martial art styles in Philippines

Way of the Warrior - Eskrima, the Philippino Way [1/4]

Way of the Warrior - Eskrima, the Philippino Way [2/4]

Way of the Warrior - Eskrima, the Philippino Way [3/4]

Way of the Warrior - Eskrima, the Philippino Way [4/4]

Babao Arnis

The personal style of Narrie Babao. Based on Doce Pares, Villabrille Kali, Kuntaw, and Karate.


KALIS-SILAT is a treasured knowledge of Filipino martial artists, cultivated from a number of years in training and discipline. During the early civilization these types of Martial Arts were developed by practitioners for survival, defense and protection of their families and territorial land against intruders.
The Bais family adopted the three principle martial arts objectives of native Filipinos. The family also improved and developed unique self-defense movements that are applicable in sport martial arts and actual combat. They were designed for application by either gender. The objectives are to promote camaraderie, health and personal self defense which have to be applied only in unavoidable circumstances.
The first training starts with bladed and non-bladed weaponry. Continued practice develops the body instinct's and raises awareness of the true danger of weaponry. The concept of this training is to attack in a simultaneous manner, neutralizing the opponent and controlling the fight. Continuous follow up (strike) on every tactical strike is a must. The end of every strike should be the beginning of the next one. This will redirect your opponent's counter moves and let you control the fight. Blocking is essential for effective counter-options. Balance is a factor of technique. Foot work is the stable structure of defense and offense.
DaVinci VitruveThe second principle is the use of hand and foot fighting for offensive and defensive techniques to out-maneuver the opponent. Understanding the importance of balance, the ranges of target and foot work are vital on every attacking and countering aspect. The effectiveness of hand and foot as a weapon is the base form of each distance. Leg kicks are used for long range distance and mobility of jumping. Sliding and body shifting are additional factors on distance maneuvers. Circular punching, straight punches, back hand and chopping are for medium range. The elbow, knee kicks and upper cut punches are for short ranges. The main key is to understand how your own body functions in every position. Then reach beyond as your body adopts and applies these techniques.
The third principle is the continued practice and preservation of the "dancing ways" of patterned drills and forms which Filipinos called "Sayaw " (a dance). These practices are armed and unarmed and performed in non-aggressive body movements. This is dedicatedly performed for the development and preservation of the arts and for training the body. This principle teaches your physical being and mind to react instantly according to the situation of the attack, if engage in real fighting.

Founder: Jon Bais


Balintawak Eskrima or Balintawak Arnis is a Filipino Martial Art developed by Venancio Bacon in the 1950s to enhance and preserve the combative nature of arnis which he felt was being watered down by other styles of Philippine martial arts. It is named after a small street in Cebu where it was founded.

Founder: Venancio Anciong Bacon

Balintawak International

Balintawak International Self-Defense was founded in 1957 with Venancio Bacon as its grandmaster. GM Bacon later formed another style under his own name, but Balintawak International continues on.

Balintawok Escrima

Taboada's Balintawok Escrima is a style that ncorporates many styles of Escrima and Filipino boxing.

Bohol Method

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Regino Ellustrisimo was the uncle of Floro Villabrille.

Founder: Regino Ellustrisimo


Cabales Serrada Escrima

Cabales Serrada Escrima is a system of Eskrima, a form of Filipino martial arts.
This fighting technique was introduced in Stockton, California, United States in 1966. Serrada Eskrima utilizes the art of stickfighting as well as Espada y Daga techniques. Serrada eskrima is usually practiced at close (also known as corto) range. The word Serrada means "to close" in Spanish, and Escrima or Eskrima means to skirmish.
The Filipino founding father of Cabales Serrada Escrima was (1917-1991). He was a disciple of Felisimo Dizon. While the mysteries of Filipino stickfighting were still shrouded in secrecy in the remote South Pacific archipelagos, Angel Cabales emigrated east to the United States. Here he introduced his unique brand of self-defense, and became known as the "Father of Serrada Escrima in America".
In essence, the Cabales Serrada System of Escrima was designed as a form of personal defense, as well as a form of critical thinking. Within the past several decades countless martial artists worldwide have had the rare opportunity to train and to discover the skills, wisdom and close-range, stick and knife empty-hand strategies of Cabales Serrada Escrima.

