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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 escrima sticks are 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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FMA with Guro Alvin Catacutan

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Learning martial arts is a never-ending process. Considering its various forms across the world that have existed and being born every day, it is nigh impossible to learn everything the world has to offer.

William Christopher Ford is on a journey to learn from 52 masters from all across the world in celebration for his 52nd birthday. As showcased by this video, his first destination is Filipino Martial Arts where he will mostly be concentrating on knife fighting.

Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) is a broad term and most of the times, it also referred to as Kali or Eskrima or Arnis, all of which are the umbrella terms for FMA. The one special thing about Kali is that it can transition its sparring flow from the hand to sticks of knives. It can also use daily household objects as weapons, thanks to the aforementioned ability.

FMA fighting techniques are being taught to armies as well as self-defense classes. Thanks to its ability to use anything as a weapon, it’s quite famous among casual practitioners as well.

The video is divided into two segments, the first showcasing a basic escrima knife training and the second shows an elaborative interview between Ford and Guro Alvin Catacutan.

The knife training is quite basic. It’s a simple defensive technique with some depth, that can be picked up on the go. The technique boils to a few principles.

Firstly, if you’re assailant wielding a weapon, you must also get your hands on one, because there is nothing fair about a street fight. the demonstration is with a knife so we will stick to that. in order to defend yourself from an oncoming opponent, first, try to avoid them. it’s ok if they’re not following you.

However, if they do you must approach them while already parrying their strike and answer with a quick blow. Make sure not to go in too deep, because your intention is to flee away from the scene as soon as possible. For better understanding watch the video.

In the second part, we learn all about Guro Alvin Catacutan, how he got into martial arts, what’s the motivation behind his practice and so on and so forth. It’s an interesting interview and will help you get an insight into the lives of martial artists.

Useful tips:

  1. Knifing techniques
  2. C-Shaped cuts to immobilize your enemy
  3. Soft swift jabs to reduce further mobility, enough to ensure your escape
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Filipino Martial Arts – Problems

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When you’re training or sparring with your partners or trainers it is important to keep the big picture in mind. Training is a controlled simulation and chances are that in most real-life situations, a stick fight may not pan out the way you think it might go. In other words, you need to prepare for when things go south.

Filipino Martial Arts is beautiful to look at courtesy to the movements that are incorporated in the system. Escrima stick drills are often close quarters, with little emphasis on disengaging away from your opponent once you’ve landed a successful blow.

Flow drills are important since they help you solidify your basics in movements and strikes. They also help you develop functional attributes such as precision and range. However, flow drills are often practiced with sticks in tight pockets contrary to real life scenarios.

In a real fight, you won’t have that liberty to keep engaging your opponent as you did in your training. Keeping the fight that close, for a long period of time, makes it difficult to follow your opponent’s movements. You may land a blow but you’re also leaving yourself open to attacks.

The video emphasizes on a wide variety of engagements. According to the Pankration Philosophy, the ideal way to fight is to wound your opponent, disengage away from them and then observe the situation for your next course of action. It’s yet effective in ways you can’t comprehend.

During fights endorphins and adrenaline will be coursing through your veins, making it impossible to realize small cuts and wounds until it’s too late. Disengagements allow you to asses both you and your opponent’s situation before you start hitting them again.

The sparring game, if played the right way will help you gain a lot of practice. The sparring game is not like usual sparring.

In usual sparring, once you are hit with the weapon or by hand, you keep on going as though nothing happened. However, in a proper sparring game, once a specific body part is hit that is essential for the fight (such as the hand), you won’t be able to use that part anymore. So when you’re hit in the hand holding the knife, you would have to drop the knife and keep on fighting.

This type of practice is more beneficial because its more practical and the situation simulated within appears much more realistic.  

Useful tips:

  1. Practice flow drills
  2. Wound, Disengage, Observe, Attack/Defend/Assess further
  3. Sparring games
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Escrima Stick Master

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Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) is famous for its use of escrima sticks in combat techniques. The underlying idea is to use it as an extension of the body and for close-quarters combat, the technique is quite effective.

The video beautifully demonstrates six basic stick fighting techniques and also teaches you to combine them to get even more engagement options during a stick fight.

The lessons are informative and you will learn quite a lot just by practicing the routine shown in the video on a regular basis.

Useful tips:

  1. Watch the video in slow-motion to get a better idea of the movements
  2. Learn each method by heart before progressing onto the next one, since you’ll have to combine them later on
  3. You can also transition the stick techniques into freehand, knives and other bladed weapons as well
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Guro Dan Inosanto for “The Bladed Hand”

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This video features an excerpt of the documentary, ‘The Bladed Hand’ on Filipino-American martial arts guru Dan Inosanto. It was shot by Jay Ignacio.  

Dan Inosanto’s daughter, Diana Lee Inosanto comments that her father was one of the few Filipino-Americans who was responsible for preserving the Filipino heritage in the United States, more precisely in Hawaii and California. She also reveals the Bruce Lee was her honorary uncle and godfather. Thus, she was born and raised around martial arts.

We learn that Dan Inosanto is one of the most influential martial artists in the whole world. His students address him by ‘Tuhon’, ‘Sifu’ or ‘Guru’.  He collaborated with popular martial artists and conducted seminars in order to introduce FMA to the whole world.

It is also revealed that Bruce Lee changed Dan Inosanto’s life and they became very good friends. Dan started studying with Bruce Lee in order to understand his philosophy of martial arts. He assisted Bruce Lee at the Sing Lee Theatre in Los Angeles for about 10 days.

We also see the master teaching various drills to his students and explaining the principles of Jeet Kune Do.

Dan taught Bruce Lee the art of stick fighting and they spared a lot without using any protective head or body gear. This proved that Bruce Lee really liked Filipino Martial Arts.

It is revealed that Dan Inosanto paid many Filipino Martial Artists to come to his academy and teach their style. This contributed a lot toward the popularity of FMA in the world. In fact, people fell in love with FMA once they discovered this incredible hidden art.

We also learn that master Dan has always been open about promoting instructors who taught Filipino Martial Arts and giving them their due recognition. He also encouraged people to study under these instructors. This is what made him so unique in the world of martial arts.

Film-maker and Jeet Kune Do instructor Ron Balicki reveals that Bruce Lee also looked into Eskrima, Sikaran, and Silat apart from FMA.  

3 key points –

1. Dan Inosanto preserved the Filipino heritage in the United States of America.

2. Dan Inosanto was responsible for introducing Filipino Martial arts into movies, television, military, law enforcement and even the NFL(National Football League).

3. Filipino Martial Arts were a part of Jeet Kune Do.

“Let us honor Maestro Dan for his contributions in making the FMA, the Filipino Martial Arts known in the Western Hemisphere because without him this would have been just simply some obscure fighting method. ”

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