Filipino Martial Arts - The Comet


This is a fast and destructive technique that makes excellent use of the strategic switch from defence to offense and is found in many systems of the Filipino martial arts. The name bulalakaw (comet) is indicative of the dynamic nature of the move and is also reflective of the C-shaped pattern traced during execution. The technique has three components and is informed by the solo baston (single stick) moves of baguhan (novice) or salok saboy (scoop and throw or upward X) and from the doble baston (double stick) category, it is influenced by rapido (rapid strikes). This explosive move informs the more advanced bulalakaw palis tusok (comet with parry and thrust) and redonda salok saboy sinalakot (reverse whirlwind with vertex) of the sinawali (woven or to weave) classification.

Begin bulalakaw (comet) in a right stance and with both sticks held in a high abierta (open) chamber at shoulder height. In a simultaneous motion, perform a left sima (hooking parry) which travels from left abierta to a high left serrada (closed) position over the right shoulder. While performing the sima, strike with the right stick, traveling from the high right abierta chamber towards the centreline at head height. Retract the right stick to a right middle serrada location at waist height, while simultaneously striking with the left stick from high left serrada towards the centreline at head height. Finally, withdraw the left stick to a high abierta chamber with the tip of the stick pointing forwards and simultaneously strike with the right stick from the middle serrada origin towards the centreline at knee height. The concluding position is known as tayong mandirigma (warrior stance).

Espada y Daga version

Begin the execution of Bulalakaw (comet) from a right stance and with both the espada (sword) and daga (dagger) held in a high abierta (open) chamber. The first movement is a simultaneous left sima (hooking parry) with the daga and a right high planchada (horizontal strike) at head height. The left sima travels from a high left abierta origin to conclude in a high left serrada (closed) position over the right shoulder. The right espada travels from a high abierta chamber and concludes in a high serrada location near to the left shoulder.

Slash with the daga (dagger) from high left serrada (closed) to a high left abierta (open) point at shoulder height and the slash is made with the left palm facing down. This motion could be used to slash, parry or check the incoming attack. Finally circle the espada (sword) to a low serrada point before striking forwards towards the centreline at waist height or below.

Move 1 of Bulalakaw using Doble Baston

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