Insights and Training Tips from Tactical Arts


Insights from the Tactical Arts Academy

Do More Now - Faster Skill Development for Kali, Escrima, Arnis


We all seek ways to get better at our skills. We learn new drills. We add new techniques to our arsenal. We find new ways to test our skills. Learning these things can keep us excited about growth. However, learning new techniques and drills don’t always make us better or even more skilled in applying our chosen arts. A lot of our improvement comes from spending time cultivating the skills that we have already learned. It’s not so much about the techniques, but the quality time we spend practicing them. We need many repetitions and the experience that comes with those repetitions to get better. Initially, we start developing a new skill by training the body to move properly. With more repetition, we develop precision that allows us to control the weapon and be more accurate....

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Reaction Training for Filipino Kali


One of the most important factors in your training to get right is reaction training. No matter how great your technique is, if you have not trained it properly, it will be useless. You must train the technique to be reflexive. You cannot rely solely on your conscious ability to analyze your situation and recall the appropriate technique when you need to act in fractions of a second. It is just too slow. Using a progression to train your reaction skills is the best path to your success. Here is how to get started:Coordinate the MechanicsProgram your body to do what you want it to do. First, learn the movements related to the technique or response that you plan to make reflexive. Coordination and familiarity with the movements of the technique are the cornerstones of training for succe...

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Top 10 Tips for Learning Kali, Escrima, and Arnis


In more than 20 years of teaching the Filipino Martial Arts, I have seen many students grow from a fresh beginner into a solid intermediate student, then a seasoned advanced student and some on to instructor ranks. Because of this experience, I have been able to observe several trends in the growth a student in the Filipino Martial Arts. I have seen students go through various stages of learning, develop habits that support growth, and navigate life’s obstacles along the way. Through this, I have been able to determine what key factors result in the long term success of my students. When I start training a new student, I try to set him up for success not just in the short term, but for things that he will need years later in his training. This article includes a list of tips related to tho...

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The Filipino Balisong - A.k.a. the Butterfly Knife


The balisong has long been known as a beautiful and unique weapon of the Philippines. Also known as the Batangas knife, butterfly knife, clik clik knife and more, the balisong gets its common name from two words. The first is bali, which means to bend or to break in Pilipino, and the second is song, derived from sungay, the horn of the water buffalo. The balisong was once entirely made from the easily carved, plastic-like buffalo horn. Because the knife folds or bends and was made of this horn, the combination of words, balisong, became its name. Legends of the balisong also tell of a Filipino warrior who once killed twenty-nine opponents with his balisong. From this story comes another popular name for the blade – veintinueve, twenty-nine. Some say that perhaps this was twenty nine a...

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Learn One, Learn them All - Commonality of Motion and Skill Transferability in the Filipino Martial Arts

Learn One, Learn them All - Commonality of Motion and Skill Transferability in the Filipino Martial Arts

The Filipino martial arts are often referred to and thought of as stick fighting, but they involve so much more than that.  Really, the Filipino martial arts are systems of fighting that involve a variety of weapons and empty hands tactics and techniques.  Sticks are just used as the primary training tools, and not necessarily as the primary weapons. Because a large portion of training in the Filipino martial arts involves the use of rattan sticks, those who have not had the chance to learn about the Filipino martial arts usually see the sticks and conclude that the Filipino martial arts are just methods of stick fighting. With only a cursory examination, that does appear to be the case.  Almost every public demonstration of the Filipino martial arts will provide a nearly in...

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