MANO-MANO: ARNIS’ METHOD OF EMPTY HAND FIGHTING

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Nicolas traps the attacker’s right hand with a downward parry while delivering a right upper back fist to the face.

Nicolas traps the attacker’s right hand with a downward parry while delivering a right upper back fist to the face.

The Filipino martial art of arnis is highly conceptual in nature. Understanding the underlying concepts of arnis is the key to mastering the transition from weapons to empty hand fighting.

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The most common way of translating arnis weapon techniques into empty hand applications is through the basic angles of attacks. In this scheme, you retain the angle but substitute the blade or the stick with your limbs. The concept of limb destruction (commonly referred to as “defanging the snake”) can be interpreted with or without weapons. Categorically, there are two ways to destroy a limb: through joint manipulation or by using strikes. An arnisador could easily destroy his enemy’s upper limbs even without a stick or blade. The nerve-rich areas at the base of the arms, the shoulders and the armpits are excellent targets.

In the following photos, Punong Lakan Garitony Nicolas, the founder of Modern Arnis Mano-Mano Filipino Martial Arts demonstrates empty hand techniques of arnis called Mano-Mano (hand to hand).

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