Filipino Martial Arts - Heaven and Earth

Langit at Lupa

Another common technique found in many Filipino martial arts systems within the doble baston (double sticks) category of the sinawali (woven or to weave) classification. The name, langit at lupa (heaven and earth) is descriptive of the high and low strikes that make up the three components of the technique. The technique of langit at lupa has its foundations in the solo baston (single stick) techniques of magbabayo (to pound or downward X) and baguhan (novice or C-shape). The technique supports the evolution of the more advanced sinawali techniques of bukang liwayway (sun rays), langit at lupa sinalakot (heaven and earth with vertex) and the destructive tanikala (chain) combinations.


Begin langit at lupa (heaven and earth) from a right stance with both sticks held in a high abierta (open) chamber. Using the left stick and maintaining blade alignment by leading with the left middle knuckles, execute doblete (vertically downward circular strike) that is targeted at the centreline and concludes underneath the right stick in a low serrada (closed) position. Immediately strike with the right stick in a horizontal trajectory from the high abierta chamber towards a point of impact on the centreline at head height. The strike is delivered with the right palm facing up and continues its path and concludes in a high serrada position over the left shoulder and with the tip of the stick pointing to the rear. The second strike uses the left stick and this travels from a low left serrada origin, leading with the left middle knuckles for stability and blade alignment, towards the centreline at knee height. The strike continues its path towards a low left abierta conclusion, which it circles upwards, ending with the tip of the stick pointing to the rear at shoulder height. The final strike of langit at lupa utilises the right stick, making a palm-down strike from a high serrada point and traveling towards the centreline at head height, where it concludes by returning to a high abierta guard position.


Espada y Daga version

Similar to magbabayo (to pound or downward X) in structure, but with the addition of an intermediate low technique, langit at lupa (heaven and earth) readily translates to the espada y daga (sword and dagger) category. Derived from the solo baston (single stick) techniques of abierta bagsak (open side downward diagonal strike) and serrada bagsak (closed side downward diagonal strike), langit at lupa provides scope for a deceptive saksak (thrust) or laslas (slash) with the daga (dagger) underneath the espada (sword) actions.


Commence the execution of langit at lupa (heaven and earth) using espada y daga (sword and dagger) from a right stance and with the right sword held in a high abierta (open) chamber and the left dagger held flat in a middle abierta chamber. Slash with the right sword in a near horizontal trajectory from the high abierta chamber towards a point of impact on the centreline at head height. The slash is delivered with the right palm facing up and continues its path and concludes in a high serrada (closed) position over the left shoulder and with the tip of the sword pointing to the rear. Immediately deliver a left saksak (thrust) with the knife held palm down towards a mid-section target on the centreline. Withdraw the daga (dagger) and perform a backhand slash with the espada (sword) which travels from a high serrada towards the centreline at head height.


In application, one example could be considered against an incoming abierta bagsak (open side downward diagonal strike), which is commonly known as Angle 1 in most systems of the Filipino martial arts. Make use of lateral footwork to zone to the right and pivot slightly anti-clockwise on the right foot to create a favourable angle for the counterattack. Simultaneous deliver abierta bagsak (open side downward diagonal strike) to cut the inside part of the incoming attacking arm and immediately deliver a left palm-down saksak (thrust) with the knife traveling below the right sword holding arm. This technique is known as tulay (bridge thrust) and is highly effective in deceptively targeting a low-line target as it is delivered below the right sword holding arm.


Move 2 of Langit at Lupa

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