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Pananjakman - Sikaran


Pananjakman is the Filipino art of low line kicking. Although not as appealing to the eye as the kicks found in Capoeira, Karate and Tae Kwon do, the kicks are all designed to inflict pain, destroy an attackers mobility or distract him for an upper body strike.

The kicks are done with the point of the foot, the heel and the shin. Popular targets include the shin, the knee, the inside and outside of the thigh and the groin.

The art of Filipino kicking is still prevalent in the Philippines today, in the traditional form of
Sipa, a game which involves kicking a small rattan ball with the foot over a net to another player. Another more village based activity with the same name, starts out with two competitors in a small circle. Once the game begins, both contestants attempt to kick each other until one contestant falls outside the ring or can no longer continue. This "game" is not as popular today, and is perhaps one of the fundamental training exercises in Pananjakman.

Finally, Pananjakman is frequently paired with Panantukan to create a complete fighting system. The kicking art serves to distract the opponent while the punching art incapacitates him. Alternatively, the punching art can distract the opponent or neutralize his attacks while the kicking art cripples the attackers mobility.

Some claim that Pananjakman is an art in and of itself, while others feel that it is simply the kicking portion of Kali, separated only for marketing purposes by certain schools to teach it as a "new system". Pananjakman is not known in the Philippines itself and is generally only taught as such in the West.

Pananjakman can be regarded as a study of the leg muscles and bones and how they are connected, with the goal of either inflicting pain or outright breaking or dislocating the bones. Most striking techniques involve applying pressure to bend the target areas in unnatural ways so as to injure or break them. Such pressure may be delivered in the form of a heel smash, a Savate-style toe kick, a stomp, or a knee. Targets include the groin, thighs, knees, shins, ankles, and the feet and toes.

Example techniques include: Kicking or smashing the ankle to force it either towards or away from the opposite foot (severe supination or pronation, respectively); Heel-stomping the top of the foot where it meets the lower leg so as to break or crush the numerous bones or otherwise disrupt the opponent's balance; Smashing the opponents knee from the side to break the knee (with severe supination and pronation as the desired result).

In Pananjakman, the upper body (arms and head) are used only for defensive maneuvers, and as such this art would seem ideal for when combatants are engaged in the clinch. When used effectively, Pananjakman's strikes can bring an opponent to the ground or otherwise end an altercation by making the opponent too weak to stand.


Sikaran is a Filipino Martial Art that involves hand and mostly foot fighting. As Sikaran is a general term for kicking which is also used as the name of the kicking aspects of other Filipino Martial arts, this article discusses the distinct art which is specifically practiced in the Rizal province that focuses almost exclusively in kicking.

Sikaran comes from the root word sikad which means kick in Tagalog, Capampangan (e.g. sikaran daka - "I'm going to kick you"), as well as Cebuano (e.g. "sikaran tika").

Sikaran is a simple but intense martial art game that originated from the town of Baras in the province of Rizal. According to the forefathers of Baras, it had been practiced long before the Spaniards came to the Philippines in the 16th century.

It is noted that like most Filipino martial arts, Sikaran has no written history as most Filipinos from the lower classes during Spanish colonial times were barely literate (free public education was only introduced during the American era) and it was passed orally from generation to generation.

Sikaran has its own distinct kicking styles. The signature
Biakid kick is executed by pivoting to the back in a complete turn, much like a spinning hook kick or a reverse round house in other martial arts styles and targets the side or back of the head while the practitioner is in mid to punching range.

The degree of effectiveness subscribes to two classifications: "
Panghilo" (paralyzing blow) and "Pamatay" or lethal kick. Obviously the first aimed at less vital parts of the physique, while the target of the second includes the heart, neck, head, groin, and spine, all highly vulnerable parts.

Footage from the Last Man Standing UK TV series episode on Sikaran shows how the style practiced in the province is done differently from Tae Kwon Do and Karate. There have been questions on the art of Sikaran as being native to the Philippines or being borrowed from Karate and Tae Kwon Do, but as can be seen in the Last Man Standing footage, to the farmers watching the sport and cheering on the sidelines, it is simply an ordinary sight common to their particular village, much like
(cock fighting) is in the rest of the Philippines.

