Kali is a dynamic and fascinating martial art that originated as you probably already know, in the Philippines. Also known as Eskrima or Arnis, Kali is a weapons-based fighting system that emphasizes practicality, efficiency, and adaptability. With a rich history and a diverse range of techniques, Kali has become a popular martial art form around the world. In this post, we will explore the so called Media Mano Contradas (Contrade meaning Counter)
First of all, watch this extensive Video from beginning to the end. It gives you a clear idea of all Media Mano Contradas, which are explained further in the article.
Before training the different Contradas of the Medio Mano Distance (Contrada meaning Counter) you have to know and train the Outside Deflection. This is an essential defense against a backhand diagonal strike (Angle #2) in Medio Mano (mid) range.
Medio Mano Contrada: train your outside deflection first
Important is to start with your basic footwork, using the Open Triangle Footwork which you find in many Filipino Martial Arts like Kali or Panantukan.
Let’s break down the outside deflection in simple steps:
Step #1: step forty five degrees while keeping your stick chambered in the cerrada or closed position.
Step #2: Flip your wrist in order to deflect against the strike. Important Detail: Turn your shoulders. You want the shoulders to be parallel with the weapon.
Step #3: Check the hand of your opponent, the attacker and chamber your weapon.
Let’s train that with a partner.
Your techniques are just as good as your Training Partner feeds you
Notice, it is essential that your partner is feeding you properly. He’s going to step and strike the angle #2. For now your partner is just going to mark to make sure that he’s attacking the right spot and not following through all the way, this would be too much pressure for now.
Now you start to get your reps in. Step out 45 degrees to zero pressure, flip your wrist, check the hand and chamber again. Just as we broke down step by step a few moments ago.
Of course in a real fight, you are supposed to be striking the hand of your opponent and then checking, but for safety and training purposes, deflect the attack by attacking the stick.
That is your outside deflection against the angle #2 strike. Get your reps in with your partner. Also don’t forget to switch roles frequently.
Now that you’ve got the deflection out of the way, you can practice the “Contradas” the counters on the back hand side.
There’s going to be four different counter strikes. Again, for each of the Medio Mano Contradas, the entry is the Outside Deflection which we covered above.
Medio Mano Contrada #1: Check & Hit
After you deflected the attack push your opponents Hand away and strike.
Pro-Tipp: Make sure that when you’re striking, you hit with the tip of the stick, in order to ensure that you have full extension on your strike and that you’re out of distance from counterattacks
As always to ensure safety and having a rewarding Training Session at the end, be careful with your partner. Make sure that you don’t hit him. Keep your techniques controlled.
Medio Mano Contrada #2: Sunkete (Thrust)
“Sunkete” is a technique that emphasizes thrusts. Start with the outside deflection, control the attackers Hand and thrust with your weapon.
In this second Counter-Technique it’s important that you keep control of the hand. Control and monitor the attacker’s Hand and then go for the thrust immediately.
Medio Mano Contrada #3: Upward X
Counter #3 is going to be the upward X. Hit as many times as you want but three is the magic number here.
Medio Mano Contrada #4: Abaniko Witik
Contrada #4 is the Abaniko. Abaniko means “Fan Motion” and the Technique itself is just a wrist-turn. You can find a very nice technique breakdown here
You can start the Abaniko Contrada from the Inside or outside, that’s completely up to you. Hit as many times as you want but also here, three is the magic number.
In conclusion, understanding and mastering counters is an important skill for any practitioner of this Filipino martial art. By knowing how to effectively counter your opponent's attacks, you can gain the upper hand in a fight and improve your overall self-defense abilities. With regular practice and dedication, you can become proficient in kali fighting counters and be better prepared to protect yourself in real-life situations. Remember, the key to success in kali and any other martial art is consistent training and a willingness to learn and grow.
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More Ressources for Martial Art Practitioners
Open Triangle Footwork - click the link for an extensive article
The 3 essential Strikes of Kali - click the link for an extensive article
Kali knife fighting - click here for an extensive article