Filipino Martial Arts - Horizontal and Vertical Strikes

Abierta Planchada Doblete

This powerful and destructive technique has two components that flow in rapid succession and are often applied as a counter motion or following the use of the enganyo (feint) to bait the opponent and create the gap for delivery. The name of abierta planchada doblete is indicative that the technique commences from an open position.


With the assumption that the solo baston (single stick) is held in the kanang kamay (right hand), the technique of abierta planchada doblete commences from a right open position at waist height. Starting from a right stance and with the stick held palm-up at waist height, the planchada (horizontal strike) travels from right to left and leading with the middle knuckles of the right hand and maintaining the palm up position until the strike passes the centreline. The strike is at waist height throughout and completes its trajectory in a serrada (closed) position by the left hip, with the right palm facing down and the tip of the stick pointing to the rear.


The doblete (vertical strike) starts in the middle height serrada (closed) position where the planchada terminated. Stepping back with the right foot into a left stance, deliver a vertical downward, circular strike that travels forwards and towards the centreline before returning to its original position. In some systems of the FMA, this technique may be known as redonda (whirlwind) and is a very powerful motion that has destructive potential. The doblete technique leads with the middle knuckles of the right hand for structural stability and at the point of impact, the palm is facing left. As a cautionary note, this technique generates a lot of torque on the wrist and should be performed with care not to injury the wrist. In completing a fully circular path, Doblete concludes where it started, which is in a waist height serrada position by the left hip and with the tip of the stick pointing to the rear.

Serrada Planchada Doblete

This aggressive technique has two components which comprise serrada planchada (closed side horizontal strike) and abierta doblete (open side vertical strike). This technique can be effectively applied while closing the gap and striking below the opponent’s guard with the horizontal strike, then immediately switching to the finishing vertical strike.


Start from a right stance and with the stick held in the right hand and chambered in a middle serrada (closed) chamber by the left hip. In this position, the tip of the stick is pointing to the rear and the palm of the right weapon hand is facing down. Remain in the right stance and twist the hips sharply to the right while striking horizontally from left to right at waist height. The motion leads with the middle knuckles of the right hand for structural stability and the right hand maintains the down facing status until the strike has passed the centreline. The serrada planchada (closed side horizontal strike) concludes in a mid to high abierta (open) position with the right palm up and the tip of the stick pointing to the rear.


Step back with the right foot into left stance while striking downward with doblete (vertical strike) in a motion that begins from a high right abierta (open) point and strikes towards the centreline in a circular downward trajectory before returning to the mid to high abierta chamber. The doblete strike leads with the middle knuckles of the right hand so that structural stability is maintained throughout the technique.



Planchada with a Heavy Bar

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