In this exclusive look behind the scenes during a kali sticks photo shoot featuring Black Belt Hall of Fame member Julius Melegrito, you’ll learn how to engage a single-stick combatant and disarm him quickly and definitively. The technique is direct and focused, which fits with the classical approach to combat with Filipino fighting sticks.
“Your whole purpose in classical Filipino stick fighting is to hit your opponent until he’s out of the fight,” Julius Melegrito explains. “In practice, you use your stick to hit his stick as close to his gripping hand as you can manage while staying safe, but in a real fight, you’d hit the hand. It usually makes him drop the weapon. Of course, in a fight, an attempt to hit his hand might miss, which is why you must practice follow-ups.”
KALI STICKS VIDEO
Filipino Fighting-Sticks Master Julius Melegrito Shows You an Effective Single-Stick Disarm
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Escrima Sticks 101: Julius Melegrito’s Practical Primer on the
Fighting Arts of the Philippines
Follow-Ups in Fighting With Kali Sticks
Julius Melegrito's approach to follow-ups involves using an empty hand — assuming, of course, that the opponent is not holding a second stick — to check the opponent's hand right after it's hit.
This move serves as "insurance" in Julius Melegrito's take on fighting with kali sticks: If the strike doesn't work, he can prevent his opponent from bringing the weapon hand back into action. The Filipino fighting-sticks instructor then has the option of immediately following up with a stick strike to the forearm, elbow, face, neck or some other available target.
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A Modern Approach to Fighting With Kali Sticks
"In the modern arts, it's OK to touch the stick," Julius Melegrito says. "When the guy swings at you, you intercept his strike with a strike from your stick — aimed at his hand — then you grab his weapon close to his hand if he doesn't drop it. Grabbing it allows you to use it against him or take it away."
Part of the modern methodology for fighting with kali sticks is separating your opponent from his weapon, Julius Melegrito explains. You can hit the hand holding the stick with the intention of making him drop it. You also can leverage it out of his hand using a twisting motion. Or you can use your stick to push his stick out of his hand in such a way that it goes flying!
About the Artist:
Black Belt's 2011 Weapons Instructor of the Year, Julius Melegrito holds a seventh-degree black belt in the Filipino arts, in addition to a fourth-degree in taekwondo, a third degree in combat hapkido and a second degree in tang soo do. Julius Melegrito is the creator of the Stix4Kids program, as well as the Philippine Combatives System and the Philippine Martial Arts Alliance, an international organization devoted to the self-defense systems of his homeland. He operates Martial Arts International schools in Bellevue and Omaha, Nebraska. For more information about Julius Melegrito's schools and organizations, visit PMAA.info. You also can order his three-DVD set Philippine Fighting Arts in our online store.