Inosanto Kali and Sayoc Kali

Discussion in 'JKD-Kali' started by jayMa, Feb 13, 2007.

  1. jayMa

    jayMa New Member

    I know that Sayoc Kali is more of a knife art. Inosanto Kali has several sub systems within the art. Can anyone tell me the differences between the Inosanto Kali knife subsystem and Sayoc Kali.

  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    From what I know of them, the Sayoc version is much more comprehensive.
  3. Brock

    Brock Asha'man

    This is my understanding as well.
  4. qupqugiak

    qupqugiak New Member

    inosanto vs. sayoc kali

    i'm no expert in either, but with my limited experience of sayoc and inosanto knife systems, it has seemed like when you remove the interlap (i.e., the line recognition and energy feeder based drills), the sayoc have a much stronger emphasis on target recognition (i.e., vital templates) as opposed to straight angular recognition / defense and response.

    like i said, i'm certainly not an expert, but thought i'd offer my $0.02.

  5. Grand Dragon

    Grand Dragon New Member

    From what I have seen/trained we basically have single dagger, and double dagger, tip up and tip down, and the variations therein. There are set routines using the single dagger against double, and double against double, and empty hands versus the blade.
    Generally speaking, there is not much variation between the movements we perform with the stick, and/or stick and dagger. That is, we basically slash and thrust similarly (including palasuts,panastas, gunting, wasliks, etc) and even more importantly we use essentially the same targets.
    For example, if we train against an angle one, stick versus stick, whatever technique we do is repeated with the blades.
    So there's basically not too much variation.
    In contrast, Sayoc Kali is defintiely intended to not be based on the stick based numbering/target systems.
    They intentionally avoid the standard numbering systems in favor of a system that corresponds with major blood vessels, and major incapacitating targets.
    In addition, their Left handed techniques similarly correspond to anatomical targets, and are not intended (as in Inosanto's program) to be symmetrical.
    That is, in Sayoc Kali they are intentionally being asymetrical in their attacking striking with the weapon in the left hand, or non dominant hand.
    My impression has always been that Inosanto strives to educate in a more academically inspired structure. That is, Inosanto uses a redundancy factor in his teachings so his students essentially train much of the same movements and the same principles regardless of weapon. Thus gaining more familiarity without having to focus on a specific weapon for proficiency. Whereas Sayoc Kali strives to immediately place the student into killing/incapacitating mode from the outset (this does not mean that Inosanto's teachings are less lethal, rather, they are more inpired by a coodination foundation and symmetry) by teaching the student highly lethal techniques not necessarily designed to inspire coordination or familiarity with say, a staff or spear for example.
    I think I made some sense...
  6. Airyu

    Airyu Junior Member

    Hello Guys

    Manong Inosanto and Tuhon Sayoc go way back to the early 80's probably even earlier than that. I have only been briefly exposed to the Inosanto curriculum, and training with Manong Dan, but I can say that it is quite comprehensive.

    Are you currently training in Sayoc Kali or Inosanto Kali?

    Guro Steve L.
  7. equilibrium

    equilibrium Member

    Isn't it Pekiti Tirsia's Tuhon Gaje the one whose knife skills Inosanto incorporated into his system?

    Didn't Chris Sayoc study with Tuhon Gaje?

    Maybe alot of the knife specific work of both came from pekiti tirsia. You tell me, that's what I think may be the case.
  8. selfcritical

    selfcritical New Member

    in terms of mechanics, sayoc and pekiti are pretty similar, even more similar than pekiti and inosanto blend. In terms of overal strategy, and more importantly, the training methods, they're pretty vastly different.(In pekiti you're drilling mechanics and footwork heavily from the beginning, in sayoc you're doing energy-based target drills, and are meant to develop the former attributes over time as whatever makes the drill work.). So while a pekiti pratictioner and a sayoc practitioner move pretty similarly(while holding a knife at least), the part that counts, ie the training method, is miles apart. Individual>training method>style
  9. equilibrium

    equilibrium Member

    Which do you think is better and can you explain the difference between the two methods. Not sure if energy-based target drills explains what you mean very concretlely to me.
  10. selfcritical

    selfcritical New Member

    Jkd sticky hands work and taichi "push-hands" I would consider good examples of energy based drills. Going through high-repitition baseline movements until you "feel" the opening, and then executing the technique within that.
  11. Airyu

    Airyu Junior Member

    Hello All,

    Interesting thread! Here is a little more background:

    Manong Inosanto has studied with many FMA masters, GT Gaje is one of them. The blade work in the Insoanto/Lacosta systems is just that Inosanto/Lacosta, not that Pekiti Tirsia has not influenced it but it is not the main point of the art.

    Tuhon Sayoc did studied with GT Gaje in the 70’s (for about 2-3 yrs), again with quite a few other FMA Manongs. Tuhon Sayoc always speaks highly of GT Gaje and Pekiti Tirsia Kali. Many of the early East Coast FMA masters (Presas, Marinas, Vistacion, Gaje etc) all were frequent visitors to the Sayoc household and school. Bo Sayoc’s school was also used to host Filipino cultural events back in the day. There was an open sharing of the arts back then and many of the arts pulled from each other.

    Having trained in both Pekiti Tirsia and Sayoc Kali, I don’t believe the 2 systems are as alike as it would seem. There are always common movements inherent in systems, Manong Dan once said “All martial arts created very similar components, as there are only so many ways to hurt the human body.” But there are significant differences in the application and training methodologies. The best method to get a true understanding of this is to train in the various arts for a period of time and then compare and contrast.

