The Forgotten Side of the Filipino Fighting Arts, pt III (The Ambush)

First of all, notice that I skipped “part II”.

That’s because I am still working on part two, and have decided to write this section first. I am talking about the method of fighting known as the ambush.

So, Eskrima styles often deal with the duel, as this is the method used to train fighters. The duel is one-on-one, mutual combat. The skills needed for success in the ambush rely on what is developed in duel combat. The ambush is quite different. This method of fighting is more brutal and violent than the duel, as the purpose is to kill or maim the opponent. It is also not mutual, as the opponent should not be expecting the attack… or the type of attack you will employ. Ambush-style fighting relies on the element of surprise and concealment, and this will be at the center of your fighting strategy. And example of such a style of fight is to engage in what appears to be an empty handed fight, and then produce a blade and attack the opponent with it without his knowledge.

Here are some tips for using this style of fighting:

  • fighters are often good for about 2 – 3 minutes of good, aggressive fighting. Play the less aggressive opponent, and allow the opponent to do all the work. Shield yourself well, and move a lot, allowing the opponent to tire himself. Once you notice his oncoming fatigue, turn up your attack and finish him
  • move evasively, forcing the opponent to chase you. Once he is in pursuit, stop your running, and aggressively attack him. Many fighters cannot quickly switch from offensive mode to defensive mode, so take advantage of this lull in his concentration–while the opponent adjusts to the change of roles
  • pretend to not want to fight. Put your hands up defensively, as if you did not want to fight, and walk away. This passive posture will lower his attentiveness and alertness, and he will follow you passively as well. Quickly attack him and he will not be ready
  • fight in short combinations, or one strike at a time. Once he is used to this pace, he will more likely attack in shorter bursts as well. Once you notice this, attack in longer, violent combinations–up to 10 or more strikes in the combination. Overwhelm your opponent

The Ambush style of fighting is more suitable for street combat than the duel style of fighting we do in our classrooms. This style of fighting will allow you to overcome any physical advantage opponents–even multiple opponents–may have on you, as they must be ready to use their weapons and physical advantages in order for them to dominate you. There are many ways Eskrima fighters can utilize this style of fighting that are a perfect complement to any style or system. You might consider finding a way to work this method into your curriculums.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Author: thekuntawman

full time martial arts teacher, full time martial arts philosopher, and full time martial arts critic

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