Today’s topic is stick grappling. Yes, grappling with a stick, for most of us the idea is silly, but in a combative setting or within the study of a historic martial art, we consistently see grappling used in conjunction with a variety of weapons.
Early forms of martial arts were strictly meant for combat, so all aspects of fighting were considered. This means crosstraining! Training with a multitude of weapons, hand to hand, and grappling was of the utmost importance for warriors. As combative styles spread, they intermixed and evolved into their current forms and styles. In a combative atmosphere weapons and grappling go hand in hand - no pun intended. You can see this in ancient Indian Martial Arts (Kalarippayattu) all the way through to Medieval Combat Styles and even modern day military methods. If a spear, knife, sword, stick or gun is in your hand on the battlefield, there is great possibility that you may lose that tool or the use of it, thus grappling will ensue.
Modern stick grappling has seen a resurgence and growth since the 1970’s with Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do and the influence of Dan Inosanto and his expertise in South East Asian Arts. One of those arts we have discussed in the past is Indonesian Silat, which contains diverse and sometimes unusual grappling methods. Filipino and Southeast Asian styles utilize influences from surrounding countries as well as from countries that once ruled them. What makes them so diverse is the crosstraining they incorporate along with heavy use of weapons. In the late 1980’s several of Dan Inosanto’s students formed Dog Brothers Martial Arts (DBMA) which was incorporated several stick fighting arts from South East Asia with grappling. The grappling aspects came from the root arts and also from The Original Brazilian Bad Boys (The Machado Brothers). They played a key role in the foundation of the Dog Brothers system of Martial Arts.
Take a look at the guys over at Orihinal Eskrima, they mix Filipino Arts with the fluidity of BJJ. Orihinal Eskrima describes themselves as “not a particular style, just a group that seeks to preserve the idea of the traditional Filipino Martial Arts.” Enjoy the combination of BJJ and Filipino martial arts!