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Comtech Stick Fighting Vol.1-2
This new series covers all the basics of Filipino stick fighting the Comtech way.  Vol.1 covers Single Stick Techniques and Vol.2 expands your arsenal with Double Stick Techniques. (78)
Read More About Comtech Stick Fighting V.1-2 HERE


Comtech Sword & Dagger Vol.1-2
The sword & dagger or espada y daga is considered one of the highest level forms in the Filipino martial arts, and now for the first time James Keating has put this material on DVD for you.  This 2 volume set teaches you everything you need to know about the sword & dagger to add them into your art or expand your skills. (78)
Read More About Comtech Sword & Dagger V.1-2 HERE


Advanced Sumbrada
If you think you “know” this drill check out this DVD,
it will blow your mind with variations on the “motion tree”! (39)

Integrated Balisong: Practical Butterfly Knife Tactics
Pete Kautz shares how to develop combative skill in opening and closing the balisong at real speed while doing complex freestyle drills with a partner.  By adding layers of pressure and resistance to your training the most simple things become complex! (24)

Modern Knives #1: The Spanish Fighting Arts
Cinco Teros Sword & Dagger Method (Pete Kautz)
Spanish Notch & Trapping Guards (James A. Keating)
Spanish Navaja Knives (James Loriega) (30)
Modern Knives #2: South East Asian Fighting Arts
Kerambit Hook Knife (James A. Keating)
Thrusting Triangle Drills (Pete Kautz)
Filipino Knife (Kelly Worden) (30)
Modern Knives #6: Filipino Stick Fighting
Filipino Police Stick Tactics - Releasing & Locking (James A. Keating)
Functionalizing Siniwali For Combat (Pete Kautz)
The Visadario (Counter the Counter) of Modern Arnis (Dr. Remy Presas)
The Sibat Filipino Long Staff ("Big" Ken Smith)
Double DVD / Nearly 2 Hours (30)
Modern Knives #8: Combative Drills & Skills
Snake Rope Solo Training & Applications (James A. Keating)
The Figure-8 Stick Fighting Method (Pete Kautz)
Combat Escrima Knife & Stick Drills (Ed Lawson) (30)
Modern Knives #9: World Arts
Fighting Bandanna Quick Start Guide (Pete Kautz)
Comtech Spear (James A. Keating)
Sikaran Kicks, Sticks & Blades (Rob Simons) (30)

Previous Filipino Martial Arts Video Articles For May 2015

Filipino Spiritual Warrior Dance For Healing And Combat
The Sagayan Trance Dance done by Warriors using the Kalis (Sword) and Kalasag (Long Shield)

Filipino Overhead Attack / Defense Stick Drill
Copyright Pete Kautz 2015

The overhead attack and counter is an important basic drill in the Filipino martial arts. It uses striking angles 1, 2, and 12 as the attacks, and the upward shield, roof, or umbrella block on the inside line and the slant or wing block on the outside line for defense as well as the tip-up inside and outside blocks on their respective lines.

This same overhead attack and defense motion is made in many of the world's great weapon-based arts. It can be seen in styles ranging from Egyptian Naboot staff play, to classical European Saber fencing, to Venezuelan Garrote stick fighting. Truly this is a universal concept and application!

In thinking about defending the downward baton strike to the head, there are four basic ways you might put up your own stick to block. If you've never done this, pick up a pencil and follow along with this week's video clip. I think you'll get it right away!


If you are right handed, as the strike comes down to the center of your head you might react by raising your stick so the tip is pointing to your left side, and it protects your inside line. The tip should be lower than your hand, so the stick is at an angle downwards. This is sometimes called a roof or umbrella block in the Filipino martial arts depending on the teacher. It can be done as more of a block or as an upward slashing strike.  The stick could also be in the same blocking position but your hand and the tip are reversed so the tip is higher, sometimes called an inside block.

The other basic way you might react with your stick is to raise it so that the tip points to your right and it protects your outside line. Again make sure to point the tip of your stick downwards and keep the hand higher than the tip. This is sometimes called a slant or wing action and like before can be done as more of a block or more of a strike using the upward figure eight motion.  The stick can also be in the same blocking position but your hand and the tip are reversed so the tip is higher; this is known as an outside block.

When these actions are done at long range, or Largo, they can resemble more of a fencing match. As the range closes to Medio the open hand is first employed to check, trap, strike and disarm the opponent. When the distance closes to Corto, we see more of the disarming and well as locking, throwing, sweeping, and finishing techniques of the Filipino arts applied.

There's a nice section in the video where we close to Corto very quickly.  As we close I get a snake disarm right off the bat but then chose to surrender my own stick because I didn't want to hit him in the face with the puno (butt end) having done so accidentally the day before.  Instead you'll see me switch modes and use some palm strikes, elbows, and knees while staying close and controlling his head so he has no opportunity to use the stick.

Almost immediately after this we close range again and after a spin we clinch up you'll see me employ some head butts and an uppercut to break back out to Largo range.  None of this is choreographed, it's just what happened in the flow, but clearly illustrates how the Mano Mano / Panantukan can be integrated into the drill.

Learning when to use the open hand and when not to use the open hand is very important because the players should be moving in and out of distance as they perform this exercise. To put the hand out at the wrong time is to invite getting it struck. But when used correctly the “live hand” (as the open hand is sometimes called) is an invaluable asset and can snatch a stick away from an opponent in the blink of an eye.

It is important when doing this exercise to make sure you go slowly enough that you can focus each strike to the top of your partner's head. This is why you keep seeing me point to the top of my head as we do this.  It is a common beginner mistake that people start to just hit sticks together and then end up aiming at the other guy's stick rather than their head. If you notice this, mention it to your partner and slow the exercise down to a point when you feel that even if they missed their block and you hit them it would be OK. Go Tai Chi speed with intention and good targeting, then slowly pick up the speed once you have the focus.

You will notice that I like to include a lot of footwork and head evasion elements into this exercise.  By evading the head you get a break in the rhythm and can better sense if your partner is really striking for your head or not.  Similarly, footwork can rapidly move you out or range to be hit and cause the same break in the rhythm.  When head evasion and footwork combine, we start to see some of the classical cross stepping postures of Arnis - Kali - Escrima which can look funny or improbable when shown in still pictures but happen so naturally in real life.

If you're interested in learning more about this drill, perhaps a breakdown of the action as a lesson rather than a demonstration, let me know and maybe we'll film it for a future Training Tip!

All my very best to you,

Pete Kautz

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