Kali a.k.a Escrima and or Arnis. Is a Filipino martial art. During the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, this martial art was disguised as practicing a stick dance. The Spanish Conquistadors in the 1500’s did not want to have the people they occupied teaching and learning a martial arts.
In Kali we focus on the ability to transition from weapons to open hand combat with fluidity. Kali very much believes that open hand combat uses the same moves as having weapons so both are learned and taught congruently. We learn single stick, double stick, sword and stick, and dagger.
Part of the reason it melts my brain is that forces me to use both sides of my brain. What we learn on the one hand we will learn on the other. So I am right handed and we may learn something like say, the Running Saint Rafael on the right side, but to do the whole thing you have to do it on the left side all together. Making the left side of my body do what I want it to do can and often does melt my brain a bit.
I can say it is getting better, and the more I learn the better it gets. However, Kali class is right after Muay Thai, and my body is usually tired from Muay Thai and then I ask my body and mind to figure out how to move it around and not hit myself with the sticks. I have hit myself, and it sucks, but I am still here and alive. I still love Kali, and love learning it.
I have included a video of me doing the Running Saint Rafael. I am not very good at it, but I am learning, and hopefully getting better. N