Most people learn martial arts terminology simply through hearing it in classes, and often the lexicon gets passed down exclusively through oral traditions. This is particularly the case in FMA, and is further exacerbated by the fact that different regions of the Philippines have their own languages (where the same terms may mean different things). When arts cross cultures, and foreign Instructors attempt to record the terms in writing or in the titles of their videos, divergent spellings result. To assist the members of our community, particularly with their own independent research, we have adopted Cebuano terminology wherever possible, or made clear the language the term comes from. 

Visit the online Cebuano dictionary, for further research into the terminology used in our club.


ARNISADORThe stick fighter whose stick doubles as both sword and armour

ESKRIMADOR | The stick fighter who wields their stick as if it were a sword

MANONG | Elder (fem. Manang)

MAESTRO | Teacher (fem. Maestra; "Guro" in Tagalog)

MAGTUTUDLO | Instructor ("Guro" in Tagalog)

MAM | Adult Female (respectful way to refer to any adult woman)

MASTER | Master (experienced practitioner and teacher of an art)

OO | Yes (Pronounced "Oh", and in Tagalog "O-Po")

SALAMAT | Thank You

SALUDO | Salute ("Pugay" in Tagalog)

SIR | Adult Male (respectful way to refer to any adult man)


ABECEDARIO | Alphabet (from Spanish, meaning "ABCs" and referring to a "basic" attack and defence drill; "Abakada" in Cebuano)

CONTRA Y CONTRA | Counter for Counter (from Spanish, and referring to any attack and defence drill that flows back and forth)

KARENZA | Shadowboxing with weapon (may be from "Cadenza" in music "improvisation"; or in Cebuano "Karansa" to be "active and moving")

METRONOMO | Metronome (a drill in which attacks or counters are performed repetitively in a steady cadence)

NUMERADO | Numbered (a drill that follows the sequence of the numbered Angles of Attack; in Tagalog "Numerada")

PALAKAW | Working Method or "Walk Through" (unchoreographed attack and defence drill using the different angles of attack)

PANAPOS |  Terminate or Conclude (finding the finish during a partner drill)

JUEGO TORQUE | Touch Game (derived from Spanish, Contact Points Sparring with padded or live stick, wearing protective equipment)
JUEGO SINYAS | Signal Game (derived from Spanish, Controlled Non-Contact Sparring with padded or live stick, without protective equipment)

JUEGO COMBATE | Combat Game (Derived from Spanish, Free Sparring with padded or live stick, wearing protective equipment)

JUEGO TODO | Anything Goes Game (derived from Spanish, historically Competitive Live Stick Duelling, without protective equipment)

KURIDAS | All Inclusive (unchoreographed attack and defence drill incorporating all methods into random flow, also commonly spelt "Koredas")

SOMBRADA | Shading (from Spanish, the pre-set or freeform block and strike "counter for counter" drill; often incorrectly spelt "Sumbrada").


ABANTE | Advance or Move Forward

ATRAS | Retreat or Move Backward

DAKIN-AS | Sliding (the foundational sliding of step and slide footwork of De Campo 1-2-3 Original)

KINTO | Tiptoe (a type of footwork used in De Campo 1-2-3 Original)

IWAS | Dodge (referring to evasion)

LAKAW | Walk (referring to the act of stepping as footwork)

LASTIKO | Rubber Band (evading out and back without moving the feet)

LUTANG | Floating (made famous by Tatang Illustrisimo, to pull the front leg back as an evasion and immediately return it forward)

PASPAS | Rapid (the fast signature stomping footwork of GM Jose Diaz Caballero's De Campo 1-2-3 Original)

RITERADO | Retire (from the Spanish "Riterada" meaning "withdraw", referring to the act of retreating)


ABIERTA | Open Guard Position (Cebuano "Abiyerto", may be high at shoulder height, middle at hip height, or low at knee height)

HAYANG | Supine (palm up open position of wrist)

KULOB | Prone (palm down closed position of wrist)

PREPARAR | Prepare (in Bernas Estocadas, the on-guard stance with stick held out front along the centreline)

