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Expandable Baton by Tuhon Jared Wihongi

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Tuhon Jared Wihongi is a military CQC instructor and police officer. He demonstrates how you can tactically use a baton to apprehend a potentially dangerous suspect. 

The telescopic baton is a simple weapon but in the right hand, it is a powerful tool. The tips shared in this short ~3 min clip, will teach you some of the basic tactics you can execute with the baton. 

The video is broken down into 3 parts, each explaining one tactic along with two bonus tips at the end. It’s short, precise and quite informative, teaching you actual skills you can use in real combat.

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Master Apolo Ladra on Kali

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Why is Kali different?

The core idea behind the Kali, Escrima, or Arnis is the development of hand techniques, in a way, so that they can be transitioned to escrima sticks, swords, and knives. 

Kali is unique in this sense and in a manner of speaking, they excel at the above-mentioned weapons, not only because they practice on all of them, but their techniques are embedded in all of them.

This particular video by Master Apolo Ladra demonstrates how you can use those techniques to break a standstill and enter your opponent’s space, so that you can deliver blows, consistently. 

What do you need to know?

Note that it is not easy to look for entries and it comes after lots of experience and practice. According to Master Apolo, every connection you make with your opponent, either with a weapon, escrima sticks, or with bare hands, is a possible entry point.

Of course, if the opponent has the prior experience with escrima sticks he will have his guards up, but he can’t hold it up forever. The idea taught in the clip is quite interesting and sheds light on a different perspective of fighting. 

Fighters are always looking for an opening to strike. Mastering this skill is very important irrespective of the situation. You may be involved in a professional fight or a street brawl, and the skill of delivering a finishing blow when they least expect it always comes in handy. 

Identifying the Line

Master Apolo states that anytime you make contact, look at it as a line. You can work your way up and down the line and counter your opponent any way you see fit.  Now your opponent won’t always give you a line, but when he does, you must be ready to work on it.

The Transition

The first half of the clip concentrates on escrima stick movement and possible ways to look for a line (Entry 4).

In the second half, Master Apolo transfers the same flow he used with the sticks, to his free hands. He is countering someone holding a knife and wants to stab him.  You will be a direct connection between the movements and how easy it is to pull it off. 

Offense, Counter Offense, Re-Counter Offense

Master Apolo abides by this particular set of methodology. Unlike the previous part where he was on the defense, in the last bit, he stops the blow and immediately follows it up with a counter attack.

Being a super-fast and swift form of martial arts, Kali is greatly benefitted by this particular ideology.

The demonstration has little of everything. Its only 5 mins long and if you look hard enough you might pick up something new. 

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Kali’s Tuhon Rommel Tortal

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Kali, as explained by Tuhon Rommel Tortal isn’t just about fighting. He states that it’s a way of living which shapes their personality as they progress through life.

It’s the essence of life itself and the will to transform it into a better one which is the cornerstone of Pekiti Tersia Kali. 

The underlying principle of Kali is to weaponized anything and everything you can lay your hands on. Your escrima stick or any weapon is an extension of your body and you need to be one with it in order to wield it efficiently.

Such is the teaching preached within this video. It’s informative, concise and gives you a perspective if you’re interested in pursuing the art. 

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Balintawak Showdown

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Balintawak Arnis is a Filipino martial art, developed back in the 1950s. It is a much more vicious and spontaneous form for fighting that relies on swift and quick close combative techniques. 

The video is a demonstration of a sparring match taking place between Grandmaster Crispulo “Ising” Atillo and his student Master Virgil Cavada. 

The clip doesn’t contain much instruction, but you can pick up right from the bat start practicing. It’s a short sparring session showcasing, hand to hand, knife, stick, and sword fighting techniques. 

It’s entertaining to watch though, at least among martial arts enthusiasts, and if you watch it in slow motion, you may come up with something innovative in the end.

