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We offer training in the Filipino Martial Arts

known as Arnis, Kali, or Eskrima,

to provide opportunities for ordinary people

to develop extraordinary skill with sticks and blades.


The catalyst for the development of the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA), at least in the Visayas, was most likely the administration of 'the last conquistador' Governor-General Sebastián Hurtado de Corcuera (1635-1644), who recruited and trained Christianised Cebuanos, Boholanos, Ilonggos and Macabebes in Iberian sword methods to support Spanish regulars in a campaign to pacify the Moro pirate threat from Sulu (Nepangue & Macachor, 2015). Veterans who returned to the provinces likely modified the Spanish techniques to accommodate local weapons, emphasise their own specialties, and incorporate South-East Asian (Chinese-influenced) Kuntaw fighting traditions. Revolution in the 1800s, and the move towards clubs and sporting competition and encounters with Japanese martial arts in the 1900s, triggered further evolutions of the art. 


What does it

mean to be an

One of the most widely used names for the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) in the Philippines itself is Arnis, derived from the Spanish word Arnes, that is closely related to the English word "harness" and which originally referred to a knight's armour. The art was once commonly called Arnis De Mano (Armour of the Hand) because the Arnisador's stick was his only form of protection, and in the hands of a skilled practitioner doubled as both sword and shield.

Other popular names for the art include: Eskrima (from the Spanish word Esgrima related to the English word "skirmish" and meaning "fencing") in the Visayas; and Kali (from an old Tagalog word Kalis meaning "skill with blades") in the United States and Filipino diaspora. Fundamentally, all of these names refer to the same martial art family (in much the way Kung-Fu or Kuen Tao is used to describe Chinese Boxing systems). 

Training in De Campo 123 Original with Maestro Paolo Pagaling

Capital Commons, Manila, the Philippines (2019)


Kali Newcastle (Kalisadors Club) is a not-for-profit martial arts club, specialising in the teaching of the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). All income generated from student fees for regular classes goes into hall hire, equipment maintenance, and club promotion. Instructors offer their services without any financial remuneration. We teach because we love FMA, and want to share our passion with you too. More recently, some funds are used to support FMA teachers in the Philippines who have been impacted by COVID lockdowns.



In light of the Current NSW State Government Restrictions, and to ensure our members' safety during training, the following COVID-SAFE training policies have been implemented in our academy:

Our club is affiliated with Kung-Fu Wushu Australia and all our instructors are accredited with the Martial Arts Industry Association, the peak body for martial arts instructors in Australia, recognised by the NSW Government and Sport Australia.


We officially represent De Campo 1-2-3 Original in Australia, under the authorisation and guidance of Maestro Paolo Pagaling and Master Jomalin Caballero.




The product of Spanish swordsmanship and Filipino ingenuity, the Filipino Martial Arts are widely recognised in the martial arts community as the premiere methods of stick and blade fighting. Today there are many different regional and family variations among the Filipino Martial Arts. Our club's curriculum offers a rich array of FMA experiences - including both Largo Mano (long-range) and Corto Mano (close-quarters) styles - from which the individual Arnisador may draw to develop a personal combative style.



A stick fight should be over in three seconds,

beyond that, be careful.


Founder of De Campo 123 Original

Our club specialises in De Campo 1-2-3 Original (originally known as De Campo 1-2-3 Orehenal Combat Arnis), the premier Largo Mano system of Eskrima, developed by Jose Diaz Caballero as his "original" system in 1925, at the age of 18. Ahead of his time, Grandmaster Caballero set out his system in a written "lesson plan" that still exists today. GM Caballero was to become famous as the Juego Todo champion of his time. Held during town fiestas, the Juego Todo was an all-out stick fight without protective equipment, where the combatants' only armour was the arnis stick in their hand. It's contemporary legacy can be seen in "Dog Brothers" style full contact live stick sparring. 

