Thursday, July 26, 2012

Escrima part 6


Eskrima 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 and the obvious fact that an armed person who is trained has the advantage over a trained unarmed person and to condition students to fight against armed assailants. Most systems of eskrima 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 biceps destruction with the live hand.


A pair of rattan sticks The most basic and common weapon in eskrima is the yantok. They are typically constructed from rattan, an inexpensive stem from a type of Southeast Asian vine. Hard and durable yet lightweight, it shreds only under the worst abuse and will not splinter like wood, making it a safer training tool. This aspect makes it useful in defence against blades. Kamagong (ironwood or ebony) and bahi (heart of the palm) are sometimes used after being charred and hardened. These hardwoods are generally not used for sparring, however, as they are dense enough to cause serious injury, but traditional sparring does not include weapon to body contact. The participants are skilled enough to parry and counterstrike, showing respect in not intentionally hitting the training partner. In North America and Europe, eskrima practitioners wear head and hand protection while sparring with rattan sticks, or otherwise use padded batons. Some modern schools use sticks made out of aluminium or other metals, or modern high-impact plastics.

Impact weapons

Baston, olisi, yantok: stick ranging from twenty-four to twenty-eight inches long. Largo mano yantok: longer stick ranging from twenty-eight to thirty-six inches Dulo y dulo: short stick about four to seven inches in length, held in the palm of the hand
Bankaw: six-foot pole. Staves can be used to practice sword techniques
Wooden dagger measuring 12 to 14 inches (300 to 360 mm)
Panangga: shield
Improvised weapons: Pens, car keys (using the push knife grip), cellular phones, flashlights, coffee mugs, umbrellas, rolled-up magazines & newspapers, books, tennis rackets, bottles, chair legs, etc.

Edged weapons

Baraw is a Cebuano term used in the art of Eskrima that means knife or dagger. The term Baraw is more commonly used on the Cebu Island in the Visayan region whereas other islands and regions more commonly use the term Daga but both terms are often interchangeable within the Filipino martial arts community. The terms Baraw and Daga can be used either as Solo Baraw or Solo Daga associated with single knife fighting and defence systems, Doble Baraw or Doble Daga associated with the double knife fighting systems or even with a combination of long and short weapons e.g. stick and dagger fighting systems Olisi Baraw or sword and dagger fighting systems Espada y Daga.
Daga/Cuchillo/Baraw: daggers or knives of different shapes and sizes Balisong: fan knife or butterfly knife from Barrio Balisong in Batangas province. The handle is two-piece and attaches to a swivel that folds to enclose the blade when shut. Karambit: claw-shaped Indo-Malay blade held by inserting the finger into a hole at the top of the handle.
Bolo: a knife/sword similar to a machete
Pinuti: a type of bolo from Cebu
Sundang: a sword created by the Bugis people of Indonesia. Its blade is usually wavy.
Barang: flat-headed blade
Binikoko: long blade named after a porgy fish
Dinahong palay: blade named after a type of poisonous snake
Kalis or Kris: Indo-Malay dagger, often given a wavy blade, it is most commonly used in the southern provinces
Kampilan: fork-tipped sword, popular in the southern Philippines
Sibat: spear
Improvised weapons: Icepicks, box cutters, screwdrivers, broken bottles

Flexible weapons

Sarong: a length of fabric wrapped around the waist
Ekut: handkerchief
Tabak-toyok: chained sticks or nunchaku
Latigo (Spanish for whip): consisting of a handle between 8 and 12 inches (200 and 300 mm), and a lash composed of a braided thong 3–20 ft (0.91–6.1 m) long. The "fall" at the end of the lash is a single piece of leather 10–30 inches (250–760 mm) in length. Improvised weapons: Belt, bandana, handkerchiefs, shirts, towels with hard soap bars, ropes, power cables, etc.

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