- You learn practical self-defence.
- Your upper body, arms and legs will become toned
- You will increase your fitness and aerobic capacity
- Parts of your body, such as your forearms, elbows and hands will
benefit from conditioning, making them more resistant to pain and
- You will become more flexible.
- You will benefit from increased manual dexterity and co-ordination.
This is derived from performing exercises with two weapons and
weapons of different sizes. You will probably become partially
- You will be able use any weapon , even one you have not used
- It complements and enhances any martial art. It can be learnt
independently from other martial arts or grafted seamlessly into any
form of exercise you do already.
- Many of the techniques do not require strength or power, since
most of the power is derived from body movement and economy of
- Because there is no need for strength, anyone can learn
Eskrima. 12 year old children can learn Eskrima as well as retired
women (The Black Eagle Eskrima Grandmaster is 76 at the time of
writing, and is still in formidable shape).
- It is a complete system of martial arts, training you in striking
(punching, kicking,etc.), wrestling, all forms of weaponry, and even
- It can be practiced anywhere. Eskrima can be practiced in
a park as well as it's practiced in a gym.
- It is fun. Because it requires a training partner to practice, it
is a great way to meet people.
- Eskrima is a complete martial art. It does not focus exclusively on
unarmed self-defence techniques (like for example, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, or
Muay Thai) nor does it focus exclusively on weaponry. Students are learn to
interchange weaponry depending on its availability so they can fight just as
well with a weapon or without it. It covers all the ranges of combat. For
example Wing Chun specialises in the close range techniques, while Tae Kwon
do, specialises in kicking techniques. Eskrima trains the student to fight
at long range (with feet), medium range (hands and feet), and close range
(elbows and knees). It also utilises wrestling techniques, wrenches,
takedowns, sweeps, throws and pressure point strikes.
- There are little or no forms (or kata). Due to its combat effectiveness,
there is little need to practice solo or routine exercises, since these do
not train the student in anything relevant. All drills and exercises are
partnered to maximise the learning benefits to the students.
- Students of Eskrima learn to use weaponry first. Most other martial
arts teach weaponry only to the most senior students when they have reached
a high level of proficiency in their art. However, weaponry learnt this way
is never related to empty hand applications and students are taught specific
techniques, rather than teaching integrated principles. The benefits of
learning weaponry first is that it increases the co-ordination tenfold for
empty hand applications (after all, weapons are merely extensions of the
- Students are taught sparring from the start. No time is wasted learning
intricate footwork, or stances. The student is taught to spar at short
range, long range, grappling range, and with a variety of weapons. Eskrima
is probably one of the only martial arts where sparring against multiple
opponents is successfully trained.
- Eskrima does not over-emphasise one part of the system. Fighting with
empty hands is automatically acquired after training with weapons. Students
can also fight with weapons of different size, weight and shapes without any
- Eskrima is a mixture of hard and soft styles. Styles such as
Karate are all hard, while many Chinese styles such as Tai Chi Ch'uan
are soft. This mixture of hard and soft styles Eskrima produces a
martial art which can be seamlessly integrated into any other martial art
without any problems. Many boxers find it hard to use their techniques in
Aikido, while someone who practises Karate will find it hard to blend his
art with Chi na.
- Eskrima is often taught outdoors, with shoes, since this is an
ideal streetfighting setting. No special uniform is needed, and it is a
relatively inexpensive art to practice. All one needs to start Eskrima (save
for a good instructor), is a broom handle, or a lead pipe and the clothes on
- Eskrima is the only art to be traditionally not practiced in a class
format. Although today, this has changed, for obvious reasons, it was
traditionally taught one on one, which is why Eskrima students learn so much
faster than say a Jiu-Jitsu student who learns in a class of 30 people.
- Many techniques in Eskrima are lethal and fatal. Not many restraining
techniques are taught since the art is grounded in mortal combat.
Spirituality and martial virtue is attained independently by the students
and not taught as part of the curriculum.
- Eskrima and most Filipino martial arts have not been bastardised like many
other traditional arts*. There are no official rankings in Eskrima, Arnis,
Kali or most Filipino martial arts. Be warned of someone who touts an eigth
degree black belt in Eskrima. Titles such as Guro, Tuhon,
Grandmaster, Instructor,etc. are utilised however to rank the
seniority of the instructor. You will never find someone who says they have
a green belt in Eskrima.
* Note: The first exception and probably not the last, is
Remy Presas' modern Arnis style, when after leaving Cebu, Remy saw the decline
in popularity of Eskrima abroad and so adopted the belts and uniforms, not
unlike Karate and taekwon-do schools. These were some of the marketing tools
used to increase the popularity of Filipino martial arts abroad once more.