Fencing Concepts

Class 1 – Fencing Concepts While there are many perspectives on the use of a long staff or short staff in fighting, like most other aspects of Martial Arts, in terms of combat, simpler is often better. There are a great many ways in which to wield a staff. Some cultures and traditions use an end grip, with a majority of the staff used to strike with, others use a thirds grip, effectively dividing the staff in three pieces, which tends to focus on using both ends of the staff. While in certain circumstances each of these maybe appropriate and necessary, it is often true that a simple direct line of attack, that being a thrust, is the best tactic, as this type of attack is both immediate and direct, and as such can take the initiative away from your opponent with a stop-hit. In this sense, the concepts we’ll discuss below are identical to fencing theory, and also JKD trapping and Centerline theory. While considering these principles, ask yourself when other methods of using the staff as a weapon would be appropriate.   Fencing Concepts Starting from a Right-hand Dominant Position (gripping the staff with the right hand forward, left hand at the hip, both thumbs pointed towards the offensive end of the staff), we place our staff against that of our opponent from a distance at which we would need to enter in order to strike. Let’s refer to this as Largo Mano with an engagement. Our opponent has adopted an identical stance, both people with their right hand and right foot forward, identical grips. The staves cross at the last 1/4 of the shaft. This represents a fairly neutral position, and we are presented with a conundrum. If I attempt to...

Doce Pares Amarras

Among the signature aspects of Doce Pares that we teach at Sage are the Amarras (sometimes spelled Amerras). Amarras are twirling patterns consisting of striking combinations which require proper body mechanics and illustrate fighting tactics that are particular to this system of Escrima. Doce Pares has many Amarras, and many of the movements in them are similar. Students learn these the hard way, through gross repetition, and in doing so, program their muscle memory to deliver useful combinations with proper body mechanics.   Basic Amarras The first 6 Amarras were taught to us by Grandmaster Sipin. The basic Amarras all connect, where one ends, the next one begins. The first four Amarras are required for Yellow Belt. Amarra #1 (Bend your knees on the Reverse Arko) Arko – Reverse Arko Up Twice Arko – Reverse Arko Bartikal Redoble (Lean Backward) 2 Flywheels (Hulog) Reverse Arko Amarra #2 (Deeper Stance) Upward Diagonal Slash – Downward Diagonal Slash (Bulan) Up Twice Upward Diagonal Slash – Reverse Arko (Bulan) Songkite – Reverse Arko Plansa – Reverse Arko Amarra #3 (Upright, shallow stance) Arko – Reverse Arko Plansa – Medya 2 Level Backhand Kurbado Strikes Reverse Arko (to floor) Straight Thrust to Solar Plexus (Thrust off the bounce) Amarra #4 (Deep stance to upright) Air Flip (They block the thrust, you trap their hand and roll the stick) Upward Figure 8 Strikes at the Knees Upward Figure 8 Strikes at the Hands 2 Abaniko Strikes to the Head (Open – Closed) Downward Punyo to Head Upward Punyo to Ribs/Elbow Flip Down Vertical Backhand Abaniko to Face Reverse Arko   Sparring Amarras Amarras #5 and 6 are shorter sparring combinations that illustrate tactics in the Corto Kurbado style. They have 5 strikes and 6 strikes respectively. These are required...

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....

The Short Staff

The short staff, in my opinion is one of the most universal weapons. Something like this can be found in almost every culture, and it is one of the traditional weapons that is absolutely appropriate for modern Martial Artists, as common items from broom or mop handles, dowels, pipes, to pool cues are of a similar length and can be adapted to use as a weapon.   Donn Draeger & Kaminoda Tsunemori – Muso Ryo Jojutsu   Silat Suffian Bela Diri – Short Staff Seminar (Buluh Runcing)   Irish Stick Fighting Methods     Kashi Porrazo: Meso-American Stick Fighting (Yaomatchia)   Long Staff Methods Juego del Garrote Canario-A Maestro Paquito Santana   Sanatan Shastarvidiya – Lathi (Long Staff Fighting)   Chinese Shaolin Method   Last but not least: The Kung Fu Bear Staff...

Dan Inosanto in Germany...

Dan Inosanto and what looks like Cass Magda demonstrating aspects of Kali, including single stick, stick and dagger, sibat (staff) and knife.

