Have you ever seen a Jason Bourne Movie? You know, ” Bourne Identity”, “Bourne Supremacy” and so on. Did those the fight scenes make you think, ” Man, that is cool!” ? Well, that is Panantukan, Kali or Filipino Martial Arts”
What is Panantukan?
Panantukan is an empty hands aspect of the Filipino Martial Arts and is at its core a boxing art. It is different from the Western boxing that most are familiar with. In Panantukan you use every part of you body as a tool to strike just about every part of the opponents body. The fact that the Filipino martial arts are known for their skills with bladed weapons is seen in Panantukan as the movements mimick the movement of the blade. Some know this art by different names; Filipino Dirty Boxing, Suntakan, Pangamut, Mano-mano, to name a few, but they are all essentially the same art. The name, Panantukan, was given to this art (in the US) to avoid some confusion with other popular arts of that time.
Some aspects that make this art very unique are:
- The use of each sides equally: Practitioners will train both side of the body so that they will be able strike well in either a left or right (southpaw) lead .
- Body manipulation: One goal is to off balance or move the opponents body by pushing, pulling, sweeps and takedowns. These tactics put the opponent into a position which limits their offense.
- Limb destruction: Another unique concept of the art is limb destruction. The techniques are not only focused toward the face and body, but also will intentionally attack the limbs. The point of that is to “Defang the Snake” or to render the most dangerous tool an the time less effective. An add benefit is distraction with pain to open up the main targets.
Credit where credit is due.
My exposure to this art is due to the unselfishness of Guro Rick Faye and Guro Dan Inosanto. These 2 men have traveled the world sharing the benefits of martial arts and Filipino martial arts specifically. Those of us that train in these arts owe many thanks to these men for there dedication and unselfishness.
Guro Dan Inosanto
Mr. Inosanto has done more research into the empty hand expression of Kali than any martial artist living to today. His unique situation gave him access to many of the great Filipino masters. Sebastian Inosanto, Guro Dan’s Father, was the Treasurer to the Filipino Agricultural Laborers Association. When many Filipino’s immigrated to the US after World War II, Guro Inosanto’s father was a main point of contact. Much of Guro Inosanto’s knowledge of Panantukan was past to him by some of the great filipino masters, Johnny Lacosta, Lucky LucayLucay, Max Sarmento and Floro Villabrille just to name a few.
Here is a short Clip of Guro Inosanto at work (Circa 2000)
Guro Rick Faye
Among his many distinctions, Guro Rick is one of a very few Senior Full Instructors under Guro Dan Inosanto. His passion for the martial arts, loyalty to Guro Inosanto and his method has been a put a shining the light on the Filipino martial arts. In his effort to make Panantukan known to the greater martial arts world, he has written an book on the subject, A Guide to Panantukan (the Filipino Boxing Art) and some instructional DVD’s on Panantukan.
Here are some short clips of Guro Rick Faye. (Circa 2000)
What are the benefits of training Panantukan?
The Study of Panantukan has many benefits, some are are very obvious. The self defense aspects of the art are very easy to see, yet some of the other benefits are not so obvious. For example, the changing of leads trains your brain! Using both sides of your body is proven to improve cognitive function of the brain. Also when exploring the pathways and routes in the organic method that FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) teaches, training promotes creativity and fluid motion. It can also be a fantastic work out. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, it is FUN!