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"Eskrima" or "Escrima" refers to a class of Filipino Martial Arts that emphasize stick and sword fighting. The term and the art most probably originates from the Spanish word "esgrima" which is the term for fencing. Dan Inosanto who trained with the legendary Bruce Lee is an expert in the art of Eskrima.

Most Eskrima systems include fighting with a variety of weapons, striking with hands and feet (Suntukan, Sikaran, tadyakan/tadiyakan), grappling and throwing (Dumog), biting and whatever skills needed to complete a warrior's training in the old days of tribal warfare. Perhaps the only major fields that have not been given as much emphasis as in the past in modern eskrima training today are skills needed for fighting effectively in groups and hilot - a Filipino system of first aid, healing, massage, and herbal medicine traditionally taught alongside eskrima but that has now virtually disappeared.
In most systems, skills with weapons and with empty hands (unarmed) are developed concurrently using training methods designed to emphasize their common elements. The most common variations used are single stick (solo bastón), double stick (double bastón) and sword/stick and dagger (Espada Y Daga). Some systems are known to specialise in other weapons such as the whip and staff.

Rattan, an inexpensive wood from a type of palm in the Philippines, is the most common material for sticks and staves. Hard and durable, yet light weight, it can be fire hardened. It shreds under only the worst abuse and will not splinter like other woods do - thus making it a safe training tool. This aspect also makes it useful in defending against blades. Kamagong (Ironwood) is also sometimes used, but generally not for sparring, as it is dense enough to cause serious injury, although traditionally sparring does not include weapon to body contact; The participants are skilled enough to parry/counterstrike, showing respect in not intentionally hitting the training partner. Eskrima sticks are made in many sizes depending on the system and the respective ranges being trained. Common lengths range from 6" (15 cm) to 96" (2.44m), with the most common ranging from 24" (61 cm) to 36" (91 cm). Eskrima sticks are a reflection of the artist, their system and methodology.



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