Body Conditioning

How much do we need to condition the body in this modern world of knives and guns? Is there a place for the traditional skills? Within the Chu Gar kuen system we emphasis a lot of time on conditioning of the single knuckle the iron palm, iron shirt and also the bridge arm, with the main aim to get close enough to the opponent to damage them without getting damaged ourselves, obviously this would change if faced with a knife or gun.
I think I am able to bridge the gap between training and using the traditional methods, keeping them alive and also I am able to look at the arts I teach in the modern concept of weapons and train accordingly, here I am exposed to firearms everyday seeing them carried by police, army and even the civilian population, knives are also prevalent here as tools and also everyday carry. Every house will have a traditional sword hung near to the shrine so it is available if needed.
I think there is still a place for the traditional skills, otherwise I would not train and practise them but also they are a great foundation to build upon for more modern skills utilising more modern weapons.

5x5x5 System Overview


The Filipino martial arts are founded on solid principles of utilising whatever means possible to defend oneself and ones family, this means being fluent in all ranges of combat and with all classifications of weapons. We have over 15 yrs experience of practicing and teaching FMA and have a further 20+ yrs studying other martial arts. This knowledge base has enabled us to develop a system purely designed for combat and efficiency no fancy forms or movements just practical no nonsense applications and drills designed to make the practitioner proficient in the shortest possible time.


Using the traditional weapons of the FMA, single stick, double stick, stick and dagger, dagger and empty hands we aim to provide the practitioner with the ability to utilise any weapon to hand or if caught without a weapon to be able to defend oneself using the same principles as if armed.
Modular based the system is broken down in to 5 levels of progress each level increasing in knowledge over the last and also increasing in the skills needed to make personal progress.

Level 1 Core Training
Footwork – how to move in any direction with minimum of effort
Weapon familiarity, basic classification in weapons and introduction to the single stick and single knife
Higot Hubud with stick, knife and empty hand
Basic punches, jab, cross, hook uppercut
Basic kicks, front kick, scrape, stamp

Level 2 Skill Development
Introduction to double stick
Higot hubud
Knife disarms

Level 3 Putting It Together
Pakgang stick and empty hand
Double stick drill
Intro to stick and Dagger
Intro to largo mano
Lock flows

Level 4 The End Of The Beginning
Stick sparring
Empty hand sparring
Knife sparring
All the above to be done with padded sticks, knives and gloves etc

Level 5 The Beginning Of The End
Looking at weapons of everyday
Self defence what does it really mean in todays society?
Ground fighting with and without weapons do we need it?
To look at all material learned and to check if digested, to break it down and make it more efficient to come up with drill variation to enable the system to be progressive

Ba Ha La Na (come what may)

Pakgang 5×5 System

This drill was originally from Balintawak that was adopted into the warriors system.

It is a great drill to get reaction speed and has some very good techniques at medium and close range.

I have adapted the techniques of the drill into empty hand and use the same format as the drill but without the weapon, this gives us a lot of flexibility in regards to attack and defence with a counter at the beginning of the drill as well.

This drill can also be used to work on different aspects like trapping and has a good range of strikes including straight punches and hammer-fists, with a great parry at close range which can set up an entry to a choke or lock.

This drill is meant to be performed very fast and the first few techniques can overwhelm an opponent if done correctly.

Train safe, keep smiling and enjoy your training.

Dumog 5×5 System

This is taught after the basics of empty hands have been learned and drilled and they are an addition to that area of training.

Dumog in the system is mainly Elbows, knees, headbutts and arm/leg drags as well as some trapping so the work is done at close range.

We could use Hubud as our catalyst here to work these techniques, or get your training partner to feed various strikes for you to practice entering and then applying the relevant technique. Obviously elbows and knees are dangerous so in a training situation make sure you are padded up and train safely.

Kicks should all be aimed below the waist and attack joints or small bones like in the foot, leg trapping and sweeping can also be used and we have exercises to strengthen leg muscles.

As most encounters could end up on the ground we try to work techniques to keep it standing using footwork and mobility, but in the event we are taken down or trip we utilise some techniques on the ground, to then enable us to get up.

Train safe and keep smiling if you need any further info or have any questions please get in touch.

Pole 5×5 System

The pole we use in the 5×5 system is measured from the floor to the height of your solar plexus it can be made of any kind of wood but rattan is proffered for its weight toughness and flexibility.

We have two types of grip normal and reverse and the 5 basic angles of attack and blocking, parrying are first practiced to gain confidence and an ability to shift grips and change stances. There are no drills just techniques practiced against other weapons.
Because of the flexibility of this weapon it can be used at all ranges with a little adaptation when working in close range.

Exercises are incorporated to strengthen the wrists and hands and this also helps with other weapons.

From a self defence point of view the pole is good against an edged weapon as you can use its range. Also a brush or mop can be used as the water from a mop can be flicked into the face of an attacker or the bristles from a brush thrust into the eyes as a distraction to then help with disarming or disabling your attacker.

We also have to practice accuracy in disarming an opponent so lots of moving and striking using padded sticks is used so that we can hit the attacker from anywhere with speed and power.

Weapon Classification 5×5 System

I think it is easier to teach weapon classification when teaching in a weapon oriented system like FMA. As the idea is to be able to utilise whatever we have at hand and not look for a specialist or specific weapon, especially as the weapon law in most European countries is very strict on carrying weapons of any kind.

When facing a weapon, understanding what that weapon does will go a long way in preparing the best way to defend against it. I am aware this is not a fail safe method, but by knowing what a weapon can and can’t do and also showing its weaknesses at range then it is an important thing to consider.

Weapon classification can also help take away the fear of that weapon because you are not thinking knife or baseball bat, but rather stabbing slashing, close range and impact at medium range.

Have a think yourself even about everyday objects and what classification you would put them in, some fit more than one classification but if you think;
Slashing stabbing

Good luck with your training and as always if I can help get in touch.

Higot Hubud 5×5 System

This drill is used extensively within the 5×5 system it is an underrated drill but when done correctly can give countless hours of training material and gives sensitivity and fluidity as well.

At the beginning level we use the drill to gain a basic level of competency with empty hand and weapons using it as a catalyst for locks, chokes, disarms and feed-backs.

Once a good level is achieved then other things can be added into the mix, two weapons against one, moving from standing to kneeling to laying down whilst still carrying out the drill, working on putting empty hand combinations together, using footwork to move around whilst still doing the drill.

Abner Pasa has a saying “Do the drill to get the skill, when you have the skill forget the drill”

I think if you practice Higot Hubud to the highest level you will transcend the drill and be left with a tremendous skill set in regards to fighting at medium and close range.

5x5x5 system is being taught in the UK at present anyone interested please get in touch.