Frequently Asked Questions | Escrima
Below are the most common questions we get asked about Escrima, and our answers to them.
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- What is Escrima?
- What does the term Escrima actually mean?
- Are there different styles of Escrima?
- Is Escrima the same as Kali or Arnis?
- Which style of Escrima does the UKKFF teach?
- Is Escrima a stick-fighting system?
- Which weapons are used in Escrima training?
- Will I get hurt in Escrima training?
- Is sparring part of Escrima training?
- Does Escrima have an unarmed component too?
1: What is Escrima?
Escrima is a term that describes one particular type of martial art discipline which originated in the Philippines. It is mainly armed, and employs a wide variety of non-projectile hand weapons for the purposes of combat, plus the natural tools of the human body.
2: What does the term Escrima actually mean?
The term Escrima is the Filipino translation of the Spanish word Esgrima, in reference to the art of fencing, armed & unarmed fighting, or combat employing all hand weapons plus empty hands. It is now commonly used as an ‘umbrella’ term to refer to the traditional martial arts of the Philippines.
3: Are there different styles of Escrima?
Yes, there are many different styles, methods, approaches and family lineages which would all fall under the general heading of Escrima.
4: Is Escrima the same as Kali or Arnis?
Not really. Although all three terms are often used interchangeably to describe the overall Filipino approach to weapons-based combat, like all branches from the same martial tree, there are considerable differences in the individual focus, training methods, and preferred weaponry of each style.
5: Which style of Escrima does the UKKFF teach?
The UKKFF teaches the Escrima Concepts Weapons System. This is a unique, conceptual approach to armed & unarmed combat, which has been developed by Grandmaster Steve Tappin.
6: Is Escrima a stick-fighting system?
Some are, however we chose the Escrima Concepts System because it is a full weapons system, not just sticks. Although rattan sticks are indeed used a lot in training, this is merely because they are cheap, easily replaceable, versatile, relatively safe (being fibrous, rattan will not break or shatter even under the hardest of impacts), legal to transport to training, and the general mechanics of a stick can be applied to most other forms of impact weapon.
7: Which weapons are used in Escrima training?
The Escrima Concepts System teaches you to use single & double rattan sticks, hickory sticks, rattan staffs, single & double short-bladed knives, palm-sticks, tonfa, and single & double machetes. Plus how to variously combine all these tools, and add empty-hands too.
8: Will I get hurt during Escrima training?
Yes, you might – weapons are dangerous by definition. We don’t teach children, we don’t use padded/foam weapons, and we don’t hit off-target because that’s not the reality of weapons combat. However we DO use a lot of control, an excellent structured, progressive training programme, and students only use the amount of power that they can handle. Don’t be under any illusions though, mistakes can & do hurt, but you won’t be harmed in training unless a serious accident occurs, and so far in over 10 years we’re injury-free.
9: Is sparring part of Escrima training?
Yes. There are progressive sparring drills at every grade within the Escrima Concepts training programme, which leads toward completely free sparring with a variety of weapons once people are controlled, safe and confident.
10: Does Escrima have an unarmed component too?
Yes. The principles of weapons apply equally well to empty-hand situations, and these are covered within the syllabus and the training programme. However the vast majority of training time will involve weapons, which is why for solely unarmed training time, our members train the Federation Wing Tsun System too, which was developed using weapons concepts and blends seamlessly with Escrima.