Escrima Syllabus

Escrima Concepts is a weapons based system and therefore you will learn to use weapons from your very first lesson. As the name suggests, this is a conceptual system which means it is the idea that ultimately matters, not the technique.

The fundamental concepts used in our classes are: Balance, Power, Focus, Timing (speed and distance), and Transition. These concepts are explored to find the safest and most efficient way of ending a fight, using control of both your own and your opponent’s weapon and body to make effective use of what you have.

Initially we train with rattan sticks, then as you progress through the syllabus you will move on to use a large variety of other training weapons including tonfa, axe, knives, palm sticks, machetes, staff and a whole host of other weapons and combinations. From the outset you will also train unarmed using just your own body (which is also a weapon) against all the different weapon types. Students learn to interchange weaponry depending on its availability so they can fight just as well with a weapon or without it, learning to adapt the concepts to whatever weapons they are using.

During the Lockdown of 2020 we started filming the Escrima syllabus, along with many solo training exercises and recordings of our Zoom classes for students to use when training outside of class. These are available through our online portal: FuTube, and you can find some taster videos here.

Student Grades 1-3 (Beginner Level)
This is your introduction to Escrima Concepts, teaching the fundamental movements and strategies of both unarmed and single stick. Completing this level usually takes around a year.
Students working towards these grades wear a white t-shirt.
Click here for more details here.

Student Grades 4-6 (Intermediate Level)
This is where you start to experiment with range and strategy as you become more comfortable with training unarmed, as well as using single and double sticks. Completing this level usually takes 12-18 months.
Students working towards these grades wear a green t-shirt.
Click here for more details.

Student Grades 7-9 (Senior Level)
Changing the environment and playing with situational awareness and strategy. Introducing several new weapons, including tonfa, axe, knives, and palm sticks. Completing this level usually takes 18 months-2 years, as it incorporates the Assistant Instructor Levels as well.
Students working towards these grades wear a brown t-shirt, and receive a black t-shirt on completion of the Student Grade syllabus.
Click here for more details.

Technician Grades (1-4) (Advanced Level)
After completing the Student Grades, the Technician Grades are designed to develop the understanding and strategic possibilities of each weapon; combining weapon and body mechanics together. Each grade focusses on different weapons that help integrate the whole system (eg staff, machete, palm sticks…). Here we isolate, dissect, and fine-tune the Escrima Concepts system, building upon environmental awareness with stress and fear control as you work towards mastery of the system.
Students who have passed the 1st TG grade wear black with red.

Instructor Grades

Assistant Instructor Level 1
Assisting teaching Grades 1-2, you can begin training for this when you have passed SG6.

Assistant Instructor Level 2
Assisting teaching Grades 3-4, you can begin training for this when you have passed SG7.

Assistant Instructor Level 3
Assisting teaching Grades 5-6, you can begin training for this when you have passed SG8.

Can teach the complete Student Syllabus (Grades 1-9). You need to have completed your 1st TG to complete this.


Grading days are held twice a year in Cambridge with Grandmaster Steve Tappin, and throughout the year at other clubs across the country. We also have Wayne Tappin visit our Tuesday night classes periodically to grade the Beginner Grades for people who have been unable to attend a weekend day. If you get good enough at your material but there isn’t grading anytime soon you will begin training the next grade – you will not be made to wait if we feel you are good enough to move on to new material.

When you complete a Level and move up, eg Beginner to Intermediate, you are presented with a new t-shirt as a congratulations from us on working hard and succeeding.


More Escrima Concepts pages ...  Training Escrima - Syllabus - Instructors - Media Gallery