Filipino Martial Arts
A major component of Freestyle Combat are the Filipino Martial Arts, such as Kali. Kali is a weapon based art, primarily utilising Sticks and Staves made of Rattan.
From the outset, our students are taught to utilise one stick in each hand, which helps to develop good body mechanics, and promote ambidexterity. As you become competent in the twin stick drills that we teach, and their application, you will be introduced to single stick drills, and eventually to knife and staff work, in our black belt levels.
Why sticks and knives?
Stick work translates to other improvised weapons. Rolled up newspapers, cricket and baseballs bats, and tennis racquets are just some examples of items that stick fighting skill sets translate across to.
Victorian weapon laws prohibit carrying and implementation of knives for the purpose of self-defence. Learning to wield a knife serves two purposes, within Freestyle Combat.
Firstly, it helps us to learn ways that knife can, and are used by attackers. This can help us to understand the dangers involved in defending against an attacker with a knife.
Secondly, knife fighting techniques are closely related to many of our empty hand skills, both offensive and defensive.
How does do weapons relate to empty hand?
Filipino culture is a knife culture, and so every facet of Filipino fighting arts factor this into what they do. Panantuken footwork revolutionised Western Boxing in the 1920's, from a sport of "exchanging blows" to one of complex footwork and body evasion, typical of modern boxing. Moving is very important if your attacker has a weapon. Moving out of the way could mean the difference between life and death.
Body mechanics used in striking techniques directly correlate to both offensive and defensive techniques. For example, the first stick drill learned, cub cubs, share the body mechanics of inner forearm blocks, while reverse grip knife techniques share commonality with various elbow strikes employed.
These are just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to empty handed skill sets learned from Filipino weapon techniques. Want to know more? Come along and see for yourself.