Filipino art of kicking Kali.

Today I want to talk about
the 7th sector of Philippine Kali

As I have already told you in several articles Kali / Eskrima / Arnis is not only the single stick for stick fighting but it is one of the most complete martial arts on the planet.

The 7th area is about the art of kicking kali.

The use of kicks is definitely a weapon that you have to sharpen to have a correct approach to a combat distance that is the long one, but in the case of the Filipino Kali also the short one using a very powerful weapon such as that of kicks.

In the field of personal defense kicks must be used with a different concept that sport because it is not forbidden to hit the genitals and the ground is not always flat and favorable, like clothing suitable for certain movements but in Sikaran there is a lot of attention to this aspect.

The Sikaran is an ancient Filipino art of kicking in combat whose history dates back to the early 1500s, before the arrival of the Spaniards.

It is the art of foot-fighting with which farmers use their strong legs to bring the “intrusive” peasants outside the designated line (Pitak) that has been processed in rice fields of about 25 square meters.

Sikaran and Sipa are both Tagalog terms to say “football”, but with one notable difference: the first is a noun, while the second is a verb.

Derived from sikad, Sikaran as biakid, pilatik and Damba.

The Sikaran as you understand focuses almost exclusively on kicks, hands and arms are used only for blocking.

The classic sikaran shot is the Biakid football or “dragon whiplash”.

This kick is similar to a spinning back kick.

However, Sikaran’s practitioners frequently target the back of the head with this kick.

On the contrary, other martial arts mainly target the side of the head with this type of football.

It’s a tagalog word that expresses Kicking.”

Tagalog is the most commonly used dialect in the Philippines and has adopted as the national language of the country officially known as Pilipino.

The Sikaran is a coined word derived from the root word sikad (football) “.

It is also known as an indigenous martial sport in the tradition of Arnis, Kali, dicho, Buno etc. Sikaran is and a pastime of the agrarians Baras Rizal who gather during the festival after a good harvest season.

Constant practice develops an ability to strike with remarkable kicks which makes it very effective;

Unfortunately the original practitioners have long since died, losing the secrets of this art with them.

The Sikaranist (farmers) begin the session by drawing a circle on the ground of the correct size.

The most skilled opponent is often forced to take a handicap, position himself inside the circle and begin to kick each other, the others remain at the edge of the circle.

The goal is for the external fighter to “dislodge” the competitor inside.

The safest opponent would agree to a number of opponents in order to form a circle around them.

When what is inside the circle is “guided” out of the circle, it means defeat and, consequently, humiliation.

At that point the game continues and another competitor takes the place of the practitioner dislodged and the same procedure is repeated.

From time to time, a competitor does not respect the rules and must intervene the referee before the race ends.

The original Baras method of foot combat in its original form has no time limit.

Fighters take time to get exhausted and are beaten enough.

There is no discrimination regarding sex.

The Sikaran only uses the feet as a rule for sport and combat, this is what makes it different, the hands are not used in the Sikaran only for the defensive phase, the fighter uses his legs 90 of the time and his hands on the 10 only to block or parry shots.

Violation of this rule, especially in tournaments, is grounds for disqualification.

Sikaran’s entry into tournaments, particularly those of the international calibre, has made some changes to its original rules such as setting a time limit, expanding the combat zone to twice the size of the original historical arena.

The degree of effectiveness of the shot subscribes to two classifications: “panghilo” (paralyzing blow) and “pamatay” (a lethal kick).

Of course the first shot is in less vital parts of the body, while the goal of the second blow includes vital parts (the heart, neck, head, groin, and spine, all highly vulnerable parts).


The Filipino art of kicking consists of 55 fundamental kicks divided into 3 categories and advanced students must be able to perform all 55 kicks, which also include very advanced complex kicks.

Sikaran is something that is close to Korean Taekwondo but with a different philosophy of using kicks.

