Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Short Note on Kali

Kali is one of the most effective knife-fighting systems in the world. For those who are in the dark and dubious as to what Kali really is, it is an art of fighting developed and perfected by ancient Malayans who settled in the archipelago now known as the Philippines. Simply put, Kali is a Filipino form of fighting.

One of the believed masters of the art was a tribal chieftain known as Lapu-Lapu of Mactan Island. Lapu-Lapu’s name may be unheard of but he was the one who led a war party that battled with Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew (which resulted in the latter’s death.

The knowledge of this style of knife-fighting has persevered the ages and has evolved into several variations. Despite the difference in some fundamental ideologies, all Kali systems share the belief that self-defense means disabling your opponent to a point where he could no longer stage another attack, which could mean breaking his wrists and bones.

Through the years, Kali’s influence has spread from the Philippines into the modern world. Several branches of law enforcement and defense of First-World countries have included Kali as part of their skills training for bladed- and close-quarters combat.

Trivia: Benicio del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones both trained in Sayoc Kali during the filming of the movie Hunted.