I’ve previously discussed the many wonderful benefits of Kali. Now, I want to elaborate why it’s a great self-defense tool. I know many people study martial arts to protect themselves and their loved ones. If you haven’t found the right discipline to learn, then perhaps you might want to consider Filipino Martial Arts. Here are my top 3 reasons why it’s one of the best self-defense systems.
1. Effective and fatal
Many FMA moves look fancy almost unreal sometimes, especially the ones you see in the movies. Of course, there are more straightforward versions of what those action stars do in front of the camera. In fact, when you’re on the street, a simple strike or two combo can leave your opponent or attacker dead, vegetable or injured—depends on where and how you hit, your goal, your personality can also be a factor, and maybe your state of mind at that moment. If for some odd reason you morphed into Dexter Morgan, then I’d probably shit my pants in terror if I were the attacker.
2. Weapons Training
I guarantee bad guys carry some kind of weapon/tool with them when planning an assault, usually a knife or a gun (yes, you can use Kali against guns). And they’re ready to use it to threaten or worse, kill you. That’s why it’s crucial to train with and against weapons. Kali teaches you how to defend yourself when faced with such a dilemma—whether or not you have a weapon. In Filipino Martial Arts, you’ll learn to fight using:
Impact or blunt weapons – Eskrima sticks or any long stick for that matter (cane/staff also), baseball bat, hammer, etc.
Edged/bladed weapons – Knives, machete/bolo, swords, karambits, etc.
Improvised weapons – Pens, magazines, umbrella, etc.
Flexible weapons – Bullwhips, chains, nunchucks, ropes, handkerchiefs, sarong. Note: Not all FMA systems offer flexible weapons training according to this article on FMA Pulse.
3. Nasty mano-mano
Known by numerous names, such as Panantukan, suntukan, hand-to-hand, mano-mano is simply empty hands (weaponless) fighting. This consists of Dumog, which is the wrestling/grappling portion of FMA. Yes, Kali has groundfighting, too. Takedowns, sweeps, locks and good old punches and kicks (kickboxing) are also taught in Filipino Kali. Because in FMA, if you don’t have a weapon, YOU become the weapon.
Sinawali or double stick drills (Redonda, Reverse Redonda, Heaven 6 and others) promote coordination and ambidexterity. Through constant practice, your weak/non-dominant hand (also called bantay-kamay or check hand or alive hand; take your pick) can be as strong and effective as your dominant/weapon hand. So it doesn’t have a bearing whether your enemy is left or right handed, you’ll be ready to do some massive damage.