Maharlika Kuntaw

I’ve had the opportunity to train in Maharlika Kuntaw under Maha Guro Brian “Buzz” Smith several times over the years, and have hosted a seminar with him at my school several years ago. While I was only exposed to a portion of their art, there was a great deal of useful material shown in a small amount of time. Guro Smith is also extremely generous with his time and eager to share the art that he’s dedicated so much of his life to. I found the fact that many of the routes that they learn are nearly identical among different formats (empty-hand, stick, knife, sword, sword & shield, staff, etc.) to be a well considered decision in their curriculum. The similarity in routes will make new material seem familiar. The staff material Guro Smith shared with me factors greatly into the Sibat material I teach in Kali. Many of their core concepts, and some of the takedowns and Buno training methods find their way into my classes as well. – Guro Tony Maha Guro Brian ¨Buzz¨ Smith performing all the forms needed for rank testing in Maharlika Kuntaw through Green Belt. Lower Rank Forms (Anyo 1-6, Empty-hand, Stick) Anyo Explained Anyo 1 Applications Maharlika Kuntaw – FMA Brotherhood Midwest Gathering The Gathering – May 2007 Brian ¨Buzz¨ Smith (Maharlika Kuntaw) Sibat Sword & Shield...

Kali Ilustrisimo

Master Antonio Ilustrisimo Antonio “Tatang” Ilustrisimo (1904 – 1997) was the Grand Master of Kali Ilustrisimo, a Filipino martial art bearing his family name. Born in Bagong, Bantayan, Cebu in 1904. As a boy he studied eskrima from his father. At the age of nine he decided to travel to the United States, and stowed away on a boat he thought was headed for America. In actuality, he arrived in Mindanao, in the Southern Philippine islands. Antonio Alulud Ilustrisimo was one of the most well respected eskrimadors of the Philippines; He is famed for winning countless duels and street encounters, as well as serving as a guerrilla against the invading Japanese forces during World War II. GM Ilustrisimo was never defeated in combat, and earned great respect as a result of his brave exploits against the Japanese. In 1976 Antonio ‘Tatang’ Ilustrisimo accepted his first students Antonio Diego and Epifanio ‘Yuli’ Romo. After Tatang’s passing in 1997, The primary students of Grandmaster Ilustrisimo are known as the 5 pillars as follows: Master Tony Diego, Master Epifanio ‘Yuli’ Romo, Master Christopher Ricketts, Master Rey Galang and Punong Guro Edgar Sulite. Grandmaster Tatang and Master Ricketts Sparring Tatang and Topher sparring GM Tatang Ilustrisimo Teaching Topher and Tony Tatang and Topher Feeding Tatang Ilustrisimo...

Tomahawk Combatives

Earlier this year I began to research an area of weaponry that has always interested me. In this research I came across a lot of examples of tactics for the use of a small axe as a weapon, however there were also a lot of videos and resources that demonstrated a lack of understanding of the nature of using this tool as a weapon. Allowing my background in the Filipino Martial Arts to guide me, I have selected a number of the resources I found online and will be sharing them over time. Below are some of the better tactical videos. The Tomahawk or hand axe has a special place in our country’s history, as it was often used in trade by early settlers. The native population did not have the metallurgy and blacksmith skills that European settlers had, and as such, the brass and iron tomahawk heads were greatly sought after. In addition, the majority of these were cast as pipe hawks, which had uses for peace as well as for war. Kali Research Academy – Double Weapon Fighting (Knife and Tomahawk) This is probably one of the better produced clips available on Youtube on the subject. This group has taken a similar approach to mine, in working with this weapon, they examined the routes and tactics already employed in the Stick and Dagger aspect of Kali. There are many similarities, but there are also things you cannot do, due to the tendency of the Tomahawk to hook limbs and weapons. This tendency is a mixed blessing. On one hand you can effectively trap your opponent’s limbs and weapons. On the other hand, your opponent can also disarm you when you get hooked, simply with a well timed pull. Another danger is the risk of cutting oneself in these motions. Care must be taken to avoid the puncturing one’s shoulder or chest with the spike end of their Tomahawk, or slicing their own hands or wrists in trapping with the cutting edge.   Lynn Thompson, the owner of Cold Steel’s Special Projects, has some valuable material. He worked with Ron Balicki in the development of this material, and it’s worth seeing. It’s easy to identify the Kali influence. This last one is hard to hear, but worth looking at the tactics. Lynn Thompson is never at a loss for exuberance about weapons.   An interesting look at the Tomahawk and Knife as a weapon format from the perspective of European fencing. Fighting Man vs the Gentleman: Tomahawk vs Small-sword demonstration by Steve Huff and Cecil Longino at Combat Con 2011 in Las Vegas, NV   Silat Suffian Bela Diri – Axes and Hatchets/Tomahawk I really like this system. It is similar to many systems in which I’ve trained, and all of the clips I’ve seen, the common core among the different areas in which they train is really smart body mechanics, creativity and efficiency of motion. Silat Suffian Bela Diri – Sabit (Sickle) The Sickle is another weapon very similar in many ways to the hand axe, particularly with regards to locking, disarming and trapping with the weapon.   Atienza Kali Tomahawk What I like about the Atienza Kali clip, is that while prone to overkill, they do take the time to discuss facing the Tomahawk, which is important for anyone preparing to carry a weapon – you should be versed in facing it, in the event that yours is taken from you. I also appreciate that the Atienza Kali group focuses a lot on thrown weapons. This would have been an interesting seminar to attend.   This last group of videos is also prone to overkill, and they indulge in one of my pet peeves, that being the unrealistic method of training to use a weapon against an unarmed person. You can see that the demonstrator is going through routes that are familiar to him, and probably...

