How interesting is escrima?

Was reading all the martial arts threads on the board, this seems like a good place to come to find out about 'em! :slight_smile:

I did kendo for about a year, but eventually got rather bored with it. There only seems to be 3 different strikes to learn, and after that it’s variations and improving them.

I did like that when I was doing kendo I was fitter than I’ve ever been in my life since I don’t like to exercise (I keep thin by eating properly, it’s a lot less painful! :)).

I don’t know much about escrima, just that it’s from the Philipines, uses sticks, and looks good in still photos. I figured this’d be the best place to come to find out a few basic things about it before I start looking into actually learning it. So, that out of the way, here goes!

a) Like in the subject, is it interesting? Are there many styles, or is it like kendo where there’s like, 3 basics and then minor variations?

b) Do you use 1 stick or 2? (or both?)

c) Is there kicking incorporated or is it mainly just the sticks?

The Filipines have some of the nastiest martial arts known to man. Panantukan boxing blocks punches with elbows, so soon your opponent has two broken hands and you can proceed to beat the holy hell out of him.

This should nicely convey the spirit behind their arts.

I study Kali and I’ve done bits of Lameco, Escrima, and Arnis, so I feel slightly qualified to answer.

All the stick systems I’ve trained use a twelve strike base, though many systems vary which twelve strikes they use.

Kendo probably hasn’t been used in combat since… when? The twelfth century? My Japanese knowledge is hazy right now, forgive my ignorance. Filipino stick fighting has been used in combat as recently as WWII. Not only has it evolved well into the twentieth century, but it is so widely practised in the Filipines right now that it is probably still evolving. Adapting to the needs of the times, essentially.

I’ve trained Kobudo, Jujitsu weaponry, Kung-Fu swords, etc, and I highly recommend any Filipino martial art.

Depends on the teacher. The most common cirriculum is the teaching of two sticks. I think this is silly because fighting with two sticks is nothing like using one stick, almost two entirely different arts, and you might easily find yourself in a street situation with only one stick. I’ve also had the privilege of learning Kali knife fighting techniques, which are easily the best blade techniques I’ve ever trained in my life. Unfortunately, knife fighting is rare so I am unable to train it right now, but I highly insist that, if you take up escrima, you take up a class that teaches knives.

Other weapons taught are staff, swords, and many other traditional weapons, but these classes are somewhat more rare. Luckily, traditional Filipino weapons are considerably more street applicable than traditional Japanese weapons (nunchukas, sais, kama, etc.)

I’ve seen virtually no kicking in my training. There will be some, but only after you’ve studied for many, many years.

Escrima starts with weapons and slowly works into empty hand combat, transisting between the two methods of combat through the brutal concepts that they share.

If you study enough to work into empty hand Filipino combat (see Panantukan above), you will definitely be able to take care of yourself on the street.

Filipino arts are accessible to almost everyone. Strength, speed, and endurance mean nothing in a weapons fight when put against experience.

If you have any other questions, feel free to email me privately.