Kombatan is a Filipino martial arts system. The head and founder of the system is Ernesto Presas. The style is known for its double stick techniques but features other stick and blade techniques, as well as empty-hand methods.

Kombatan Arnis is a composite of various classical and modern fighting systems used in the Philippines.  The student of Kombatan Arnis is introduced to the various systems in the full range of fighting. An emphasis is placed on drills to train the student to react instinctively. Students are encouraged to develop their own “style” of techniques within the Kombatan Arnis framework. Most other Asian martial arts are taught today in a framework of fixed-position techniques.

While this does provide the beginner with a simple structure to learn, it requires many years of practice to become proficient at using these structures in a free-form fighting situation where the opponent or assailant may attack at almost any angle.

In contrast to many other oriental martial arts, the Kombatan Arnis student first learns how to handle and defend against weapons. This philosophy is to a large degree culturally bound, but also has a practical application.

The Philippines has traditionally been a blade-oriented society. Even today, in many rural areas both men and women use swords and knives in their daily work. Self-defence using a weapon is the preferred method.

In a practical sense, the rationale for training a student with weapons first and then later with hands and feet are:

  1. Training stick to stick is safer than taking punches and kicks to the body
  2. If you can defend against a weapon then fighting against punches and kicks will come easily because training with sticks conditions one to avoid errors in judgment.

Kombatan Arnis is a complete system of hand to hand and weapon combat incorporating empty hand moves based upon the same motions used in weapon fighting.

The weapon is just an extension of the hand. This modern system embodies all the different martial arts, emphasizing to react instinctively encouraging you to develop your own style of techniques. It is called “an art within an art”.

Kombatan Arnis incorporates the aspects of the ancient arts of Judo, Ju-Jitsu, Karate, Kendo, Wing Chun, Muay Thai and Kick Boxing. It is a system that puts it all together! It supplements most other styles by learning
to understand ‘the flow’. Martial artists studying other systems, such as Karate or Tae Kwon Do will be able to learn how to make their systems flow using the principles. The flow is where the body and weapon movement blend to achieve one’s most natural individual fighting style.

Students of Kombatan Arnis learn very quickly how to defend themselves through the full-range of fighting- kicking, punching, trapping and grappling ranges.

The system is based around 12 angles of attack on the human body and 12 basic ways of dealing with each angle by hand, foot or weapon. In order to do so, you will learn – a variety of strikes, kicks, blocks, locks, holds, sweeps, throws and takedowns, covering many martial art styles. Weapon training involving blocks, counters and disarms. Unarmed combat, armed combat, unarmed verses armed and armed verses unarmed.

Filipino Kombatan Arnis combines the following styles and weapons: Abaniko, Hirada, Sungkiti, Palis Palis, Doblete, Doblada, Banda y Banda, Otso Otso, Rompida, Redonda, Solo Baston, Doble Baston, Daga, Daga sa Daga, Espada y Daga, Dos Puntas, Tres Puntas, Dulo Dulo, Bankaw, Walking Cane, Mano Mano, Sipa-An & Dumog

Ernesto A. Presas Sr. was born in the coastal town of Hinigaran, Negros Occidental on 1945-04-20. At age 8 he began his martial arts training under his father, Jose Presas, a well known escrima practitioner at that time. He went on to be an athlete in his college years, participating in various sports.

His training in the martial arts is eclectic, having studied judo, jujutsu, karate, and various forms of Filipino and Japanese weaponry. He is currently a Lakan Sampu (10th Dan) in arnis and Mano Mano (hand to hand combat) and holds a Lakan Walo (8th Dan) in Philippine Weaponry.

Remy and Ernesto Presas both recognized that the classical arts of their country were losing their appeal and therefore slowly dying. Both sought to modernize the native arts into an effective fighting system that would be appealing to martial arts students living in modern Filipino society. Their dream to re-introduce his native arts led to the development of Modern Arnis. Ernesto Presas would later re-christen his version of the art Kombatan.

In 1970 he began to teach the Filipino martial arts in the University of the Philippines and Lyceum of the Philippines. Later other classes expanded to the University of Santo Tomas, Central Colleges of the Philippines, the Far Eastern Military Academy, Philippine National Police Academy and the Philippines Air Force Officer’s School.

Also in 1970 he was invited to Japan at Expo ’70’ to demonstrate Arnis. He quickly earned the respect of many of the Japanese masters who called his Art Filipino Kendo. After returning home, with the help of his friend Frederico Lazo, he opened his first club. Later he formed the Modern Arnis Association of the Philippines International and the ARJUKEN (which stands for Arnis, Jujutsu, Kendo) Karate Association to formally spread the art within the Philippines.

In 1975 he founded the International Philippine Martial Arts Federation (IPMAF) and began to spread the Filipino art to the outside world. In time his Arnis Presas Style and techniques became widely accepted and adopted by countries in Europe, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Puerto Rico. He has also published numerous books and videos and has been featured on the cover of Inside Kung Fu magazine with the title “Ernesto Presas: The Father of Mano-Mano” (which art he created).

At the present time Ernesto Presas travels the world teaching seminars to spread his art. Many have come to the Philippines to take lessons from him in Manila.

Major players include: Fred Lazo, Ernesto Presas Jr., Andy Elliott, Mike Bowers, Mike Guingona, Alex France, Lito Concepcion, Jon Rudy, Edwin Lao, James Miyake, John R. Malmo, Danny Tiliano, Dante Constantino, Michael Darcy, Thorbjorn “Toby” Hartelius, Chris Traish, Kevin Smith, Giovanni Zagari, Mark Day, Johan Skalsberg, Alex Ercia, Audy Ercia, Brando Castillo, and Arnold Domingo.

Kombatan combines several traditional Filipino styles that have been blended into a single art:

  • Palis-Palis.
  • Hirada Batangueno.
  • Sungkiti Tutsada.
  • Abaniko Largo / Corto.
  • Doblada / Doblete.
  • Banda y Banda.
  • Sinawali .
  • Esdada Y Daga.
  • Daga sa Daga
  • Dulo Dulo.
  • Dos Puntas.
  • Tres Puntas.
  • Bangkaw.
  • Sibat.