Escrima is an armed martial art specific to Philippines. Even though basically stick, double stick, knife, machete, sword, staff, palm stick are used in the system, the practitioner of Escrima (Escrimador) knows the weapon is only a tool to gain an understanding of body mechanics and how to use his/her body as a weapon.
In case of danger, any object around or beside you could transform into a self-defence tool. Keys, cell phone, umbrella, pencil, bottle are just a few examples… Escrima does not only focus on a weapon and teach it. It examines the weapons comparing their advantages-disadvantages, distance and weight; and gives this perspective.
It teaches using conventional and contemporary or countless improvised weapons by the “same principles and concepts”. After a while, the weapon will not have a special meaning to the Escrimador and all of the weapons will be “a whole” with these concepts.
Same principles and concepts are used for empty hand. Filipino Boxing is a crucial part of education.
Filipino Boxing which is an empty hand system and inseperable part of proWES-Escrima system teaches the practitioner that the actual weapon is the body itself. Beside all the strikes from Western Boxing it uses kick, knees and elbows. Also hammer fists, the transformation point of weapon strikes to empty hand strikes
Filipino Boxing is a complete empty hand system. Sometimes classes may pass practicing only unarmed. Shadow boxing, sparring, focus pad and heavy-bag trainings are crucial for Filipino Boxing and at our school of proWES we train these workouts.
Escrimador will gradually combine the same techniques with weapons and notice what Filipino Boxing contributes to armed practices and what armed practices contribute to Filipino Boxing.
Grading System in Escrima and Teaching Method
In proWES Escrima “there is no belt or grading system”. Kind of grading in Escrima that we are teaching with a training method meeting the different weapons of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) and their different distances in the same concepts would spoil this perception.
It is contrary to proWES philosophy not to let the student use a specific weapon just because he/she did not get the necessary certification even though he/she benefitted the same weapon as a tool during the basic education. In proWES Escrima, weapons are just tools to educate the body.
At our schools, Escrima system is taught by a method constructed on some main concepts. These are simply: “Balance, speed-timing-distance, power, focusing and transition between weapons”. Thus, all the weapons and empty hand system, Filipino Boxing form a whole combining by the same concepts and principles.