The De Campo 1-2-3 Original system is known for its specialisation in Solo Baston (Single Stick) focusing on what might be called "high percentage techniques." However, it does include Doble Baston (Double Stick) and Pinuti (Sword). As a practitioner of a Largo Mano style, the De Campo bastonero (stick fighter) aims to control range by waving in and out (or side to side) through clever shuffling adjustments of footwork and body positioning, aiming to "defang the snake" by evading the opponent's attack while intercepting and counter striking their weapon hand (or closest target) or deflecting their stick off course (if you are too far away to hit the hand), and then entering with a barrage of powerful and lightning fast combinations (with the head as the principal target) in order to end the exchange. The free hand is often used to Tukmod (shove) the opponent if they get too close. Using the 1-2-3 tactical formulae of fake, counter, strike, and the concept of Praksyon (fractional timing or half-beats), the De Campo stylist aims to blend strikes so seamlessly that three strikes may appear as one, so they "hit first, and hit last" (GM Jose Caballero). 



Kali Daga is our eclectic close-quarters dagger-based combat system, inspired by our exposure to a number of different FMA systems. Its focus is on the Corto Mano (Close Hand) or Close Quarters style of FMA where the non-weapon hand is used to Pasugat (meet: stop or jam) or Pasunod (follow: pass or parry) the opponent's Hiwa (slashing), Punyo (pommeling), and Saksak (thrusting) attacks, in order to open and control lines for counterattack with one's own weapon.



At this level, drills from the previous levels are integrated into the random flow of Kuridas (All Inclusive Feeder-Responder Practice). Emphasis is placed on Agos (flowing smoothly between methods), and Panapos (finishing the exchange). Methods of Disarma (disarming your opponent) are incorporated, and focus includes facing an opponent armed and unarmed. 



Training continues with a focus on counter for counter flow drills. The methods of PASUGAT (meeting the force) including Panastas (slash & cover), Hubad Lubid (untie & tie), and Hubad Pasugat (meet & release) are taught first; then the methods of PASUNOD (following the force) including Palis-Palis (whisking or sweeping away), Palusot (passing), Anino (shadowing), and Hikot (sticking).



Fundamental pre-arranged defences against nominated attacks develop the eskrimador's coordination, underlying movement patterns, and cutting angles that are required for success at higher levels of the art. 



Dos Manos Largos is our home-grown staff fighting system inspired by contemporary Filipino Martial Arts methods (Bugsay, Sibat, and Dos Manos Kalis), Historical European Martial Arts (specifically the Spanish Montante longsword) and the Japanese Bojutsu (Staff-fighting) methods of the Kukishin Ryu (as taught in the Bujinkan Kobudo curriculum). Dos Manos Largos methods adapt easily to the use of a walking stick, baseball bat, or other household tools. The core training method is Sangga-Patama (Block & Strike) drilling mounted in the flow as the practitioner's skill level rises. The system combines Largo Mano (long-range) Amara (sword-swinging style striking combinations), and Corto Mano (close-quarters) methods including Dalinas (sliding), Bugsay (paddling), Tukmod (shoving), Sungkod (walking staff), an Duslak (two handed thrusting) strikes. Defensive methods include Hirada (covering & entering), Pisada (striking the force downward), Contrada (meeting the force), Seguida (following the force), and Planta (planting the stick).



Grandmaster William Bernas created a structured and progressive system of Filipino Martial Art he calls the Bernas Estocadas, derived from various traditional arts he learned in Negros.  His most influential teacher was GM Hortencio Navales, who taught him the intricacies of the system popularly known in Bacolod as Pekiti Tirsia, which was taught openly in the Navales Arnis Clinic.


The system starts off with learning how to use the stick as an impact and thrust weapon from solo baston to doble baston then progresses to espada y daga (sword and dagger) where the concept of the blade is then introduced. It then advances to just the daga (dagger) then doble daga. A separate system called Estokido deals only with knife (attack and defense). Finally, hand to hand combat is taught whereby the same principles of espada y daga are still used. A special section for long stick is also taught in the Bernas Estocadas system.


We are currently studying the Estocadas directly from Grandmaster Bernas via fortnightly Saturday morning Zoom sessions.