Founder: Angel Ovalles Cabales


Classical Combat Eskrima Kali Association

Founder: Nonoy Gallano

Cinco Teros

Cinco Teros ("Five Strikes") refers to the five most basic strikes in eskrima, which is a class of Filipino martial arts that emphasizes staff and sword fighting.
The art is composed of the four basic cuts and one basic thrust. There are varied patterns for the strikes depending upon the teacher or in the system. However, the Cinco Teros is believed to have originated in Pangasinan, Philippines.
Cinco Teros commonly utilizes an "X" pattern in attacking the opponent, but some methods employ patterns resembling a "+" while others use stiking patterns that emulate a "V".
The most common pattern for the Cinco Teros are as follows:
Downward diagonal forehanded Slash.
Downward Diagonal Backhanded Slash.
Horizontal Forehand Slash.
Horizontal Backhand Slash.
Straight Thrust.
The Cinco Teros is based upon angles of attack, not specific targets. This allows the practitioner to apply any one of the five striking angles to any target they choose. For example, the fifth strike, which consists of a straight thrust, does not necessarily need to be targeted towards the belly. While it can be targeted towards the belly, it can also be targeted to the throat, the heart, or the eye. Instead of tediuously taking the time to learn individual angles for individual targets, the angles of attack can be applied to any target that is available.
The strength of the Cinco Teros lies in its simplicity. While many systems of Eskrima may have seven, twelve, or seventeen angles of attack, the Cinco Teros are often sufficient for developing combative knowledge and efficiency in the shortest amount of time possible.
While the precise influence on FMA of Classical Spanish Fencing, also known as La Destreza, is difficult to determine, it appears that Cinco Teros may be one of the elements cross-pollinated by one system to the other. Cinco Teros bears a marked similarity to offensive techniques outlined in "Cartilla y Luz en la Verdadera Destreza" written by Don Nicolas Tamariz in the year 1696. The text includes the following dialogue:
"Cuantos modos hay por herrir? Segun Don Luis, cinco. Quales son? Medio tajo, medio rebes, tajo, rebes, y herrida de estocada."
Translated to English:
"How many ways are there to hurt? According to Don Luis, five. What are they? The middle cut, the middle reverse cut, the cut, the reverse cut, and the hurtful thrust."
The putative origin of Cinco Teros in Pangasinan also lends some credence to the theorized cross-pollination, as Pangasinan was the site of a campaign that pitted a Spanish-Filipino force under the command of Juan de Salcedo against an invading force of Chinese pirates under Limahong. Cinco Teros may have been a close combat tactic shared by the troops under Salcedo's command amongst one another for use against the common foe.

Combat Kalaki Arcanis

Combat Kalaki was founded by Jan Nycek in 1998 in Olesnica near Wroclaw (Poland).

Founder: Jan Nycek

De Cuerdas

A quick, very basic, but effective style of Eskrima.

Founder: Gilbert Tenio

Defensor Method

Founder: Nate Defensor

Derobio Escrima

Founder: Braulio Tomada Pedoy


Doblete Rapillon


A style that emphasizes multiple attacks which are quickly delivered without gaps or openings.

Founder: Patricio Mena

Dog Brothers


"To Grapple"


Founder: Jack Santos


Founder: John LaCoste


A combination of Aikido, Judo, and Doce Pares Eskrima.

Founder: Ciriaco  Canete


Founder: Felicisimo Dizon

Filipino Boxing & Dumog

Founder: Ted Lucaylucay

Garimot Arnis

German Arnis

Founder: Dieter Knuettel

Giron arnies escrima

Cadena de Mano 

Combate Adentro 

Contra Compas 


Esrilo Abierta 

Esrilo Retirada 

Estilo Bolante 

Estilo de Abanico 

Estilo de Fondo 

Estilo de Salon 

Estilo Elastico 

Estilo Macabebe 

Estilo Redonda 

Estilo Sonkete 

Fondo Fuerte 

Largo Mano 

Media Media 

Miscala (Mezcla) Contras 

Tero Grave 

Tero Pisada 


Inayan System of Eskrima

Founder: Mike Inay

Inosanto Lacoste Method

Founder: Dan Inosanto

Kadena de Mano

"Chain of Hands"

Founder: Max Sarmiento


Kali is an ancient martial art form from the Philippine Archipelago (formerly Maharlika) that pre-dates the Spanish conquest of the island nation and is based on the use of the blade (sword).
But the word Kali has many interpretations and meanings depending on who you talk to within the Filipino Martial Arts community.
Since there are over 180 languages in the Philippines and 12 unique alphabets no one knows for sure who is correct. And unfortunately, it was a standard procedure for Spanish Conquistadores to burn all local literature. One Spanish priest alone is said to have burned 300 scrolls in Luzon.
Over the 370 years of Spanish rule in the Philippines, many local words were replaced with Spanish words. Two of the most common Spanish terms for the Filipino Martial Arts are Arnis and Escrima.

