best art for baton/knife fighting?

I was looking to take a baton and knife fighting course on the side of what other art i chose in order to make my self defence awareness that much higher. Whats the best art for this, kali, etc?

You can look into a Kali/Escrima program if you want. Hock Hocchiem also offers some great material in this arena.

I don't really want to order videos id rather attend a class. Theres a school here that does kali but only on sundays. Im not sure exactly what art im lookin for though thats why im askin here

i take that back its trained sun and wed

The only danger with training in a Kali/Escrima class is the chance you become a flow drill collector and start to lose sight of what is realistic when it comes to blunt and edged weapons. Sure kali can teach you angles of attack, line familarization, etc... but depending on where you go; you are less likely to see viable self defense skills.

Kali varies widely in quality of instruction and reality-focus. I can't name one particular system... I've been in estokada kali for some time. Sayoc and Amok have been trendy lately for blade, Sayoc's the one that's now featured in Hunted.

You've got to figure these places out for yourself. Sometimes rather than picking the art or "brand name" it tends to be helpful to have a couple diagnostic questions. For example, say you're checking out a self-defense place. You would play dumb, and ask their view on grappling and BJJ. You WANT TO HEAR that they place importance on ground skills and also that they also do not think it's the be-all and end-all, here are some of the considerations suggesting that you should stay on your feet where possible, multiple-attackers, blades, ground surface. But it's not always up to you and anyone can be taken down so we train that rigorously. Right? That's what I'd call a diagnostic question. If they bah humbug groundwork or follow highly technical sub-grappling slavishly without giving a moment's thought to streetifying it, then this gives you important information. They are saying to you, "leave this place quickly".

For stick and knife one might ask "what do you think of Dog Brothers" and "have you heard of Kelly McCann"? An example of a good thing to hear might be "yes, the dog brothers have really opened peoples' eyes as to how stick should be realistically trained, they've influenced our methodology quite heavily, although we don't often go full contact as they do because some of our students don't want to deal with that stuff". Or "Kelly McCann, yes I saw a video of his, we're using one of his drills Tuesday night, you'll see". You DON'T want to hear "Never heard of them. We teach the pure art, undiluted, as passed down from Guro Vunak/Canete/whatever". Not to say that Vunak's stuff isn't wonderful too, but this is really telling you that that school trains with their eyes and minds closed. Even if they say, "McCann, never heard of him" but then begin to discuss some of their influences which ARE street-oriented, this is a positive sign.

Oh, and of course DB and KM videos are wonderful for stick and knife. Vunak's knife video is lovely as well. But you said you don't care about videos.

If they have soft padded sticks (perhaps wrapped in duct tape) to go hard with, this is a good sign. If they do all their knife work with aluminum trainers this is bad. If they do some work with aluminum "because we like the realistic glint of the blade" and some with rubber "so we can really stick it in each other full-speed" then this is what you want to hear. They're thinkers. If they train with "drones" (fully functional folders that are completely dull) this is a very good sign. Drones tend to be pricey and folks who don't know what they're doing usually don't deal with them. If I walk into a "knife" place and all they've got are those ridiculous wooden dildos--I mean, TANTOS, well I'm a little skeptical, right?

As for self-defense awareness and so on, check out Tony Blauer's tape "Cerebral Self-Defense: The Mental Edge". Wonderful stuff. Also Gavin DeBecker's "Gift of Fear" and Sanford Strong's "Strong On Defense". They are what I call the "Three Kings" of self-defense.

Just my 2c, others will surely disagree but I hope it gives you some ideas to work with.

When I said that Sayoc and Amok are "trendy" I didn't mean that in a disparaging way. They have reputations as very realistic knife systems.

For whatever it's worth, the Sayocs are from the province of Cavite (Cavitenos is what these people from the Northern PI are called) and they almost always carry at least 2 blades, maybe even or 3 or 4 due to the region's preference or tactic in knifefighting ... throw 1 or 2 for transitioning to combat distance.

In the province of Batangas (the Batanguenos, also in the northern island of Luzon), where I believe the balisong (butterfly knife) originated, they don't have the tradition of "closing" the distance by throwing knives. Most Batanguenos scoff at the Cavitenos for having to carry more than 2 knives to a fight.

Batanguenos also incorporate grappling techniques called Dumog, remarkably similar to the the Dog Brothers' Stick + BJJ.

What is your "core" fighting style? For some, fiding a system that fits with what they already train to do, is the best way to go.

i just asked that in another forum im thinkin of training either kickboxing or boxing. But most people seem to think that grappling is the best route to start compaired to striking. Maybe ill have to reconisder my plans.

