12 Striking Techniques in Arnis – Basic Lessons

12 striking techniques in Arnis - Basic LessonsThe Filipino Arnis is a rich and ancient art that has been popular for long centuries among warriors and practitioners. Today, there are big numbers of enthusiastic devotees who want to dive into the history and secrets behind this popular martial art. Masters of the Arnis still follow the ancient ways to teach new practitioners the basic methods and 12 striking techniques in Arnis to become a great warrior.

The Arnis basically depends on defending against different angles. This is because almost every type of hand to hand attack reaches the body of the opponent through a different angle. This is the same whether the practitioner is using a weapon or is fighting barehanded. For instance, learning to defend against an attack that hits the left side of the chest is particularly the same whether the attacker is using a knife, a baston, or a sibat. Learning to defend against these angles is by far much more efficient than learning to defend against different weapons.

How are the basic strikes taught?

Basically the 12 striking techniques in Arnis are all taught in the same way. The practice starts by having the 2 partners standing face to face each other holding the sticks in their hands. One partner will stand holding both ends of the stick securely with both arms. In this position, the practitioner’s arms will be relaxed down to master the technique and be able to attack and defend properly. The other partner will then start to execute the sequence of the 12 striking techniques in Arnis using the stick, starting from number 1 until strike number 12.

What are the 12 striking Techniques In Arnis?

These are the 12 basic angles or 12 striking techniques in Arnis. Traditionally, these strikes were given names instead of numbers. Practitioners of the Arnis decided that giving them names would be easier and more convenient. The number of the strikes and the order in which they are executed will differ from one system to another. Some systems will have as few as 5 basic strikes while others will have 72. But these 12 strikes are the most famous and the most widely practiced and used strikes among all Arnis practitioners across the world.

12 Striking Techniques in Arnis - 12 Basic Positions

12 striking techniques in Arnis:

  • #1 – Left side of the head attack.
  • #2 – Right side of the head attack.
  • #3 – Left side of the body or torso, to the left arm or elbow.
  • #4 – Right side of the body or torso, to the left arm or elbow.
  • #5 – Thrust to the stomach.
  • #6 – Left chest stab.
  • #7 – Right chest stab.
  • #8 – Left lower leg.
  • #9 – Right lower leg.
  • #10 – Left eye poke.
  • #11 – Right eye poke.
  • #12 – Strike to the crown/top of head.

#1 - Left side of the head attack

From the fighting stance, the warrior will hold the stick with one hand at 1 o’clock. He will then move the stick in a slashing action while keeping the free hand on the chest. This is a diagonal downward forehand swing to the left temple.

#2 - Right side of the head attack

Like the left temple strike the warrior assumes fighting stance, this time with the stick held at 11 o’clock and the free hand kept on the chest. The strike to the right temple is then done in a diagonal downward backhand swing.

12 Striking Techniques in Arnis - Second Strike
12 Striking Techniques in Arnis - First Strike
First & Second Strikes strike towards the temple of a persons head
Source: https://sites.google.com/site/defensespecialists/grandmasterporfiriolanadaarnislanada

#3 - Left side of the body or torso

In this strike, the practitioner will extend the weapon hand. Then he will proceed to strike any part of the trunk located between the shoulder and the hips. The stick will be held in a diagonal forehand slashing swing. This is the way to deliver the maximum amount of damage.

#4 - Right side of the body or torso

Again the practitioner will extend the weapon hand to strike any part of the body located on the right side between the shoulder and the hips. The weapon of choice will be moved in a backhand slashing swing.

#5 - Thrust To The Stomach

This is a strong thrust to the solar plexus or the stomach and can cause fatal damage to the vital organs in the abdomen. In this strike, the practitioner will thrust the weapon hand to the target point, which is the solar plexus. It is then followed by an upward motion that will cut through the opponent’s body.

12 Striking Techniques in Arnis - Crown Strike and Fifth Thrust

Strike to the Crown & Thrust to the Stomach

#6 - Left Chest Stab

In this strike, the practitioner will assume the fighting stance with the weapon of choice in his hands. The weapon hand is then extended to the front with the palm facing outward and the elbow kept up. This strike can cause real damage to the rib cage. A weapon like a knife, spear or sword will end your opponent’s life immediately as it punctures the lungs and the heart.

#7 - RighT Chest Stab

After assuming fighting stance, the practitioner will practice the scooping action. The weapon hand is then extended forward with the palm facing outward. The elbow should be kept up in order to deliver an efficient strike to the right lung that will puncture it and end your opponent’s life immediately.

#8 - Left Lower Leg

A practitioner here will try to deliver a powerful strike to the lower leg, targeting the knee, the shin or the ankle. The aim of the strike is to throw your opponent off balance and immobilize him. Using the right weapon, you might be able to break a bone or even cut a limb. The warrior is supposed to lower his body while extending the weapon arm. He should hold the palm upward and hit any part of the lower leg.

#9 - Right Lower Leg

This strike is just like the previous one. The practitioner will extend the weapon hand and lower his body to hit the knee, the shin or the ankle. This time the palm should face downward.

12 Striking Techniques in Arnis - Eighth Strike
12 Striking Techniques in Arnis - Ninth Strike
Eighth & Ninth Strikes strike the knees of the opponent
Source: https://sites.google.com/site/defensespecialists/grandmasterporfiriolanadaarnislanada

#10 - Left Eye Poke

A targeted thrust to the eye socket will not just blind your opponent, but will also deliver real damage to the brain. Using a sharp weapon like a sibat or the right baston can end your opponent’s life right there. The practitioner should assume fighting stance then extend the weapon hand forward with the palm facing outward and the elbow kept down.

#11 - Right Eye Poke

This thrust is similar to the previous one except that the practitioner will have to hold his elbow down. This will allow him to hit the eye precisely with the right weapon penetrating all the way through to the brain.

#12 - Strike to the crown/top of head.

This is a straight downward overhead swing directed towards the crown of the head. Hitting the top of the head can immobilize your opponent, deliver damage to the brain and throw him off balance. Using a real sharp or powerful weapon can even shatter the skull bones ending the fight to your favor in a matter of seconds.

12 Striking Techniques in Arnis - All Strikes

12 Basic Strikes of Arnis

Wrap It Up

As a rule of thumb, the Arnis strikes and techniques assume that both the practitioner and the opponent are very competent and well trained. For this reason, the Arnis always favors extreme caution will delivering different strikes in order to avoid failure or an unexpected strike. This is why these strikes mainly aim towards destroying the opponent’s ability to attack in the first place, rather than trying to hurt them. For this reason, the strikes will always hit strategic points, cutting the tendons, nerves or limbs. Sticks will work best in strikes that aim for breaking the bones of the limbs while blades like knives and spears will be used in thrusts and poking strikes.

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