Saturday, July 29, 2006

The vicious Pasak

This nasty little toy goes by a variety of names in the Filipino Martial Arts. In Pekiti Tirsia Kali, it’s called a pasak. In other styles it’s called Olisi Palad or Dulo - Dulo. It’s popularly called a palm stick, and to Japanese martial artists it’s a koppo or a yawara. Whichever way you want to call it, its simplicity and size hides its brutal combat effectiveness.
The concept of using small non-edged instruments for attacking the human body is widespread in Asian martial arts. The Japanese consider the use of such weapons part of jujitsu, similar to the use of the iron fan. My understanding of the koppo comes from “Stickfighting” by Masaaki Hatsumi and Quintin Chamber. The use of the koppo illustrated in the text is more for joint manipulation, since the weapon shown is a foot long stick and is suitable for that application.
In the Filipino Martial Arts, the use of the pasak / olisi palad / dulo - dulo needs no explanation. Just using the weapon to strike vital points with the same speed, angle of attack and power as a stick strike can be devastating. In the hands of someone trained in FMA, the pasak can be driven quickly and accurately at vital points all over the body. For safety and legal reasons, I’m not going to illustrate what these points are and how best to attack them.
The Filipino version of this weapon is generally shorter, just large enough to protrude past a closed fist. I have yet to study joint manipulation techniques for this but it’s not that important to learn to use this weapon effectively.
Just a quick, snapping strike to a vital point will generate enough force, focused on a small area, to either kill or disable an attacker. The ease of application of this weapon for the Filipino martial artist can’t be emphasized enough. It’s a great direct byproduct of stick and knife training, requiring no change in body mechanics or muscle memory whatsoever.
Here’s an example of a traditional pasak, of kamagong (native hardwood). This one is straight, while other examples are slightly curved. Some pasak are even made from carabao (water buffalo) horn and are incredibly tough.

Now here’s my daily “less-than-lethal” weapon. I had it crafted out of one of my warped kamagong sticks. The ends are carved to short points. I tied a finger cord with a barrel wrap (here’s how to tie the knot) so I can still retain the weapon even if I have to open my hand to grab the attacker. It’s small enough to fit into my pocket and doesn’t trigger metal detectors.
The pasak is definitely worth considering as a serious weapon. But its true power and effectiveness can only be tapped by serious martial arts training. I'm sure an untrained individual can put can seriously hurt an attacker with this but with proper FMA skills you can get the job done more efficiently.





Please don’t flame me if you get arrested with one of these where you live. It's your responsibility to be aware of your legal limitations.


Erik Mann said...

another great blog from you guys. i'd point you to mine but it isn't yet the way I'd like it. i do have a website that I think is cool, kind of almost about art extreme martial

Stephen Renico said...


Hello from the Pitbulls Forum. :-)

I linked your blog to mine, and feel free to do the same if you're so inclined.

I really like your essays, especially the one about PTK after 40, as I'm nearly that age, myself.

jeff davidson said...

Komusta Buddy,

Thanks for this post. I love my carabao horn dulo-dulo that Kuya Doug gave to me.


Stephen Renico said...

Hey, Buddy,

Looking forward to your next update. :-)

Anonymous said...

Ganda ng featured article mo na to? ksama din sa train namin ganyan pero ala naku time mag train ngaun. Galing.. Madami matutunan d2.

Anonymous said...

seem like you didn't update much the blog, i like your weapon out there i also used to train one of those when i train arnis de mano.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Oscar Perez said...

Another great blog. Thanks for the info and the insight. I appreciate that you discuss the presence of these weapons in arts outside of FMA. It's a very thorough perspective.

Oscar Perez said...

Another excellent blog. Thanks for the information and the insight. I appreciate that you include information on the use of similar weapons in other arts. This is a very thorough perspective.