Latosa Escrima is a Filipino martial art developed by Rene Latosa after years of study with renowned Filipino martial art instructors such as Angel Cabales, Leo Giron, Max Sarmiento, Dentoy Revilar and his own father, Juan Latosa.

Latosa Escrima is a comprehensive system that includes sticks, knives, swords (kampilans, bolos and machetes), staff, spear, shield, palm sticks, whip and empty hand methods including Cadena de Mano and Filipino Boxing.

Unlike most martial arts that strictly teach techniques, Latosa Escrima focuses on concepts. These concepts are applicable to any weapon or empty-hand application. In addition, they are so logical and pure that people already use them to accomplish tasks in their everyday life. These concepts include:

  1. Balance
  2. Speed, timing and distance
  3. Power
  4. Focus
  5. Transition

Balance is the foundation of Escrima as well as most tasks we perform throughout our lives. Balance is more than just stances and footwork. It’s a matter of keeping your body in a state of equilibrium so that you can move freely and effectively. It is also important to learn how to regain your balance as well as operate from a position where balance is compromised. Balance is the key that opens the other concepts.

The concept of speed, distance and timing relates to the execution of movement. It involves developing the ability to perform any given movement at the most opportune time. Finally, it involves learning to adjust to unexpected changes in the relative position between a defender and his attackers.

Power is more than the ability to hit hard. It is the ability to control the amount and type of force you exert. It is driven by the foundation of balance, dictated by the distance and speed of the attack or offense movement. When moving a force multiplier (weapon), you must maintain body-connection with the weapon throughout the range of movement.

Focus involves a mental attitude of realism, and the inclusion of intent in what you do. Realistic martial arts exist in order to deal with the problem of real violence directed at your person, within real situations. Your mental state during training must always keep that front and center. The other aspect of focus is the consideration of the opponent and situation as a whole, as opposed to what he is doing, where his arms are, or what a particular drill is set up to accomplish. Regardless of all of that, you must have a mental attitude focused on winning the encounter.

Transition is the ability to use any weapon without radically changing any physical movements you already use. In many (or even most) cases, this could be an everyday item such as a comb, brush or keys. Training methodologies that grow general-purpose skills that work at many distances, with one opponent or two, with this implement or that, are more productive than methodologies that grow skills that only work in one specific situation.

Copyright © 2010 V. Bevan and Seattle Escrima Club

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