SERRADA | Closed Guard Position  (Cebuano "Sarado", may be high at shoulder height, middle at hip height, or low at knee height)


DERECHO | Direct (in Bernas Estocadas, a strike that goes through the target, starting in Abierta and ending in Serrada or vice versa)

DEFONDO | Sit Tight (in Bernas Estocadas a half-strike that stops at the target; in Cebuano "Defundo")

HAPAK | Strike, Swat, Hit, Whack, Impact (a general Cebuano term for "striking")

HIWA | Slash (a Derecho or Redondo slicing action with a blade)

LABTIK | Literally "Snap" (a direct strike that goes through the target, perhaps named for the whipping action of the weapon arm)

LASTIKO | Rubber Band (in Bernas Estocadas a strike that travels out and back to same chamber, also known commonly as "Witik")

PIKPIK | Pat or Tap (the slapping action used in De Campo 1-2-3 Original to accelerate or control certain strikes)

PUNYO | The pommel or butt of the weapon (derives from Spanish, most likely "Puno" meaning "fist" or "hilt" of which the pommel was a part)

REDONDO | Round (Circular Strike that begins and ends in same guard position)

SAKSAK | Stab or Thrust, the very commonly used Tagalog term (in Cebuano "Duslak" or "Dunggab")

TIGBAS | Hack (a Lastiko chopping action with a blade)

WITIK | Literally "Flick" (a Lastiko strike that travels out and back to the same chamber)


ABANIKO | Fan (the "fanning" style of back and forth or side-to-side flat of weapon "Witik" type strikes)

ABIERTA | Open (Cebuano "Abiyerto") in De Campo 1-2-3 Original a circular strike from the open position

ALFAVITO | Alphabet (In De Campo 1-2-3 Original, Group 2, a drawing and striking technique in the shape of the letter "alpha")

CINCO TIRO | Five Strikes (basic striking angles)

DE CADENA DE CUERDAS | Double Stick pattern in De Campo 1-2-3 Original based on "Sinawali" or Weaving movements (lit. Chain & Cord)

DOBLETE | Double (a slashing strike followed by a round strike on same line, derived from the term "Doble" meaning "Double")

DOCE PARES | Twelve Pairs (name of a style of FMA; in our school, the 12 combinations that "mix" energies - see Siyete Klasika below).

DOS MANOS DOS LARGOS | Double Stick open and closed X-pattern in De Campo 1-2-3 Original (lit. Two Hands Two Long)

FLORETE | Derived from the Spanish "Flor" meaning Flower (Thrust or deflection into Slash combination)

IKIS | Cross (also commonly spelt "Ekis" is a downward diagonal X striking pattern)

KADLIT | Strike (used for "striking a match" and referring to a specialised kind of striking in De Campo systems)

KRUS | Cross (a combined horizontal and vertical striking combination; also written Krusan).

OTSO-OTSO | Eights (Figure 8 upward striking pattern)

PANA | Arrow (a round strike followed by a direct jabbing strike) 

PAYPAY | Fanning (striking with repeated Lastiko or Abaniko strikes following same line of attack, though elevation may vary)

PLANCHADA | Ironed Out (Cebuano "Plansado" or "Banda y Banda" in Tagalog, referring to side to side horizontal strikes)

REDONDO | Round (Circular Strike that begins and ends in same guard position)

SINAWALI | Weaving (a double stick pattern developed by the Macabebe people of the Batangas, in which the sticks cross and uncross)

SIRO-SIRO | Zero Zero (Round or circular strikes in combination, in our school travelling upward)

SIYETE KLASIKA | Seven Classics (In our school, striking combinations that use a single energy: Derecho only, Lastiko Only, or Redondo only)

SERRADA | Closed  (Cebuano "Sarado") in De Campo 1-2-3 Original a circular strike from the closed position.

