View Full Version : What can filipino stick fighting teach us?

03-19-2001, 09:57 PM
I know that it teaches you to become proficient at using weapons and defending against them. I am sure that it can also teach you how to use everyday items as weapons. But what else can it teach someone? Also, I understand that there is an unarmed Filipino boxing style. Would this style be included as part of the curriculum in a filipino stick fighting school? Thank you for any insight that you could give me concerning this topic.

Black Jack
03-20-2001, 06:34 AM
I will try to help you out with some info as it is a common misconception to think that the FMA systems are only a stick and blade fighting art.

Known as a weapons only art due to its outlook on weapon work the FMA systems are complete arts that offer many different types of full range combat skills.

Filipino martial artists are noted for there ability to fight with both empty hands and weapons interchangeably and that there weapons and empty hand training theories are based on a lot of the same concepts.

Mano-Mano/empty hand skills cover all of the ranges of fighting from Dumog (filipino grappling) to Sikaran (filipino kicking art) to Panatuken (filipino empty hand boxing that is influenced by the live blade) to Kino Mutai (filipino art of biting and eye gouging) to other empty hand fighting systems and even specific weapon skills such as Espada y Daga (sword and dagger).

Characteristic's vary from style to style but a few of the great many filipino fighting arts include Sayoc Kali, Balintawak, Kali Ilustrisimo, Tapado, Doce Pares, Lameco, Doblete Rapillon, Pekiti-Trisia, Dizon Escrima, Panananadata, Serrada, Babao Arnis and Kuntaw Lima-Lima.

The FMA systems can teach a figher a wealth of practical and brutal blade and stick work as well as fierce empty hand combat skills.

The philosophy of flowing and simplicity is a common staple in the FMA arts and a common trademark are the excellent energy drills they use in there training.

Hubud Lubud is a great example that is a hand to hand energy drill that is like Chi Sao in its intent but I think has a lot more combat application.


03-20-2001, 05:18 PM
THere have been boxers that took up Kali to improve their boxing skills. There is empty hand FMA fighting, but I htink it isn't taught till later. I took Doce-Paris Escrima and Lameco Escrima for about 4 years and even though I did 99% weapons work, it can easily be applied to empty hand. Also, it helps alot with foot work and movement. I'd recomend the FMA to anyone wanting to better their MA skills

Black Jack: Hubud is an arm conditioning drill, but, as you said it can be used for defence.

Black Jack
03-21-2001, 06:51 PM
Hubud is a self defense training tool.

I don't know how you do Hubud but it has always been represented to me and others that I know in different FMA circles as a energy drill and flow drill that incorporates the use of freestyle self defense tactcis and sensitivity.

When we work with Hubud I am able to freestyle into Dumog trapping and takedown techniques as well as incorporate any kind of strike into the mix from any number of different techinques with out breaking a selected rythem.

Hubud is a very creative drill and can be used with sticks, blades and of course empty hands.

If you are using it as a hard style conditioning tool you may be missing what its true purpose is.


04-01-2001, 06:43 PM
another concept the art teaches is "The Flow" the ability to endlessly stream techniques and strikes together. As I teach stick strikes for instance, I teach that the strike is not completed until teh stick is ready to strike again. It gives the understanding that the human body can only move in a number of angles and that a given strike and be followed by a limited number of responses. I see it as a system of posibilities, If you move in this way, my response is in that way, and thus I open you to do what ever I want, to hold you and beat you mercesly, or quickly dispatch yo and move onto the next person.
As my instructor is fond of saying "Everything is a stick". FMA movements can be translated into any situation.

04-08-2001, 09:04 PM
Well,on the simplest level it teaches higher levels of hand/eye coordination.The next level would be the use of body movement such as shifting and changing levels.Thirdly,much like wing chun it teaches use of multiple weapons simultaneously whether it be 2 open hands,stick and knife,two stick,or any combination of those.I find that FMA has help me in pretty much all areas of combat and stands by itself if need be.In addition to your primary style,if you are using FMA as an addition,it flows into pretty much anything that lends itself to quick transitions.Depending on who you learn it from it can even have varying shades of what the final product looks like ranging from the flowing work-around to the short,swift retracting type of practitioner.In closing,i'd say you can learn as much as you want from FMA and possibly open up doors another sytem may have left locked or that you may have missed.


04-09-2001, 04:08 AM
It taught me that I don't like getting hit with sticks.

