MODULAR BLADE-AWARE MARTIAL ARTS
"A proper flow is the instinctual ability to adapt to a confrontational situation naturally,
no matter the range or weapon."
GM Remy A. Presas
TOP FOUR FEATURES OF KALI
THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE BEGINNING
The term Kali comes from an old Tagalog word Kalis meaning "skill with blades". 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.
Mixed Martial Art Concept
Kali continues to evolve its mixed martial arts (MMA) concept and methods, historically incorporating the study of many different types of weapons, and both armed and unarmed combatives. Its unarmed method (Pangamot) has a close relationship to both European Boxing (with the addition of techniques such as low-line kicks, elbow strikes, and open-hand chops) and Japanese Jujutsu (predominantly stand-up grappling and throwing methods taught through counter-for-counter lock flows). In addition, our Kali Combatives programs places special attention upon strategy and tactics, particularly the classification of different types of opponents (categorised by both size and tactics) and ways of responding effectively to them.
The Kali practitioner learns to flow freely between the primary ranges of combat (largo, media, corto), and between offence and counter-offence, as dictated by the needs of the specific combative situation. This is practiced and embodied through its signature Sombrada (shading) counter for counter, and Hubad Lubid (untie/tie) training platforms. Achieving "flow" is also known to have multiple mental health benefits, including the lowering of anxiety, increasing of confidence and creative capacity, and the strengthening of resilience. Kali's rhythmic training methods, and counter-for-counter combatives have been shown to have important cognitive benefits for those practicing them. Watch this TEDx talk by Paul McCarthy to learn more.
Kali began its life as a means of villagers defending themselves against invading pirates from other regions (particularly the south), who would raid coastal towns and take captives as slaves, so the use of everyday objects as weapons has been a key aspect of FMA since its inception. Although the Kali Combatives curriculum includes a focus upon classical weapons such as the sword, stick, staff, and dagger, Kali techniques adapt well to the use of improvised weapons, turning everyday and household objects into opportunistic tools of self protection, as seen in films such as the Jason Bourne series. This makes Kali a highly practical martial art that looks to use the environment as a tool for personal protection, and to gain advantage, or level the playing field, in any self defence situation.
THE FIVE MODULAR AREAS OF OUR
KALI COMBATIVES CURRICULUM
Kali, like Arnis and Eskrima, is an umbrella term for the Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). However, unlike the terms Arnis and Eskrima, 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 Arnis/Eskrima traditions, while eclectically incorporating more recent Filipino-American additions, modifications and emphases. Our Kali Combatives curriculum can be studied as a totality, or you can qualify in each modular area separately (and in any order).
BLADE COMBATIVES MODULE
Our Blade Combatives program focuses on the use of a “short blade” (knife or dagger), using Largo Mano (long range) combination slashing tactics to defang the snake and finish the exchange, and Corto Mano (close quarter) parrying and counter-trapping methods such as Panastas (Cover & Slash), Para-Pasa (Stop & Pass), Palisot (Sweep & Pass), and Hubad Lubid (Untie & Tie) to control an armed opponent, whether you are armed or unarmed.
STICK COMBATIVES MODULE
Our Stick Combatives program focuses on the use of a single stick in close quarters using Sombrada (shading) counter-for-counter methods as a key training methodology, working Entrada (entries) into Punyo (pommelling) and Kurbada (curving) methods of striking, as well as Agaw (stick disarming), and Baston Trangka (stick grappling).
DOUBLE WEAPONS MODULE
Our Double Weapon Combatives program focuses on the iconic use of two equal length sticks in Sinawali (weaving) motions that develops coordination and ambidexterity; or at advanced levels, two weapons of unequal length, encouraging use of the non-dominant hand, multi-weapon and range awareness. Handling two weapons at the same time enhances and underpins the unarmed methods of Kali.
Dos Manos Largos
LONG WEAPON MODULE
Our Long Weapon Combatives program focuses on the use of the two-handed staff, spear, or longsword, utilising a highly effective rotary striking action at long-range (similar to the Spanish Montante), and fast double-end deflection method (similar to Classical Japanese Jojutsu) in close quarters.
DIRTY BOXING MODULE
Our Dirty Boxing module focuses on hand-to-hand combatives. In the absence of a weapon, the elbows, palms, ridge of the hands, and forearms are used tas striking tools, along with the fist methods common to European Boxing. Coupled with Sikaran (low-line kicking), this forms the Pangamot ("blade aware" dirty boxing) aspect of the Kali curriculum.