SUNGKITE | Hooking (a hooking thrust, language origin unknown)


AGAW | Depriving or Seizing (weapon disarming methods)

ANINO | Shadow ( a technique where you follow behind the opponent's weapon to close the line of attack)

BAGSAK | Knocking down (the dropstick technique of hitting opponent's weapon towards the ground instead of blocking)

BUNAL | Beat (to knock opponent's weapon away)

DAKOP | Catching (the action of jamming the opponent's attack using the guarding hand)

DEKADENA | Chain (Decadena in Spanish, referring to flowing movements, or the outside-outside movement in the Hubad Lubid drill)

DEKWERDAS | Cord (Decuerdas in Spanish, referring to flowing movements, or striking as part of a defensive parry without withdrawing)

DIKIT | Butting Against (Intercepting opponent's attack with two hands, one for blocking and one for hitting the attacking limb)

ESPANYA | Spain (a low "payong" or umbrella block used to deflect a thrust, moving like a matador's cape in a bullfight)

GUNTING | Scissors (referring to the "scissoring drill" parrying the opponent's hand into your strike aimed at corking or cutting the attacking limb)

HAGAD HUBAD | In De Campo 1-2-3 Original the attack and counter drill using the Hayang-Kulob movement of the wrist.

HUBAD LUBID | Literally Unchain-Entwine but usually translated as "Tie & Untie" (referring to a series of trapping and counter-trapping drills)

HIKOT | Binding (the action of sticking to opponent's attacking arm once contact is made)

KAMBIYADA | Gearshift ("Kambiata" in Tagalog from Spanish "Cambiar"; a technique where you switch from inside to outside or vice versa) 

KRUZADA | Crusade (referring to the "crossing drill")

KURBADA | Curving (refers to close quarters "fanning" style of the Doces Pares style of Eskrima)

PALUSOT | Passing Through (referring to the "passing drill" using the back of the forearm to deflect or parry opponent's attacking limb)

PANASTAS | Ripping (referring to the "slash & cover drill")

PARA | Stopping (one aspect of the "stop & pass drill" in which defender blocks or jams opponent's attack with their guarding hand)

PASA | Passing (one aspect of the "stop & pass drill" in which defender's parry deflects attack off course with their guarding hand)

PAT-OL | Laying Upon (using back of forearm to deflect knife attack in a Palusot or "passing" action)

PAYONG | Umbrella (a tip down blocking technique that is a key feature of many pre-set Sombrada patterns)

PLUMA | Quill (a high outside "payong" umbrella block in which the stick forms the shape of a bird's wing)

SABAYAN | Accompanying and meaning "simultaneous" (and the name of a "simultaneous defence and attack drill")

SAGANG | Parrying (Deflecting an attack off course with your guarding hand or weapon)

SANGGA | Shield (generally refers to the action of blocking by using your weapon as a shield, or can be used to mean a tip up block)

TUKAS | Touching (Pushing the weapon aside)

TUKMOD | Shoving (the pushing or striking action used in De Campo 1-2-3 Original when the opponent gets too close)

WASLIK | Toss (a type of parry, called in Modern Arnis "Palis-Palis" meaning "whisking")


HAMER | Hammer grip of the dagger (often called "Saksak" or stabbing grip in other styles)

PIKO | Icepick grip of dagger (often called "Pakal" or "Pikal" in other styles)

SABER | Sabre grip of the dagger (using thumb along back of dagger or pressed into guard as reinforcement of the grip)


BALISONG | A fan knife

BANGKAW | Spear or Lance

BARAW | Dagger or Knife (in Spanish "Daga")

BARUNG | A leaf-shaped blade used by the Moro people of the Philippines (sometimes incorrectly spelt "Barong")

BASTON | Cane (the 24" to 32" rattan stick used in Eskrima)

BUGSAY | Boar Oar or Paddle used in Visayan Style Corto Kadena Eskrima

ESPADA | Borrowed Spanish term for sword

ESPADA Y DAGA | Sword and Dagger

GAROTE | Stick (another term for the 24" to 32" inch cane used in Eskrima; sometimes a flat stick symbolising a blade)

GINUNTING | Scissors (a type of sword shaped like one half of a pair of scissors)

