NOTE Escrima group classes are currently on hold
Escrima instruction is available for private lessons
Modern & Ancient
Escrima (meaning: “skirmish”), also known as “Arnis de Mano” (meaning: “art of the hand”), is theFilipino martial art of stick fighting. During the, oftentimes violent, history of the Philippines a variety of regionally and traditionally different, more or less closely related styles that use sticks and bladed weapons were being developed. Escrima can be traced back to the 16th century. It was taught to educate body and mind; used as a recreational activity, and for combat.
During parts of the century-long lasting rule by the Spanish empire, Escrima was banned, and carrying of traditional Filipino weapons was strictly forbidden. The art of stick fighting was preserved in secret, passed along from generation to generation in families. The movements could be seen in seemingly “harmless” folk dances, though, performed without weapons. Occasionally they were “tested” for their continuing effectiveness in local revolts and uprisings against the Spanish rulers. The ban was lifted in 1898, the Spanish rule was ended and replaced with U.S. influence.
The Escrimador in You
Escrima as taught by Grand Master Rene Latosa is the study of the best concepts and strategies of many systems.
Grandmaster Latosa has condensed the most effective knowledge from his past instructors: Angel Cabales, Dentoy Revillar, Maximo Sarimiento, Leo Giron, his father Juan Latosa – and combined it with his own unique research and development to create an effective, dynamic, logical, combat system which provides an education in body motion and weapon efficiency.
The goal of Escrima is to make your mental, physical and technical skills work as ONE – transforming YOU into a quality Escrimador who can think creatively and react responsively.
The weapon is YOU
Escrima as Taught by Grandmaster Rene Latosa IS NOT STICK FIGHTING. It is COMBAT between you and your opponent(s).
What is misunderstood most about Escrima is the idea that the stick is only a tool used to learn the art’s basic concepts. The stick represents using any type of object, as well as the empty hand to protect yourself.
The concepts and principles of Escrima as taught by Grandmaster Latosa can be applied to ANY WEAPON, such as the staff, knife, sword, machete, tonfa, stick, palm stick, spear, shield, empty hands, and more.
Powerful & logical Martial Arts
Quality over Quantity
Escrima as taught by Grandmaster Rene Latosa is known as “Combat Escrima”. Its techniques and concepts have evolved for reality based encounters and applications.
The system employs basic training methods to help students understand the meaning behind the techniques and concepts. In this system, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Although techniques are tools used to internalize ideas, the quantity of techniques is not the focus.
The progression from beginner to an advanced student is to understand the concepts which underlie the techniques. While Escrima as taught by Grandmaster Rene Latosa employs many of the genetic drills and training methods found in other styles, one’s progression is based upon skill in applying the concepts and movements into “meaningful” techniques.
While solo forms are practiced in the system, they are not pre-arranged. Thus, it matters not what types or combinations of offensive movements the students choreograph in their forms, as long as the concept format is utilized. Forms, then exist for the student to retain ideas and train fighting concepts.
Escrima as taught by Grandmaster Latosa, teaches the most important basic and logical concepts essential to weapons combat. They are…
BALANCE is the most important concept. It is the foundationn of Escrima as well as most task in our daily life. It is the key that opens the other concepts necessary in the martial arts.
FOCUS means to be conscious, routed in a balanced state with clear intention and goal: to stay on one’s line, to defeat the opponent, to win by focussing on the attacker, not just the attack.
SPEED/TIMING/DISTANCE understanding and judgement enable first strike capability and/or defense and counterstrike capability.
POWER is driven by the foundation of balance combined with sped to generate and execute a tangible offensive force.
TRANSITION is the ability to tactfully and strategically adapt or deliberately change the factors such as speed, timing, distance, power, level, environment – by staying in the “box” but “thinking outside the box”.
ATTITUDE is the drive behind the drive or the “spirit” which provides fuel to generate foci, power, and speed.
When these “concepts” are used effectively with the geometry of the box, the triangle, the figure eight, the point, the zone, etc… then the true essence of Escrima is achieved.
Bay Mountain curriculum benefits from one of the best Escrima teachers in the world: Grandmaster Rene Latosa
The fighting strategy of Escrima as taught by Grandmaster Latosa is: to be prepared for combat and never violate the concepts and principles.
The foundational structure go the fighting system is known as “the box”, which consists of 5 interrelated offensive movements. These movements have simultaneously the quality of striking and blocking, thus could be best defined as interference strikes. With only 5 main movements in the system, the approach is simple, but the variety infinite.
A main component to the system’s strategy is in the area called “pre-fight”. This is the area where you quickly construct your strategy based on the environment, opponent, the weapons, your body position, and more. An analysis of these factors determine the risk factor and whether you have first strike capability. Blocking occurs when you are “tho slow” or you didn’t apply a pre-fight analysis and reaction quickly enough.
A technical, general default strategy inherent in this system is using offline footwork with offline striking. Diagonal offline footwork is simply moving out of harms way, not so much “away” but into an even better position for counter-attack. An example of this would be the military maneuvers of flanking or cross firing which relieves the attack off of the center of the field while creating superior firepower coming in from a “V” angle.
And furthermore (for example) if we can move offline and hit offline, then we can also move offline while we hit on-line by changing the V or triangle a little.
The important thing to remember is that strategy and tactics depend upon the overall circumstance and are not bound to specific inflexible rules.