So far during this Martial Arts Month, you’ve learned a lot about Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) including:

The History of Filipino Martial Arts

Modern Masters of Filipino Martial Arts

What Exactly is Filipino Martial Arts

Now we get to the juicy part. Today you’ll learn some basics of Doce Pares Eskrima Stick Fighting.



The first thing we’re taught is to show respect to instructors, classmates and opponents alike. There are two types of salutations: the Regular Salutation used during every class, and the Formal Salutation, used in more formal or ritualistic occasions, as a sign of respect for the top ranking masters and grandmasters.

In the video below, Supreme Grandmaster Dionisio Canete shows the formalities and salutations.




Now that you know the salutations, you’ll need to know how to hold the stick. There are four types of grips and holds:

  1. Under Thumb
  2. Side Thumb
  3. Overlapping
  4. Reverse Grip


SGM Dionisio Canete demonstrates the types of grips and holds below:



Holding the stick is one thing, but you’ll also have to learn how to “hold” yourself in a fight. There are 9 Basic Stances in Eskrima.

  1. Natural/ Normal
  2. Attention/Close
  3. Forward
  4. Deep (forward)
  5. Diagonal
  6. Back
  7. Cat
  8. Hook
  9. Straddle


Master Dong Cuesta and his students demonstrate the Basic Stances below:



One of the things that separates Doce Pares from other schools is its focus on twirling. Twirling/Amarra combines speed and accuracy. It allows us to hit our opponents in the same spot several times in a matter of seconds, thereby inflicting maximum damage.

SGM Dionisio Canete demonstrates Amarra/Twirling principles below:



The video below shows the 12 Basic Strikes along with some of the basic defensive blocks and parries.

**note: Despite the misspelled words in the video, the moves are pretty solid.

There are also Basic Defenses to these Strikes. Although the video only shows 7, there are actually 15.



11 Basic Blocks:

  1. Inside Block
  2. Outside Block
  3. Double Block
  4. Semi Double Block
  5. Low or Downward Block
  6. Reverse Low or Reverse Downward Block
  7. Umbrella (payong block)
  8. Augmented or Reinforced
  9. Rising or Roof
  10.  High X Block or Cross Block
  11. Low X Block or Cross Block


4 Basic Parries

  1. Inside Parry
  2. Outside Parry
  3. Low Parry
  4. Reverse Low Parry


And there you have it– the most basic lessons taught in Eskrima. Hopefully it’s given you an idea about what Filipino Martial Arts is about. Next Friday, I’ll talk about some of the more advanced lessons–including some knife drills.



9,535 total views, 9 views today

Be Sociable, Share!


You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Filipino Martial Arts: Doce Pares Eskrima – Basic Lessons”

  1. What a wonderful artform. I’m learning so much! Thanks Nutschell!

  2. Wow, so much to learn!

  3. mooderino says:

    I bet you got a few bruised knuckles learning those basics.


  4. There sure is a lot you have to know. How many years have you been practicing this art?

  5. […] you might have gathered from last Monday’s post on the Basic Eskrima lessons, stick-fighting is the most important (and most recognizable) component of Filipino Martial […]

  6. Nemanja says:

    Hello everyone. Am I the only one who can’t see videos below (as mentioned in the article, like “In the video below, Supreme Grandmaster Dionisio Canete shows the formalities and salutations.”)
    I don’t see any video…

Your COMMENTS Brighten Up My Writing Days!