KALIS | A pointed sword with serrations near the handle

KAMPILAN | A beak-shaped sword used with one or two-hands

KARAMBIT | A talon-like curved knife used traditionally by Indonesian Woman and "borrowed" into Eskrima

KRIS | Double edged sword with a wavy serpentine blade

LATIGO | Stock Whip

PINUTI | Straight Cutlass type sword (Perfect for Cebuano Eskrima, and the preferred blade for the De Campo 1-2-3 Original practitioner)

SANGGOT | A farmer's sickle used in Visayan Style Corto Kadena Eskrima

SANSIBAR | Long Curved Scimitar-like sword

SUNGKOD | Staff (a walking stick or Staff)

TALIBONG | Long goose-necked short sword

TSAKO | Nunchaku (Hinged Staff) also spelt "Chako"


AMARA | Brandishing (striking combinations, or keeping the weapon moving before attacking)

ANTING-ANTING | An amulet, talisman, or tattoo designed to protect the Eskrimador (or to develop the appropriate mind-set for combat)

ARKO | Arc or Crescent (extra circle added to a strike as a form of deception or hand evasion)

BANTAY KAMAY | the "Guarding Hand" (or non-weapon hand used to parry or jam opponent's attacks when in close quarters)

CORTO MANO | Literally "short hand" the close-quarters style of Eskrima that uses the guarding hand in concert with the weapon

DAKIP DIWA | Tagalog term translated as "Capture the Spirit" (meaning a calm and focused frame of mind suitable as a "Combat Attitude")

DEFONDO | Sit Tight, or stay anchored or grounded and meaning "holding one's ground" (in Cebuano "Defundo")

DEPENSA | Defense (defensive methods and tactics)

ENGGANYO | Entice (baiting, captivating, luring, tempting, or drawing in your opponent)

HATA | Feint (a fake attack designed to elicit a response from the opponent revealing or causing openings in their defence)

KONTRA-KOMPAS | Broken Rhythm or off-beat manoeuvring

KUWENTADA | Compute (a set up or well-calculated move)

LANSI | Fishy or Suspicious (feigning, a ruse used to confuse or misdirect) 

LARGO MANO | Literally "long hand" the long-range fighting style of Eskrima that targets the hands before entering with a barrage of strikes)

MANO MANO | Literally "hand-to-hand" the unarmed fighting methods of Eskrima

OPENSA | Offense (attacking methods and tactics)

ORASYON | Magical spell designed to protect the Eskrimador (or to develop the appropriate mind-set for combat)

PASUGAT | Meeting (also "Kontra" in Tagalog from "Contra" in Spanish meaning "against")

PASUNOD | Following (also "Seguida" in Tagalog from "Seguir" in Spanish meaning "follow")

PRAKSYON | Fractional Timing (Broken rhythm, particularly striking on the half-beat)


BUNO | Throw (Trips, Reaps, Sweeps, or Takedowns)

DUMOG | Wrestling

LAYOG | Grappling

LUBAG | Twisting or Wrenching

SIKAD | Kick

SIKARAN | Kicking

SIKO | Elbow (commonly used as a striking tool)

SUNTOK | Jab, Box, Punch or Swing


TRANGKA | Lock or Latch

TRANGKADA | Locking (or Lock Flows)


ESTILO ENTABLADO | Stage fighting style (the flashy style used for public demonstrations)

ESTILO MATADOR | Killing style (the practical style taught to trusted students and used for self-defence or life and death combat)

SPORTS ARNIS | A tournament-focused style (the most famous version is the padded stick point-fighting WEKAF style)


ARNIS | Fighting Stick (from Spanish Arnés "armour")

ARNIS DE MANO | Armour of the hand

ESKRIMA | Stick fighting (from Spanish Esgrima "fencing")

ESTOKADA | Fencing

KALI | See Kalis; contemporary American term for FMA.

KALIS | Old Tagalog word for "skill with blades"

PEKITI TIRSIA | "Close Thirds" (English equivalent "close quarters") used in Negros as generic term for FMA.

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