Coast to Coast

Learning About Kali Filipino Stick Fighting

Mike Camunas

Kali Filipino Stick Fighting is a discipline within martial arts that is gaining popularity, thanks to recent representation in movies and television shows. Laker/Lutz News reporter Mike Camunas reached out to Grandmaster James Berdal, who teaches this form of self-defense that came to the mainstream starting in the 1970s, to learn more. 

“From Day One, a stick, or two, will be in your hand,” said Berdal, who was trained in stick fighting by Supreme Grandmaster Floro Villabrille and Grandmaster Ben Largusa. “Unlike other systems, the weapons training is not until after a certain level. With the use of the sticks, the hands develop and become ambidextrous with (all the) drilling. The main purpose, for me, is to perpetuate this very beautiful and deadly art form, and its cultures, and to instill awareness of self-defense to my students.”

Read Mike Camunas’ latest piece on Laker/Lutz here. 

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