Kali sticks are a weapon from the Philippine martial art called Arnis.
The sticks are about two feet long and made of various materials like wood or rattan. I’ve made some to use for practice from PVC pipe.
Learning to use Kali sticks takes practice. Most of the movements are simple, but to get good at them, you need to spend some time each day doing them.
Over time, you’ll see yourself improve and then be able to put moves together into effective combinations of strikes and blocks, with some fancy (and power generating) spins added.
Holding the Sticks
When you hold your Kali sticks, you should grip them a couple inches above the bottom, not right at the end. Not only does this allow you to twirl and strike without worrying about it slipping out of your hand, it also allows a bit of balancing of the weight of the stick giving you more control.
The most basic move to learn is a strike that comes from the shoulder, across the body and down at an angle to the other side.
Other strikes come across the body parallel to the ground, along the body perpendicular to the ground, and up and away on an angle from low on one side of the body to the upper part of the other side of the body.
There are also jabs and strikes with the end of the stick.
See videos below for examples. I’m sure my explanations have only served to confuse you. 🙂
Spinning or Twirling
Spinning or twirling is where the stick goes down and around, coming back to it’s original position. This not only looks really cool, but more importantly, it adds momentum and power to the strike.
Patterns, like figure 8, heaven 6, and redonda can help practice movements and transitions, and can be used in actual fighting.
For those who want to practice with their Kali sticks at home, here are some videos that go over some Kali stick basics.