FMA Terminology Archive

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts' started by ap Oweyn, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Taking the example of 'Gunting' and 'Crossada' - which has definately been discussed before with Stuart in another tread - but at least there is now a contained space for these discussions.

    'Gunting' - I believe translates from (not Spanish but what?) more or less as 'scissors' cut/strike/attack. I have often seen it used with elbow strikes particularly inside forearm strikes coupled with the other hand grasping/slaping/siezeing/strikeing the other side of the attacked forearm - scissor attacked from both directions. Gunting maybe a universal Phillipino term? I guess there a re quite a few.

    'Crossada' - obviously Spanish for cross, I have seen used in double dagger drills, where again with a scissoring motion, you cross-cut attacks from opposing angles.

    So similar movements and purpose, different terminology, used in different drills - and probably in multitudes of styles.

    The terminology is very usefull, but as pat said somewhere, its important to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. So being able to relate the terminology to the actions, helps (at least me) to drw small mental pictures of what is going on.

    I guess that Tagalog is also the Business language of the Phillipines, along with American-ised English.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2010
  2. Citom

    Citom Witless Wonder

    "Langit" is Tagalog, and means "sky" (heaven).
    "Lupa" is also Tagalog and means "ground" or "soil" (earth).
  3. Citom

    Citom Witless Wonder

    Gunting means "scissors" in both Tagalog and Cebuano. If you were to ask for a "gunting" on the streets of Manila you would be handed a pair of scissors (or maybe directed to the nearest barber shop!).

    It's important to keep in mind the context.. I remember at one Arnis tournament, during the bout of one of my team mates, we were shouting at him, "Payong! Payong!" so that he would cover with an umbrella (payong) block and then counter.. If we shouted "Payong!" out in the streets someone would think we were umbrella repair men (quite a few still a few roam around on bicycles in Manila)..

    Yes, and Chinese (Fujian) as well :)
  4. flo0d

    flo0d Dingo

    I originally made the thread 'meaning of these words' to find out the origins/meanings of the words that I use in my training.

    I found the answers very informative, and thank all that have contributed.

    In the end, I train and live in an English speaking country, so most of the techniques have an English name (or have been translated). So the glossary that I have made, really is only useful to myself and those that I train with.

    The name relates to movement/s that I know. It may mean something else to others.

    As said; you have to walk the walk. There is no point in really knowing lots of names for things if you cant do them physically properly.

    The great thing I found with all this discussion is the history and culture that FMA has, and how we all helped to add to this thread. I look forward to more interesting discussion.

  5. flo0d

    flo0d Dingo

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  6. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    With regards to concentrating on getting a proper strike and grip of your weapon Yes for the most part this is true, but it is not strictly true as many of the disarms that are performed even in Doce Pares are stick disarms, the grabbing of the stick and snake disarms cannot safely be done with a sword and are more in line with the stick disarms.

    Hence in Doce Pares you have Espada 'Y' Daga (sword and dagger) and Olisi Baraw (stick and dagger) which are actually two different things, yes some aspects can be interchangable but you have to recognise that there are some things you can do with a stick which you cant with a blade, and there are some things that you do with a blade that you would need to adjust for a blunt impact weapon such as a stick.

    Doce Pares is not just blade based, there is a whole lot of stick based techniques in there too.

    Best regards

  7. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Thank you Pat.

    I had not given the snake disarm a thought when I wrote my post.

    I am due to be with Danny in a few weeks. I will say hello on your behalf.

  8. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    That depends, now if you do the parry with the side of the blade and they are comming in heavy with the edge of their blade, there is a chance (if you do not have a very well made blade) that the impact force of the edge of your opponents blade will snap your blade clean in two. Personally I would rather risk a kink in the blade which I can use a stone to get rid of later rather that risk getting the blade snapped. Plus the bonus of a kinked blade is that it causes nastier wounds which tear the flesh as opposed to simply slicing it.

    Also the possition of your wrist will form a stronger block/parry if you think edge as opposed to side.

    I have managed to snap a few blades over the years using force with my edge against the side of the blade of my opponent and it will be done even easier if their is a fault such as a hairline fracture in the blade.

    But back to the subject, Tres Tres is fairly common in Doce Pares, but it is not in all of the different Doce Pares groups, but it is in quite a few.

    As for Saksak and Dungab, I have always seen them as the same thing too, a thrust. Like I said the terminoligie can be the same but can mean something different from group to group and what is even more confusing it can mean something different from instructor to instructor even if they are part of the same group.

    Best regards

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  9. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member


    I actually watched a DVD recently where some one was snaking the stick in what they called Espada 'Y' Daga and then proceeded to do the same thing with the sword, boy did I cringe just at the thought that he had in one fail swoop rendered himself 'Armless' ;)
  10. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    That would be the blade that the late GM Momoy Canete simply called the 'Espada' (sword), this was his favorite blade, I have used the Espada for years and it is an easy blade to manouver so I can understand why he liked it.

    Best regards

  11. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    What makes it more difficult is that Tapi-Tapi is not actually describing double stick although you can have double stick tapi tapi, The tapi tapi I know is a principle where are you not only get your weapon to work in combinations but also your other hand to work to create openings, checks and parrys and at first glance it will look like both hands are working indipendantly of each other, but they are in fact working together but also encompassing body mechanics, good footwork and possitioning.

    There are many many tapi tapi drills you can use and even many of the arma-ra drills can fall into the realms of tapi tapi.

