Martial Arts Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students and teachers of all martial arts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Most of my training has been for blade work, and now I'm working with sticks with a friend to get some of the differences down. The basic stuff (more force, direct strikes, any point can become a handle, etc.) I can work through pretty easily, but the stuff that's more intriguing is I'm looking at ways sticks can be used as levers for grapples, locks, breaks and takedowns.

We're working with mostly escrima sized sticks, but I'd also be interested in smaller flashlight/kubotan sized weapons as well.

I'm looking for good video or step-by-step photo resources.

share|improve this question

You really should check out some of the "Stick Grappling" videos on Youtube. There are plenty. Also, look specifically for anything you can get by the "Dog Brothers".

Most of the stick grappling videos you'll see are going to be by people who have combined Filipino escrima / kali with Brazilian Jiujitsu. This is okay, but keep in mind that most of what you'll see is a lot of theory, because these people often don't do more than drills with it. Ie, they're not trying to see how it works at full speed in sparring. So you'll get a lot of theory, some of which looks good, some looks questionable, but mostly it's untested.

Whereas, the Dog Brothers have been doing stick grappling for decades now, but they do it much more realistically. They are a bit extreme, though. Their motto is "Higher consciousness through harder contact." When they do their version of sparring, they tend to wear Lacrosse style mitts, arm pads, leg pads, fencing / kendo helmets, etc. They go as hard and as fast as they can, swinging sticks at each other, doing kicks, punches, clinches, take-downs, and ground fighting. All of which is with and without sticks. They have no rules except that at the end of the day, they are all friends and hopefully won't have any injuries (but they often do get injured, sometimes badly). Yes, this type of training is not for most sane people!

But that doesn't mean you can't look at Dog Brothers' results and derive useful information about what works and what doesn't. You can! And you should. See what they say works. Learn their drills. Get partners that want to combine stick fighting with grappling, and do it on your own at a local park or something. Just be careful. You don't have to go to quite the same extreme they go to. And make sure you each know where your limits are and what you're comfortable doing.

The Dog Brothers do sell videos. But you can get a lot for free just looking at Youtube. Then buy the videos if you're still interested. Their web page is at:

Good luck!

share|improve this answer
Thanks! I had seen some of the Dog Brothers' stuff years ago, but all I saw was striking. I'll look again, if they've branched out into takedowns and grapples with it. – Bankuei Jun 14 '14 at 1:58
Nope, they've been seriously into BJJ and combining it with stick and knife fighting for a long time now. They start out on their feet with sticks, but it often ends up on the ground. They do chokes and other things with the sticks. They also have practice knives that they use with their grappling. – Steve Weigand Jun 14 '14 at 3:09

The work of Chris Petrilli are my go-to resource for stick grappling, particularly locking and throwing. I have not run across many people with his depth of knowledge in this specific area, and he fuses several arts together to make a devastating and beautiful art.

I could not be more pleased with the time I've spent with him and Sherril; I don't gush enthusiastically very often, but this is awesome stuff. Functional, effective, painful, and downright terrific.

share|improve this answer

The Book "Stick Fighting" by Masaaki Hatsumi has some good stuff.

share|improve this answer

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

Can you provide a thorough explanation for why this book is good and what is in it that you would recommend? – Matt Chan Jun 12 '14 at 2:15
I'm not too versed in the realm of joint locks with sticks but the book seemed to have a good basic overview of a couple different stick/arm/body locks. There are also clear diagrams of movement and feet placement. Honestly though I have to re-read it again. – JD3 Creative Jun 13 '14 at 0:56
I've read that book. It's a very traditional Japanese flavor of stick fighting. And it's kind of a misnomer. It's less "stick" and more "hanbo" (3-4 foot staff). A "stick" tends to be more like 1-2 feet long. The Japanese flavor represented in the book is very different from the Filipino flavor (of escrima / kali, which is what I tend to think of when someone says "stick fighting"). Both flavors offer something, and they don't overlap much. So the book is worth getting. – Steve Weigand Jun 13 '14 at 2:20
Thanks for the recommendation. I'm not really concerned about the culture of origin, more about working with the actual sticks themselves. So, for example, people might have good sources involving older police batons or clubs that would be just as applicable. Thanks! – Bankuei Jun 13 '14 at 8:20
@JD3Creative Would you mind editing the answer to include your comment here with the explanation and anything else you can tell us? – David H. Clements Jun 13 '14 at 16:10

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.