If you are new to Balintawak Eskrima and looking for the 12 basic skills (sets/strikes) of Balintawak Eskrima, then you came to the right place. These fundamental strikes should not be taken lightly and must be practiced all the time; the same thing with the 12 basic defenses of Balintawak Eskrima. I have been practicing this Filipino martial art for over 5 years now, and I consider this form of martial art as practical and easy to learn. Also, be responsible with this art because it is one of the deadliest martial arts in the world.
You can either practice the 12 Basic Sets alone or with a partner. Before starting, you need to stand an arm’s length away in front of your partner, with legs parallel and aligned with your shoulder. Hold the stick at both ends with your hands, palm facing towards you.
The Basic Balintawak Eskrima Salute
This is the Balintawak Eskrima salute that we always do before doing a ready stance (you can actually create your own salute for your group). From the starting stance, close your legs by lifting your left leg and move it close to your right leg, at the same time, remove your left hand at the left end of the stick and move your right hand towards your mouth (make sure the stick is properly aligned perpendicular to your shoulders and near the tip of your nose and the left end of the stick is now pointing towards the sky,) then move back to your starting stance.
The Ready Stance
From the starting stance, move your left leg towards your back a half-step away (make sure that your weight is evenly distributed). The heel of your left leg is slightly raised while your right foot is flat on the ground.
At the same time, hold the stick close to your right chest around 2 ½ fists away with forearms parallel to the ground and elbow close to your right waist. Your left hand should be a fist away from the center of your chest.
Your left hand will be use for grappling and striking, while your right arm will do the stick strikes and shielding.
The 12 Strikes of Balintawak Eskrima
From the ready stance do the following 12 strikes:
Note: Forward your leg where the striking hand is located. If the striking hand strikes at your right then move your right foot forward. If the striking hand is located at your left then move your left foot forward.
1) Pull your right hand towards your right shoulder and do a downward forehand strike towards the left temple of your partner.
2) Pull your right hand towards your left shoulder and do a downward backhand strike towards the right temple of your partner.
3) Pull your right hand towards your left elbow and do a downward backhand strike towards right elbow or right side of the torso of your partner.
4) Pull your right hand towards your right torso and do a forehand strike towards the left elbow or left side of the torso of your partner.
5) Pull your right hand towards the right of your waist and pierce straight towards the navel of your partner.
6) Pull your right hand towards the right of your waist and pierce straight towards the right shoulder of your partner.
7) Pull your right hand towards the right of your waist and pierce straight towards the left should of your partner.
8) Slightly bend your knees and pull your right hand towards the right of your waist and do a downward forehand strike towards the left knee of your partner.
9) While still bending, pull your right hand towards the left of your waist and do a downward backhand strike towards the right knee of your partner.
10) Pull your right hand towards your right chest and pierce straight to the right eye of your partner.
11) Pull your right hand towards your right chest and pierce straight to the left eye for your partner.
12) Then end your strike by pulling your hand towards the back of your right ear and do a downward forehand strike on the forehead of your partner.
Hopefully, I was able to explain to you the 12 strikes in a comprehensible manner. It would be best to look for a professional instructor, or watch videos at Youtube to learn more about these fundamental strikes.
Once you have mastered striking with the stick with your right hand, do the same thing with your left hand. Hold the stick with your left hand and do the mirror image of the strikes above.
Next time, I will show you how to do the 12 defenses of Balintawak Eskrima. Again, train hard till you master everything; this is a great Filipino martial art well renowned around the world.