The term Kali comes from an abreviation of the Filipino words kamut (hand) lihok (motion). Kali, Escrima and Arnis are the terms usually used to label the weapon based arts from the Philippines, they all have more in common than they have different. Kali is an impressively complete martial art covering every aspect to combat; striking, kicking, trapping, locks, grappling, dirty fighting and weapon disciplines for all ranges. Kali has been proven to improve cognitive function, the footwork patterns and double stick flow drills help to train both sides of the brain equally. The use of peripheral vision within drills like Sumbrada help to train the eyesight. The beauty of Kali is that the techniques that are taught are so easily transferable between impact weapons, edged weapons, soft weapons, thrown weapons, empty hand etc, the angles of attack and body motion is essentially the same. The stick teaches you the knife, the knife teaches you the empty hand etc. Filipino fighting systems such as Kali are taught to special forces units worldwide because of their simple training methods that produce highly competent warriors.
Panantukan, also known as, Filipino Dirty Boxing, Suntukan, Mano a Mano or Pangamot is an empty hand striking system that originated in the Philippines. It is usually taught as a secondary system for when you have lost your weapons in combat. It's core is in boxing techniques, however there are dirty fighting tactics that would be illegal in a boxing ring such as eye jabs, headbutts, grabbing the hair, groin slaps, arm wrenches, attacking the throat, elbows, knees, low line kicks and sweeps. There is also sensitivity training with Higot Hubud Lubud (to untie, to tie and to blend), a drill that has its origins in the knife, that is applied empty hand to provide options for when contact is made by way of reference points. It allows the practitioner to flow from striking combinations, changing the line of attack and removing barriers as they work around the opponent creating openings. This is a real street fighting system.
Silat is a devastating and deadly art comprised of striking, kicking, joint locks, throws, takedowns, ground fighting and weapons. Silat originated in south east asia; Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and the Philippines. Silat training begins with basic postures and footwork (langkah), time needs to be spent to learn to move naturally in and out of the positions. Jurus or forms are patterns of movement to train correct body mechanics, striking and kicking. There are tons of 2 person Jurus, containing empty hand striking, ground work and also weapon variations. Sparring plays an important role in Silat to develop functional techniques and fighting spirit. Ujian tests such as breaking coconuts or bricks, withstanding heavy blows, blindfold training etc are used to overcome fear, build confidence and toughen the body. Silat is a true battlefield art that creates warriors.
Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is known as the art of eight limbs (fists, elbows, knees, shins) and is the national sport of Thailand. It's comprised of striking, kicking, clinching, trips and sweeps. Renown for its violence in the ring, the fighters are tough. Fighters are capable of dishing out a ton of punishment and taking it in return. Heavy leg kicks, brutal elbows, often the loser is carried out of the ring on a stretcher. In Thailand fighters start training as young as 6 years old, and start fighting in the ring just 2 years after. Over their career they can have as many as 150 fights and usually retire around 24 years old. Muay Thai is commonly seen in the octagon as it is one of the most popular striking arts used to accompany a grappling art for competitive MMA. The parts of body are seen as weapons of war, the shins and forearms are toughened to act as shields, the hands are thrusted and swung like swords, the elbows are swung like short range war hammers, the knees thrust forward and cut in like axes, and kicks are swung through the target like long staffs. It's simple, and that's why this art is so effective.
Wing Chun is a fast and direct martial art and a devastating form of self defence. It is comprised of striking, kicking, trapping and weapons, it specializes in close range combat. The fast hands of Wing Chun can be likened to a machine gun, firing a flurry of shots in the blink of an eye. At the heart of Wing Chun are drills such as Chi sau, designed to develop a tactile sensitivity so that the slightest opening or break in the opponent's structure can be felt and an attack can be launched immediately. Wing Chun is a versatile system and although some say it was designed to enable the weak to overcome the strong, it works well for all body types because it is based on sound scientific principles. Wing Chun originated from the snake and crane arts of Shaolin, the most practical techniques and strategies were chosen and refined, and this became the art we known as Wing Chun.
Nam Pai Chuan translates as South North Boxing and is the origin for the Shaolin animal styles we teach. The Shaolin animal system is an incredibly thorough and multifaceted approach to combat training that involves brutal striking, kicking, throws, takedowns, grappling and ground fighting. It came about when the monks of Shaolin looked to nature for inspiration when creating the next evolution of the arts, they discovered that by imitating animal movements they could improve certain attributes for fitness and fighting. Each of the animal styles teaches the practitioner certain skills and strategies. Each animal style is a stand alone system in its own right and it takes time to pass the requirements. Due to the the vast amount of techniques and training methods, an endless array of options open up in combat/self defence scenarios. The ability to adapt to an ever changing opponent and exploit their weaknesses in combat is the overall goal. With so many options available of how to move, how to attack, how to defend, how to generate power, the preference of targets, desired outcome etc; the ability to change fighting strategy multiple times during a fight presents itself, making the practitioners next move impossible to predict. The training can be brutal and has a savage feel to it, it awakens something inside of us. What is second to none about this process is the primal mindset that is acquired.
