Many practitioners and Filipino martial artists start out by practicing with weapons. Some people ask if training with weapons helps with empty-handed self-defense. Most Filipino martial arts combat techniques originate from stick and sword movements but can be translated into hand-to-hand combat. So with this in mind, is Filipino Martial Arts good for self-defense? Let’s first take a look at what it is.
What is Filipino Martial Arts?
Filipino martial arts goes by many names such as Kali, Arnis/Arnes, and Eskrima/Escrima. As the name suggests, it is the martial art of the Philippines.
The names may differ from the many contributing people in the archipelago of the Philippines. It is commonly seen utilizing weaponry but is not exclusive to using weapons. The overall fighting style revolves around 12 distinct areas. These include empty hand fighting, stick-fighting, long and short blade, projectile weapons, flexible weapons, and even healing (which is considered to be the highest level) as a part of training as well.
Training Filipino martial arts also supplements any other fighting styles that any practitioner would train. The situational awareness, hand eye-coordination, and speed carry over into your skillsets for whatever you choose. This includes MMA, kickboxing, and grappling.
Who trains Filipino Martial Arts?
Take “Thug Rose” for example. She can be seen training Filipino Kali with Greg Nelson alongside her strength and conditioning for MMA fights. You can also find Filipino martial arts in movies such as Dune, Daredevil, the Bourne films, and series such as The Mandalorian.
Filipino martial arts is practical for all ages as well. Double stick-fighting helps strengthen hand-eye coordination and teaches important safety protocols when handling weapons.
Filipino martial arts is also great for women to learn for self-defense. Someone with minimal training in Filipino martial arts can keep almost any attacker at bay. This training can sometimes be found in the police force or military as this fighting style provides an essential set of skills including knife training both offensively and defensively.
How Can I Use Filipino Martial Arts for Self-Defense?
Many details in Filipino martial arts and stick fighting aren’t about just using your weapon. Sometimes it is about manipulating your opponent’s weapons to take control of the combat situation. Sometimes it is about being aware of your environment and those around you. Because of this, many aspects of Filipino martial arts are more than just stick and knife training.
Fortunately, your skills can translate to about anything else that you can hold; using a backpack as a shield or even an umbrella or cane as your “stick” as improvised self-defense tools.
Filipino martial arts is a form of reality-based self-defense and is also a great way to get in touch with Filipino culture. Many Filipino martial art teachers. Will also share words in the Filipino language, a brief history on where different techniques or teachers come from and even connect you to the ways it is already in your day-to-day life, such as entertainment and movies.
Overall Filipino martial arts is great martial art that can be used in self-defense scenarios. The practice with weapons translates to empty hands and the martial art can adapt to all shapes and sizes of people.
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