A – Front kicks (Sipa) the front kick
B – Side Kicks the side kick
C – Back Kicks the back kick

There are 3 types of Filipino kicks:

  1. Kicks snapping)️
  2. Kicks thrusting)️
  3. Kick thrusting with violent lunge (Kick thrusting)

The 55 Filipino kicks of Sikaran’s art divided into three types:

A. Front kicks (Sipa)

01. Snap
02. Thrust
03. Snap thrust
04. Heel snap
05. Downward thrust
06. Outside scooping
07. Inside scooping
08. Forward scooping
09. Outward slash
10. Inside slash
11. Upward slash
12. Downward chop
13. Forward chop
14. Vertical chop
15. Horizontal
16. Roundhouse heel
17. Roundhouse shin
18. Roundhouse snap thrust
19. Side snap
20. Inside leg scooping
21. Outside leg scooping
22. Forward roundhouse

B. Side Kicks

01. Side Snap
02. Side thrust
03. Side stomping
04. Ridge
05. Ridge snap
06. Side ridge
07. Leg scoop
08. Ridge instep
09. Ridge ball
10. Outside slash
11. Inside slash
12. Roundhouse heel
13. Roundhouse snap
14. Roundhouse snap-thrust
15. Sadang roundhouse instep
16. Sadang roundhouse ball
17. Sadang roundhouse heel
18. Sadang roundhouse slash

C. Back Kicks

01. Back snap kick
02. Back thrust kick
03. Back kick chop
04. Tadyak-Sakong shin
05. Tadyak-Sakong ball
06. Tadyak-Sakong heel
07. Tadyak-Sakong slash
08. Dakot (scoop)
09. Dakot, (scoop) chop
10. Circular
11. Straight back kick
12. Rear upward chop
13. Rear Snap
14. Rear downward slash
15. Back chop

Typical movements with legs in Sikaran:

Using kicks; To unbalance the attacker, but not to enter to kick because a Filipino fighter, he will always want to cut off his foot if kicked high or destroy it with a knee or elbow if you throw an average kick. First you have to gain control of the opponent and then hit with low kicks in the legs. First you have to “break the snake’s tooth.”
Sweep; Sweeping forward or backward or sideways are always effective and vital actions to control an attacker, as long as you follow him to the ground and finalize the opponent on the ground by hitting him with kicks, without making him raise any more.
Blocks with legs; these “shields” are developed from the triangle scheme. You can perform internal parades and outside parades. All parades must always be followed immediately by a football technique.
Block to intercept; The Filipino fighter always tries to intercept your techniques and to cut your action by interrupting it, so the leg goes to anticipate on your tibiae, on your hips and in the lower area of the stomach because they are very good points for defense against kicks because they interrupt the action.
Kneeling; The Filipino fighter uses his knees to destroy the attacker’s position and balance, and helps bring the tallest (height) attacker to his height. It also uses your knees to bend and lower the attacker to hit him when he is down.
The side kicks in Filipino art is pulled from very close to the opponent, plus with a position of the cut foot. It is aimed at thighs, knees and tibie. He also uses a lot of low scissor techniques to sweep and bring to the ground, these techniques are to try and use, but you do not have to stay there for a long time so as not to give the possibility of being attacked by more people.
If you perform a takedown hit and get up immediately, go away immediately, do not stay on the ground if you do not know that there are more opponents.
Heel kicks to the calves; When a Filipino fighter is attached to you in a close range condition he pulls kicks with the heel from a short distance to directly hook your knees, calves or pushes your legs with one leg and kicks heel with the other.
Ps. Consider that the Philippine strategy in Sikaran kicks is particular. Kicks are used first of all to unbalance the aggressor (Phase 1) and after this first phase he attacks with complex attacks with combinations of hands and feet (Phase 2).

Leg attacks are concentrated in six main areas as targets:

  1. Thigh
  2. Knees
  3. Back of the knees
  4. Tibia
  5. Calf
  6. Feet

And in/on three levels of height:

  1. Thigh muscle
  2. Front and back knee height
  3. Lower leg, tibia, calf and foot
As you see the Sikaran mainly focuses on low and medium kicks, there are no high kicks (that doesn’t mean there are no high kicks), it’s a self-defense art.
Stay Tuned!
Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport
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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


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