10 Things You Probably Did Not Know About the Filipino Martial Arts

# 5:
“Stick fighting is suitable and beneficial for everyone.”

For children, sinawali is appropriate. This form of double-stick fighting strengthens the limbs and develops hand-eye coordination as well as any sport. Kids also benefit from the character training that occurs when they learn how to safely handle weapons that are potentially dangerous. For many, this setting is preferable to the old way–which is how I learned. When I was young, my grandfather taught me to handle a live blade while learning how to use it for survival and self-defense.

(My first lesson: how to hand a knife to another person.)

For women, the Filipino arts are perfect because even the smallest hands can hold a knife and wield it in deadly fashion. With minimal training, a woman will be able to keep almost any sane attacker at bay. For the insane ones who approach anyway, they risk getting cut or killed.

Don’t believe it? Try this experiment: Give a woman you know a marker, then attempt to get close to her without getting inked. It’s not easy to do. Once she’s taught how to discreetly carry and draw the weapon, your task will be exponentially tougher. Suitably armed, she’ll be able to truly protect herself, even against multiple attackers.

For police officers and members of the military, the Filipino arts provide an essential set of skills–namely, those that involve the tactical knife. Our fighting men and women need real blade skills, both offensive and defensive, and the Filipino arts are among the few on earth that have been tested in battle.

– Guro Melegrito –