Eskrima is a beautiful martial art that originated in the Philippines. It is the national sport of the Philippines, and has a very long history of combat effectiveness. One difference from other martial arts is that the student is taught to train with weapons from the very start, rather than beginning with empty-hands training. The Filipino Martial Arts ingrain an interrelationship between empty-hand skills and weapons, and because of this philosophy, Eskrima is widely recognized in the martial arts community for its extreme practicality and effectiveness.
Inayan Eskrima is not a blend but rather a gathering of several different styles that was developed over time by the late Mangisursuro Mike Inay. Suro Inay, as he was known by his students, spent the majority of his life researching and developing Inayan Eskrima into what it is today.
Eskrima (sometimes spelled "Escrima") literally translated means to skirmish or fight. This method of martial arts is unique from the onset in that the student is introduced to weapons training immediately. From a traditional standpoint this was so that so one with very little training could be effective in defending one’s homeland. The majority of these techniques translate directly into open hand defensive counters that can be deployed in almost every type of self defense situation. From open hand defense to being attacked by a weapon to multiple attackers Inayan Eskrima provides realistic solutions to defending oneself. What is truly unique, however, are the reflex drills taught within the art, giving one the ability to know how and when to react to an attack.
Serrada literally translated means “to close” or “to shut”. Serrada is a medium to close range style emphasizing the use of blade or stick 18 to 26 inches in length. Responses or counters to strikes are primarily linear in fashion, with the main theory being to close in on an attackers strike to shut down his or her power and speed. Serrada translates to both knife and open hand applications. Serrada is considered one of the most important styles within Inayan Eskrima because it bridges the gap between long and short range defensive counters and attacks.
Sinawali translated means “to weave”. In this style two weapons, usually of equal length are used in set offensive and defensive patterns. From this the practioner is introduced to different theories of executing the same blocking and striking sequences. Sinawali is one of the primary ways that that the left and right hands are taught to work in harmony and rhythm together.
Decuerdas means, “to cord”. This style is based on reinforced weapon blocking and counter striking. Theories include parry, block, block and parry and weapon to weapon disarming. This is a basic but highly effective form of Eskrima.
Judo develops self-discipline and respect for oneself and others. Judo provides the means for learning self-confidence, concentration, and leadership skills, as well as physical coordination, power, and flexibility. As a sport that has evolved from a fighting art, it develops complete body control, fine balance, and fast reflexive action. Above all, it develops a sharp reacting mind well-coordinated with the same kind of body. Judo training gives a person an effective self-defense system if the need arises.
Judo, which is translated as the "gentle way", teaches the principle of flexibility in the application of technique. This is the flexible or efficient use of balance, leverage, and movement in the performance of Judo throws and other skills. Skill, technique and timing, rather than the use of brute strength, are the essential ingredients for success in Judo. For example, in Judo classes you may learn how to give way, rather than use force, to overcome a stronger opponent.
Sadly, few martial artists in the West know of haedong kumdo, a unique martial art which, even in its modern incarnation, exhibits a decidedly Korean character. It, rather than kumdo, just may be the art descended from Korean sword skills of ages past.
Haedong kumdo takes its name from an ancient Chinese name for Korea. "Hae" means sea, and "dong" means east. It probably came about because Korea lay across the water to the east on the other side of the stretch of sea separating the peninsula from the Chinese mainland.
The first thing one notices upon entering a haedong kumdo school is the absence of the traditional Japanese decorations, such as the large drum and "hanja" (Japanese: kanji) framed calligraphy. Instructors wear a regular "dobok" top with dark baggy pants, and students wear ordinary black uniforms with conventional belt rankings.
Everyone wields a hardwood practice sword, which is quite similar to the Japanese "bokken" (called "mok kum," or wooden sword, in Korean) but several inches longer than those used in kumdo and kendo. Because of the greater weight of the sword, haedong kumdo tends to use longer strikes, more circular slashing movements and more frequent body spins during forms practice and sparring.