essential Strikes of Kali

3 Essential Strikes of Kali

We’re going to get into the three essential actions or three essential strikes of the Filipino Martial Arts. For the step-by-step video tutorial just scroll down to the bottom of this article.

Always start in your fighting stance.

fighting stance
Fighting Stance

Essential Kali Strike #1 -Witik

We’re going to work with the first essential action, the Witik, also known as the broken strike or the pull-back.

It’s going to be a half strike. Instead of slashing all the way through, we’re going to hit and retract.

Notice how it starts from open stance ‘Abierta’. Allow the stick to rest on your shoulder.

When striking, punch your hand out, and then extend your wrist forward and whip it back.

To accentuate the movement also add a bicep-stop, tapping the bicep, using your hip, turning the shoulders slightly.

Always staying relaxed.


Abierta – Open Stance
Serrada – Closed Stance

The Witik or ‘broken strike’ is executed from the open side (Abierta) as well as from the closed side (Serrada).

Imagine a sharp angle, striking, and whipping it back.

This is our first essential Kali Strike, the pull-back or broken strike. 




Essential Kali Strike #2 – Lobtik

The second essential strike is the Lobtik, we also call this the ‘fluid strike’ or the full slash.

Instead of pulling it back, load up and swing your hip and cleave all the way through.

It’s a fluid energy from the forehand side (Abierta) as well as from the closed position (Serrada).

Make sure to use the full extension of your arm and let the weapon fall.

Never try to muscle the weapon – instead, let the weapon do the work.

That’s our second essential action, the Loptik or fluid strike


Essential Kali Strike #3 – Redondo

The third essential Kali strike is what we call the Redondo. It means ‘circle’ in the Tagalog language

First the forehand side.

You’re going to punch the arm out, extend the wrist and let the weapon fall as you create a circle with the tip of the stick. Punch your hand out and whip it through.

Beginners will tend to make it very vertical. While this is definitely a type of Redondo that you can do, it makes it very hard on the elbow and wrist.

I recommend making a curved shape with your stroke, reminiscent of the wheels on an old-school locomotive.

If you have experience you can also do the Lu-Tang or ‘floating step’ while executing the Redondo from the forehand side.

That’s our third Kali strike – the Redondo from the open side.

Now we go to the closed side.

Chamber the weapon on our arm – at about biceps height.

Chamber biceps height
Chamber backhand Redondo

I am going to extend and draw the weapon. There are many different ways to throw Redondo from this side, but this is the one I think that’s the easiest.

Extend and draw the weapon and let it fall. Notice how the weapon stays on my closed side.

Extend the Redondo just like pulling a sword from its sheath and let it relax down.

Avoid making a vertical stroke, you’re going to put a lot of tension on your wrist and on your elbow. Instead, extend your arm and allow the curve of the stroke go across the centerline of your body.

Don’t muscle it, you have to stay relaxed.

These the three essential strikes of Kali.

👊 Sakan’s Expert Advice 👊

Add all of the three essential Kali strikes to your morning routine.

Every serious Martial Artist, Beginner or Advanced has his daily morning routines. Not only you get incredibly fit and versatile with those morning routines, they also give you the edge over every opponent by teaching you the necessary discipline and skillset for every occasion.

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I’m Sakan Lam, Founder and Head Instructor of Core Combat Chiang Mai.

In my 25 years of martial arts training and coaching, I’ve come to the realization that many people are keen to learn a new martial art or develop an existing skill set, but often don’t have the opportunity to do so.

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