Abanico "Fan"


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Aguillon Arnis 






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Person from the city of Cebu



Doce Pares From the "Canete" family

Dos Manos 


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The "ABC" of double stick …

Fondo Puerta 

Herada Bantanqueno 



A tribe


A tribe

Italonio A sword and dagger method adopted from Italy




Largada Pesada 

Largo Mano Long Range …

Lastico The elastic method …




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The Muslims

Mountain (northern type) 



By the numbers …




Panandata To fight …

Pangasinan A tribe

Pekiti Tirsia A style from Leo Gaje (To close) …

PMAS Combat Escrima 

Precia Punialada 

Redondo To make a circle …

Repeticion To repeat …

Reterida To retreat …

Rompipan Cempiapa Etalonia 


Serrada; Serada "To close …"

Sinawali "To weave …"

Sumbrada "Shade"


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Taosug; Sulu 



Trisello; Crosses 


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Kali Ilustrisimo

Founder: Antonio "Tatang" Ilustrisimo


Kinamotay (Also correctly pronounced as "Kinamutay" due to Cebuano language quirks, but erroneously referred to as kino mutai by Western martial artists who have misheard the term) is a specialized sub-section of some Filipino martial arts that emphasizes biting, pinching, eye-gouging and other "dirty" fighting techniques. The root word of the term is the Cebuano term for hand, kamot. Although in Cebu, it is culturally associated with the way women fight (pinching, scratching and gouging), the techniques used are effective against opponents of all sizes.
Kinamotay involves extensive use of grappling and manipulation of nerve and pressure points, so as to allow the practitioner to inflict pain and control the opponent while applying the techniques.
The biting aspect of kinamutoy concerns itself with what targets to bite, how much to bite at a time, and the angle and movement of the bite. Favoured targets include sensitive and easily accessible areas such as the face, neck, ear, groin, nipple, and latissimus dorsi muscle. These targets are also chosen over others because of the difficulty countering a kinamotay practitioner biting them, and hence to ensure that an uninterrupted bite can take place.
One key principle is uninterrupted biting, this means that you place yourself in such position that you can continue biting as long as you want, disabling your opponent from escaping your bites. It can be used to inflict pain and can be used to cut arteries which can cause severe bleeding.


Founder: Ernesto Presas

Kuntao; Kuntau; Kuntaw; Kuntow

"The Fist Way"

Kuntaw Lima-Lima

Founder: Carlito Lanada

Lameco Eskrima

Founder: Edgar G. Sulite

Latosa Escima

Lightning Scientific Arnis

Founder: Benjamin Luna Lema

Modern Arnis, Presas Style

Founder: Remy Presas

Moro-Moro Orabes Heneral

Founder: Alejandro Abrian

Oido de Caburata Arnis

Founder: Abraham Gubaton


"To Box"


Founder: Ciriaco  Canete

San Miguel Eskrima

Founder: Filemon "Momoy" Canete

Sikaran; Sikiran

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The art of kicking


SLD stands for and is based on Serrada, Largo Mano, and Dequerdas, Revillar learned Serrada from Angel Cabales, De Cuerdas from Gilbert Tenio, and Largo Mano.

Founder: Dentoy Revillar


Suntukan or is the boxing and empty hands striking component of Filipino martial arts. In the central Philippine island region of Visayas, it is known as Pangamot or Pakamot. It is also known as Mano-mano and often referred to in Western martial arts circles of Inosanto lineage as Panantukan. Although it is also called Filipino Boxing, this article pertains to the Filipino martial art and should not be confused with the Western sport of Boxing as practiced in the Philippines.


The staff method …


Founder: Florendo "Vee" Visitacion

Yaw Yan

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