San Miguel Sets

At Sage we teach the signature aspects of Doce Pares. Students are exposed first and foremost to the Amarras, San Miguel Sets, Sinawali and basic Abecedario at novice levels. From these students can begin to emulate the stylistic characteristics of movement integral to that system. At intermediate levels, the focus changes towards training the live hand, developing sensitivity and ingraining fluidity and economy of motion. At advanced levels, it has to do with flow and speed, and making previously learned skills intuitive.

One of the most important aspects we train in are the San Miguel sets. Specifically, these are patterns of movement, striking, footwork and body mechanics that are used in the 12th form in the Doce Pares system referred to as ‘San Miguel.’ Even though the 12th form is not required until 3rd Degree Black Belt in this system, the reason I teach this first is because the memes that these sets represent will be seen over and over again throughout all the other forms and amarras. By being exposed to this first, students develop a familiarization with the core movements of this system, which in turn, helps them learn the other material more quickly.

Each set uses the same basic footwork, specifically a back step which turns the hips, a hooking step to evade a strike at the leg or body, replacing that foot forward, then an advancing step which again turns the hips.

In the San Miguel Sets each set begins with an opening strike or series of strikes, which are followed by a pattern of strikes and footwork. The end of each set is identical, the only thing that changes are the opening strikes.

Beginning with the weapon in the rear hand, each set begins defensively, by stepping back:

1. Step Back [opening strike]
2. Plansa or Songkite (Turn the hips)
3. Hulog (Hook step)
4. Medya & Retract
5. Hulog (Replacement step)
6. Reverse Arko (Advance, turn the hips)

San Miguel Sets

The following are the terms we use to refer to each set, and what opening strike each has. These are terms that we use, and are not universal to Doce Pares.

Saka – Upward Slash

Hulog – Downward Slash

Bala-Bala – Downward Figure 8’s

Dali-Dali – Down-Down-Up-Down

Cha-Cha – Thrust-Down-Up-Medya

Plansa – 5 Horizontal Slashes

Abaniko – 4 Abanikos-Plansa

3 Down-Bridge-Payong – Step Back 3 Downward Strikes (Inward, backhand, vertical) – Upward slash/overhead parry – Step Forward Roof Block – Step Back Plansa

Arko & Step – Step Back Arko – Step Forward Reverse – Step Back Bartikal Redoble (2 Upward Figure 8’s – Plansa)

Arko & Pivot – Arko to Rear – Reverse to Front – Up Twice – Arko – Reverse – Songkite


Testing Requirements:

For White thru Green Belts, we use these sets as a way to judge a student’s body mechanics. We are particularly concerned with the turning of the feet and hips as they strike, the timing of the strike with their footwork, and consistency in the accuracy of their strikes.

For intermediate and advanced students, we are looking for speed and fluidity as well as intuitive body mechanics.

Essential Vocabulary:

Abaniko – A fanning strike, generating power from the wrist.

Arko – A forehand flourish, two inward strikes, circling overhead.

Bartikal Redoble – Two Upward 8’s and a Plansa

Hulog – Also referred to as Circulo, Ryueda, Flywheel or Backhand Redondo, a circular slash that returns to its chamber position after hitting

Medya – A snapping Backhand strike to the face or hand, a wittik (hits and pulls back)

Payong – A supported roof block

Plansa – Horizontal slash, to cut in half

Reverse Arko – A backhand flourish, two backhand strikes, circling overhead.

Saka – An upward diagonal slash

Songkite – A hooking thrust