International Martial Arts

Filipino Arnis and Kali

Filipino Martial Arts is based on the traditional armed fighting combat system of the Philippines. It incorporates the use of traditional Filipino weapons such as, sticks, knife, staff, and karambit, as well as, Dumog (grappling) and Panuntukan (Filipino dirty boxing).

Filipino Martial Arts is a strategic, low impact, and defence based style which is suitable for beginners as well as experienced martial artists who wish to expand their knowledge and skill base of weapons to empty hand.

Filipino Martial Arts training

Filipino Martial Arts has a strong presence in Proactive’s Australian Freestyle Martial Arts (AFMA) syllabus. Beginners commence with basic stick training (Arnis) and evolve into Filipino weaponry and empty hand (Kali) in higher belt levels.

You can also specialise in any specific aspect of Filipino martial arts through private training. Book a session for yourself or share with family and friends!

Aspects of Filipino Martial Arts

Arnis: single stick training

Arnis is a modern stick fighting sport considered as the Philippine’s National Sport. Arnis competitions involve strategically striking targets to earn points.

Stick work is a great foundation for developing skills in weapons training. It improves hand-eye coordination, agility, speed, control, and body mechanics. This fundamental stepping stone cultivates the attributes of angling, footwork,  distancing, and offensive/defensive strategy.

Double stick

Double stick drills help students develop left and right hand coordination and body mechanics that will later be used in combative application. Drills also enhance movements allowing easy transition from weapons to empty hand. Students often report that double stick drills as their favourite part of training.

Espady daga: stick and knife

The actual weapons used vary but the principles are important. The principles learnt here help develop weapon use, choice and practicality of close and mid-range weapons. Vital to understanding the empty hand portion of the art, solo techniques are then followed by drills, disarms, positioning, and application. Hallmarks of espady daga include parrying and deflecting skills that allow students to “zone away” from rear hand attacks and their opponents.

Single and double knife

Filipino Martial Artists have been famous for their knife tactics for centuries. Knife training is used to develop the attributes of speed, sensitivity, footwork, fine motor skill, and economy of motion. This is an area that has application to modern self defence.


One of the most used self defence type weapons with brooms, mops, etc having access within most homes. The staff develops longer range and close range skills and is excellent in developing body rotation and two-person impact drills.

Flexible weapons

Rope was mainly utilised in the past. However, the use of modern day clothing (bandanna, ties, belts, chains, whips, etc.) make it an applicable weapon training tool for self defence and Kali based mastery in the present.

Projectile weapons (and firearms)

Classes highlight the importance of learning defensive skills against firearms and other projectile weapons such as throwing knives, axes, blow-darts, arrow, spear, and other object. Classes focus on learning components of mechanical and physical disarms.


Kali is not so much a style, but a concept focusing on the transition from weapons to empty hand and vice versa.


Filipino Boxing is distinct from Western boxing by its application of trapping and ‘gunting’ (limb destruction) along with off beat striking and use of different parts of the hand, forearm, and elbows.


Filipino grappling includes both standing and ground fighting, along with foot trapping, arm wrenching, shoving, shoulder-butting, and the use of empty hand strikes and weapons.

Australian Freestyle Martial Arts

AFMA offers extensive Filipino Martial Arts within its syllabus. This includes defensive and offensive training in the following areas;

    1. Blunt (Stick, baton, tonfa, kubotan, palm stick)
    2. Bladed (knife, machete, katana, glass bottle, tools)
    3. Firearm (Hand gun & Long Arm)
    4. Flexible (clothing, rope, chain, nun chaku)
    5. Improvised (everyday items)
    6. Personal (hands, elbows, knees, legs & head)

Filipino Martial Arts

Private Training

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