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Escrima Stick Disarms

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Mark Anastacio from Union Martial Arts once again educates us on the four types of single stick disarms. He did two more videos and you might want to give them a look if you intend to delve deeper.

This particular video strictly sticks(pun intended) to striking disarms. In actuality, Mark shows only two disarming techniques. The other two are minor variations you can use when faced with a specific situation. without further ado, let’s jump right in.

  • Punch Disarm

This is the first technique demonstrated by Mark and is by far the easiest to execute. Remember the principle of Kali, how the escrima stick is an extension of your own body?

Your primary course of action should be to injure the wrist and if the opponent proves too smart for you, try the punch disarm.

The technique involves three simple steps- Parry, Grab, Twist Punch.

Once you parry your opponent’s escrima stick, you must be quick to grab the other end of their stick and twist it downwards. Don’t give them time to react or gain momentum. 

After you have successfully twisted his arm, punch his wrist with your other hand or the short end of your stick. It’s a matter of personal preference and with practice, you’ll get the hang of the positioning.  

The variant of the punch is a bit complicated(due to more movements) but not impossible. 

In the variant, you don’t parry. Instead, you bloke with your hand and use an outside hook as the disarm. The first two steps are the hardest to coordinate in this style, but it’s a great way to spice up your arsenal of fighting techniques.  

  • Heaven & Earth

The first variant of this technique is risky if you’re not a fast martial artist. It leaves you open to all sort of hits from every direction, while not giving you the flexibility to block any of them.

The technique starts off with a roof or an umbrella block. Your stick hand goes towards the heaven striking down towards earth while your another arm (positioned at earth) moves towards heaven, giving you enough force to strike down the stick from your opponent’s hand. 

The second variant is far more spontaneous and easier to pull off. 

Instead of vertical movements, you switch to diagonal. 

This gives you opponent a shorter time frame to react to your disarm, thereby raising the probability of a successful hit. 

This is a great video, but if you want to learn more, check out the previous ones which also focuses on disarm techniques. 

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Silat Takedowns

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Maul Mornie is an expert when it comes to variation in martial techniques. his movements are swift, his techniques swift and precise. 

Watch as he demonstrates how you can successfully defend yourself from both armed and unarmed assailants in various ways. He reveals two to three methods you can approach after you’ve made the initial contact.

The video starts simply enough, but as we go further in, the movements tend to get a bit tricky. With enough practice you will have this down in no time and who knows, you can even try something new and give the technique your own spin.  

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Escrima Staff Concepts

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The demonstration is quite long, so we will be needing pointers to guide us through this sea of information.

First of all, if you’ve been practicing the escrima staff for quite a while, this might not be the most informative content. Entertaining, sure, but not informative. Now that you what to expect let’s hop in.

The vide can be broken down into 3 sections along with the timestamps.

The first section i.e., The Demonstration introduces you to a escrima staff and the destructive power that comes with it. Unlike a sword or any sharp object, it isn’t able to cut through any obstacles, but it sure can deliver a punch, proven by our dear friend the melon.

The second section of the video takes up most of the screen time as it demonstrates various ways you can attack, parry, strike, thrust the staff. Once again, this video is for absolute beginners. Only the absolute basic are discussed and nothing more.

So, in the learning phase, the instructors show 4 key guard positions. These are the initial positions and act as a base for all your attacks or any sort of movement related to the escrima staff. 

The staff is a powerful weapon but it requires the user to always keep their center of balance in check, which will eventually become second instinct once you’ve put in the hours. 

  • High Guard: The hold (the way you hold the escrima staff) almost never changes, exception includes advanced techniques which are not the scope of this article.

After you’ve gotten a firm grasp on the staff, the high guard is the position is when you hold it perpendicular to the ground, like those rifles soldiers carry during a parade. 

It’s a basic stance, you can strike down but make sure to keep track of your footing as shown in the clip. Balance and footing are the two aspects you should be worried about when handling a staff. 

