Eskrima

Doce Pares_Phillipine Martial arts 2 Diana-Fauner 3 Diana-Fauner 4 Diana-FaunerPINOYS NOWADAYS are figure conscious; a handful hits the gym or get into sports. A lot of women even get crazy with masculine sports such as triathlon and boxing but not for Diana Fauner.

Who would have thought that a prim and proper woman like Diana would engage in a hand-to-hand combat, grappling and weapon disarming techniques. Diana has chosen Eskrima. According to Wikipedia, Eskrima, Arnis and Kali are umbrella terms for the traditional martial arts of the Philippines (“Filipino Martial Arts,” or FMA) that emphasize weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives and other bladed weapons, and various improvised weapons.

Diana has always been a dancer. She used to be in Ballet so she attended a class again but felt old when met her classmates. Martial art was already in her mind; she has considered Taekwondo but she ended up with Capoeira, Brazilian Martial Arts instead because it is somehow a combination of dance moves. She stopped after 2 years because his trainer got busy in competitions. She wanted to stay fit so she looked for a new sport. I thought of airsofting (bb guns). I went to my first session in January 2006, and the guy who was the Marshal at the site, was also practicing eskrima. The following day, I attended my first eskrima class. Then as I got into it, I started researching about different styles/schools of Eskrima. I really liked Doce Pares. In January 2007, I found a Filipino instructor in Kent. And I’ve been learning ever since” says Diana.

Eskrima originally came from Spain. It is the Filipino word for Fencing. According to historians, the origin of Eskrima could be traced even before the Spanish colonised the Philippines. Our predecessors used swords for fighting when there’s an internal conflict. Later on, the Philippines has what its known blade culture, the natives are more used to carry knives than guns. They use it as a common tool such as for opening fruits or for farming.

Although Diana is half-German she said that she is Filipina by heart because she grew up in Davao City. This is one of the reasons why she didn’t opt for the common sports. “It was a nice way to connect to your roots. It worked really well for me, culturally and language-wise, a lot of Filipino terms are used in the curriculum.”

She also described Eskrima as practical because it could be used as self-defence. “Sport wise, you get to attack your opponent with 100% power and still be safe (under all the armour – depending which format of sport you are competing in). It’s fast. It drains you of energy and stamina really quick. It’s the nearest thing to a real life encounter, as your adrenalin pumps into your body, while you have to focus on what’s coming for you.”

Eskrima is not an expensive sport but if you get frenzy with the gears, you could obviously spend hundreds of pounds but just like in any other sports. Some people go crazy on collecting sticks; yes, there are so many kinds and some designed and other weapons like Filipino swords, whips and knives. Eskrimadors love collecting bladed weapons. Anything can be a weapon to us Eskrimadors. And we mean anything. Techniques can usually applied to anything that we get our hands on. This is why it is very effective for self-defence. But to learn the absolute basics… all you need is a pair of sticks and a training knife.”

Who would have thought that Diana’s mere hobby would bring pride to the Philippines! She has taken home numerous awards (please see below). She is now a 3rd degree black belter. “Eskrima is a great way to get fit, have fun and learn self-defence at the same time. It’s a weapon-based art, based on the sword. We train with sticks, knives and also empty-hands (mano-mano). It’s an all around system, it’s a way of life.”

Sport helps an individual to have a healthy life. It doesn’t matter what you pick but what’s important is to choose one that will suit your lifestyle and not because you only want to join the bandwagon.

 

Some of Diana’s awards:

 

2014 BCKEAI Southern Area Padded Stick British Championships (May)
Single Stick – Silver

 

2014 GSBA British Championship (March)
Single Stick – Gold
Padded Stick – Bronze

 

2013 GSBA British Championship (March)
Single Stick- Silver
Double Stick – Silver

 

2013 BCKEAI British Open Eskrima Championships (February)
Single Stick – Bronze

 

2012 WEKAF British Championship (December)
Sayaw (Forms) – Gold
Single Stick- Gold
Double Stick – Silver
Fighter of the Day

 

2011 WEKAF British Championship (November)
Sayaw (Forms) – Gold

 

2010 WEKAF British Championship (November)
Sayaw (Forms) – Gold
Single stick – Bronze
Double stick – Bronze

 

2010 British Arnis Alliance: GM Roland Dantes Cup (May)
Single stick – Bronze

 

2010 WEKAF at the Martial Art Show (May)
Single stick – Silver

By Joy Mesina


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