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KBS System of Filipino Martial Arts

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KBS System Training

The KBS System emptyhand component is called Kuntao. As the term kuntao has come to mean a Chinese Martial Art which has been changed from the original due to its coming into contact with the indigenous Arts of a new location, the name seems appropriate. When observing the System, it is obvious that there is a strong Chinese connection, but there have been many changes due to the influence of the Filipino arts.

The System uses primarily the palm and fingertip strikes of baguazhang, the weight-shifting and arm movements similar to taijiquan, but includes aspects of the Filipino mano a mano, with the hand forms actually coming from the stick/blade movements. One major component of the System, which makes it unique among Filipino/Chinese Systems, is the Finger Touch System of Tuhon Bo Sayoc.

The KBS System has a groundfighting component, but we do not grapple. Tuhon Sayoc's Finger Touch is particularly well suited to defend against grappling attacks, and since the System focuses mainly on dealing with multiple attackers, we don't want to be rolling around on the ground.

Another major component of the KBS System involves the knife. Since the knife is a close-range weapon, many of the drills and exercises used translate very well between the knife and emptyhand fighting. The emptyhand portion of the KBS System can be learned without knife training, if the individual prefers, but mastering the complete System requires knife training.

The knife training is aimed at the real world, unlike the sword and espada y daga training, which develop physical skills. We begin with offensive knife techniques, teaching students how to attack with the blade before we teach them how to defend. We do this to teach the reality of the blade, which is that if your opponent knows what he is doing, you have little to no chance defending against that blade. By teaching the offensive techniques and principles first, we remove the focus most students have on disarms from the defensive training, and the students pay more attention to the defensive options that do exist.

While we include a small amount of blade-to-blade practice, this is for the physical benefits of hand-eye coordination and body mechanics. It is not emphasized because it is not something that occurs normally in the street. (See the article "Don't Call Yourself a Knifefighter"). Most knife encounters involve a hidden blade and surprise attack, not pulling your own blade and dueling a la Errol Flynn!


KBS Eskrima Training

The Eskrima portion of the KBS System curriculum includes training in solo baston, espada y daga and the long blade. Some basic training in espada y taming (shield) is offered to show the differences in body positioning and footwork this involves.


Additional Training

The additional components of the System include optional training in double stick, two-handed stick and long-stick (Tapado), as well as Pangamut, a system of street boxing common in Cebu.
Full- and semi-contact sparring is included as the student progresses through the training.

____________________________________________________________________________________ KBS System does not have rank as such. Students are simply students until they become instructors. There are several different types of instructor levels, and these are listed below.


Instructor Levels-

Assistant Instructor

Associate Instructor

Full Instructor

Master Instructor

Head Of System


Assistant Instructor: Given when the student completes all the Basic Levels in the KBS System. This means that he has learned the basics of the System, and is now allowed to assist an Associate or Full Instructor in teaching other beginning students. If an individual demonstrates particular aptitude in his training, he may be allowed to teach that particular level on his own, at the discretion of the Full Instructor. This is valid only under a Full Instructor. An Assistant Instructor has no authority to teach outside the school, nor is he granted any independent teaching status. He is not qualified to promote any students.

Associate Instructor: Given when the student has completed advanced training in one of the KBS skill areas. For example, after completing his training in all the Advanced Training Blocks in the Knife skill area, he is accorded the rank of Associate Instructor, Knife. This means that he has learned the entire skill area, and is now allowed to teach all levels of that particular skill area. At the same time, while he may be an Associate Instructor in one skill area, he might still be only an Assistant Instructor in others. This is valid only under a Full Instructor. An Associate Instructor has no authority to teach outside the school, nor is he granted any independent teaching status. He is not qualified to promote any students.

Full Instructor: Given when a student has completed advanced training in all KBS System skill areas (and received his Associate Instructorship for each). This means that he has learned the main KBS skill areas to a level where he can competently teach them all. He is allowed to promote students to the Associate Instructor level. This is the first level that allows the individual to teach on his own, whether in his own school, or privately, with the full backing of the KBS System.

Master Instructor: Given to individuals who complete the optional training blocks and are competent to teach the complete KBS System. He is allowed to promote students to the Full Instructor level, and is given the responsibility to travel for promotions, and to give seminars or represent the KBS System at larger mixed functions.

Head of System: Given to one individual at a time, when the current Head makes the decision to retire from leading the KBS System. He will chose his replacement from among the other Master Instructors. Only the Head of System may promote to the Master Instructor level, though other Master Instructors will be expected to provide recomendations and opinions.

Contact us at: KBS@kbs-system.com