Who is the hidden superpower of your favorite Hollywood hard-action hero? Bruce Lee? No, it is Kali.
Kali is a versatile Filipino martial art. It is used to defend and attack, to lock, take down, and most importantly, to disarm your opponent. Unlike other combat styles, you are trained to handle the weapon first before advancing onto hand-to-hand maneuvers.
The art form gained prominence during the Spanish colonial era in the southern Philippines, where knives and conventional weapons were forbidden. As a result, locals resorted to using sticks made from rattan in combat.
Nowadays, the martial art is practiced with single or double sticks, blunt knives, and other flexible, nonlethal weapons. The fighting relies heavily on body movement and has been adapted into training curriculums for the military and police task force.
Kali is popular because there are endless possibilities to how your opponent can strike, and therefore, infinite solutions and counterattacks that utilize different skill sets.
Movies in recent years have choreographed more fights that model after Kali’s combative style in order to showcase diverse fighting techniques.
The late Bruce Lee was fascinated by Kali and was the first to implement the martial art into his films. Look out for some Kali moves in your local theater, coming soon!