Fencing and Escrima.


Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Aug 28, 2001
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Terre Haute, IN
I know Filipino stickfighting (and the Venezuelan stick fighting system, Garrote Larense) has been heavily influenced by Spanish fencing, but does anyone know exactly what fencing techniques and concepts have been adopted into the Filipino stickfighting systems?
I only fenced for about 18 months, and competed for about 9 of those, so dont take any of this as gospel, but....

As i understand it, Spanish fencing is heavily enamoured of the discipline of sabre - which focusses on upper body attacks (you can't score below the waist), and slashing attacks, which do not occur in foil or epee - that is , in sabre you can score with a hit from any part of the first 1/3rd of the blade, while with foil and epee you can only score with the point. As such, sabre has more circular attacks and defences than the primarily linear foil and epee disciplines.

How this relates to FMA i cannot say, as i've never studied any, although i'd very much like to.

I didnt really study sabre much and this is stretching my memery somewhat, so please, don't take my word for it.


I believe one of the main things which FMA got from Fencing was the use of long and short sword or sword and dagger (Espada y daga). Perhaps some of the footwork as well, but I think there is such a variety in FMA that it would be hard to trace where different techniques would come from in general. For example, one system may have more influence than others, or a master long ago may have learned some fencing from a Spanish person and incorporated into his system while another didn't.

I believe the #5 block in Modern Arnis (the inverted stick parry; where the stick points downward, and parries) was a fencing rip-off.

I think bladed weapons were used by Filipinos before their contact with the Spanish, so who's to say whether they developed it after their contact?

Well I would like to start with the Foil and Epee
techniques of the thrusts.

Think number(s) 6/10 and 7/11 for these thrusts.

These thrusts in my opinion could be say to
have the influence.

As for the number 5 Black (AKA Vertical Block)
if you follow this up with an immediate back
hand strike to the opponents wrist, this allows
for the disarm. i.e. cutting the opponents

As for disarms, look at the number 4 disarm,
where you loop the point of your stick / blade
around the opponents wrist and then force the

Once again I think this could be a fencing

Now if one was to investigate the sabre for the
cutting techniques versus the thrusting
techniques. I would like to investigate the
umbrella and slanting and the horizontal blocks.
These Blocks are down with the cane / blade
flowing or cutting and if applied as in offense
offense then the 'block; becomes an attack to
the opponents forearm.

It is late, I will post some more thoughts later.

I trained with some SCA fighters and many
were interested in my Florentine fighting style.
Doublo Baston or Espada y Daga AKA Two sticks
or Sword/stick and dagger.

One of these guys taught fencing, and he was
mildly surprised with the commonality of some
of the thrusts and disarms between Modern Arnis
and Fencing.

So, my thoughts are not based upon my training
in fencing, but only in crossing blades with
fencers and having both of us give and take
to demonstrate the respective arts.

Well, I just thought I would add some more

Have a nice time training

to answer this best you would have to look at the german styles of fencing. You are like what the? right now but yeah. The history of the se asian islands goes to the Dutch then the spanish. The spanish primarily thrust when fencing but the greman/ dutch fencing have the same angles of attack as modern arnis. If you are interested in more information email me you home address.
It is good to hear you are kicking *** in full swing.
Can someone summarize for me the main schools of fencing (Italian, Spanish, German) and roughly when they were practiced as such? A web link will of course suffice!
Originally posted by arnisador

Can someone summarize for me the main schools of fencing (Italian, Spanish, German) and roughly when they were practiced as such? A web link will of course suffice!

Yes and would it be possible to also include
the weapon of choice for each school?

Thank you

Originally posted by arnisador

Can someone summarize for me the main schools of fencing (Italian, Spanish, German) and roughly when they were practiced as such? A web link will of course suffice!

I'll try to roughly summarize them and will follow up with more info if u need. I used to be a doce pares student, at the time i was conducting a research on the influence of european sword fighting systems on the filipino styles myself. Some will define espada y daga the "true" italian martial arts. In the filipines there is infact a sub-system called "l'italiana". It was one of the first fencing schools in europe eventually the france the spanish hungarians and germans developed their own on these basis.

in germany one of the most acaptivating sytles was schlagerplay, the schlager is a basket-hilt broadsword used exclusively from the german and austrian fighting fraternities at the beginning of the 19th century all the way up the the 21st. (a pretty bad *** style)

in italy you have mainly the saviolo and giacomo di grassi schools plus the southern and northern fencing traditions with various forms of sword. I'll get a little more into the spanish, french and hugarian styles on my next post and i'll try to include some more detailed infos on the polish sabre traditions.

Originally posted by KickingDago

Some will define espada y daga the "true" italian martial arts. In the filipines there is infact a sub-system called "l'italiana".

Fascinating! Yes, please do continue!
Originally posted by arnisador

Fascinating! Yes, please do continue!


perhaps this link is a good starting point, it's very informative on the subject of western fighting styles however some of the artcles written for this site are made by dudes who also practice filipino martial arts and often analize the affinity in between western and filipino styles.
On the Modern Arnis forum is a discussion of the Modern Arnis number five strike including it's similarity to a fenciner's thrust and how that technique works for a stick as opposed to a blade.
Originally posted by arnisador

Speaking of fencing and escrima, I note that escrime is the French term for fencing.

Now that's wild! Hmm, has there ever been a French takeover
of the Phillipines?
Must just be a coincidence! Sort of like garrote larense, the Venezuelan stick-fighting style that's very fencing-like, or the similar Canary Islands system. The French has []la canne[/i], sword-like stick-fighting in savate. See:


for more on all of these.

Of course Jodo is a Japanese sword-influenced stick art, and many FMA systems use the stick in a very sword-like manner.

The Spansih word for fencing is el cercar according to www.altavista.com, but that could be the corral sense rather than the fighting sense--I don't know. The word 'skirmish' is given as escaramuza by AltaVista and this is said to be the origin of the term escrima; '(battle) harness' becomes arn矇s, i.e. the FMA arnis.

The French did rule over Indochina and gave the Vietnamese their alphabet, of course, and there are always claims and counterclaims about the influence of Muay Thai on Savate and boxing or vice versa.

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