Filipino Martial Arts
The Filipino Martial Arts, or FMA, are a combination of techniques which, very much like Krav Maga, are based on simplicity and practicality for use in real-world situations. FMA is also known as Eskrima, Arnis and Kali, but all refer to the same deadly combat system which emphasizes fighting with weapons but also incorporates extremely effective hand-to-hand techniques.
IDF Training offers a complete package of FMA classes. We have expert instructors in both FMA weapons training and FMA “empty hand” fighting.
FMA developed in the Philippines, which has a strong “blade culture,” and thus students of FMA should become physically and psychologically prepared to face opponents with weapons.
Because FMA is all about real, street-wise self-defense, its weapons are basic—mainly sticks and knives. FMA stylists are also known for their ability turn common household items into lethal weapons.
“Empty Hand” FMA
KOMBOKAN is an acronym for KOMbat, BOKsing and TadyaKAN—the elements which make up this system. KOMBOKAN (previously also known as COJUKA for COmbat, JUdo and KArate) was founded by Grandmaster Jun Ometer in the early 1970s in General Santos City. He taught the art to a few private individuals and also to police and military operatives. The system is not considered a combative or competitive sport, but continues to evolve even today as a simple yet effective self-defence system.
The KOMBOKAN practitioner relies mostly on speed in a fight. Its techniques include blocks, short-range punches, and footwork. Knowing that even their blocks can be as deadly as strikes, most KOMBOKAN fighters will never throw the first punch, making this a truly defensive martial art.
Panantukan, or Filipino “dirty boxing,” probably originated in Southeast Asia prior to the Spanish discovery of the Philippines. Panantukan is somewhat similar to COJUKA, and both can be taught as a single fighting system.
Panantukan is not a competitive sport, as its techniques are quite brutal when used in a real-life situation. Panantukan commonly targets areas of the body such as the eyes, nose, head, groin, spine, neck, ribs, biceps and triceps—all zones that will stop an attacker in his tracks when properly hit.
Deadly and practical
FMA’s deadliness is why it traditionally has no grading system, certification, competitions, or any kind of public display. The skills it teaches are street-based, direct, and on the vicious side, so they are saved exclusively for practice and (hopefully never!) for real-life circumstances.
If it’s that brutal, is it safe?
Absolutely! All moves are demonstrated and rehearsed in very controlled slow motion. Sparring is not encouraged, unless individuals are confident enough to do so and are approved by the instructor. Even then, sparring is done in slow motion. Protective gear is also required, and firm guidelines are provided.
Role-playing is used to act out common dangers and situations, with the emphasis always being on how to escape them—or how to avoid them in the first place, which is always the preferred method of self-defence!
Who are the instructors?
We are very privileged to have two excellent FMA instructors here at IDF Training—Noel Royeca and Steven Yates.
Noel Royeca began training in traditional karate at age 9 in Davao City, Philippines under Grandmaster Martin Cenojas. He earned his black belt while studying with Master Billy Quinones, and went on to receive many informal street-based fighting lessons from other local gurus until meeting a local martial arts instructor. This man was only known as “Mang Jun,” and he taught Noel the art of COJUKA (now KOMBOKAN). For many years Noel kept silent about this, unaware that he had acquired a very effective Filipino martial arts system.
Noel now teaches individuals and small groups on a private basis, in an attempt to preserve and revive COJUKA (KOMBOKAN) as a fighting style. He is not officially affiliated with any one martial arts school or club—rather, he keeps himself free to teach wherever he wants and wherever a desire to learn exists.
Noel will be teaching empty-hand FMA at IDF Training.
Steven Yates is the founder of Rough and Tumble (RAT), which he taught in the late ’80s and mid ’90s to the South African military special forces and navy. He has been teaching martial arts since 1988 and training in FMA since 1995. He holds black belts in several martial arts, including two in the Chinese martial arts and one each in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Eskrima. He also holds belts in Judo and BJJ.
Steven teaches Warrior’s Multi-System Eskrima, a multiple-style fighting system, under Grandmaster Abner Pasa in the Philippines and André du Preez in Africa. He also holds an international instructor rating in the ASP baton for military and law enforcement.
Steven’s experience growing up in South Africa, coupled with his many years of training and teaching, have given him an extremely comprehensive and pragmatic approach to self-defence.
Steven will be teaching us FMA with weapons (knives and sticks).
→ FMA Weapons Training with Steven Yates – Available only through Private training
→ “Empty Hand” FMA (COJUKA and Panantukan) with Noel Royeca – Mondays and Wednesdays, 7.00-8.00 pm
(You can also always check out our timetable for the most up-to-date class information.)
So call, email, or just stop in to sign up for some realistic, take-no-prisoners FMA self-defence!