The Five Angles of Strikes
- Angle One Strike: Horizontal angle at a plane parallel to the ground.
- Angle Two Strike: Downward at an angle (plus/minus 30 degrees).
- Angle Three Strike: Upward at an angle (plus/minus 45 degrees).
- Angle Four Strike: Any thrust with the tip of the weapon.
- Angle Five Strike: A witik strike (a very fast whipping motion with the wrist) from either side, or from overhead downward.
This is how the Senkotiros Arnis striking techniques, both offensive and defensive, are measured and taught. These are the base techniques and much of the methodology and terminology is built from The Five Angles.
The Cross Section Defense
There are many methods of defense in the Philippine martial arts. Many styles emphasize force-to-force blocks or defecting blocks, checking to the hand or arm, etc. Senkotiros Arnis uses all of these types of blocking techniques, but there is an emphasis on one aspect of defense: the Cross Section Defense.
The Cross Section Defense involves using an object placed perpendicular to the force of an attack, and placed between the strike and its target.
The Cross Section Defense places the center of the blocking object at the center of the force of the attack. If the attack is with a baston, the Senkotiros practitioner will place his baston at a perpendicular angle where each baston meets in the approximate center, thus forming a cross. This cross, when properly applied and supported (or braced), intercepts the strike and shields the Senkotiros Arnis practitioner from the force of the blow.
Shielding is the combat application of the Cross Defense. Senkotiros uses many different ways to counter an attack. Sometimes a check is used, or an intercepting strike to the hand. Other methods can be used as well. But the retraction to place the weapon between an attack and its target in the form of a cross is the most common technique of defending and setting up for a counter attack. Senkotiros teaches to use this technique as the best method to respond to an attack, if no better options are available. This is referred to in Senkotiros as Shielding.
The Second Hand Concept
The philosophy of dealing with a follow up attack of the second hand is called the Second Hand Concept. The Senkotiros Arnis practitioner’s training is geared to developing the ability to instantly deal with a follow up attack by the second hand of an opponent. In the Philippine martial arts, this is often the open hand (the hand without the baston) performing some type of control technique in the form of a punch, grab, trap, etc. Many times the second hand contains a long or short knife, a baston or some other type of weapon. The Senkotiros Arnis practitioner is taught to see, feel or sense this attack. They are taught to instantly respond to the second hand with some kind of defense such as a block, intercepting strike with a baston, check, grab, etc. Senkotiros Arnis Practitioners are trained to do this quickly and with authority, without breaking the rhythm or the flow of their actions.