Does anyone understand the different FMA styles?

Discussion in 'General' started by Blaze, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Blaze

    Blaze New Member

    Hey gang

    So I'm trying to get some definitive answers on the differences between Kali, Escrima, Silat, Arnis, and Kuntao. I see there's also many different variations within each that makes it even more confusing.

    Has this been discussed anywhere on the forum, or can someone point me in the direction of some answers? I just want to better understand what all these arts are about, and what they offer.

    I'd appreciate any info you can share.

  2. The Phalanx

    The Phalanx FMA's Frank Lucas

    The debate goes on... lol
  3. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    Kuntao fighting philosophies

    With this request, I figured I would drag out some of the old papers that I wrote some 20 yrs ago when I was doing serious kuntao training with the military units I worked with.. I hope it gives an insite into the Kuntao that I practice and continue to teach to select individuals.

    Kuntao is a mix of Chinese Gung-fu and Indonesian Silat. The style is based on concepts, not techniques. This gives the practitioner the ability to react and adapt to any situation. The biggest concept in Kuntao is the "knife". If you think in terms of wielding a knife (whether you have one or not) there really are only two techniques, slashing and thrusting. Since a knife is a short blade it is easy to convert the weapons techniques to open hand (same power curves). For example if you look at the motion of a straight punch it is the same as linear thrust. In some styles they teach you a million techniques which can take years to learn (ie. if punch ABC is thrown you must counter with counter attack with DEF etc.). This way of learning is not very practical, you can't expect things to work out the way you trained all the time. Learning concepts gives you the ability to adapt your techniques with minimal difficulty. Another advantage in training in with the concept of the knife is Hurting without getting Hurt. When you always assume that both you and your opponent have a knife, you will be aware and careful of both yours and your opponents attack. The techniques we incorporate attack both body and limbs (Yes a proper strike to the arm hurts to! It also disables the limb even if temporary.) All motions are both blocks and strikes, I'll use the term "blocks" loosely due to the fact that our blocks are actually strikes (Another concept called defanging the snake).
    Reacting/Acting fast with devastating force and blitzing actions is the key to Kuntao as well as self

    Fighting Angles of Kuntao

    Angles of Kuntao is an article that I wanted to write about some of the angles of attacking,
    guarding, deflect attack and attack guard. Combinations of angles and circles will be discussed, along with footwork and torso alignment. Some strikes will be discussed, and how to generate force through rotation.
    Also timing and distancing will be looked at in relation to proper angles of attack and defense.
    Basic Kuntao fighting principles will be noted as they will affect obtaining proper alignment
    These are techniques and concepts we use in class, trying to confuse, misguide, distract and direct an attacker to our benefit.

    First Some basic Kuntao fighting principles. The Kuntao practitioner never backs up. This
    is very important, if you back up you are more likely to stay in the attacker’s range of power.
    Remember leaning back in a bow and arrow stance is different then stepping back. Your lead foot never moves away from your attacker. That way you are not loosing any ground. A good rule of thumb is if the attack is coming around from the sides move forward in to the attack. If it is coming straight on, move 45 degrees from the attack. The Kuntao practitioner fights relaxed. You cannot move naturally if you are tense. It is easier to weave a relaxed arm through an attacker’s defense that a ridged one. Exploding upon contact is what should be done. Also the Kuntao fighter will strike you in all the worst spots. For example if you get hit in the stomach or the groin, you will tend to bend over. As you bend the Kuntao stylist will hit your face on the way down. Then drop an elbow on your stretched out sternum. The Kuntao artist keeps beating on you so you won’t get back up to fight on.

    Additional comments to above:

    Since I started with the security and law enforcement field while still active duty and currently working with the law enforcement community on island.. There are a few more items that I would like to add to the above as it is 20 yrs ago that I wrote this.

    I have included the training of firearms into the advanced stages of kuntao because of the client base that I teach.. I have been in the military and law enforcement field for close to 40 yrs and that has been the focus of the evolution of my interpetition of kuntao. My students currently work with the different agencies of the federal government as security specialists and other specialized jobs..

    This evolution of Kuntao is going back to the origin of the chinese caravans that were guarded by BaoBiao or security specialist/bodyguards that escorted through out the whole length of the silk road and other trade routes with in mainland china..

    This concept makes it a more specialized designed package for the student who wants to train to learn defensive modes with intertwined self defense applications..

    Maharlika Kuntao that I teach is a combination of the different kuntao systems that I have trained in for the last 30 yrs, but its base comes from the Hochow Kuntao and Filipino Kuntaw systems which were more combat directed during its time.. Hochow kuntao was taught to the royal chinese guards during the dowager princess era and the kuntaw systems that added the influence of silat and the filipino martial arts into this personal interpetition of the combative art of Kuntao. During this research, I have included the use of firearms which is currently used by the security and law enforcement fields which I have had exposure to over the last 40 yrs of training..
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
  4. blindside

    blindside student

  5. pesilat

    pesilat Junior Member

    Well, in a generalized nutshell, Kali, Eskrima, Escrima and Arnis are all terms for Filipino martial arts and are, these days, pretty much synonymous.

    Silat is a generic term for a body of systems from all over SE Asia. While there is some Silat in the Philippines (primarily in the southern PI) the term mostly refers to systems from Indonesia and Malaysia.

    Kuntao is an Indonesian term that refers to Chinese martial arts in general. There have been some blends between Kuntao and Silat - primarily in Chinese/Indonesian and Dutch/Indonesian lineages.

    In the southern Philippines there is also "Kuntaw." Kuntaw is a Pilipino bastardization of the term "Kuntao." There has been more blending in that area of the Chinese and local MA. Generally, they use the term "Kuntaw" to refer to any system with Chinese influence. Consequently, some systems of Kuntaw look *very* Chinese while others look *very* Filipino.

    Again, this is very much a generalization. These details can vary from one system or lineage to another but this should give you at least a general guideline to draw from.


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