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"Pananandata: History and Techniques of the Daga, Yantok, Balisong, and Other Traditional Weapons of the Philippines"

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"Pananandata" is a great book for weapons devotees and practitioners of Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). Author Amante Marinas Sr. describes the following weapons in detail:

Balisong = Filipino folding knife

Rigid Weapons

  • Pingga = 45-50 inch long bamboo yoke for carrying buckets of water on the shoulders
  • 31-inch Yantok = sword substitute made from rattan
  • Tabak = bladed weapon longer than the usual 20-inch bolo
  • Daga = dagger
  • Tungkod = crook top cane
  • Hawakan = tonfa or side-handled baton
  • Dikin = bamboo ring about 15 inches in diameter, used as a base for clay pots

Part-Flexible/Part-Rigid Weapons

  • Tabak toyok = nunchaku
  • Latiko = horse whip

Flexible Weapons

  • Lubid = rope

Throwing Weapons

  • knives and other objects


Many techniques are familiar to users of these weapons from other arts. The pingaa techniques are reminiscent of bo and jo techniques, while the tabak toyok and hawakan are traditional nunchaku and tonfa, respectively.

Although most of us don't carry water on our shoulders, or grind rice every day, a lot of the techniques can be transferred to modern weapons. The tabak could be an expandable baton, perhaps. Or, the techniques documented for the latiko could be used with Cold Steel's plastic sjambok.

Marianas also shows some empty hand defense against these weapons.

All together, "Pananandata" is a great reference for these rarely-seen Filipino weapons.

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