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3 Essential Strikes of Kali

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What are the 3 essential Strikes of Kali

Kali, also known as Eskrima or Arnis, is a weapon-based martial art originating from the Philippines. It is a highly effective form of self-defense that emphasizes the use of sticks, knives, and empty-hand techniques. In this article, we'll delve into the essential striking techniques of Kali, which are fundamental to the art. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner, learning these strikes will improve your understanding of Kali and help you develop the skills necessary to defend yourself in a real-world situation. So, let's take a closer look at the basic strikes of Kali and what makes them so effective.

I also have a conclusive video with all the strikes. And for this step-by-step video tutorial just scroll down to the bottom of this article.

For each strike start in your fighting stance.

Essential strikes of Kali - 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.

Essential strikes of Kali - Abierta - Open Stance
Abierta – Open Stance

Essential strikes of Kali - Serrada - Closed 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.

Essential strikes of Kali Backhand Redondo
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.

Free Kali Knife Drills

Before i give you the promised Video about the Kali Strikes, I want to inform you about my Online Course "Kali Knife Drills"

This course was seen by over 500 students already. This course I am giving you completely FREE OF CHARGE. You can access it forever and I will never ask something in return.

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And here's the video with all essential strikes of Kali. Enjoy

More Ressources for Martial Art Practitioners

Kali Medio Mano Contradas of Kali - click the link for an extensive article

Panantukan Open Triangle Footwork - click the link for an extensive article

Kali knife fighting - click here for an extensive article

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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.

Which is why we offer a series of effective and easy-to-follow online courses, to give you the opportunity to study in the comfort of your home or anywhere you choose, at your own time and pace, with no training partner or special equipment necessary!

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Sakan Lam
Head Instructor

Sakan Lam is a certified Martial Arts and Combatives instructor, with over 18 years of martial arts experience.

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