  • Mid guard: It’s when you hold the staff sort of parallel to the ground. You can transition to thrust or other defensive positions from this stance. 
  • Low guard: This guard is especially useful since the staff is already resting on the ground, you can put all your energy into the strikes without fearing for as much for balance. The low guard is a favorite stance for many professional fighters. 
  • Rudder Guard: This stance is just raw power. In all the previous stances, you deliver strikes with your arms. However, the rudder guard teaches you to slightly twist your body and deliver the blow via the power of your hips and not just by your hands.

A well-placed rudder guard stile might even win you a game.  

It’s an entertaining video, but for those of you looking to take up the staff can also give this a try, the video is simple to digest and as a bonus, you will have a good time.

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Kali Knife Fighting

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The knife is one of the most common weapons you will come across in the world of combat, even more in Filipino Martial Arts.

The short 4-minute video by Paul Ingram does a superb job in displaying 5 essential kali knife fighting techniques. Learning these skills will not only help you become a proficient knife wielder but will greatly improve your knife fighting skills as well.

The five techniques covered in this video are:

  1. Thrusting
  2. Slashing
  3. Fast jab
  4. Reverse grip movements
  5. Reverse jabs

All of the techniques are briefly demonstrated in the 4-minute clip and can be promptly practiced by watching the video a few times.

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Guro Inosanto on FMA History

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World War II was a devastating event in the face of history and t had a great impact on the evolution of martial arts in the Philippines. The events described in the video were directly observed Grandmaster Leo Giron and is brought to the limelight by his student Guro Dan Inosanto.

During the war, the Japanese found about the efficiency with which the Philippian soldiers were able to fight them off. the inherent proficiency of the martial artists threatened the Japanese forces. They sought to locate the grandmasters from each village started gathering them up.

Afterward, the masters were taken away by the sea, never to be heard again. Some rumors say that the masters were killed at sea while some suggest that they were dealt once they reached Japan. However, there is no way to verify all this. Inosanto admits that he had never witnessed such atrocities and that he is describing everything he heard from Grandmaster Leo Giron.

This only goes to show how ahead of its time Filipino Martial Arts was at dealing with foreign forces. The Philippines happens to get caught in the crossfire and they needed something to protect themselves from the Japanese. The reason the grandmasters were targeted was that they were teaching the villagers ways to deal with the Japanese army.

The Philippines didn’t have many weapons and were limited to use bayonets, rifles and the terrain for ambushing the Japanese forces. However, without the guidance of the grandmasters, this wouldn’t have been possible.

As the years went by, it is the collective knowledge of all these encounters that shaped up to become the Filipino Martial ass as we know today. Many of the FMA techniques are a direct result of the countermeasures used against such soldiers.

During the Spanish invasion, the soldiers used to wear chain-mails which couldn’t be pierced with swords. Instead, practitioners started to aim at the weak spots of the armor i.e., the shoulder joints. The continuous stick movement that we see today was meant for hacking away at these weak spots of such invading armies. Of course at that time, the technique was used on swords, however, they were equally as effective with impact weapons as well.

The interview with Dan Inosanto sheds little to no light on fighting techniques but it exposes the struggling past of Filipino Martial Arts, how it originated and evolved to into the polished and efficient art form of the present century.

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Grandmaster Bobby Taboada

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Meet Bobby Taboada, the creator of the Balintawak Arnis, a form of Filipino Martial Arts that utilizes quick and powerful stick and knife fighting techniques.

The three learning principles of his technique are power, control, and speed. Filipino martial arts is unique in a way that it utilizes the weapon as an extension of your own body.

As shown in the video, Bobby’s movements are swift and powerful. Even when moving away from a strike, you will see how he already initiates another, not giving his opponents any room to breathe.

Useful tips:

  1. The video has a decent demonstration of both offensive and fighting stances
  2. They are not basic techniques but you can learn them if you put in the effort
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