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List of Eskrima systems
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List of Eskrima systems

Eskrima is a martial art from the Philippines. Like many martial arts, it has seen rapid expansion in many years, and like many of them, many systems have arisen. There is as yet no single predominant organization. Here is a list of Eskrima systems; although it is far from comprehensive, it will list many systems and describe a few.

It is sometimes useful to make the distinction between "system" and "style". Normally, a system means a systematic arrangement of techniques, training drills, names, and sets of sparring rules designed for effective teaching. On the other hand, a style is essentially a way of doing each technique and of solving each problem. Style in this sense is largely personal, developed by each practitioner to suit their body, mind, and reflexes. Of course, most students copy the style of their teacher to some degree, and some teachers encourage very accurate copying of their style. Bruce Lee and Dan Inosanto make this distinction very carefully, focusing on developing an effective system while encouraging their students to develop an individual style. More traditional teachers may consider the precise details of style essential to reliable transmission of their art.

Most people do not make the distinction between "system" and "style" this precisely. The words are often used more-or-less interchangeably.

Eskrima systems

Cabales Serrada Eskrima

Founded by Angel Cabales.


Doce Pares Escrima

Founded by the Caņete family, headed by Dionision Caņete. Officially recognized by the Filipino government. Includes as a specialized topic Escrido, a collection of locks and throws imported from Aikido.


Inosanto Kali

Developed by Dan Inosanto from various other styles. He does not call it a system in its own right, preferring to refer to his teachers, who include Angel Cabales, Max Sarmientes, Edgar Sulite and John Lacoste, identifying the origin of each technique and drill. The training methods were also influenced by Dan Inosanto's work with Bruce Lee.


Kali Ilustrisimo

Founded by Melacio Illustrisimo, this has served as a parent to many more popular systems.


Lameco Escrima

Founded by Edgar Sulite. The name comes from the three ranges of the system, largo, medio, and corto. Edgar Sulite learned Eskrima from several teachers but chose not to offend any of them by naming his system after one of the others, so he chose a neutral name.


Pekiti Tirsia

Founded by Leo T. Gaje, the name means "to cut into pieces at close range", although the system includes techniques for all ranges.


Villabrille System

Founded by Ben Largusa on the teachings of Floro Villabrille, the system pays an unusual amount of attention to traditional weapons such as the spear or the sword and shield.


Other Eskrima systems

It should be noted that many of these styles are not formal systems and have only a single teacher; also, many of the names are simply names of particular techniques. Also, there are other recently imported or recently created martial arts practiced in the Philippines; see the list of martial arts.