Edgar Sulite – Combat Drills of Lameco Eskrima – Laban Laro...

Punong Guro Edgar Sulite and the Combat Drills of Lameco Eskrima – Laban Laro

1995 Lameco Seminar – Punong Guro Edgar Sulite...

Lameco Eskrima Seminar with Punong Guro Edgar Sulite. This seminar footage was filmed by Guro Tony Angel Cruz August of 1995. Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part...

1994 Lameco Knife Seminar – Punong Guro Edgar Sulite...

Lameco Seminar “Intro to Knife” by Punong Guro Edgar Sulite. Conducted in Puyallup, WA in July of 1994. Part 1 Part...

Maphilindo Martial Arts...

Suzanne has been cross training in the Martial Arts since 1992. She has studied western boxing with Irish Tommy Barrett and world class trainer Freddy Roach. She received her black belt in 1997 in Tae Kwon Do from Master Ken Park. She has been a student at the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts since 1996. She is a certified instructor in the following arts: Under Guro Dan Inosanto (Filipino Martial Arts, Madjapahit & Maphilindo Silat, Jeet Kune Do) Under Sifu Francis Fong (Wing Chun Kung Fu) Under Pendekar Steven Benitez (Walisongo Pencak Silat-Ground Level) In addition, Suzanne has been interviewed in Martial Arts Illustrated as well as Inside Kung Fu & Black Belt Magazine. She also has an instructional DVD set titled INTRODUCTION TO MADJAPAHIT SILAT. Suzanne considers Guro Dan Inosanto to be her mentor and greatest influence in martial arts. She humbly hopes to pass on all the positive influences that training in the martial arts with Guro Dan have given...

1992 Lameco Eskrima Seminar – Punong Guro Edgar Sulite...

1992 Lameco Eskrima Seminar – Punong Guro Edgar Sulite Rockville, MD with Mike Krivka-Martial Arts Concepts Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part...

Pekiti-Tirsia Solo Baston Basics...

Pekiti-Tirsia. Single stick basics in the 5 Attacks Subsystem. From Tuhon Bill McGrath of Pekiti-Tirsia International.

Guro Dan Inosanto – 2012 Interview

If you saw Bruce Lee’s final film, The Game Of Death, you may remember Dan Inosanto from the infamous nunchaku duel. A Filipino-American martial arts master and member of the Black Belt Hall of Fame, Mr. Inosanto has graced the big screen as well as the cover of countless martial-arts magazines. &nbsp: In Part 2 of our discussion with Guro Dan Inosanto, the master schools us in a bit of Filipino martial art history, walks us through some basics, and explains why an eye gouge can be the best way to end a...

Guro Dan Inosanto on Kali...

From Rick Young’s Private Martial Art Collection this superb video shows a rare insight to one of Dan Inosanto Seminars in Edinburgh organized by Sifu Rick in...

Doce Pares: Eskrido

Eskrido is a system of locking and throwing that compliments the stickfighting of Doce Pares. These strategies were created by Ciricao “Cacoy” Canete, as a combination of Eskrima, Judo and Aikido....

Doce Pares Documentary...

BBC Documentary “The Way of the Warrior: Eskrima, the Filipino Way” – Michael Croucher & Dr. Howard Reid, 1983. This documentary was shot one year after Doce Pares’ 50th...

Guro Ted Lucaylucay

On Panantukan Guro Ted Lucaylucay discussing and demonstrating a number of blade techniques for use with the Filipino Panantukan Boxing.   Shadowboxing and Panantukan Blade   Filipino Knife   Pocket...