4. Empty Hands & Weapon systems of FMA

Empty Hands & Weapon systems of FMA

Filipino Martial Arts is a vast ocean of cutting edge martial skills. FMA trains one to develop exceptional ability to fight with weapons or empty hands interchangeably and to turn ordinary household items into lethal weapons. The FMA training begins with weapons because they give an edge in real fights and any object that can be picked up can be used as a weapon using FMA techniques especially against armed assailants. Empty hands training is then taught as the stick is merely an extension of the hand.


  • Weapons based methods:
    • Impact Weapons : Aggressive, defensive & controlling methods w.r.t. Short sticks (Rattan Canes), Solo baston (single stick), Double Baston (double stick), Bati-Bati (butt of stick methods)
    • Edged Weapons: Aggressive, defensive & controlling methods w.r.t. edged or bladed weapons like Dagger, Knife, Karambit, Balisong Knife.
    • Ballistics Weapons: Defensive & disarming methods w.r.t. ballistic weapons like guns, pistols, revolvers, rifles & other military armamentsDekiti6
  • Improvised weapons based methods:
    • Everyday objects as weapons: Turing everyday objects into deadly weapons for self protection using FMA philosophy – pens, keychains, keys (push knife grip), umbrellas, rolled-up newspapers/magazines, walking sticks, etc.
  • Empty hand methods:
    • Mano Mano : Incorporates punches, kicks, elbows, knees, headbutts, finger-strikes, locks, blocks, grappling and disarming techniques
    • Suntukan or Pangamot or Panantukan – empty hands based & punching techniques
    • Sikaran: Kicking techniques, also a kick-based separate art practiced in Rizal province
    • Dumog: Filipino style of grappling

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