Luohan Quan or 108 Monk Boxing is a well rounded system comprised of 108 movements that originated from the Shaolin temple over 800 years ago. The movements cover striking, kicking, blocking, trapping, locking and grappling techniques. It contains hard external conditioning methods called Iron Body training which make the body tough and capable of enduring blows and physical stress. Throughout the different stages of progress there is always a strong emphasis on developing stability and mental strength, gained from the repetition of challenging stances that are sometimes held for long periods of time. Correct breathing and a mindset of non-attachment is encouraged which highlights its Buddhist roots. You must learn to quieten your mind, over time this training teaches you control over your emotions. As Lao Tsu said "The best fighter is never angry". To keep calm in the face of danger is one of the most valuable abilities you can learn, often it means you have won the fight before it has even begun. Within the higher level study of Luohan Quan we teach the concept of Wu Xing or 5 Element Theory, this gives great depth to the physical and mental aspects of the art.
Chen Style Taijiquan or Tai Chi Chuan translates as Grand Ultimate Boxing, it's a martial art that originated in Chen village, the home of many great martial arts masters. It is primarily a stand up grappling, striking, kicking and weapon system based on the taoist concept of yin and yang. It can be a very difficult and challenging art to study, some say the most difficult of all, due to the high level of detail involved. It is what is known as an internal system, meaning it generates power from correct structure and breathing rather than relying on external muscles. The process of training Taijiquan requires you to unlearn habitual ways of movement that store tension, perfecting correct posture and distribution of weight. Taiji or Tai Chi refers to the art practiced for health. Taijiquan or Tai Chi Chuan refers to the art practiced for combat (quan/chuan meaning boxing or fist). The system is heavily based on developing sensitivity, internal power and deception. The understanding of the 8 energies is the basic requirement for being able to use Taijiquan in combat. The 8 energies are as follows: Peng, Lu, Ji, An, Cai, Lieh, Zhou, Kao. Hundreds of hours of Tui Shou (push hands) training is required to grasp the correct amount of detail and develop functional skill. There is a common belief that Taijiquan is a soft style, this is wrong. It is both hard and soft at different moments, yin and yang, it is in a constant state of change in the flow of combat.
Qin Na or Chin Na means to seize and control, and in one form or another elements of it are found within most martial arts. It is a complete system in its own right comprised of techniques for dividing the muscle/tendon, misplacing the bone, sealing the breath, organ striking, and attacking the arteries or nerve points. Sometimes nicknamed as the devils hand, at the lowest end of the scale it captures the opponent and controls them by delivering immense amounts of pain, at the higher end it causes death. You will learn the knowledge of anatomy, every muscle, tendon, bone, nerve, artery, organ functions etc so that you can understand how to disrupt and damage them. You will also learn escapes and counters from locks and chokes. It is a very practical no nonsense system, to this day Qin na is still taught in varying degrees to security, police and military worldwide.
Jeet Kune Do or JKD for short, translates as The Way of the Intercepting Fist and was founded by the late Bruce Lee. Comprised of all ranges of combat; kicking, striking, trapping, stand up grappling and ground fighting. 26 different arts were researched by Bruce when he was putting together the concepts of JKD: Wing Chun, Northern Preying Mantis, Southern Preying Mantis, Choy Li Fut, Eagle Claw, Tai Chi Chuan, Bagua, Hsing I, Bak-Hoo Pai (White Crane) Bak Fu Pai (White Tiger), Ng Gar Kuen (Five Families Fist), Ny Gar Ying (Five Animals), Bak Mei (White Eyebrow), Northern Shaolin, Southern Shaolin, Law Horn (Luohan), Qin Na, Monkey style, Drunken Boxing, Western Fencing, Western Boxing, Western Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, Kali/Escrima, Filipino Sikaran, Savate and Muay Thai. It should be noted that these arts were not used in their entirety, only a few techniques with sound principles, the most efficient of that particular style were adopted. JKD is not a style, its a philosophy. Bruce wanted to create something that would allow people to honestly express themselves in the medium of martial arts. He believed that a fighter needs to be fluid and adapt to each individual opponent. There is a huge emphasis on combat realism within JKD, sparring all out with protective equipment is a preference compared to lightly tapping each other and playing tag. Bruce believed that the only way to prepare people for the reality of a fight was to simulate that as close as possible (with safety measures). JKD is a continual journey of self discovery.