Suntukan is the fist-related striking component of Filipino martial arts.


Speed, Flow, and Rhythm

Suntukan emphasizes speed in striking, with the intent of overwhelming the adversary with a flurry of attacks. Indefinite combinations of different strikes are strung together continuously to make successful defense a relative impossibility. Many strikes in suntukan are said to be performed on "half-beats", or in between the major strikes of a combination, so as to disorient and overwhelm an opponent, increasing the opportunity for more devastating attacks. An example of this could be performing a swift slap or eye strike after throwing a jab with the same hand in a standard jab-cross-hook combination; the eye strike both disrupts the defense against and masks the incoming cross. Sometimes, low-line kicks are often executed between boxing combinations to further injure and disorient the opponent.


The angles outlined in Eskrima are incorporated to evade and parry incoming strikes and to attack the opponent from an outside angle where they are less able to defend themselves. Constantly switching the fighting lead allows for the exploitation of attack while maintaining flow. The fighter will often use a finishing strike or kick in a combination to step into the new lead. Footwork is of utmost importance for these techniques, so in some systems, much time is invested into practicing stick-fighting drills and combinations.


Some moves which immobilise the limbs are called gunting (scissors) techniques because of the scissor-like motions used to stop an opponent's limb from one side while attacking from the other side. Suntukan focuses on countering an opponent's strike with a technique that will nullify further attack by hitting certain nerve points, bones, and muscle tissue to cause immediate partial paralysis of the attacking limb. Common limb destructions include guiding incoming straight punches into the defending fighter's elbow (siko) to shatter the knuckles, or striking the incoming limb in the biceps to inhibit the opponent's ability to use that arm for the remainder of the fight. Gunting focuses on destroying the opponent's ability to wield their weapon. This term derives from the word "scissors" in Filipino, Malaysian and Indonesian. In Filipino martial arts, gunting can be done by cutting the hand or wrist with a pair of blades (hence the name), but it can also be done with a single blade or with the empty hand by striking nerves and tensed muscles.

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