Filipino Martial Arts - Pounding Strikes

Magbabayo

This important technique of the doble baston (double stick) category of the Filipino martial arts (FMA) is derived from the solo baston (single stick) methods of abierta bagsak (open side downward diagonal strike) and serrada bagsak (closed side downward diagonal strike). The term of magbabayo (to pound or downward X) is descriptive of the downward pounding actions of the two strikes that constitute the technique and reflects the X pattern of the striking lines that are traced when the move is performed in its entirety. This fundamental technique of sinawali (woven or to weave) is the foundation for the more advanced methods of redonda (whirlwind), langit at lupa (heaven and earth), rapido redonda (rapid strikes with whirlwind), redonda sinalakot (whirlwind with vertex) and luha redonda (teardrop thrusts with whirlwind) among others.


Commence the technique in a right stance with both sticks held in a high abierta (open) chamber and with the hands at approximately shoulder height. Leading with the middle knuckles of the hand to maintain blade alignment and structural stability, strike diagonally down with the right stick from a high abierta origin to end in a low right serrada (closed) location adjacent to the left hip. On completion of the first strike, transfer the stick to a high serrada position by the left shoulder and strike diagonally downwards from the high closed origin towards a low abierta conclusion by the right hip before circling the stick towards a high abierta chamber.


Espada y Daga Version

Commence magbabayo (to pound or downward X) in a right stance, with the right espada (sword) held in a high abierta (open) chamber at shoulder height and the daga (dagger) held at chest height with the palm down. Using the right sword, deliver abierta bagsak (open side downward diagonal strike) which travels from a high abierta origin to conclude at a low serrada location at waist height and with the sword turning to point to the rear. Immediately engage the left daga by executing a palm-down saksak (thrust) over the top of the right arm and traveling from the high abierta start towards the centreline at middle height. Retract the daga to the chest high abierta chamber and use the sword to cut with serrada bagsak (closed side downward diagonals strike) with a trajectory from a high ­serrada beginning and concluding in a low abierta position close to the right hip before progressing to a high abierta chamber. Once the serrada bagsak has passed the centreline and nearing conclusion, deliver a left palm-up daga thrust which travels from the middle abierta origin towards a middle serrada location at chest height.

In application, the dominant espada (sword) techniques generated from magbabayo (to pound or downward X) may be used inside or outside of the attacking arm, creating a range of targets for the follow-up technique using the daga. The sword may be used to cut, parry or redirect an incoming attack and a similar variety of options is available when utilising the dagger. 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. Using lateral footwork, zone to the right and pivot slightly anti-clockwise on the right foot to create a favourable angle for the counter measures. Simultaneous execute a abierta bagsak to cut the inside part of the incoming attacking arm and immediately deliver a left palm-down saksak (thrust) with the knife traveling above the right sword holding arm.

A second application could be considered against an incoming serrada bagsak (closed side downward diagonal strike), which may be either Angle 2 or Angle 4 in many systems of the Filipino martial arts. Making use of lateral footwork to evade the attack, zone to the left in a left stance and pivot slightly clockwise on the left foot to create the optimum counter attack angle. Use the sword to cut with serrada bagsak, the second espada (sword) technique of magbabayo (to pound or downward X) to cut the outside portion of the attacking arm. Immediate execute a left palm-up thrust to the midsection using the daga (dagger).


First Strike of Magbabayo

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