Kali: Stick Martial Art From Southern Philippine

In Philippine, people use wood or rattan sticks for self defense. The martial art that use stick in Philippine is named Kali or Eskrima. It is derived from Spanish word “Esgrima” that means fencing.  Spanish sailor has seen Filipina people had practice this sport in 15th centuries.

Filipino people used it to against Spanish occupation. Lapu-lapu tribes, a tribe in South Filipina, chief have attacked Spanish Conquistador with Kali skill. The Spanish commander Ferdinand Magellan has been killed at war.

The stick is 70 to 90 cm in length but there is short or longer sticks. The sticks are made from strong wood such as steel wood. It is difficult to find hard wood now. Now, the stick is also made from hard plastic and rubber which is more durable. 

Kali teach not only stick fighting only but also knife fighting. Sometimes the fighters use sticks at right hand and knife at left hand. They also use aluminum knife. For the beginners, the guru train wood knives that could not hurt the student. The Kali also teach empty hand martial art that also influences Malay Silat.

This martial art is so simple. The guru teaches the student to hit with rattan. Certainly, there are so many techniques to hit with rattan. Only good techniques are taught to the student. We can hit the vital body of our opposite. I saw that this art also teach how to throw the opposite with stick. The fighter put the stick at elbow and pushes the hand opposite the body. I believe you can also fall your opposite. 

The target of the stick is human dummy. The Guru also teaches the student with other stick so they can fight with umbrella, newspaper roll, and others. They do not have to find stick if they should fight in the street.

The stick can increase the hit that is more powerful than fist. With stick, we do not have to hit our opposite directly. Sometimes our hand sick after hit somebody.

The student may also try trial fight against guru or other student. The student should use head protector, body protector, hand protector, and foot protector. Those protectors protect the body from rattan hit; however, the body could be hurt.  The student can use one stick or two sticks. Those students can hit to get point.

This sport is not popular as karate or Judo. Only few country that practices this sport such as, Filipina, United States, and others; therefore, the sport is not Olympic Games.

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