Leg Maneuvers
Using kicks; To off set the balance of the attacker, but not to enter because a Filipino fighter, will always cut the foot if thrown high or destroy it with a knee or elbow. You must gain control of the fighter then throw your kicks low into the legs.

Sweeps; Sweeps forward or backward or to the side are always vital in controlling an attacker, as long as you follow them to the ground and finish them off.

Leg blocks; or shields are developed from the triangle pattern, you will use outside parries and inside parries, the parries must always be followed with a follow up kick or techniques.

Jams; The Filipino fighter will always try to jam your techniques and get inside to cut you up, therefore the leg jamming directed at the shins, hips and lower stomach are very good for defending against kicks

Knees; The Filipino fighter will use their knees to destroy the stance and balance of the attacker, and helping to bring the taller attacker down to their height. Also using them for buckles and drops to cover or pin their attacker down.

sidekick in the Filipino arts is thrown very close to the opponent, in more of a cutting type position of the foot. It is directed at the thighs, knees, and shins.

Scissors sweep take downs, are sometimes used but they don't stay there for very along because of the chance of multiple attackers, they will takedown stab and go.

Heel kicks to the calf's; when the Filipino fighter is close they will, deliver short snapping heel kicks to the sides of the knees, calf's or pin your leg with one leg and heel kick with the other.

The kicks of Sikaran, are used to off balance first, as the first stage then move to complex attacks with the hands and feet as the second stage.

Leg attacks focus on six different areas of the attackers leg:
1. Thigh

2. Knee

3. Back of knee

4. Shin

5. Calf

6. Foot

Three levels
1. Muscles of the thigh
2. Middle knee back of knee
3. Lower half of shin, calf and foot


Warrior Arts of the Philippines

The warrior arts have long been the backbone of Filipino society. In fact, it is the practice and preservation of these arts that has kept the Philippine archipelago from permanent domination by a foreign power.

The Philippine martial arts eskrima, arnis de mano, and kali are still widely practiced today. Although edged, impact, and projectile weapons form the nucleus of these fighting systems, their respective kicking methods are essential elements of their effectiveness.

During the Spaniards 300-years plus domination of the northern Philippines, weapons were banned and the warrior arts were forced into seclusion. The weapons systems were practiced and preserved, however, in dances set to native rhythms, which were often performed for the Spaniards' enjoyment. One such dance, the sinulog, climaxed with a mock sword battle, while the bibabayan dance resembled a skirmish between two groups of men who brandished swords and shields.

Whereas the Filipino weapons systems were preserved in dance form, warrior kicking methods were disguised in games.
Sipa, a game often played by Filipino children, consists of a rattan ball that is kicked into the air and must not be allowed to hit the ground. Kicking techniques are employed by team members to keep the ball airborne. Sikaran, a more combative game, involves two men who attempt to kick one another out of a small circle.

After one opponent has been kicked out of the boundaries, a new opponent enters the circle and challenges the victor.

The Filipino weapons and kicking methods were eventually integrated into one complete system through clandestine training. The Filipinos discovered that by adding kicking techniques to their existing weapons repertoire, they could effectively overcome an opponent versed only in weaponry.

Pananjakman, the name given to these combative kicks, has proven to be an integral part of the eskrima system in particular. While not as aesthetically appealing as, say, the flashy kicks of tee kwon do, pananjakman techniques have proven especially effective for diverting an opponent's attention and disrupting his timing and balance, which then affords the eskrimador an opening to attack.

Although pananjakman includes more than a half-dozen kicks, they are variations of just two techniques:
sipang paharap
(front kick) and sipang pabiakid (reverse kick). The primary targets for the sipang paharap and the sipang pabiakid are the opponent's instep, the front and back of the knee, the calf, and the thigh. The kicks focus on the opponent's lower body because they are likely to be struck by the opponent's weapon if delivered higher. Also, an attempt to lift the foot higher than waist level could result in a loss of balance and timing, which can prove fatal in the fast and unpredictable world of weapons combat.

