There is nothing I hate more than when someone says,
“Oh, that art where you swing the sticks around and play with swords. I don’t know if that’s ever going to be useful to me. I mean, when am I ever going to be walking around the city with sticks or a sword?”
I can’t tell you how many times I just wanted to (fill in with whatever expletive you can think of saying or doing to said person).
If there is anything I have enjoyed about studying kali, arnis, eskrima (a.k.a Filipino Martial Arts), it’s that once you understand the basic mechanics of striking, whether it be with a bladed weapon or impact weapon, you actually realize that anything can be a weapon.
What you also learn is that if you find yourself having to use self-defense to protect yourself or those you care about, the best weapon to have is the one in your hand. This can be anything from a pen, flashlight, cell phone, rolled-up newspaper, keys, or even a water bottle. And in the hands of someone skilled, any of these objects can prove extremely useful.
In the technique above, my student Boo is defending against a straight punch by first using a hammer fist as a muscle disruption to his opponent’s biceps, followed by a hammer fist to his jaw, and finally ending with an arm lock.
Now, just imagine what would happen if he had something in his hand like a cell phone. Most people these days not only have a cell phone, but they are almost always carrying one in their hands where ever they go.
That folks is one of the many things you can learn studying Filipino Martial Arts. So it’s really hard to say that this art isn’t useful. If anything, it’s extremely practical.
So before you try to dismiss the usefulness of kali, arnis, eskrima, make sure you fully understand what it’s all about. And once you’ve studied it for as long as I have, you’ll never look at the stale end piece of a hero the same ever again. 😉