Filipino Martial Arts Terminology

Abanico (Transl. Fanning): Striking, usually with a stick, that imitates a fanning motion (side to side)
Alibata: Ancient script used primarily by Tagalog people. The term literally means “to spell, write and syllabize”. It is commonly used & associated to FMA Group Logo
Arnis: (Transl. Harness) One of the common names for Filipino Martial Arts from the Northern part of the Philippines;
Balisong: Foldable butterfly knife
Bangkaw: (Staff or Bo) A piece of wooden rod or pole varying in lengths
Barong: Leaf shaped blade weapon used by Filipinos in the Southern Philippines
Baston: Stick or baton used in FMA
Contra: Counter
Corto: Short distance, Close range
Crossada: “Crossing” stick disarm; maneuver used to block an incoming attack
by forming an ‘X’ pattern with one’s baton, arms or bladed weapon
Daga: Knife or dagger
Doble Baston: Double sticks fighting system
Doble Doble: Training drill were specific hits are duplicated
Dulo Dulo: Small palm size stick used as weapon. Spoken twice to indicate style
of fighting with said weapon
Dumog: “Filipino grappling art” either in a clinch or on the ground. It is the
Wrestling system of FMA
Dunga: (Transl. Point) Stabbing strike, usually with a blade; it is also called as
Earth/Heaven grip: Two basic grips on knife. If, when holding your arm straight
to the front, the point of the blade points upward that is “heaven grip”. If the knife is gripped so the blade exits the fist from a pinky side & points towards the floor, that is “earth grip”
Elastico: Footwork used for largo mano stick sparring
Eskrima: Fighting system of The Philippines. Other common terms are Arnis and
Espada y daga: Sword (espada) & dagger (daga) used together. Sometimes also
connotes the use of stick & knife tandem
FMA: Common abbreviation for “Filipino Martial Arts”
Gunting: Scissors or passing block which means wounding an opponents limb
through a slapping motion as one attempts to block an incoming strike
Guro: (Transl. Teacher) Title used generally for instructors/teachers
Hilot: Traditional healing system of the Philippines
Hubud: “untie or undress” when coupled with lubud (blend); a term that connotes
a form of “flow” drill
Kadena de Mano: (Transl. Chain of hands) The empty hands system at the core
of Filipino martial arts
Kali: Fighting system of the Southern Philippines. Other common terms are Arnis
and Eskrima.
Kampilan: Long sword found in The Philippines
Karambit: (or Kerambit) Curved knife resembling a claw (single or double edged)
originally from the Malaysian/Indonesian archipelago.
Kris/Keris: Wavy blade originally from the Malaysian/Indonesian archipelago, traditionally used as a stabbing weapon in Malaysia/Indonesia and a longer version sword in The Philippines
Kuntaw (alt. Kuntao): “Fist way” a system of kung-fu adopted by Filipinos & shared in common with Indonesia
Largo Mano: Long range extended movements, full extension of arms, legs & weapons, creating distance
Largo: Long distance
Lutang: Float
Majapahit: Empire of today’s Southeast Asia in the 13th Century
Medio: Medium distance
Mirror mirror: Drill where the right meets the right & the left meets the left and
so on.
Palusot (Transl. Passing through): Striking motion passing through something
(arms/legs) to go from the outside line of the opponent to the inside or vice-
Panantukan: Boxing system from the Philippines, commonly known as “dirty
boxing” for its efficient self defense applications
Passa: Passing defensive motion
Pressure point: In Martial Arts are areas of the body where people can apply
pressure or strike in order to cause pain
Punio: Butt or pommel of a weapon
Redonda: Circular power striking motion, usually using stick
Sarong: Piece of cloth used as clothes in Southeast Asia and also used as
weapon for fighting (ex: Sarong Silat)
Serrada (getting close): close quarter combat executed at corto (close or short
distance) range. Also a style of escrima, popularized in the US by Angel Cabales • Sibat: Spear
Sikaran: Kicking system from the Philippines; generally “striking with the leg”
Silat: Fighting system found primarily in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei
and the south of the Philippines.
Sinawali: “To weave”, connoting the continous weaving motion that one uses
with two sticks, knives or hands to couple simultaneous strikes & blocks • Sipa: To kick
Solo Baston: Single stick, usually made of rattan
South Paw/Orthodox: Stance where the boxer has his right hand & right foot
foward is called “SouthPaw”; stance where the boxer has his left hand & left foot
forward is called “Orthodox”
Suliwa: Pass or deflect
Sumbrada: An upward, oblique “umbrella” block
Tagalog: Language spoken in the Philippines
Triangle footwork: the basic footwork of FMA; moving at 45 degree angles to
both evade or approach
Tuloy Tuloy: (Transl. Flowing) Continuous striking movement, whether with or
without weapon.

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