Guros Doug Marcaida and Willie Laureano on Kali in Filipino Dances

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People see what they want to see; the whole video revolves around this little line. When looking at a dance performance, a normal person, uneducated in the arts of combat will only perceive the beauty with which its performed. However, the various dance forms in Kali contain a hidden message that only a fighter could understand.

The dance forms in Kali were not only made to entertain, but also to educate the soldier into an efficient killing machine. The moves may seem harmless, but underneath they are educating the right people with the knowledge necessary to handle themselves in a combat situation. In this video, we will meet Doug Marcaida and Willie Laureano, two combat practitioners who as they break down the various dance forms(‘Panatukan’ meaning hidden warrior dances) and reveal the hidden layers of combat that lie underneath.

First, in the list, we have the ‘Maglalatik’, a very peculiar dance form that appears silly at first glance. A bunch of men wearing coconuts shells all over their body and slapping around is hard to be taken seriously. However, as Doug explains it isn’t as simple as it seems.

The dance form was created to teach soldiers the various openings in the Spanish armor. The coconut shells were spread strategically all over the vital parts of the body, simulating the openings in the armor. A critical strike in any of those place would be termed as lethal.

Secondly, we have the ‘Tinikling’ which is also quite unique. The dance has a feminine aspect to it, but don’t get fooled by those smooth steps. This particular form was created to teach proper footwork and timing in order to improve the mobility of the soldiers in a combat situation. The moves in this dance are coordinated and appear continuously at specific intervals thereby, refining your footwork to a new degree.

In the third place, we have the ‘Pandango Sa Ilaw’, which is more of a defensive dance form compared to the first two. This form is mostly about balance and teaches various motions which can help you escape from the grasp of an enemy with relative ease. You can even use this as a pivot and transition to countermeasures which is also very effective.

The short 4-minute video teaches you a lot about Kali and its various dance forms and helps you get a grasp of the idea which, is a key factor in Filipino Martial Arts.

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