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Kali Brisbane

What is Kali?

Kali martial arts, otherwise known as Arnis or Eskrima (Escrima) is a traditional Filipino fighting style encompassing both weapon-based fighting and empty-hand combat. Offering classes in Kali in Brisbane, at Progressive Martial Arts Academy, we teach our students various armed and unarmed combat techniques. Here, we emphasise the use of sticks and staff and train them in empty-hand techniques for self-defence. In doing this, we aim to provide our students with a well-rounded understanding of this ancient martial art.

Kali has undergone centuries of evolution, incorporating influences from different cultures and martial arts. All of this has happened while retaining its core principles of combat, which are based on a pattern of angles that all attacks must follow, regardless of the style of fighting or weapon used.

The History of Kali

Kali, the ancient martial art of the Philippines, traces its roots back to the 8th century AD, as evidenced by records from the Malay Sri Vishaya empire. According to one Kali master, the word Kali comes from kamot, meaning ‘hand or body’, and lihok, meaning ‘motion’. Often considered the mother art, Kali gave rise to Eskrima and Arnis.

In the early 16th century, Spanish explorer Magellan became the first to encounter Filipino sticks when he burned down the homes of locals and tried to enslave them as part of the great Spanish Conquest. At the Battle of Mactan, Magellan was met with resistance from the Filipinos, led by chieftain Lapu Lapu, and battled Spain’s finest steel with pieces of rattan, homemade lances, and sharpened fire-hardened sticks. Despite Magellan’s defeat, Spanish forces later returned with firearms, overwhelming the Filipinos’ skill in bladed and stick combat.

When Spanish rule was secured, Filipino martial arts were outlawed, leading Filipinos to secretly preserve the art by integrating many combat moves into native dances. Stick fighting, a hallmark of Filipino combat, prioritised bone-crushing strikes over bladed combat.

As the end of the stick can travel many times faster than the speed of the empty hand, the Kali practitioner or Eskrimador developed faster reflexes, speed, coordination, timing, and increased eye focus. This is why stick combat is taught before empty-hand combat, unlike many other forms of Martial Arts.

Skills Taught

Kali martial arts, although steeped in tradition, continues to evolve and adapt to modern contexts and individual needs, making it a popular means to practice self-defence and physical fitness. At Progressive Martial Arts Academy, we embody this evolution by teaching our students the following skills in each of our Kali training classes:

  • Proper fighting etiquette
  • Basic stance, spacing, & footwork
  • Weapon training (taught in a safe & controlled environment)
  • Attacking techniques, such as striking & disarming,
  • Defensive techniques such as blocking &joint locking
  • Stand-up & ground-grappling techniques
  • Practical self-defence techniques you can use in real life

Benefits of Training in Kali

Kali, otherwise known as Filipino martial arts, is, in our Brisbane studio taught with a comprehensive approach, encompassing both unarmed and armed combat techniques. By learning both these forms of Kali martial arts, students gain a more well-rounded skillset and understanding of the principles of Kali, amongst a range of other advantages.

The benefits of practising Kali at our Brisbane gym include:

Learn Practical Self-defense Techniques

Kali is a good self-defence learning mechanism. It equips students with an arsenal of fighting techniques for real-world self-defence scenarios. Unlike some martial arts forms that focus solely on sport or tradition, Kali emphasises techniques that are practical and effective in real-world situations.

Improved Coordination & Reflexes

Kali training involves a combination of interconnected hand and food movements, requiring individuals to improve their hand-eye coordination and overall reflexes. Through repetitive training sessions, sparring sessions, and partner exercises, students can hone both their coordination and reaction times.

Enhanced Focus & Mental Stimulation

In Kali, students need to focus intently, remember sequences, follow patterns, and adapt quickly to changes. All of this requires mental engagement with the physical body, which stimulates the mind and improves concentration, contributing to a form of cognitive workout.

Improved Physical Fitness

Kali training offers a comprehensive workout that targets various aspects of an individual’s physical fitness. The dynamic nature of Kali improves cardiovascular endurance as individuals engage in continuous movement. On the other hand, actions like striking, blocking, and dodging help students build strength and flexibility.

Train Kali at Progressive Martial Arts Academy

A form of stick fighting martial arts, Kali at Progressive Martial Arts Academy offers an immersive experience. Our dedicated instructors provide expert guidance in mastering the art of Kali, emphasising both armed and unarmed combat techniques. From learning the fundamentals of proper stance and footwork to advanced techniques in weapon training and self-defence, our classes welcome students of every skill set.

Whether you’re a beginner seeking to build confidence and physical fitness or an experienced practitioner looking to refine your technique, our supportive community and team of experienced trainers are here to help.

Kickstart Your Journey Today

If you’re looking to do Kali in Brisbane, look no further than Progressive Martial Arts Academy. If you have any questions about how we can help you, don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our team and we’ll be more than happy to help out. We look forward to seeing you soon!