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Siling Labuyo Arnis Curriculum

Contrary to popular belief, Filipino Martial Arts aren’t just about weapons training.  In fact, a large part of training time in Siling Labuyo Arnis is devoted to use of the empty hands.  After all, they are the tools that you will always have available to you, so you might as well learn how to use them.

Our curriculum is the antithesis of the set-in-stone dogmatism that one might see in some schools, intentionally so.  We would rather work with the attributes of the student, the abilities they’ve developed, and the resources they bring to class rather than some arbitrary list of techniques.  The curriculum isn’t standardized, because students aren’t standardized either.

There are three major areas to our training: Empty Hands, Sticks, and Blades. All of these interact to a large degree – holding a weapon in one hand doesn’t mean that the other hand is now unable to punch or grab.

Empty Hands
There are two major components to the empty handed curriculum: 

  • Striking – punches, kicks, elbows, knees and headbutts
  • Grappling – jointlocks, throws, takedowns, holds

Both striking and grappling are done standing, and on the ground.  As mentioned above, all of our areas of study interact, since it isn’t difficult for a fight to suddenly end up in a situation where the combatants find themselves on the ground, wrestling over possession of a stick or knife.

The rattan stick is extremely common in FMA training, and is used both to train the uses of, and defences against, the common club.  It also serves as a ‘stunt double’ for larger bladed weapons (machete, axe, etc.) since we use mostly the same body mechanics (as explained here) and same striking angles, but the rattan allows for a greater degree of safety while training.

Since edged weapons are extremely common, learning how to deal with them makes a great deal of sense.  The knife develops quick reactions, sensitivity and agile footwork.

As mentioned, the above three areas form the bulk of the Siling Labuyo Arnis curriculum.  However, there are a plethora of other weapons applications that we feel deserve some attention, both for skill development, and for familiarity with uncommon weapons. 

  • Double Stick
  • Long stick (4 feet and longer)
  • Stick and Dagger (or any other unmatched weapon combination)
  • Palm stick (approximately 6 inches long)
  • Flexible weapons (such as a chain)
  • Projectile weapons (throwing knife, axe, nails)

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