    Guro Steve L.
  12. Epa

    Epa Member

    With regards to the differences between Lacoste-Inosanto system and Sayoc Kali, I think Grand Dragon and qupugiak summed it up pretty well. I liked Grand Dragon's description of Guro Dan's teaching method focusing on coordination and using common motions that can be applied with different weapon categories. That's pretty accurate. I've only done a few seminars of Sayoc Kali, but from the little bit I've seen it looks very different from Guro Dan's system, with regard to tactics and training methods.

    With regards to Guro Dan's knife system, he's listed the Filipino Martial Artists that he draws on for his knife method before in seminars. He is good at giving credit to different teachers and often references his instructors as he is teaching material influenced by them. To the best of my knowledge, his knife material comes from (in no particular order):

    1. John Lacoste
    2. Telesporo Subing Subing
    3. Regino Ilustrisimo
    4. Leo Gaje
    5. Edgar Sulite
    6. Max Sarmiento
    7. Ben Largusa
    8. Floro Villabrille
  13. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I saw several Sayoc T-shirts at the Dan Inosanto seminar!
  14. Guro Inosanto's method is very sophisticated, but since most people see it on a seminar basis and most of the people attending are not sure which end of the stick to hold on to, the level of instruction stays quite basic. If you want to see it's potential you would actually have to go to the Inosanto academy in LA and see someone who had spent enough training time with Guro Inosanto to have learned the info properly.
  15. qupqugiak

    qupqugiak New Member

    I just wanted to take a second to respond to this. While I haven't trained for as long as some of the folks on here, it seems unfair to say that most of the folks who train in the Inosanto knife arts only ever train it in the seminar format. I train inosanto blend combatives (JKD, FMA, Thai Boxing, Grappling), and at the several seminars that I have been to, there seemed to be a wide variety of skill levels, from full instructors that have been with Guro for 20+ years, to people who have never done any Inosanto training, and who themselves have not really trained any FMA at all.

    I have had the opportunity to see some of the high quality skillsets that have come out of the LA Academy, and, of course, you can get more from going closer to the source. However, IMHO, there are a lot of very decent quality Inosanto discipline folks who may never breathe a breath of Cali air. This looks like trolling.

  16. SuperToe

    SuperToe Member


    I think he might know what his talking about ...

    He has been hosting guro Inosanto seminars at his school for the last decade + .Plus has been training with him since 1981!
    ( )

    Please keep your negitive comments to yourself!

    Matt P.
  17. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    This has been my experience too, though I can understand's caution. I'm sure there are people who really train the system and people (like me) who just go to a seminar when it's near, not expecting or even desiring to ever master the system as we study a different system and are just looking to broaden ourselves.
  18. Epa

    Epa Member

    I have to agree that you will get more in depth training at Guro Dan's academy in LA than at seminars. I've trained at seminars in my area and I've been out to the academy for the Instructor's conference and regular classes and there is a difference in the level of material being taught. He teaches more depth on basics and teaches more obscure material that he doesn't cover as much in seminars.

    Every instructor under Guro Dan that I know has gone out to the Inosanto Academy to train and they all say that it's great training. The reason the level of training is higher is because the people there have experience in the system and he can move more quickly through the material. At seminars he has to slow down somewhat. This will depend on the level of the group, but it's always slower and less detailed than the instructor's conference and Guro Dan's advanced classes at the academy because there are more new people.

    I don't think is trolling. He is a senior instructor under Guro Dan. I think he is just pointing out that the view of the system you get from going to a few seminars doesn't do the full system justice because it's trimmed down so that people don't get as frustrated at seminars.
  19. We have to go back to the essence of this thread. That Guro Inosanto's knife is not advanced or sophisticated in comparison with other, well known variants.

    My counter is that MOST of the participants of his seminars (he is on the road some 40+ weeks out of the year) are at a relatively low level. I did not say ALL because that would have been mean, and innacurate.

    As has been mentioned, I have hosted Guro Inosanto for 19 years, have been attending seminars given by him since 1982, and have participated in training at the academy (both instructor camps and personal visits) since 1988. All this to say that I have seen a few things, and that I stand by my statements. His is a sophisticated knife system and you have to train in it consistently to reach a level of competence. Gosh, just like any other system.

    The difference is that, as Bruce Lee's heir, he attracts a lot more curiosity than your average FMA seminar. With that curiosity comes the beginners with their karate gi's, yellow belts, slightly confused expressions, and odd questions about Bruce Lee. As a result people sometimes equate the calibre of his art with the attendees of the seminar. Yes there are competent people practicing his art, I merely stated that if one wanted to see it relatively easily that one had to visit the academy.

    Sorry if I offended. I read all the replies after writing this and it sems we are in accord.
  20. qupqugiak

    qupqugiak New Member

    Sir, I would not disagree with this statement in the least. And, of course, had I know your level of seniority, I would have worded my response a little more 'sensitively', and not accused you of trolling!

    It seems like it's getting to be more in vogue (especially in the JKD circut) to bash Guru Dan, and it tends to get me a little fired up. I get a knee-jerk reaction with regards to the group I train with, also, sometimes, but I forget that I am blessed with a high instructor-level student to student ratio in that group.

    Thanks for your understanding!


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