Tag Archiv: Martial Art Profiles

Martial Art Profiles : Escrima / Arnis / Kali

EscrimaArnis and Kali are umbrella terms for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines  (“Filipino Martial Arts,” or FMA ) that emphasize weapons based fighting with sticks, knives and other bladed weapons , and various improvised weapons.  Escrima  also includes hand to hand combat, joint locks, grappling  and weapon disarming techniques. Although in general, emphasis is put on weapons for these arts, some systems put empty hands as the primary focus and some okd school systems do not teach weapons at all  I will be using the umbrella term Escrima for the rest of this blog.


Escrima students start their instruction by learning to fight with weapons, and only advance to empty-hand training once the stick and knife techniques have been sufficiently mastered. This is in contrast to most other well-known Asian martial arts but it is justified by the principle that bare-handed moves are acquired naturally through the same exercises as the weapon techniques, making muscle memory an important aspect of the teaching. It is also based on the obvious fact that an armed person who is trained has the advantage over a trained unarmed person, and serves to condition students to fight against armed assailants. Most systems of Esrima apply a single set of techniques for the stick, knife, and empty hands, a concept sometimes referred to as motion grouping. Since the weapon is seen as simply an extension of the body, the same angles and footwork are used either with or without a weapon. The reason for this is probably historical, because tribal warriors went into battle armed and only resorted to bare-handed fighting after losing their weapons.

Many systems begin training with two weapons, either a pair of sticks or a stick and a wooden knife. These styles emphasise keeping both hands full and never moving them in the same direction, and trains practitioners to become ambidextrous. For example, one stick may strike the head while the other hits the arm. Such training develops the ability to use both limbs independently, a skill which is valuable even when working with one weapon.

A core concept and distinct feature of Filipino martial arts is the live hand. Even when as a practitioner wields only one weapon, the extra hand is used to control, trap or disarm an opponent’s weapon and to aid in blocking, joint locking and manipulation of the opponent or other simultaneous motions such as bicep destruction with the live hand.

The most basic and common weapon of Escrima is the rattan stick ranging in length from 24″-36″ depending on the system. There are also staff techniques and palm stick techniques that are used as well. Edged weapons are big in  the Filipino martial arts with many sizes shapes and attributes for each. One of my favorites being the Karambit.

Some improvised  impact and edged weapons that can be used with Escrima concepts : flashlight, rolled up new paper, screw driver, pipes, umbrella, bats of all types, ice pics and box cutters.  etc. There are the use of flexible weapons as well.

There are many different systems in the FMA community and depending on the system the focus may be on all or one of the different aspects of Escrima. What you will learn is single stick, double stick, stick and dagger and more.  Once a student advances they will learn punches, kicks, locks, throws and grappling ( Dumog) The empty had portion of Escrima is commonly referred to as Filipino Boxing, panantukan, cadena de mano and sometimes Pinoy boxing. . There are different ranges in combat, in Escrima there are usually 3 that are recognized, largo ( long ), medial ( medium ) and corto ( close ) and again depending on the style you may focus on all or just one range.

I could go on and on about Escrima as it is probably my favorite art. There are so many aspects that can be studied, it can be incorporated into other arts with cross training or it can be a well rounded stand alone art. I hope this peaks your interest and for more details check out Wikipedia.

Some arts that incorporate well with Escrima : Wing Chun, Silat, and Jeet kune Do, just to name a few.


Other Profiles :

Wing Chun




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Martial Art Profiles : Karate

The martial arts movies of the 1960s and 1970s served to greatly increase the popularity of martial arts around the world, and in English the word karate began to be used in a GENERIC way to refer to all striking-based Oriental  martial arts. Karate schools began appearing across the world, catering to those with casual interest as well as those seeking a deeper study of the art.

Karate being a generic term used for all striking arts I wanted to give you the low down, it is actually a Japanese term meaning ” Empty Hand ” , which could describe most striking arts, but originating in Japan with Chinese influence.

Karate is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa , Japan .Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking,knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques such as knife hand, spear-hands, and palm-heel strikes. In some styles, grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints, and vital point strikes are also taught. Karate also incorporates some weapons as well even though the term means “empty hand” some of the weapons used would be Tonfa, Sai, Koma and the most well know the Nunchaku. 


The arts taught in the Ryukyu kingdom were brought to the Japanese mainland in the early 20th century and systematically taught. During this time the spelling of Karate and a lot of it’s terminology was changed to Japanese spelling and terms, leaving behind the Chinese influence.

The World Karate Federation recognizes these styles of karate in its kata list


Many additional styles are descended from, or heavily influenced by, one or more of these styles.

You can find more details @ Wikipedia

More Profiles

What Martial Art is best for me?


Wing Chun



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Martial Art Profiles : Hapkido

Hapkido, is a dynamic and highly eclectic Korean Martial Art. It is a form of self defense that employs joint locks, grappling  and throwing techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches and other striking attacks. There is also the use of traditional weapons, including knife, sword, rope, nunchacku, cane, short stick, and middle length staff,  which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.

 Hapkido contains both long- and close-range fighting techniques, utilizing jumping kicks and percussive hand strikes at longer ranges and pressure point  strikes, joint locks, or throws at closer fighting distances. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, redirection of force, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to incorporate the use of leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength.

The art adapted from Daito Ryu Aikijujusu ( Japanese Jujutsu ) as it was taught by Choi Yong-Sool, when he returned to Korea after World War II, having lived in Japan for 30 years. This system was later combined with kicking and striking techniques of indigenous and contemporary arts , as well as throwing techniques and ground fighting  from Japanese Judo. Its history is obscured by the historical animosity between the Korean and Japanese  people following the Second World War.

