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One of the genres of fighting art hailing from the Phillipines. With similarities to the fighting style arnis, eskrima is a weapons system that utilizes either single or double sticks (usually made of bamboo or rattan) in combat. A combination of dagger and stick would also be considered part of the eskrima fighting sytem.

This fighting style is not nice. Not even slightly. It stems from the time when the Japanese controlled the Phillipines. The islanders were not allowed to practice their own martial arts, so (like all smart people) they devised a work-around. They simply incorporated their killin' into their rituals.

Thus, eskrima is a very dance like combat style. It's best learned, in fact, while listening to some form of music, that you can better appreciate the rythms of the form. I suggest KMFDM or Information Society.

Its roots have led to a fairly simple modern fighting style. There are exactly 12 strikes to the form, and "Siniwali", or pattern weaving. Literally, the weaving patterns are gourgeous movements made by the hands with the weapons. If something should come into contact with the beautiful rhythm....

Which is why I stated that this form of combat is not "nice". If you use escrima successfully on a person, the best they can hope for is unconciousness and a bruised temple or limb. More likely, this style will deal you multiple broken limbs, and killing someone is fairly easy with a short piece of rattan.

The Twelve Strikes (variations from style to style exist) -

  1. Right Temple
  2. Left Temple
  3. Right Ribs or Elbow
  4. Left Ribs or Elbow
  5. Right Shoulder
  6. Left Shoulder
  7. Crotch
  8. Head
  9. Tip Thrust to Right Stomach/Ribs
  10. Tip Thrust to Left Stomach/Ribs
  11. Tip Thrust to Right Cheek/Eye
  12. Tip Thrust to Left Cheek/Eye

Style is also known as escrima.
In addition to short pieces of bamboo or rattan and daggers, some followers of the style use a whip. Ouch.

While it is true that the Filipino did hide their martial art inside rituals and dances, this has nothing to do with the japanese. The Phillipines were only occupied by Japan for less than 5 years, during World War II.

From what I've gathered, Eskrima is really a catch-all term for a number of Filipino Martial Arts. The stories say that the different styles grew out of the fighting styles of the native tribes of the Phillipines after Spain discovered and invaded them in the 16th Century. Eskrima most probably evolved from those combat techniques that where found to be effective against the invading spaniards and, in at least some styles, spanish fencing. The influence of the spanish can be seen today in many schools of eskrima, and in fact, the word "eskrima" itself comes from the spanish word for fencing.

Disclaimer: I am no expert in the history of Eskrima. In fact, I am not even a practicioner. This w/u was only written to correct the mix-up of the spanish with the japanese in the above w/u.

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