FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS ACADEMY
FILIPINO STICK & BLADE FIGHTING
Learn to wield a stick or dagger
with the skill of a swordsman
Kali, Eskrima, Arnis, and Estokada are umbrella terms for the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) famed as methods of stick and blade fighting. Historically, the various FMA arose from a unique and ingenious Filipino re-engineering of Spanish swordsmanship to local weapons (building upon the legacies of Indigenous combative traditions), during three hundred years of colonisation; refined through revolution and rebellion during struggles for independence; and formalised in the pre-WWII period through the formation of sporting clubs. Filipino warrior's courage and skill, particularly with their bolo (working blades), earned them the title Manilamen in the War of 1812, and Bolomen during WWII.
The term Kali derives from an old Tagalog word (meaning "skill with blades") and was popularised by ex-pat Filipinos living in the USA during the 1970s. In the Philippines today, the more common terms are Arnis (from the Spanish word Arnés meaning "armour" or "arms"), given the Arnisador's stick acts as both sword and shield; and Eskrima (literally "fencing") or Estokada (implying fencing with a "thrusting" sword), suggesting the Eskrimador uses their stick as skilfully as a swordsman. In 2009 Arnis (FMA) was officially recognised as the country's national sport. Although rarely named, the art is frequently featured in Hollywood films (ie. The Bourne Identity and its sequels, The Book of Eli, The Equaliser, Hanna, Kick-Ass, Raya and the Last Dragon, etc).
FMA classes are a great place to make new friends, and accommodate all fitness levels. Our club welcomes everyone regardless of their experience or fitness level then starting. Weapons level the playing field, making this art something you can practice and carry with you throughout your lifetime. A typical class focuses on the development of technique, attributes, and tactics, with fun pressure-testing drills and freeplay sparring (with padded sticks and fencing masks) for those keen to take their skills to the next level. Techniques translate effectively to improvised weapons, and many have "dirty boxing" (kickboxing) applications.
Not all Filipino Martial Arts are the same. In fact, there are many different regional styles. Our club specialises in De Campo 1-2-3 Original, a Cebuano system of Eskrima developed in 1925 by Jose Diaz Caballero who gained notoriety throughout the Philippines as an undefeated stick-fighting champion during the Juego Todo (no holds barred) era, where Eskrimadors fought duels without protective equipment during town fiestas. We also specialise in the comprehensive and beautiful art of Bernas Estocadas from the Negros Occidental region, particularly effective for multiple opponents and with an underlying specialisation in the use of the Espada y Daga (sword and dagger). We extend our training with our principled and eclectic Kali Combatives program, with its emphasis on blade-aware movement, flow, and game-based learning. Click on the logos above for more details on each of the Filipino Martial Arts systems we teach.
We are the Australian representatives for this famous stick-fighting system developed in 1925 by Jose Diaz Caballero, that focuses on fast and powerful "meteoric" combination striking techniques. De Campo is the ultimate duelling system, quick to learn, and perfectly designed for immediate combative application.
We are the Australian representatives for this beautiful and comprehensive system of Filipino Martial Arts from the Negros region of the Philippines, shared with us by its living Grandmaster William Bernas. Naturalistic movement, integrated stick & blade work, and clever footwork make this art perfect for handling multiple opponents.
Our principled and eclectic Kali Combatives program focuses on “blade-aware” self-protection. It's curriculum, distilled from our study of a number of contemporary Kali systems, is based around four combative games: Sinawali (mirrored double stick weaving), Sombrada (shield & counter), Hubad Lubad (untie & tie), and Dos Manos (two-handed long stick).