In conclusion, Hapkido is heavily influenced by Japanese Jujustsu, Judo and weapons, when combined with the kicks of the more traditional Korean arts, such as Tae Kwon Do or Tang Soo Do, it  becomes a very well rounded and eclectic art.


More Profiles,

What Martial Art is best for me?

Wing Chun



Martial Art Profiles : Wing Chun Kung Fu.

The Martial Art Profile blogs were inspired while writing a previous blog ” What Martial Art is best for me? ” yesterday we blogged about the French Martial Art Savate. Today we will be talking about the Chinese Martial Art Wing Chun.

Wing Chun also know as Ving Tsun or Wing Tsun is a concept based Chinese Martial Art and form of Self Defense specializing in close range combat. Wing chun’s focus is on sensitivity, trapping, low line kicks and defending and attacking center line. There are many energy drills found in Wing Chun to help increase sensitivity and trapping skills, probably the most utilized drill is know as Chi Sao ( sticky hands ) and for the legs there is Chi Gerk ( sticky legs ). The energy drills are to teach the practitioner to relax and increase reflexes.

Wing Chun is known for it’s economy of motion, doing 2 or 3 attacks simultaneously, which in turn makes it very difficult to defend against, chain punches which can overwhelm an attacker. The art stresses relaxing, going with the flow and no resistance   ”Greet what arrives, escort what leaves and rush upon loss of contact” these  are just some of the philosophies found in this traditional art.

Wing Chun unlike many arts only has  a few forms, typically there are 6 forms, 3 empty hand forms 2 weapons forms and the Wooden Dummy ( Muk Yan Jong ). The empty hand   forms of Wing chun are designed to teach proper structure, through punching, stepping drills, turning and stances. The forms are very compact in nature and precise. Once the student has the empty hand forms down they will move on to the weapons, the Butterfly Swords and the Long Pole. The Muk Yan Jong form is performed against a “wooden dummy”, a thick wooden post with three arms and a leg mounted on a slightly springy frame representing a stationary human opponent. Although representative of a human opponent, the dummy is not a physical representation of a human, but an energetic one. Wooden dummy practice aims to refine a practitioner’s understanding of angles, positions, and footwork, and to develop full body power. It is here that the open hand forms are pieced together and understood as a whole.

Probably the most famous Wing Chun master known  would be Yip Man and his most famous student would be Bruce Lee. There are different lineages of Wing Chun, so the exact history will be debated and some of the spellings of terminology will also be different.

There is my quick run down of Wing Chun, I tried to keep it as generic as possible, but to the point. There are a lot of resources out there on Wing Chun, so please if this has peaked your interest check it out.

Resources I used for today’s blog. Wikipedia


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Martial Art Profiles : Savate

Savate (French pronunciation: ​[savat]), also known as boxe française, French boxing, French kickboxing or French footfighting, is a traditional French martial art which uses the hands and feet as weapons combining elements of western boxing with graceful kicking techniques.

Only foot kicks are allowed unlike some systems such as muay Thai, and silat which allow the use of the knees or shins. Savate is a French word for “old shoe”. Savate is perhaps the only style of kickboxing in which the fighters habitually wear shoes. A male practitioner of savate is called a savateur while a female is called a savateuse.

Savate takes its name from the French for “old boot” (heavy footwear that used to be worn during fights; cf. French-English loanwords sabot and sabotage and Spanish cognate zapato). The modern formalized form is mainly an amalgam of French street fighting techniques from the beginning of the 19th century. There are also many types ofsavate rules. Savate was then a type of street fighting common in Paris and northern France.

The two key historical figures in the history of the shift from street-fighting to the modern sport of savate are Michel Casseux (also known as le Pisseux) (1794–1869), a French pharmacist, and Charles Lecour (1808–1894). Casseux opened the first establishment in 1825 for practicing and promoting a regulated version ofchausson and savate (disallowing head butting, eye gouging, grappling, etc.). However the sport had not shaken its reputation as a street-fighting technique. Casseux’s pupil Charles Lecour was exposed to the English art of boxing when he witnessed an English boxing match in France between English pugilist Owen Swift and Jack Adams in 1838. He also took part in a friendly sparring match with Swift later in that same year. Lecour felt that he was at a disadvantage, only using his hands to bat his opponent’s fists away, rather than to punch. He then trained in boxing for a time before combining boxing with chausson and savate to create the sport of savate (or boxe française’, as we know it today). At some point la canne and le baton stick fighting  were added, and some form of stick-fencing, such as la canne, is commonly part of savate training. Those who train purely for competition may omit this. Savate was developed professionally by Lecour’s student Josheph Charlemont and then his son Charles Charlemont.

Many martial arts provide ranking systems, such as belt colors. Savate uses glove colors to indicate a fighter’s level of proficiency (unlike arts such as karate, which assign new belts at each promotion, moving to a higher color rank in savate does not necessarily entail a change in the color of one’s actual gloves, and a given fighter may continue using the same pair of gloves through multiple promotions). Novices begin at no color.

Savate did not begin as a sport, but as a form of self-defense and fought on the streets of Paris and Marseille . This type of savate was known as savate de rue. In addition to kicks and punches, training in savate de rue (savate defense) includes knee and elbow strikes along with locks, sweeps, throws, headbutts, and take downs

Conclusion : Savate is a great kickboxing style that works well for street defense due to it’s style of kicks while wearing shoes.

Okay crew there’s a little bit of info regarding Savate I hope you enjoy our Martial Art Profiles.

The content for this article was found on and for more in depth info regarding Savate go to Wikipedia………..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savate

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