Close Quarters in Kali Ilustrisimo

Discussion in 'Kali Ilustrisimo' started by Epa, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. Epa

    Epa Member

    In the few examples of Kali Ilustrisimo, mostly in books and some video clips of Tatang Ilustrisimo, it looks like the art seems to specialize in the middle range, using a lot of evasion and parrying with the weapon. I haven't seen a lot of techniques demonstrated that are at close quarters, as in clinching/grappling range. Are there such techniques in Kali Ilustrisimo and are they emphasized as much as the medium and long ranges?

  2. Black Grass

    Black Grass Junior Member


    You are right in regards to weapon to weapon engagements, the bulk of the techniques are in middle range or move beween long range range and middle range. Tatang believed in dispatching an opponent as quickly as possible hence the lack of grappling and and clinch range techniques.

    There are grappling/locking techniques in empty hand v. weapon techniques ( especially short bladed).

    Black Grasss
  3. Batang Sugbu

    Batang Sugbu New Member

    I am not a practitioner of the Ilustrisimo system, excuse me but I don't want to call it Kali, because where I come from in Cebu, it's eskrima Ilustrisimo, in Kinatarcan Island where it originated, the Villabrilles and the remaining Ilustrisimo clan - it's just plain eskrima, however for purposes of delieanating their system from the others, they call it Ginunting eskrima.

    From my interface with Ilustrisimo practitioners, they are quick to point out that the system is not focused on a particular range - largo, corto, media, grappling, etc, if for the uninitiated it would appear dominantly in the medium range, it is because being basically blade-oriented it is at this range where they are most effective in cuting, slashing and thrusting...and mind you they are very good at dictating the range. It would be suicidal to assume that they are not efficient at the largo and corto ranges. IMHO, I don't want to get embroiled at close range with an Ilustrisimo practitioner especially with the likes of Master Tony Diego or Master Yuly Romo!
  4. Epa

    Epa Member

    Batang Sugbu,

    I didn't mean to imply that they had no long range or close range skills, but that from the limited amount of the art I'd seen it looked like they focused on middle range. As both you and Vince pointed out, they seem to use that range a lot because it's a good one for the weapons they use. So what was the close range you saw like? Was it a lot of hand trapping or was it focused on moving into clinching and grappling? I'm assuming that the long range focuses primarily on hitting the weapon hand and lead leg. If you've got anything to add please do. Thanks

  5. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    The system was coined many things from Olistrisimo Eskrima to Eskrima Ilustrisimo, Kali and Kalis Ilustrisimo. It's just a name and since the early 80' the latter terms were used. Who of the Villabrilles are promoting the system? Who are the active remaining Ilustrisimo clan members you are referring to in Cebu? I am curious cause I have not heard of Ginunting Eskrima. It may not be Tatang's version but his uncles.

    I agree. Although most of the play dictates medio range due to the nature, the system is well rounded to cover all ranges. However, my understanding is that the counters to grabbing the weapon and even some of the disarms demonstrated by Masters Tony & Master is not from Tatang but part of their personal evolution of the system. I have not seen any grappling at all. Although the Villabrille system incorporates grappling from what I've been told.

    The close range strategies rely heaviest on aggressive and direct movements, exceptional timing and very effective use of the bantay-kamay for parrying and controlling. Bantay-kamay allows slashes and cuts to affect body mass rather than weapon arm. An exampl example of aggressive and direct is Cadena Real which is a timed entry against downward hroizontal or vertical strikes. You would have to intercept the opponents strike in transition and redirect it then go into a counter. Ala Contra Serrada requires precise timinga as you flank your opponent in close range and use your own forearm to jam the opponents weapon arm. The motion takes you into a direct strike to his head. It is the principles of pracion, sabayan, decuerdas, reloj de arena etc. that make the art effective in all ranges. The ability to cover centerline, provide the least counter or re-counter ability and efficiency in motion. In the largo range, the simple use of lastiko a defensive swaying motion that takes you in and out of medio and largo range. Your counters are almost always to the weapon hand with follow ups to the head.

    John G. Jacobo
  6. Batang Sugbu

    Batang Sugbu New Member

    Sorry Eric, i wasn't alluding to your observations, but i was pointing out a generally common misconception about the emphasis on the media range of the Ilustrisimo system.
    . This is true, I don't want to pre-empt what the Cebu Eskrima Society is digging up right now, I have firsthand info who did mention the name of 65 year-old Lot Villabrille a nephew of the late GM Floro Villabrille who mentioned Ginunting, but he was cautious not to name a style, he simply called it eskrima. I can only surmise that the Ginunting is one of the techniques of the Ilustrisimo family system, and I doubt if it is predominant in Tatang Ilustrisimo's style.

    ... and from Mr. Jacobo's comment above, IMHO, as an outsider looking in, this sums up what I admire about the system and what sets it apart from other styles.
  7. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    What little I've seen of the art has tended to focus on largo-to-medio range. Don't they often use relatively long blades that would be awkward in close?
  8. oosh

    oosh Junior Member

    I was under the impression, that what makes Tatang's eskrima distinctive from that of his family system, was the infuence of Pedro Cortes (GM Yuli Romo, states that it was from Cortes that Tatang obtained Praksyon) and Imong Urias (who practiced Repikada Pegada).
  9. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    Thanks for the bit of history. However, I believe Batang Sugbu's comments were in regards to some of the general characteristics of the art vs. other systems NOT his family's.
  10. JohnJ

    JohnJ Senior Member

    While there is emphasis on long range as well, most of the fight applications happen medio-corto. The Kampilan is just one sword, but there are also the barong, pinute and sansibars used by vast KI players.

  11. oosh

    oosh Junior Member

    oops ! sorry, bit of crossed wires there ;)
  12. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member


    I tried searching on this but kept coming up with the city of Zanzibar, for which this appears to be a German spelling. What is this type of sword? I found a few pictures but nothing very clear.
  13. oosh

    oosh Junior Member

  14. De Campo JDC-IO

    De Campo JDC-IO Junior Member

  15. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Ah, yes! I certainly do recognize the sword now, but hadn't known it by that name. I see that even knife-size versions go by the same name?
  16. LUTANG

    LUTANG New Member

    Just wanna say hello to everybody.
  17. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Welcome! Please tell us more about yourself. Are you a KI practitioner?
  18. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    In BaHad Zu'Bu Master Yuli explains that KI never covets a range but functions well in all...there are however preferances and in BaHad Zu'Bu the middle distance is a favorite, as Maestro Yuli says " if they are far away there is no fight...for them to get to me they must come through the middle and that is where I spring the trap" (those of you who have trained with Maestro Yuli know exactly what I mean..and it is one hell of a trap). In close BaHad Zu'Bu as well as KI functions extremely well, not flashy just practical and nasty.

    Many systems choose to use the middle as merely a bridge, BaHad Zu'Bu and KI use it as a means to a deliberate end.
  19. Twist

    Twist Junior Member

    Yes, he knows exactly how to keep you in HIS favorite distance and hit you on the knuckles :)
    Master Yul got perfect timing and distance control! I'm really sorry I wont be here till July, I would have loved to see how he's playing with a big guy like you. (Saw only still pictures of you two.)
  20. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I take it his favorite distance is long range, then? :)

Share This Page