Dacayana Eskrima

The Very First Dacayana Eskrima School in Gloucestershire


Wednesdays 5:45 – 6:30pm
Fridays 6:45 – 7:30pm

Eskrima is a term for the indigenous Martial Arts of the Philippines. Eskrima is also known by the names of Escrima, Kali, Arnis or Arnis de Mano.

Different schools use their own terminology for their style which varies from region to region. In the USA for example, Kali is widely accepted as the “Mother Art” (mainly due to the influence of Guro Dan Inosanto) but in the Philippines it is more usually Eskrima or Arnis that is seen as the correct name to describe Filipino Martial Arts (FMA).

The Filipino Martial Arts have evolved over a period of 500 years. It is only in recent years that Eskrima is become popular in the UK having largely remained undiscovered for all this time. Filipino Arts have proven to be very effective in real life situations and are used extensively by many of the worlds elite Military forces.

Eskrima trains it’s students from the beginning to both use and defend against weapons such as knives and sticks.
Situations that are becoming increasingly relevant in today’s society.

The art of Eskrima develops a wide range of skills and attributes at all fighting ranges. These include speed, accuracy, timing, footwork, co-ordination, reaction speed and the ability to flow with any attack. Here are some of the unique aspects of the Filipino Martial Art:


Dacayana UK teaches the family system of indigenous Filipino Martial Arts directly from Master Jun Dacayana whose Headquarters is in Cebu city Philippines. Dacayana UK was founded in the Autumn of 2006 by John ‘Jo’ Biggs and Marcie Harding.

In 2012 Dacayana UK was renamed Dacayana UK & Europe in recogniton of new European coaches starting out to teach the system. Jo Biggs had first studied Filipino Martial Arts in the 1980’s soon after it first appeared in the UK and Marcie Harding had been running her own FMA group since 2003. Both wanted to enrich the current FMA offerings in the UK and allow their students to have access to pure lineage directly from the Philippines.

Dacayana UK & Europe are the only group in the UK and throughout Europe authorised to teach his system.


  • Lee Kent – 1st Degree Black Belt
  • Kevin Boyle – 1st Degree Black Belt


  • Bethany Kent
  • Harriet Boyle


Eskrima is particularly relevant in the Chi Wai Academy as Chi Wai literally translates to Self Defence and Eskrima can be easily adapted. For example the skills used with the weapons can be used with something as simple as a rolled up magazine, a pocket stick, simple bar and many other items that can easily be found lying around. Eskrima also teaches us unarmed or empty handed techniques.

With these skills all rolled up into a safe training environment this is why Eskrima is a great stand alone system or a great addition to almost any other Martial Arts system there is.

Here at the Chi Wai Martial Arts Academy we have decided that as this system is so complimentary to our thoughts, teachings and ethos that we would add it into our academy and teach it to anyone who would like to learn. Either in addition to Chi Wai Kung Fu or for students with more limited free time this system can be learnt on it’s own, making it a fantastic extra to the Chi Wai timetable.

The Chi Wai Academy is the only Martial Arts clubs in Gloucestershire to be qualified and registered to teach Dacayana Eskrima. Making this an exciting opportunity to come along and see why Dacayana Eskrima is the fastest growing FMA system in the UK.


These are not exclusively the preserve of the Filipino Martial Art but are rare in other Arts. Perhaps the best known sensitivity and flow drills from other Arts would be Wing Chun’s Chi Sau and Tai Chi’s Push Hands. In the Filipino Arts these drills are more numerous and these training methods seem to set the Filipino Arts apart from most other Arts.


Normally made of rattan and between 26 – 30 inches long. Some styles including our Dacayana system do use longer sticks however up to 32-34″ in length. Other materials are used for heavier weapons – Bahi and Kamagong are two hard heavier woods that are often used.


The ‘live’ hand is the hand without the weapon in it! If you are holding two weapons then it is the hand with the shortest weapon. If you are holding two equal length weapons and you favour your right side then it is the left hand!


Most Filipino systems use angles of attack within their systems. Many systems have 12 angles for their students to work from. Even though many of the angles are common across different systems, almost all of the systems have a different order in which they are used, meaning there is no standard set.