Using a form of
"triangle" movement, the eskrimador skilled in pananjakman is able to change positions frequently, with no apparent shifting of his upper body to telegraph his intentions. The eskrimador uses stomping techniques to create a "broken" rhythm that keeps the opponent distracted until an opening is established. Once an open target is found on the opponent's legs, the eskrimador delivers a kick and quickly follows it up with either another kick, or a hand or weapon technique, until the skirmish is ended.

Diligent practice and perseverance are needed to ensure proper development of pananjakman techniques. By repeatedly executing the kicks during empty-hand and weapons sequences, they become second nature and will prove to be efficient elements of an eskrimador's overall arsenal.

Proper posture and balance are a must during the execution of pananjakman kicks. Inferior balance or posture causes kicks to lack power, and leaves the eskrimador in an awkward or unstable position, which can result in his defeat.

In pananjakman training, emphasis is placed on creating, and adapting to, various timing patterns. The eskrimador can deliver the kicks by themselves in a steady rhythm, or they can be used with a broken rhythm and delivered in combination with weapons or empty-hand techniques. Timing is developed through sparring drills.

Proper balance is developed through specific kicking drills. One method has the eskrimador stand on one leg and kick a target for an extended period of time while maintaining his balance. Another method is a two-man drill which includes triangular footwork. This drill incorporates the sipang paharap and the sipang pabiakid within the framework of a 12-step pattern.

Proper timing and balance on the part of the eskrimador, coupled with the sudden explosiveness of the kicks themselves, are the reasons for pananjakman's effectiveness. And while there are many effective kicking methods in the martial arts, only eskrima offers such destructive kicks while simultaneously skirmishing with weapons. It is no wonder, then, that the Filipino warrior arts are among the deadliest combat styles known to mankind.



Sikaran Filipino Art of Kicking
The Filipino art of kicking has 40 fundamental kicks, they are divided into 3 categories Front, Side and Back.


There are 3 types of Filipino kicks snapping, thrusting, snap thrusting. Advanced students were required to be able to execute 55 kicks, which include advanced complex kicks. Here are the 55 kicks of The Filipino art of Sikaran:

A. Front kicks (Sipa)
1. Snap
2. Thrust
3. Snap thrust
4. Heel snap
5. Downward thrust
6. Outside scooping
7. Inside scooping
8. Forward scooping
9. Outward slash
10. Inside slash
11. Upward slash
12. Downward chop
13. Forward chop
14. Vertical chop
15. Horizontal
16. Roundhouse heel
17. Roundhouse shin
18. Roundhouse snap thrust
19. Side snap
20. Inside leg scooping
21. Outside leg scooping
22. Forward roundhouse

B. Side Kicks
1. Side Snap
2. Side thrust
3. Side stomping
4. Ridge
5. Ridge snap
6. Side ridge
7. Leg scoop
8. Ridge instep
9. Ridge ball
10. Outside slash
11. Inside slash
12. Roundhouse heel
13. Roundhouse snap
14. Roundhouse snap-thrust
15. Sadang roundhouse instep
16. Sadang roundhouse ball
17. Sadang roundhouse heel
18. Sadang roundhouse slash

C. Back Kicks
1. Back snap kick
2. Back thrust kick
3. Back kick chop
4. Tadyak-Sakong shin
5. Tadyak-Sakong ball
6. Tadyak-Sakong heel
7. Tadyak-Sakong slash
8. Dakot (scoop)
9. Dakot, (scoop) chop
10. Circular
11. Straight back kick
12. Rear upward chop
13. Rear snap
14. Rear downward slash
15. Back chop


Sikaran Sport
Sikaran utilizes only the feet as a rule for sport, and the hands are only used for blocking. The player uses his legs 90% of the time and his hands 10%, and only for blocking or parrying blows. Violation of this injunction, especially in tournaments, is ground for disqualification.

The entry of Sikaran in tournaments, particularly those of international caliber, presaged certain modifications, if innovations, of its original rules, like the setting of a time limit and widening of the fighting area into twice the size required of the original arena, and the wearing of armor for safety reasons as it is played full contact and bare-chested with no armor or groin
guard in the original province.


Academy Map

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