sequence?
    Assume suitable for double knife as well


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