You can also gain access to instruction in this beautiful and deadly art direct from GM Bernas via his Online School.



Robert 'Espada' Parkes

Our club is registered with the Martial Arts Industry Association as a member organisation of Kung Fu Wushu Australia Limited (Member No. A2114). As such we uphold and are bound by the following codes:

Dr Robert 'Espada' Parkes (BEd Hons Sydney, PhD Newcastle) is the Founder and Head Instructor of the Kalisadors Club. He is an accredited martial arts instructor (MAIA / KWA Accreditation No. A00606) who shares his knowledge and expertise with generosity and humour. A published author, editor, historian, and teacher educator, Robert holds the position of  Associate Professor within the School of Education (one of the largest teacher education providers in Australia) at the University of Newcastle.

This year (2020) marks 40 years since Robert first began training in the martial arts. He began his martial arts training in 1980 at the age of 14 and opened his first martial arts school at the age of 18, while still in high school. During this early phase of his martial arts career, he studied and gained teaching credentials in Wing Chun and Non-Classical Kung-Fu; and gained his first and for a long time his most influential exposure to Filipino Martial Arts, through seminars with Guro Dan Inosanto, that resulted in the incorporation of Filipino Martial Arts as the weapon curriculum during his Non-Classical Kung-Fu studies.


In his twenties Robert studied and taught Bujinkan Kobudo (also known at the time as Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu and/or Ninpo Taijutsu), gaining the rank of 5th Degree Black Belt and title of Shidoshi (teacher of the warrior ways) in 1992, from Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi. During the 1990s Robert also gained a trainer qualification in Modern Arnis (GM Ernesto Presas lineage, later to be called Kombatan) through the Arjuken Martial Arts Association headed in Australia by Chris Traish.


Since 2015 Robert has also been studying the Afro-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira. His nickname 'Espada' (sword) was given to him by the amazing Mestre Borracha, head of Capoeira Aruanda, after seeing him playing with a training sword. 


 In 2019 Robert travelled to the Philippines with his daughter, Rebekah 'Serenata' Parkes, to study De Campo 1-2-3 Original, the famous system of Eskrima of the Caballero family of Toledo, under the wonderful and insightful guidance of Maestro Paolo Pagaling, and continues to advance his understanding of the Filipino Martial Arts with Maestro Paolo and Master Jomalin Caballero in De Campo 1-2-3 Original, and more recently with Grandmaster William Bernas in the Bernas Estocadas system.



We are usually located in the School Hall of the Mayfield West Public School. Enter via the front gate that is on the left side of the pedestrian crossing, if facing the school. However we are currently in a classroom, while the hall gets renovated. Please call if you have trouble finding us.


If arriving by car, there is plenty of street parking out front of the school.



The 47 bus stops right at the door.


7 Gregson Avenue

Mayfield West NSW 2304

WEDNESDAYS 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM 


  • Our regular FMA Class, cycling between all aspects of our curriculum with Guro Robert "Espada" Parkes

SATURDAYS 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Fortnightly Rotation between De Campo and the Estocadas for Zoom class, followed by regular training. 


  • De Campo 123 Original 

with Maestro Paolo Pagaling


  • Bernas Estocadas 

with Grandmaster William Bernas

& Assisted by Maestro Paolo Pagaling

Pre-booking is required for new students to ensure compliance with COVIDSafe Restrictions.



Whether you're looking for a long-term training program or a quick introduction to a new martial art, our credit system offers flexible payment options that put your needs first. Our credits can be used for any regular timetabled class, and as we operate in partnership with Capoeira Aruanda | Team Novo Flow as part of the Novo Flow Community, our 10 Class & Ultimate Pass credits can be used for their classes too. Our Month Pass is a "single art" pass that offers a discount for someone only studying Kali within our community.


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© 2016-2020 Kalisadors Club trading as Kali Newcastle Filipino Martial Arts Academy

KWA Ltd Club Member No. A2114

6 Rose Street Tighes Hill NSW 2297 | ABN 22 393 081 190