Academy of Jeet Kune Do Fighting Technology
Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do Instructor
warrior arts have long been the backbone of Filipino society. In fact, it
is the practice and preservation of these arts that has kept the
Philippine archipelago from permanent domination by a foreign power.
martial arts eskrima, arnis de mano, and kali are still widely practised
today. Although edged, impact, and projectile weapons form the nucleus of
these fighting systems, their respective kicking methods are essential
elements of their effectiveness.
Spaniards' 300-years plus domination of the northern Philippines, weapons
were banned and the warrior arts were forced into seclusion. The weapons
systems were practiced and preserved, however, in dances set to native
rhythms, which were often performed for the Spaniards' enjoyment. One such
dance, the sinulog, climaxed with a mock sword battle, while the bibabayan
dance resembled a skirmish between two groups of men who brandished swords
Filipino weapons systems were preserved in dance form, warrior kicking
methods were disguised in games. Sipa, a game often played by Filipino
children, consists of a rattan ball that is kicked into the air and must
not be allowed to hit the ground. Kicking techniques are employed by team
members to keep the ball airborne. Sikaran, a more combative game,
involves two men who attempt to kick one another out of a small circle.
After one opponent
has been kicked out of the boundaries, a new opponent enters the circle
and challenges the victor.
weapons and kicking methods were eventually integrated into one complete
system through clandestine training. The Filipinos discovered that by
adding kicking techniques to their existing weapons repertoire, they could
effectively overcome an opponent versed only in weaponry.
name given to these combative kicks, has proven to be an integral part of
the eskrima system in particular. While not as aesthetically appealing as,
say, the flashy kicks of tee kwon do, pananjakman techniques have proven
especially effective for diverting an opponent's attention and disrupting
his timing and balance, which then affords the eskrimador an opening to
pananjakman includes more than a half-dozen kicks, they are variations of
just two techniques: sipang paharap(front kick) and sipanggabiakid
(reverse kick). The primary targets for the sipang paharap and the sipang
pabiakid are the opponent's instep, the front and back of the knee, the
calf, and the thigh. The kicks focus on the opponent's lower body because
they are likely to be struck by the opponent's weapon if delivered higher.
Also, an attempt to lift the foot higher than waist level could result in
a loss of balance and timing, which can prove fatal in the fast and
unpredictable world of weapons combat.
Using a form of
"triangle" movement, the eskrimador skilled in pananjakman is
able to change positions frequently, with no apparent shifting of his
upper body to telegraph his intentions. The eskrimador uses stomping
techniques to create a "broken" rhythm that keeps the opponent
distracted until an opening is established. Once an open target is found
on the opponent's legs, the eskrimador delivers a kick and quickly follows
it up with either another kick, or a hand or weapon technique, until the
skirmish is ended.
and perseverance are needed to ensure proper development of pananjakman
techniques. By repeatedly executing the kicks during empty-hand and
weapons sequences, they become second nature and will prove to be
efficient elements of an eskrimador's overall arsenal.
Proper posture and
balance are a must during the execution of pananjakman kicks. Inferior
balance or posture causes kicks to lack power, and leaves the eskrimador
in an awkward or unstable position, which can result in his defeat.
training, emphasis is placed on creating, and adapting to, various timing
patterns. The eskrimador can deliver the kicks by themselves in a steady
rhythm, or they can be used with a broken rhythm and delivered in
combination with weapons or empty-hand techniques. Timing is developed
through sparring drills.
Proper balance is
developed through specific kicking drills. One method has the eskrimador
stand on one leg and kick a target for an extended period of time while
maintaining his balance. Another method is a two-man drill which includes
triangular footwork. This drill incorporates the sipang paharap and the
sipang pabiakid within the framework of a 12-step pattern.
Proper timing and
balance on the part of the eskrimador, coupled with the sudden
explosiveness of the kicks themselves, are the reasons for pananjakman's
effectiveness. And while there are many effective kicking methods in the
martial arts, only eskrima offers such destructive kicks while
simultaneously skirmishing with weapons. It is no wonder, then, that the
Filipino warrior arts are among the deadliest combat styles known to
can be used to counter any number of attacks by your opponent. In the
sequence at left, the defender (far left) faces off (1) with an opponent
who delivers (2) a side kick The defender traps the kick and counters (3)
with a pananjakman toe kick to his adversary's thigh. The kick
counterattack allows the defender to close the gap and trap (4) his
opponent's Off wrist, leading to a head strike/knee smash combination (5).
Pananjakman kicks can be used effectively in combination with escrima's weapons techniques. In the sequence above, the defender (left) traps (1) an attacker's stick strike and immediately counters (2-3) with a simultaneous stick strike to the neck and kick to the inside of the knee pint. The defender finishes (4) with a follow-up stick strike to the jawbone and knee to the chest.