"Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve".
Escrima is a traditional weapons based martial art from the Philippines that consists of fighting with sticks, knives and bladed weapons. It also includes hand-to-hand combat and weapon disarming techniques. Here at Rob Lock’s Academy, our Escrima classes have a structured and progressive syllabus which covers single-stick and double-stick sparring, double unequal/equal length and double edged weapons training, takedowns, lock restraints and self-defence techniques. We also offer our students the chance to learn the art of Filipino Boxing within the class.
The origins of Escrima
When the Spaniards began colonising the Philippines, they found the native people had their own sophisticated martial art. After banning the natives from carrying full-sized swords, the elite and underground practitioners continued to practice the art and kept it alive. To circumvent the decree on swords, some practitioners used sticks made out of rattan, as well as small knives which were wielded like a sword.
As Escrima was an art practiced by the peasant and lower classes (as opposed to nobility or warrior classes), most practitioners lacked the education to create any kind of written record of the art. While the same can be said of many martial arts, this is especially true for Escrima because almost all of its history has been passed down from generation to generation by word of mouth. The origin of Escrima can be traced back to the fighting systems used by Filipinos during internal conflicts and wars.
Today, the Philippines is known for being a ‘blade culture’. Unlike in the Western world, where self-defence blade arts are all but extinct, blade fighting in the Philippines is a living art. Local people of the Philippines are much more likely to carry knives than guns. They are commonly carried as tools by farmers, used by street vendors to prepare coconuts, pineapples, other fruits and meats and are cheap to buy on the streets as well as easy to conceal. In fact, in some areas in the countryside, carrying a farming knife was a sign that you were making a living because of the nature of work in those areas.
Training first with weapons helps advance and develop hand and eye co-ordination, speed, accuracy, distance and timing.