What is the "live hand" ?
A VERY important concept in the FMA
The live hand is the opposite hand that does not contain the main
weapon. If you are right handed, it is your left hand. It is referred to as
being alive because it is used actively in combat for checking, blocking,
striking, and as support to the disarms and locks. In many of the
techniques, the alive hand is the major contributor to the success of the
"The live hand is the real weapon." - Dan Inosanto
Bantay-Kamay (The Live Hand)
The Bantay-Kamay (lit. guardian hand) is the
secondary weapon in the FMA.
In a Solo Baston (single stick) situation, it is the empty hand, the Dagger
hand in Espada y Daga and the auxiliary/secondary baton in Double Baston.
Use of the Bantay-Kamay is developed during
free-flow drills. The Bantay-Kamay
may take the following functions/actions:
1. Pigil (Jamming) - stopping a strike or attack
2. Paayon (Flowing - Go with the force) - redirecting a strike
3. Suntok-Tusok (Punch or Thrust) - a secondary attack during Solo Baston
or Multiple weapons drill/engagement. Also known as Sogo (Spearhand attack).
4. Dukot-Batok (Head Lock or Grab) - a grappling or throwing technique
during Solo Baston engagement. May also be executed in Multiple Weapons
environment by using the Punyo (butt or pommel).
5. Sampal-Kalawit (Palm Strike or Hook) - a palm-strike or hooking
technique leading to a take-down during Solo Baston engagement. May also be
executed in Multiple Weapons environment by using the blade portion (near
the hilt) of the stick or weapon.
6. Saplit (Centrifuge Disarm) - a complimentary technique leading to
disengagement or disarm of the opponent's weapon(s).
7. Concierto (Coordinated/Tandem Weapons/Hands) - a blind side or
inside technique that uses the Bantay-Kamay in coordination with the
primary weapon to execute a simultaneous counter-attack and control.
8. Hawak-Sunggab (Hold or Grab) - the restraint of the opponent's weapon
hand for the subsequent execution of a counter or a disarm.
There are many more variations and definitions regarding the use of the
Bantay-Kamay, but they can be classified under two general classifications:
1. Salisi - (Opposite Directions)
a. Salising Papasok aka Salisok
(Opposite Directions - Inwardi, aka Ops-in)
b. Salising Palabas aka Salibas
(Opposite Directions - Outward, aka Ops-out)
in addition the movements are classified as :
- Planchada (Horizontal)
- Aldabis or San Miguel (Diagonal)
- Bagsak or Bartikal (Vertical)
2. Concierto (Coordinated/Tandem Movement
a. Papasok (Inward)
b. Palabas (Outward.
These classifications are descriptive of the relationship of
the counter to the attacker's striking arm. If the attacker's arm or weapon
is pushed towards the attacker's body, it is classified as inward and
Written by John Chow, a TCM practitioner, masseur, healer, martial arts and spiritual teacher.