Filipino Martial arts

Kali-Eskrima-Arnis are the three common names used to describe the Filipino martial arts. The abbreviation FMA is used at Times. Kali stems from the southern Mindanao regions. Eskirma is comely found in the central visayan Islands and Arnis or Arnis De Mano is from the Northern Luzon Island region. There are countless styles and systems of the Filipino Martial Arts in existence around the world today.

Depending on the lesson plan of the Instructor that He/She has prepared, a typical session within the Filipino Martial Arts training curriculum might consist of one or more components of a subject matter.

For exapmle, below you will find some of the common Techniques, Training Methods, and Terminology taught, used by a Kali, Eskrima, and Arnis Teacher.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all things found in Kali, Eskrima, Arnis and only offers a basic guide to understanding some Day to Day Phrases and Terminology used in The training Environment.

One thing that most FMA Instructors acknowledge is that there is Generally 3 to 4 Major Ranges that most Filipino Martial Art Styles/Systems cover in training.

The First Range that we will look at is commonly referred to as Largo Mano Range.

Largo mano (Long Range) is initially used to make contact with the opponents Hands, Arms, Legs, whilst the feeder of the strike is hoping to stays out of distance from a possible counter strike as He delivers His own. If we are strictly looking at the stick as our choice of weapon within the contents of the subject matter then you will find various types of canes being used. These range from 28 inches and up to 2 meters in length.

Many times both fighters Canes Clash when two exponents strike. This could be a tactical move in the way of a Meet, Merge or a Deflection with the goal of opening a line for a counter strike or for a feeler for Range Awareness. It could also serve merely as a natural reflexive blocking action against the incoming blow.

Medio (Medium - Range) is where the head & body becomes more accessible as a target area and the alive hand or checking hand can be manipulated in various ways for securing the opposition’s weapon bearing hand in preparation for unbalancing, locking, disarming, striking and so forth.

Corto (Close Range) attacks with the butt and trusts with the tip of the weapon are favored at this range as well as the many short range Motions of the stick to the Head and other parts of the Anatomy. The practitioner will also employ and integrate a multitude of striking Methods from the Empty Hand Fighting techniques that he/she has required whilst training.

Apart from the usual Kicking, Punching, Kneeing, Elbowing Techniques you will also find foot, leg trapping, tripping, throwing, sweeping, choking, disarming, joint locking/controlling at the Corto Range with the alive and stick hand.

Stick Grappling-standing and Ground (Clinch, Wrestling Range) The range where all Corto Techniques/Training Methods will come into play either in standing or Ground positions.

There will be slight variation in Sensitivity whilst grappling and striking on the ground as the surface that you are on could be used as a base to enter in to a submission hold or an escape from a potentially dangerous position and gain a more dominant position vertically.

Basic Striking Angles:

There are an numerous styles of Kali, Eskrima, Arnis, which base their principles of combat on a numbering system or a Pattern of angles that attacks occur.

The numbering system can be from 1-5, 1-12 or the use of the simplified addition sign (+) and the multiplication sign (X) and the dot (.)The dot, reprensents a trusting motion of the weapon or a Linear Strike from the FMA Empty Hand Curriculum consisting of a Jab or a cross as an example.

On occasions, the term Cinco Teros is used to describe the X pattern with the addition of the Dot in the center of the X. Cinco Teros, reference to the Five Basic Strikes within some systems of KALI, ESKRIMA, ARNIS and stands as a basis from where the Individual will develop Basic combinations regardless of which type of weapon is being Manipulated.


Countless Styles/Systems use the symbol of the Triangle to explain the many combative principles within their Curriculum. The core Principles of the offensive and defensive movements of the Triangle is referred to as zoning.

Zoning refers to movements made with the intention of effectively blocking or evading an opponent's strike whilst moving either inside or to the outside of the blow aiming for zero pressure from the incoming Blow. There are two major Triangles that are used and these are known as the Male and Female Triangles.

You will also see the (x) (-) (+) Patterns introduced in the initial period of training and the single/multiple circle (o) diagrams being displayed for the more complex footwork variations that lay ahead.

Kali / FMA Terminology

Kali Istukada Miranda system comes from the island of Mindanao. It is a complete and comprehensive FMA system and is taught in Europe by the two leading Masters Aurt JR and Jorg Miranda with Stephen Foy who is a personal student of Grand Master Aurt Miranda of Kali Istukada and is the official represen-tative of Kali Istukada within the UK.

Kali Istukada offers a multitude of self defence options for its practitioners and trains the individual in a variety of weapons and Empty Hand tactics. The curriculum is listed below:

Weapons and Empty Hands:

  1. Single Stick (Single Olisi)
  2. Double Stick (Double Olisi-Dos Manos)
  3. Stick and Dagger (Olisi-Baraw)
  4. Sword and Dagger (Espada - Daga)
  5. Single Dagger (Baraw)
  6. Double Dagger (Doble Baraw)
  7. Pangamut, Mano-mano, Kuntaw-Silat
  8. Suntukan (Boxing include use of the Forearms & Elbows)
  9. Panadiakan, Panajakman, Sikaran (Kicking to include use of Knees and Shin) Similar to Muay Thai
  10. Dumog, Layug or Buno, Trankada (Grappling, Joint Locking, Wrenching, Unbalancing, Sweeping, Tripping, Throwing)
  11. Staff (Sibat)
  12. Spear (Bangkaw)
  13. Sarong/Malong (clothing worn in Southern Philippines and Indonesia)
  14. Sayaw (Form or Dance form)
  15. Sensitivity drills and applications
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