Cinco Teros (The Five Strikes)

Cinco Teros or Cincosh Teroesh (“Five Strikes”) refers to the five most basic strikes in eskrima, which is a class of Filipino martial arts that emphasizes staff and sword fighting. The art is composed of the four basic cuts and one basic thrust. There are varied patterns for the strikes depending upon the teacher or in the system. However, the Cinco Teros is believed to have originated in Pangasinan, Philippines.

Cinco Teros commonly utilizes an “X” pattern in attacking the opponent, but some methods employ patterns resembling a “+” while others use stiking patterns that emulate a “V”.

The Cinco Teros is based upon angles of attack, not specific targets. This allows the practitioner to apply any one of the five striking angles to any target they choose. For example, the fifth strike, which consists of a straight thrust, does not necessarily need to be targeted towards the belly.

The most common pattern for the Cinco Teros are as follows:

  1. Downward diagonal forehanded Slash.
  2. Downward Diagonal Backhanded Slash.
  3. Horizontal Forehand Slash.
  4. Horizontal Backhand Slash.
  5. Straight Thrust.

While it can be targeted towards the belly, it can also be targeted to the throat, the heart, or the eye. Instead of tediuously taking the time to learn individual angles for individual targets, the angles of attack can be applied to any target that is available.

The strength of the Cinco Teros lies in its simplicity. While many systems of Eskrima may have seven, twelve, or seventeen angles of attack, the Cinco Teros are often sufficient for developing combative knowledge and efficiency in the shortest amount of time possible.