Hi FutureProdigy,

If you eventually want to learn how to use a knife or stick...........I would start with boxing.

I find that trained boxers are the easiest to train as knife fighters.....I just need to adjust their techniques a little and they become very deadly.

Raymond Floro

Floro Fighting Systems - Kalis Ilustrisimo

ray - do you think i should get a foundation down in a martial art b4 i start a weapons program or can they be done together

Hi FutureProdigy,

START WEAPONS FIRST.........that's the best idea.

The Filipinos traditionally start with the weapon, as they get better then the weapon gets shorter and shorter till they use empty hands.

Think about it......if you know how to defend yourself against a knife, then a fist is nothing.

Also, the bad thing about most empty hand styles is they "cover up" or take a hit to make a can't do that with a knife or machete.

The ultimate combo is weapons training and BJJ.

I've been doing weapons most my life, but I can go toe to toe with almost anyone armed or unarmed (granted I have to get a touch dirty if its a BJJ guy.....those guys are scary).

Check out the "Moreira,Roy,Jen" thread...........look at the topic "BJJ/Kali Ilustrisimo in Australia" and the "Kali....." thread


ttt for Stickgrappler

Great tips from everyone.

I feel that it's most important to try several different styles & instructors to see who you feel will help you grow & become the fighter that YOU want to be.

Good luck


nothing to really add from me that's not posted already. some good advice. good luck in your search and training.

oops, just one thing to add to rayfloro's post: start weapons first - there's another advantage - it develops your attributes, i.e., working with knife or stick that's traveling very fast will help your emptyhands travel faster. probably 90% of the MA will start emptyhands first and progress to weapons. why i love the FMAs is because it's weapons first which helps with attributes.

this is a dumb question but what exactly is a FMA?

remember: the only dumb question is the unasked one.

MA = martial arts

FMA = filipino MA

CMA = chinese MA

JMA = japanese MA

KMA = korean MA

IMA = indonesian MA


ironmongoose -

I think your leading him down a bad path -

let me give you my credentials just so you have an idea of where I'm coming from.

Instructor in FMA under ron balicki (dan inosanto's son in law)

trained in the PI under tuhon Leo Gaje in a intensive 2 week camp and 3 week's one on one

trained under guro dan for 4 years

several seminars and several 2 hour privates with tuhon chris sayoc

several seminars under GM tony and GM leo giron

several seminars with Dionisio canete

seminar and private with cacoy canete

2 week private camp with guro doug marcaida (pekiti and)

week long privates with guro jun de leon

private with sled dog

privates with guro alvin aguilar and guro sixto

seminar under tuhon Mcgrath

seminars under Krabi krabong champ col. nakapan

I know i'm missing something but cant think of who -

anyway this was just to let you know, I've been around for a little while I'VE NEVER HEARD THE NAME OF KELLY McCANN, EVER.

as far as the DOG bros go. well i fought in 2 or 3 gatherings. been in attendence to about 10. I personally dont feel what is happening at gatherings with the exception a scant few, are FMA. You dont find masters doing the crash and bash. and then throw in some BJJ. how many classes have you attended (not hosted by Marc Denny) that your teacher sayes "swing like a mad cave man, rush in, throw the guy to the ground, then arm bar him" ?

i think DB stuff on the first set of tapes are great - eric is the shit. I think gathers test your balls and teaches you about combat in general.

realise that i like and respect sled dog personally and his talents. but i have to admit, when he was the judge during one of my matches in the PI, I thought he was way off base. I ended up in a draw, the judges voted 2 to 2. phil voted against me. when i ask phil why, he said "well because your were attacking and retreating, attacking and retreating." - this shocked the shit outta me because tuhon leo emphatically stressed get in and get out get in and get out. which is exactly what i did - i attacked, scored, and got out before i could get hit. I believe, even though his main instructor was leo, that he got jaded by his involvment with the DB's - where its stand toe to toe and cave man each other. while much worse, wekaf has that philiosophy. the winner is the person who hits the other the most. your all padded, and the winner is the person with the quickest hands and most wind. in either case, if no head gear or real blades were used, the combat stragy would be totally different. in that reguard, the fighting in both are as far from "real" as possible. you would never crash in on someone armed with a blade or knife. nor would you stand there and trade shot to the head with a impact weapon.

i wouldnt put to much cred in anyone who gave the answers you where looking for unless they qualified there answers a whole lot more. I wont name any names but there is one DB in particular that i would never ever suggest anyone ever train with if your interested in actually learning.


I am sorry, but the exact fight you refer to escapes me.

I appologise for how you think I misinterpreted your actions.

Philisophically I agree with your combat stategy.