05-15-2001, 10:36 PM
I'll chime in with "zoning." Certainly FMA aren't the only arts to deal with this, but they are excellent (in my opinion) in their treatment of range, evasion, footwork, etc.

FMA taught me that if you're in the right place at the right time, technique becomes far less of an issue. If I step into a swinging kick or weapon on the right angle at the right moment, I don't need a particular sort of block. I'm going to be inside the arc of the kick and I'm going to take the opponent off balance.

So that's my two cents. FMA lends a really good perspective on placement.


05-15-2001, 10:55 PM
Here’s my personal conclusion of the FMA’s based on about 20 years experience in training and fighting. I absolutely agree that they are awesome for teaching stick, knife and improvised weapon work. As far as the unarmed standup techniques, I believe that boxing, Muay Thai and Greco Roman wrestling are far superior. I have pretty much discarded all FMA empty handed techniques for those of the latter three.

05-16-2001, 03:55 AM
Well, as much as that would be fun with out the chest-thumping self-congradulitory (my 20 years) comment. I still wonder how fond you are of wresteling's upright unarmed fighting. That seems a little limited.

And while boxing has some refinements on what it does, it's more of a good drill than an actual martial art (lacking elbows, knees, feet, bumping, grabbing, biting (usually) and, well, everything but hitting 1/3 of the body with a gloved hand.)

05-16-2001, 04:42 AM
I wasn’t trying to be self-congratulatory. I was just trying to put my opinion in perspective as I feel the more time you have trained in an art, the better qualified you are to form an opinion about it. If you don’t think that the amount of time spent studying an art has anything to do with how informed an opinion one has, then please feel free to disregard my post.

I agree that both GR wrestling and boxing are somewhat limited for standup, but when combined with Muay Thai, you end up with all the things you mentioned (sans the biting). I believe the combination of these three styles are far superior.

As far as the biting, that might be an interesting addition, but how do you train it?

Martial Joe
05-16-2001, 06:13 AM
I think it would teach you how to hit some one with a stick...

05-16-2001, 09:28 AM

Thanks for the civil response, I apologize for my tone.

While I think time in the arts is one factor, I also feel too many people stake too much on it. The guy that left school in 8th grade and is 30 has been doing math for 25 years. The guy who just got a degree in Mathmatics at 25 has been doing math for only 20....

I guess my response to what I saw as huberus tended to make me pick a little more than I would have preferred to. Since you were seperating "unarmed upright" skills, I though wrestling was an odd one (though there may be more upright skills than I am aware of).

There are several FMA styles, and I think many have good handwork. I am (obviously) fond of the upright work of several of the Silat arts. I do find that ThaiBoxing is a good art, though there are some Kuntao Silat styles with the same basic tools and stances that I like the refinement on more.

As for biting, there are ways of practicing it, but I was mostly making a humerous aside to Tyson.

05-16-2001, 09:25 PM
There are quite a lot of standing skills involved with Greco-Roman wrestling. There is a lot of limb control, unbalancing, pummelling, and bumping offered from this style of wrestling.

As far as the biting, I haven’t studied any FMA’s that had specific biting techs, although I was always told that biting was an option. Have you seen specific biting techs in either FMA or Silat? If so, could you describe them a bit?

Also, I have trained some bite awareness in grappling environments and am curious on how you have trained for biting.

05-17-2001, 06:42 AM
Silat recognized biting as a tool. Some silat's put a focus on it (training biting the husks off coconuts and such) though mine does not fall into that group. We do train to employ our teeth as one of our weapons, biting is simulated in play (obviously, there is no "full contact biting"), I've come home before with bite marks, but nothing that broke the skin.

As for actual biting technique (again, not a speciality of my school), it depends a bit on target. Usually, the lower jaw is brough forward so that the bite is actually with the incisors (not as powerful as canines, but easire to get into play). Usually the target is either a shallow vein (the neck), a tendon, or both (biting the wrist as part of a disarm, though bringing the weapon close to your face, is sometimes the best option.)

"There is a lot of limb control, unbalancing, pummelling, and bumping"... Soulds like Poukilan :)

05-17-2001, 09:40 PM
Thanks Jerry:
I don't know if you've tried this, but here is one that I have worked on that is pretty effective:
When biting into a bony area such as the top of the hand, grind the tendons and ligaments between the bones and the teeth. This is very painful and can cause a type of temporary paralysis of the area being attacked.