Before proceeding further, you should visit our primer on Arnis and stick fighting (see Basic Arnis) as it will answer many of your questions, and prepare you for what follows. This section demonstrates the twelve basic disarms, and then, the twelve intermediate disarms. Like all weapons arts, stick fighting requires you master the basics. Once that is accomplished, you work to streamline them without losing effectiveness. Yes...it will take years! If you ever see a Master Escrimador, you will be dazzled by what they can do with a pair of sticks. Their speed and power will leave you questioning whether you really saw what you saw. It’s the closest to pure magic you’ll ever get in the martial arts.
These techniques are the beginning for those who wish to move past basic blocks and striking counters. Generally, the basic disarms are taught over the course of a month, with close scrutiny given to each technique, and the leverage generated. If your technique is clean, the disarms will work without fail. If flawed, they will not. The disarms are done in response to the twelve basic strikes, which you should already know. Executing them with confidence takes approximately one year of regular practice.
The intermediate disarms build on concepts you learn with the basic set. It’s as though the first set cleans up your technique, basically flushing out and away your bad habits. Once your movement is clean, you’re ready for the intermediate set. If you pace yourself, and don’t try to rush, you’ll find the intermediate set to be very effective in actual combat. A wise Sensei once told me, there are two ways you can acquire new knowledge, “the right way”, and “the wrong way.” Learning these disarms the wrong way will create bad habits that will take years to correct.
A word of encouragement...don’t underrate these techniques (even the basic ones) and their usefulness to your overall fight. If practiced diligently, they will become second nature, and once they become second nature, your instinctive responses to attacks will excel!
Anyo Dos, consisting of the basic blocks, with both basic and intermediate disarms will provide a vehicle for consistently practicing these concepts. For the adventurous we provide a clip of Any Tres. Typically a student should be able to competently perform Anyo Tres after three years training.