    So me personally I describe it as a principle as oppossed to having it for a particular drill or set sequance of movements. Once you understand the principle or tapi tapi. It is, for me anyway using some set squances in a freeplay mode.

    best regards

  12. shuyun3

    shuyun3 Shugyosha

    What we need is a visual dictionary,

    One picture, diagram could have different names, or one name could have different physical interpretations.

    sinawali/pinki pinki/dos manos <then insert drawing>
  13. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Excellent idea shuyun3.

    If we go back to the Aikido termonology guide and Koyo's many inputs, we can see there is a concise terminology guied (which as allready pointed out by various folk, is unlikely to be easily achievable in FMA due to the inherrant diversity), and we can see from koyo's many, many posts with many photographics to capture the principles that he expresses - all delievered with words that resonate with intent and meaning (Pat also manages this latter part pretty well for FMA.)

    There is a difficulty with representing FMA principles via drills pictorially, in that some of the drills are very complex mechanically (IMHO), and it may be difficult to impart the full meaning, maybe concentrating on the absolute foundation principles pictorially.
  14. flo0d

    flo0d Dingo

  15. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    Good thread, sorry to bring it back from the dead...

    Nice, I have seen the term 'crossada' used to describe a set of single stick disarms that involve person A (the disarm-er) holding the tip of person B's (the disarm-ee) stick while breaking person B's grip with the tip of person A's stick. It follows on from an attempt at a snake disarm where the live (non weapon) hand does not end up deep enough on person B's wrist, but still in control of their stick. At the point where the leverage is applied, both sticks should be at right angles, forming a cross and hence the name.

    I don't know if I explained that very well... I think the disarm can be done with double stick, negating the need to hold the opponent's weapon, meaning it *could* be done with blades... One to practice slowly perhaps!

    Other terms that I've heard used to describe various aspects of FMA (off the top of my head):

    Labtik - hit across the body (from one side to the other)
    Witik - hit and retract to the same side
    Redondo - around/flywheel strike
    Abaniko - fan motion (strike)
    Sunketi - thrust
    Serrada - close/closed (normal chambering for the start of a sinawali drill)
    Abierta - open (reverse chambering for sinawali drill)
    Sombrada/sumbrada - sun shade (roof block)
    payung - umbrella
    Buwaya - crocodile (position in trapping where one hand covers the low line while the other covers the high line, like the jaws of a crocodile)
    Largo mano - long range
    Medio mano - mid range
    Corto mano - close range
    Palisut/pa'awas - pass
    Segung - stop
    Dakop - cup
    paglibut - small scoop (described to me as the motion made by the oar stirrups of a rowing boat)
    waslik - throw (big scoop)
    panastace - spear (intercepting)
    siko - elbow
    sipa - kick
    Ordabis - backhand
    Aldabis - uppercut
    dikit - to stick
    Humpak Pa'awas - wave motion pass?? (used to describe a side step with quarter turn footwork)
    Cab ca/cob cob - ?? (used to describe symmetric double stick drills, all of which start from a 'V' position - i.e. right stick on right side, left stick on left side)

    I am prepared to be enlightened/corrected on any of the above spellings and meanings, but in the end, each technique/drill/concept/attribute has to have some name, and it is, I believe, more important to be able to do it than describe it in traditional language. Nevertheless, terminology its meaning and origin is interesting and can lead to a better understanding of what the technique is supposed to be (for example, the difference between paglibut and waslik was, for me, crucial in understanding their relative merits and risks).

  16. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I'm glad you revived this one. As for corrections on spelling and use, I wouldn't worry about that too much. In my FMA experience, I've seen countless terms spelled three different ways to describe four different things. Once you take into account the various dialects, translations from Spanish to Tagalog to English, etc., it's a wonder there's any standardization at all.

    EDIT: I've always spelled it "kob kob" by the way. But primarily because there's no "c" in the Filipino alphabet. Whether there's an accepted spelling for that, I have no idea.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  17. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    which is the difference between EsKrima and EsCrima, basically the spelling and usually the 'C' is used and many systems based in the USA and the 'K' by many systems in the PI. But its still the same thing regardless. Much in the same that Kali, Eskrima, Escrima, Arnis are one and the same too.
  18. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I would be interested to know, having said that, why it wound up being changed at all, given that it derives from the Spanish word for fencing (esgrima). I think the French spell their equivalent with a "c." (Escrimeuse, for instance)

    I wonder whether it was a phonetic thing that caused the spelling to shift.

    Just curious.
  19. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    So how does this sound to folks: I'll endeavour to start a more formalized glossary and sticky it. I'm going to leave a lock on it so that we can limit input on that thread to actual glossary entries that have been vetted and edited for content and repetition. If people have contributions or corrections, they can PM me and I'll make the entry.

    How does that sound?
  20. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Valued Member

    I think a few things may have come into play, there is the matter of Saavedra spending time in prison with a French Swordsman combined with phonetics too, The Philippines has adopted much of the American English way of spelling, spell it how you say it. Which is why the USA spell Color and British spell colour, same word different spelling.

    Countries such as France, Spain and Italy seldom use Eskrima/Escrima to denote an FMA school as it is all to often used to denote a sport fencing academy so they actually favour Kali or Arnis, yet in the UK they favour Kali or Eskrima and for some reason many groups dont use Arnis seeing it as a lesser used term yet it is the most widely used term in the Philippines with the 2nd being Eskrima and Kali only being used by a small minority.

    Phoentic and Cultural influences have played a major role in the confusion of it all I beleive.

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