Kali/Silat Classes

Kali Silat Classes

This class is based on the ancient fighting systems of the Philippines. You will learn the foundations of Filipino boxing (Panantukan), kicking (Sikaran), and grappling (Dumog). Kali and Eskrima cover both weapon-based and open hand (no weapon) fighting. This unique system incorporates body movements and techniques that tie into all of the other classes at Elite Training Center, from Kickboxing and MMA to Krav Maga.

History of the Philippines & Kali

Filipinos are recognized for their skill in martial conflict, particularly in the use of bladed weaponry. This reputation defines both modern Martial Arts and warriors of the past centuries.

Current Filipino systems represent an accumulated wealth of knowledge and experience passed down by those who first struggled to reach the islands and then battled to maintain recognition, land, or independence.

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This system focuses on teachings from the Philippines, both with a weapon and “open hand”. This class is open to all students, as its principles are applicable to the foundation of every self-defense and combative system that we teach.

Filipino Kali is the art of stick fighting using hard bamboo sticks to strike and defend. Filipino Kali teaches weapons fighting before bare hand-to-hand combat.

The Philippines’ colorful history records the immigration of several cultures to the islands, all of which influenced the Filipino Martial Arts. Kali and Eskrima (also known as Arnis de Mano) stick fighting was developed over a period of many centuries in the Philippines as her people fought for their independence from foreign invaders. Each skirmish with a new culture added to the Filipino Martial Arts as Kali warriors developed techniques to combat foreign styles. Subsequently, more than 100 different Filipino Martial Arts styles developed, which can be grouped into three complete self-defense systems that utilize sticks, swords, empty hands, and other weapons. The systems are called Northern, Southern, and Central. “Kali,” the mother of Eskrima and Arnis de Mano, is the preferred reference by its practitioners.

Always assuming the use of the blade, whether it is the sword or knife, Kali employs many techniques, including strikes, stances, and weapon handling. It draws on influences from China, Arab missionaries, Indonesia, and Spain due to immigration, invasion, and occupation.

kali silat filipino martial arts training

What Kali Means

Kali is an ancient term used to signify the Martial Arts in the region of the Philippines. In the Southern Philippines, it is called Kali-Silat. Silat refers to the movements of the lower body. Filipino stick fighting was entrenched in the island’s culture long before the Spanish arrived in 1521.

When the Spanish arrived, they saw a wavy-edged sword about 30 inches long made of wood called a “kalis.” During the Spanish occupation, they forbade the practice of Kali. The Spaniards called the art Eskrima or Arnis. That is why all three words are used to describe this art. Kali is also used in India where Kali is the name of an Indian God. It is also found in Indonesia where they fight with an emphasis on Silat’s low-body movements than on Kali. In the Indonesian system of Pentjak, Silat includes a study of the body’s center of gravity and how to constantly topple it. In the Southern Philippines, Silat is used in dance, in Martial Arts, and in games. Kali stick fighting developed over many centuries and evolved to counter the fighting styles of various aggressors.

Kali for Men and Women

If it seems that this art is more of a man`s art, that is deceiving a thought. Due to the timing, balance, and rhythm involved, a woman has just as much potential of becoming proficient at this art. Along with all the great stories of the Philippines, the blind Princess Josephine stands out. Because no one could beat her in a fight, she would always lead her warriors into battle. Martial Arts are taught and practiced by both men and women in the Philippines. Combat was used among neighboring tribes and warlords. The Filipinos have a long history of women fighting in battle, wars, and combat. The Filipinos pride themselves in believing that the Martial Arts of their nation were a self-originated art, not borrowed from the Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, or Spanish.

KALI: Filipino Martial Arts

Kali is the native art of the Philippines, it consists of both weapons and bare hand skills. The art mainly uses synchronized stick training drills along with body angling and fluid movements, gearing a person towards better hand and eye coordination and being stable in almost position during a confrontation, along with phasing out the factor of fear associated with being confronted with a weapon.

Eskrimadors’ Beliefs

It is said among Eskrimadors that “By understanding the weapon first, you come to know the bare hand.” There are an uncountable number of styles in the Philippines known by other names such as Arnis De Mano, Arnis Lanada, Eskrima, Sirakan, Silat, Kuntao, Kalibadman, Kalirongan, Pagkkalikali, and Tjakalele, also described as Indonesian fencing. Each style offers methods and synchronized techniques that set it apart from the others, yet they are all tied together by a common thread, concentrating on the basic angles of attack.

LACOSTE – INOSANTO 12 Subsytems of Kali

The following is a list of the expanding circles of education provided by Elite Training Center within the art of Kali:

  • Single stick, single sword, single ax, and single cane
  • Double stick, double sword, and double axe
  • Stick & dagger, cane & dagger, sword & dagger, sword & shield, and long & short stick
  • Double dagger, and double short stick
  • Single dagger, and single short stick
  • Palm stick, and double end dagger
  • Boxing, kicking, and grappling
  • Staff, paddle, spear, spear & circle shield, spear & rectangular shield, spear & sword/stick, spear & dagger, and two hand method (heavy stick)
  • Sarong/malong, belt/whip, rope/chain, scarf/head band, handkerchief, and yo-yo
  • Hand throwing weapons, spear dagger, wooden splint, spikes, coins, washers, rocks, sand, mud, dirt, pepper, powder, and any object
  • Projectile weapons, slingshot, and firearms
  • Mental, emotional, spiritual training, healing arts, health skills, rhythm/dance, history, philosophy, and ethics

The basic tactical ranges are close, medium, and long. Footwork is the base of a triangular framework of stance and movement. Close-range, short movements are used with minimal extension of arms, legs, weapons, and cutting distance. Split step, short-range footwork is combined with quick, split action, front & back strategies, and a low stance. Long-range, extended movements use the full extension of arms, legs, and weapons and create distance. Short-range footwork is developed that encompasses a hopping action, a balanced position, the short hop, and pushing off from the lead foot. Kali at Elite Training Center uses short-range footwork, shuffling action, pushing backward by pushing off the lead foot, which offers six to eight inches of range per action, and side-to-side action.

Global Kali

The Kali system is used globally by Military, Special Forces, and Law Enforcement Agencies, Close Quarter Battle (CQB), and tactical systems. International users of the system include:

  • Philippine National Police
  • Special Action Force Commando
  • Crisis Response Group and Aviation Security Group
  • Balikatan Joint Military Exercise – U.S. Forces and Philippines Forces
  • US Special Forces – Green Beret – Delta Force and Texas Rangers
  • Russian Spetsnaz and FSB (Federal Security Service)
  • Austrian Cobra Commandos
  • K-9 Federal Air-Marshal
  • U.S. Criminal Justice Training System
  • Australian Federal Police
  • FBI, NYPD, LAPD in the United States of America
  • Navy Seals and MEU United States Marine Corps
  • British SAS (Special Air Service)
  • GSG9 Counter Terrorist Unit in Germany
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