"A proper flow is the instinctual ability to adapt to a confrontational situation naturally,

no matter the range or weapon."


GM Remy A. Presas, Founder of Modern Arnis




The term Kali comes from an old Tagalog word Kalis meaning "skill with blades". Kali, like Arnis, Eskrima, or Estokada, is an umbrella term for the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). However, unlike the terms Arnis, Eskrima, and Estokada, which arose during the Spanish colonial period among members of the martial arts communities of the Philippines, Kali was popularised as an umbrella term in the 1970s and 1980s by members of the Filipino-American diaspora, particularly in Hawaii and California, and arguably represents a distinct form of FMA that draws on classical FMA traditions, while eclectically incorporating more recent Filipino-American additions, modifications and emphases. Kali  techniques are built on the principle of blade-awareness (always moving with an understanding that your opponent is armed with a weapon, or could be armed with a concealed blade). This has led historically, to a distinct emphasis on energy-sensitivity, counter-trapping, and limb destruction methods; rather than an emphasis on ground grappling, for example, that may leave you vulnerable to: multiple opponents (one or more who may be armed); or a concealed blade drawn when you find yourself in a close quarters wrestling match. Kali training can thus provide an important and useful supplement to otherwise highly effective jujutsu methods. Our approach to Kali has its roots and inspiration in the Inosanto Kali we experienced during seminars in the early 1980s, and Modern Arnis of the 1990s, and derives from our analysis of a host of methods found across a range of contemporary Kali systems distilled into three distinct, but inter-related "games". The emphasis in our Kali training is on keeping one's stick or blade close to the body, and methods for transitioning into and out of close range are emphasised. A Tagapagsanay (Trainer) carries a license for a specific module, game or sub-system. A Magtuturo (Instructor) holds a license in all three modules, games, or sub-systems.




Our Doble Baston (Double Stick) sub-system focuses on the iconic use of two equal length sticks in Sinawali (weaving) motions that develop coordination, ambidexterity, and encourage use of the non-dominant hand, multi-weapon and range awareness. Doble Baston and its Sinawali motions was originally a fighting method of the Macabebe people of Pampanga, but has now become ubiquitous in the Filipino Martial Arts. Sinawali is practiced either as solo formwork or in a Pingki-Pingki (sparking) or stick-to-stick contact format, and provides the foundation for the Hubad Lubad (untie/tie) and Kadena De Mano (chain of hands) methods of Kali. 

Note: We have no official affiliation with the makers of the linked videos. We share them here because we believe they provides an excellent demonstration of the Sinawali double stick weaving game.




The Solo Baston (Single Stick) sub-system focuses on the use of Sombrada (Shading) as a strategy and Contra y Contra (Counter for Counter) as a training method. Its key focus is to shield against the opponent's attack and enter with a devastating counterattack, or what we call "cover & counter". Sombrada is practiced in Largo (long), Medio (medium), and Corto (close) range, with an emphasis on being able to safely and effectively enter and exit close range weapon combat. Sombrada starts as a pre-arranged drill, but ultimately evolves into a freeform "conversation" as skill develops.

Note: We have no affiliation with the maker of the linked video. We share it here because we believe it provides an excellent understanding of the Sombrada cover & counter game.


Hubad Lubad


Our Dagaso (Single Dagger) sub-system focuses on close-quarters combat, and is designed to develop a reflexive ability to defend, control, and counter a knife attack. Mastery of the bladed game includes an ability to utilise the non-weapon hand to jam, pass, lock, or strike drawing on Hubad Lubad (untie/tie) counter-trapping as a base, and incorporating Palisut (sweep & pass), Para-Pasa (stop & pass), Panastas (slash & cover), Kambiata (switching), and Gunting (scissoring) methods. Its inherent logic as a blade-aware game also teaches Kadena De Mano (chain of hands) skills for facing a knife-wielding opponent while unarmed.

Note: We have no affiliation with the makers of the linked videos. We share them here because we believe they provide an excellent understanding of the Hubad Lubad blade-aware game.