Panantukan Techniques – Effective Self Defense System


Panantukan techniques is a term for Filipino boxing. Other terms used include suntukanpangamot, and kamut-kamut.

As is common, in the Filipino martial arts, the term used varies according to the language or dialect from which the speaker learned it.

In some regions, it refers to a sport like boxing, but they allow all strikes except kicks, including elbows and knees.

A companion sport, sometimes known as sikaran allows all strikes except punching.

In addition, Dumog, grappling, is also sometimes used in these sports to disrupt an opponent’s balance and create openings for the strikes.

In fact, many strikes common to panantukan are considered “dirty boxing” in the world of Western boxing.

For instance, one such strike is to intentionally miss with your cross. Therefore, you can, instead, strike your opponent with your elbow.

Suntukang Kalye (dirty street boxing) with locks, trips, knees, throws and elbows

Outside the sport, this system is used as the fallback for the combative aspects. If you lose your weapons, you can still fight empty-handed.

Because of the weapon-based nature of the Filipino martial arts, panantukan techniques is heavily influenced by weapon usage, especially the knife.

The motions in panantukan techniques are derived from the movements used with knives.

Compared to Western boxing, this means it tends toward a more mobile platform. While Western boxers might stand “toe-to-toe” and exchange punches, the core method keeps moving constantly fighting toe-to-toe with a knife-wielding opponent is a BAD idea.

In fact, this system uses the same basic strikes as Western boxing or Muay Thaijab, right crossuppercuthook and overhand. At least in combative usage, you might target any part of the body. “Limb destructions” are common in panantukan techiques. Here are some examples:

See also:

#1 – Gunting

The word gunting means “scissors” in English.

In panantukan, it refers to a scissoring motion done with the hands. As an example, imagine your opponent is throwing a right cross.

Then, you shift to your left, parry the incoming punch to your right with your left hand. At the same time, you strike your opponent’s bicep with your right.

In reality, your target is either your opponent’s bicep muscle or their brachial nerve.

The intention is to reduce the functionality of your opponent’s right arm. By that way, it becomes less of a threat and is less able to protect from your return strikes.

Another example of gunting, you parry your opponent’s incoming punch into your rising elbow.

Then you effectively force your opponent to punch your elbow.

Because the bones of the hand are far more fragile than the area around the elbow so, generally, your opponent’s hand loses the contest.

Again, the objective is to limit your opponent’s ability to attack or defend with that hand.

#2 – Knuckle Rap

Another limb destruction can be as simple as punching the back of your opponent’s hand, either as it approaches you or while it sits in guard.

#3 – Knee The Kick

If your opponent kicks, you can fire a knee into your opponent’s standing leg, or you might knee your opponent’s kicking leg, especially on round kicks.

Another option is to sandwich your opponent’s kicking leg between your rising knee and your falling hands.

And again, this would fall into the category of a gunting (scissoring) motion.

Panantukan dirty fighting techniques


As mentioned before, Dumog, grappling, is also a part in panantukan techniques.

This might include joint locks but, more commonly in panantukan techniques, this skill is used to unbalance your opponent.

By that way, it creates openings for your strikes.

In addition, you are able to adds power to a strike by causing your opponent to fall into it.

For instance, if your opponent throws a right cross, you might slip the cross and catch your opponent’s arm as it retracts.

Drop your body weight to unbalance your opponent and, as they stumble toward you, strike the side of their face with an elbow.


Historically, there is evidence to indicate Filipino influence on Western boxing.

In the early 1900s, US military personnel introduced the sport of boxing to Hawaii.

This island contained many Filipino immigrants who had brought their native martial arts with them.

Consequently, it led to the Filipino methods influencing the way the US troop boxed.

Then, over the next couple of decades, the modified version made its way back to the mainland US.

A specific Filipino influence on Western boxing is the bolo punch.

This punch, named after a Filipino machete, is a type of looping uppercut used to great effect by such greats as Caferino Garcia, Kid Gavilan, and Sugar Ray Leonard.

A left bolo punch in counterpunch
A left bolo punch in attack

See also:

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