Formed in 1977 , the American Maharlika Kuntaw Association was set
up to promote and propagate the art of Kuntaw in the United States.
This fledgling martial arts organization was one of the first Filipino
based martial arts organizations in the US.
Kuntaw is a martial art that was developed in the Philippines.
Fighting skills were "borrowed" from the many cultures that arrived
in the Philippines by migration or invasion and were organized
into a viable fighting system. This fighting system, known as
Maharlika Kuntaw, handles the three ranges of battle: Largo (long);
Sumbrada (short); and Hubud (close) ranges as well as the three
altitudes of fighting: air, standing and ground.
Maharlika: (original name of the Philippines) free/royal; Kun:
fist; Taw: way of; Maharlika Kuntaw - Way of the Royal Fist or
Filipino Art of The fist
These fighting skills come from many different areas of the Orient.
However, the three main cultures which Kuntaw was derived from
were India, Indonesia and China. India gave the arts of weaponry
and sword fighting, Indonesians provided snake-like grappling
and striking techniques, and forceful kicks and blows were brought
by Chinese people. The three main Filipino Arts which Kuntaw is
comprised of are: Buno (Philippine Wrestling), Sikaran (Kicking
Art) and Bugtongan (Philippine Stick Fighting System). While these
arts are inherently Filipino, they were first influenced by non-filipino
Kuntaw primarily was developed as a defensive art, but it can
be used as an offensive art given the right circumstances. Weapons
are a major part of Kuntaw techniques. These weapons may be a
fist, elbow, knee, foot, or a hand held object such as a knife,
stick or sword. Movements in Kuntaw were developed from the use
or defense of these weapons. Though Kuntaw is basically evasive,
it is dramatic evasiveness. The movements used are light and fast
to avoid an attack, but they are designed to use this action to
counter back to the opponent. Movements do not stop an attack,
or oppose the force delivered, instead they re-direct back to
the source by seeking control of the force. In effect, using the
opponent's own effort against them without wasting much of your
own energy. These movements direct delivered force to an area
that allows the practitioner to get in and take the opponent's
balance. This also gives the Kuntawista the ability to lock, throw,
sweep or strike the opponent from a safe vantage point.