Sunday, February 26, 2017



Why training with sticks is important in Filipino Martial Arts?

By Bong Abenir

The Philippines is simply rich in rattan sticks and many other hardwood material. But rattan is generally used for training due to the fact that the composition of its material is neither very soft nor very hard in order for the structure of an average human body to withstand its force impact. Now don't get me wrong, of course it could still knock out anyone receiving a hard blow on the head or get all bruised up and suffer broken bones. That is if it is used with extreme force that would cause such unwanted injuries. Now that's the reason we have to wear headgears  and other stuff to prevent such things (although injuries still happen but is significantly reduced or minimized). So if it is used just to train to learn the movements and the rudimentary forms of the art and an occasional hard yet still controlled contact then it does help with buliding up good foundation in ezkrima , honing one's reflexes for attacking and defending and countering, and the tolerable hits recieved from a good exchange serves as an awakening to the practitioner that a good defense, sense of good timing, proper form and correct attitude towards weapons training is indeed a must.
Does training with sticks makes an eskrimador's skills functional and relevant to real self-defense scenarios? Yes and no. It all depends on the situation. Sticks are still used on the streets by muggers and even the riot police. Sticks that comes in many forms such as baseball bats, pool cues, batons, tree branch, floor mops, etc. Training with sticks also represents other harder objects such as steel bars, crow bars, big wrenches, collapsible baton etc.  Many violent fights and crimes have happened  using this types of things. Moreso as compared to long swords (which is not very relevant in our times) except for machetes, bolos and knives wherein the Filipino Martial Arts is among the very few fighting systems who spend a lot of their training dealing with these weapons.  Now the truth is: Any deep thinking martial artists know the strenghts and as well as the limits of any form of martial system.  Even if you are among the best and highly skilled hand to hand or weapons instructor or fighter one wrong decision, a careless move, an extremely disadvantage position or an ambush could turn all the years of practice, knowledge and expertise into nothing. So why then do we still need to learn or practice? Well, like any good insurance agent would tell you: "You never know when you'll need one" and just think about those seatbelts in the car. Strapping them may sometimes feel uncomfortable, but it may be the only thing that could or might save you when your car hits hard on the wall.

Bong Abenir
Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art
AK Kalistas Ilustrados


We have many gripping methods in our system. Let me share you two of them that we use for single hand held swords. I am using a pinuti sword in this video.

The movements I did which shows my fingers extending out was a deliberate  exaggeration in order to stress which fingers are gripping tight and which fingers are a little bit loose on a certain grip. In actual application these transitions wouldn't be noticed. Most Filipino blades were originally used as farm implement which requires little or no guards at all. Therefore any protruding fingers would be an easy target. The grip transitions in real time application is done with subtlety.

The Pinuti is indegenous to us which comes from the Visayas region.  The blade is  approximately 16 to 18 inches long with a wooden handle. The term Pinuti means white or whitened. It has a very good balance and easy to carry.

Bong Abenir
Abenir Kalis Filipino Blade Art

For more info and  private training, please contact us through FB Messenger or send us your message at our email address at

Watch out for our upcoming instructional DVD on the use of Tabak (sword). It would serve as an introduction to AK. It will be followed by Laban Kutsilyo which is an introduction as well to AK knife fighting under Cranes Production.

We will also have our second book "DEEPER THOUGHTS ON THE FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS under Tambuli Media.

Training Center:
Taytay Rizal, Philippines

Thursday, February 16, 2017