This is the first of many demo videos on various martial art techniques we teach. Filipino stick fighting - also known as escrima (or eskrima) - came about when the Spanish colonized most of the archipelago islands that got officially named Las Philippinas in honor of Prince Philip. When the Spanish imposed a ban on the practice of all native fighting arts and the carrying of bladed weapons during their occupation of the islands, the Filipinos were forced to substitute the use of the sword with that of the rattan. In the beginning, the rattan was used to deliver strikes in the same manner as the blade i.e. slashing and thrusting, and the knife or short stick was still held in reserve as a back up weapon in case the opponent closed the distance, typical of its use by the Spanish. It was hardly ever used to block or parry an oncoming strike. However, through time, the Filipinos began to realize that because the stick had different handling qualities, certain lines of attack were open to them that were not available with the sword, for example, the curved and snapping strikes. Once they began to appreciate the combat effectiveness of the stick, the use of the knife also changed and began to be used more aggressively in terms of blocking, parrying, checking, scooping, thrusting and slashing.

As an instructor of Mixed Martial Arts/Jeet Kune Do concepts, I am an avid learner of various styles and systems, such as Kali and Kapuluan Bujitsu - an updated hybrid of mixed weapons with open-hand art being taught by Instructor Jimmy McCullough. The three key elements to learning Escrima are fluidity, rhythm, and timing. There are few sharp, sudden movements, only smooth flowing transitions from each movement to the next. The flowing skills are the most important and most difficult to learn and apply.

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