Training Escrima

Escrima Concepts uses five concepts (Balance, Power, Focus, Timing, and Transition) to train with both traditional weapons like sticks and knives as well as modern items like a pen, mobile phone or a magazine. Instead of having a system of fighting for each separate item, we use the core concepts and our body mechanics to train us to be able to pick up anything and use it instantly as a weapon.

The main principle of Escrima Concepts is; “Don’t Get Hit!”. Taking a big ‘baseball-bat-like’ swing may be effective in terms of the sheer amount of power you can generate, but you are not particularly safe while winding up and starting the manoeuvre. Instead, we aim to keep our weapon between us and our attacker. It is our weapon but also our shield, and from behind this shield we can move to attack or defend.

Because we cannot rely on being bigger and stronger than our opponent, we must learn to develop power by moving our entire body. Escrima Concepts works because an attacker does not get hit by a 7 pound arm holding a mobile phone, instead they get hit by a 12 stone person, all impacting through one small point.

Our Escrima Concepts classes begin with using a rattan stick as a learning tool. As well as learning to use a piece of wood as a weapon, you are also teaching your subconscious about effective range. This ‘beginners’ weapon is the same length as your arm, so you learn about you and your opponents unarmed range. When using the back end (or ‘butt’) you are changing to the unarmed range, without dropping the weapon. The idea is that this stick is not just a stick, it could also be a rolled up magazine, an umbrella or a rolling pin; the concepts for using any of these as a weapon remain the same. 

When we teach unarmed concepts this is also the same as using a mobile phone, keys, a knife, a bottle or a biro; the objects may change, but the ideas of movement and the concepts of balance, focus, power, transition, and distance (speed/time) are all used equally as you move from weapon to weapon. 

Escrima Concepts is not a ‘stick system’, but a weapons system to be used with anything you pick up in the moment.

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