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 FOUR CORE 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 approach to Kali has its roots and inspiration in the Inosanto Kali we experienced through seminars in the early 1980s, with a smaller influence from Modern Arnis training in the 1990s, and later exposure to other FMA systems. Our Kali Combatives curriculum is structured around four platform drills or "games" that teach the core methodologies, tactics, and attributes.
THE MIRRORED WEAVING GAME
Our SINAWALI (weaving) sub-system focuses on the iconic use of two equal length sticks in mirrored striking motions that develop coordination and ambidexterity, encouraging use of the non-dominant hand, multi-weapon and range awareness. Weilding two weapons at the same time enhances and underpins many other methods of Kali.
THE COVER & COUNTER GAME
The SOMBRADA (Shading) sub-system focuses on the use of a single stick in close quarters using Contra y Contra (counter-for-counter) methods as a key training methodology, working Payong Entrada (umbrella entries) into Simple and Box Sombrada (medium and close range shielding), and ultra-close Punyo (pommelling) methods, as well as locating Agaw (stick disarming), and Baston Trangka (stick grappling) in the flow.
THE BLADED GAME
The PARA-PASA (Stop & Pass) game forms the core of our Kali blade-aware combatives curriculum, and is designed to develop a reflexive ability to defend, control, and counter a bladed weapon attack. Mastery of the bladed game includes an ability to switch fluidly between Para-Pasa (Stop & Pass), Hubad-Lubad (Tie/Untie), Palisot (Sweep & Pass), Kruzada-Gunting (Crossing & Scissoring), Panastas (Slash & Cover), Pakusog (Intense Counter Trapping), and Sabayan (Accompanying) methods.
THE LONG WEAPON GAME
Our DOS MANOS LARGOS (Two-Handed Long Weapon) sub-system focuses on the use of the 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.
RANKING & CERTIFICATION
There are four ranks in our Kali system. Where sub-systems are mentioned below, these refer to the Sinawali, Sombrada, Hubad, and Dos Manos Largos curricula.
BAGUHAN - BLUE - APPRENTICE
A Bagito (beginner) officially becomes a Baguhan (Apprentice) at the point where they have achieved a fundamental level of competency, demonstrating good form, flow, and focus under moderate pressure at the Numerado (numbered or 'step by step') level of the Kali Combatives curriculum. The equivalent of being competence in the "basic vocabulary" of the art.
BIHASA - RED - CULTURED
The Bihasa is a "cultured" practitioner, who has achieved an intermediate level of knowledge and proficiency, demonstrating consistent form, flow, and focus under moderate pressure at the Palakaw (working method or 'walking') level of the Kali Combatives curriculum. This level is the equivalent of competence in predictable semi-structured "question and answer" sequences.
BATIKAN - BLACK - SEASONED
The Batikan is a "seasoned" or "well tested" practitioner, who has achieved an advanced level of knowledge and proficiency, demonstrating good form, flow, focus and adaptability under intense pressure at the Kuridas (all inclusive or running) level of the Kali Combatives curriculum. This level is the equivalent of "fluent dialogue" and purposeful conversation.
MAGTUTURO - BLACK - INSTRUCTOR
The Magtuturo is a qualified Instructor, who has who has achieved an advanced level of knowledge and proficiency, demonstrating superior form, flow, focus and adaptability under intense pressure at the Kuridas (all inclusive or running) level of the Kali Combatives curriculum. This level is the equivalent of being "fluent" in "multiple registers". The Magtuturo must also exhibit a capacity to guide others in the technical and tactical methods of the Kali Combatives system.