Arnis, Kali, Escrima - Part 3 of 3 By Peter Freedman Kali, from my understanding is usually a bladed weapons art. This means that they use edge weapons during training. Some methods of Kali do not use a stick at all during practice sessions. They learn how to cut & not be cut. This is a highly evolved art form because with the use of edge weapons there is little room for mistakes. When learning Kali, the student must train very slowly. Some methods use training blades. This can be real swords & daggers with dull edges or this can be weapons made out of aluminum. Sometimes the Kali student will practice with a stick but think it is an edge weapon like in the Art of Arnis. I have met some real masters of Kali and they recommend that everyone trains with dull weapons to prevent serious injury. Again you will need to research this for yourself and not take my word for it. There are a lot of great Kali teachers (Guro) out there and you should research them as well before training with them. Escrima in Spanish means to skirmish or fight. Now again this is what I have heard over the years and it all depends on who is your Guro. Escrima is a stick and knife art form. Usually, one will have a knife in one hand and a stick in the other hand. The idea is if your opponent should get around your stick, he then must deal with your blade now. Espada Y Dagger (espada- sword) (Y- and) (Dagger- knife) Please write back and correct me here. This is another high level art form because you have two different types of weapons being deployed here. An impact weapon (sticks) and an edge weapon (knife or sword). Now I am not saying that this art doesn't use a sword nor it doesn't use just stick... it all depends on who you are training with & who your Guro is. Training in edge weapons teaches you fluidity & training with impact weapons teaches you power. They go together I feel, don't you? You should have the best of both worlds. Now I have heard others claim to be specialist in one area, like knife fighting or stick fighting etc. I feel that by training only in one area limits your ability to be really great & excel in the martial arts. Each one can teach you something different. They both have wonderful things to offer you and they blend well together. I am not saying you can't specialize, I'm only saying that you shouldn't limit yourself. This is what I have come to notice over the years as a student of both Art forms whether it is a Japanese or Filipino Martial Art. I feel that you should learn both empty handed martial arts and weapon based martial arts. The weapons teach us distance, timing, angles, strategy, respect, use of force, speed and a great deal more that will enhance your level of Martial Development. Try not to be closed minded when talking to others about any Art form. Listen to what they have to say & then go out and do your research. Don't take what someone tells you as the real deal until you went out and did your own research and tried and tested it for yourself. I would like to see my Jujutsu students take a more active role in learning Arnis, Kali, Escrima from me and if you are not in the States I live in, then find a great Guro in your State & train. This will increase your empty hand knowledge to higher levels in shorter amounts of time. I hope & plan on seeing more of you in Arnis class in both states NH. & Mass. Other students & teachers of Martial Arts, I hope I have touched some areas that will help out and I hope to train more with you very soon in the future. === Sensei Peter Freedman is the Founder of the Freedman Method Ketsugo Jujutsu System and Guro Director of the Boston Arnis Club. Sensei Freedman is also a trained reiki master and healer with over 43 years of martial arts experience, Sensei Freedman intends to teach, practice, and study Jujutsu for the rest of his life. He can be reached at (603)-529-3564 or at his New Hampshire Martial Arts blog.