• Peter Lewis

Double Weapon Basics - Downward X

Magbabayo – To pound – Downward ‘X’

One of the most basic techniques from the double weapon category is the simple downward X motion, which is known by various names, but for the purpose of this review is termed magbabayo. Derived from an agricultural application, the term magbabayo depicts the motion of a farmer utilising a large mortar and pestle to pound grains of rice. The strong action of smashing down with the pestle to crush the rice in the mortar is mirrored in both intent and structure when performing this most fundamental of sinawali techniques. While a very powerful technique in its own right, magbabayo is the foundation for the intermediate techniques of redonda (whirlwind) and bukang liwayway (sun rays) and the more advanced sinawali techniques of luha redonda (teardrop thrusts with whirlwind) and pluma bukang liwayway (pen defence with sun rays).

Structure and mechanics

Magbabayo comprises of two diagonally downward strikes using the same weapon. The first strike starts from the abierta (open) side at shoulder height and travels diagonally downwards to the serrada (closed) side to hip level. The second strike commences from the serrada side at shoulder height and progresses diagonally downwards, ending on the abierta side at hip level. Leading with the second knuckles to maintain a blade orientation the first strike has the palm of the hand diagonally upwards towards the serrada side and the second strike, also leading with the second knuckles has the palm diagonally downwards towards the serrada side. Power is generated by utilising full hip twisting during the execution of magbabayo. The first strike is preceded with a sharp and slightly downward twist of the hips towards the serrada side of the body to accelerate the striking motion of arm and weapon. Just prior to the second strike, the hip motion is reversed to twist slightly downwards towards the abierta side of the body, again accelerating the motion of the arm and weapon to generate power.

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