What is it?

Kali is a Filipino Martial Arts system and is also referred to as Eskrima or Arnis.

The system includes unarmed and weapons techniques such as;

  • Single and double stick
  • Single and double knives
  • Stick and dagger
  • Short and long staff
  • Pocket sticks
  • Flexible weapons such as scarfs, belts, bags etc.
  • And more

Empty hand techniques also play a large part in the system

  • Boxing
  • Kicking
  • Striking, elbows, knees, headbutts
  • Grappling
  • Locking
  • Throwing – Takedowns
  • Clawing, pinching, biting

Kali Eskrima Arnis contains a lot of different styles and concepts depending on the teacher. Some of the notable ones are;

  • Inosanto Lacoste
  • Doce Pares
  • Modern Arnis
  • Lameco
  • Sayoc
  • Evalution

Kali is a well-rounded Martial Art and is suitable for all ages to learn and train in.

Most people think of Kali is that stick fighting stuff but it is so much more than this!

Chief Instructor

Keith Gilliland


Basics, this is the foundation of all we do.

The basics are literally the building blocks of your training learning and development in Martial Arts.

When your learning your basics you should be striving for good form and correct method of delivery.

A lot of students want to skim over or even skip basic practice.

In my decades of involvement in Martial Arts and other sports it’s the basics that count.

Champion fighters use basic techniques to win.

Watch a pro boxer shadow boxing going through his paces.

High level grades should look at being able to perform the basics in an advanced way. By this I mean they should be mastering the techniques to a high level. There should be all the ingredients coming together, correct delivery, speed, power, timing, focus, balance, accuracy and control.

Like the saying goes “repetition is the mother of all technique” so if we repeat and repeat our basics, we will begin to gain mastery and perfection is our goal.

Do not neglect practice of your basics whether in line drills, shadow boxing, pad or bag work. Whatever training your doing, style you practice get your basics down.

Think of it like fine tuning the engine.

Think of it like the roots of a tree, the foundations of a building. If the basics are not solid then everything else will be weak!

Make your basics strong, confident in the knowledge that you’ve practiced and practiced and are still honing them, sharpening them.

Chief Instructor

Keith Gilliland


Do people really listen?

Do students really listen in class?

I look at students and think you’re really not listening, are you?

Your making out you are but if I ask a related question a few minutes later you look at me as if to say what are you on about?

People in general do not listen properly, they do not concentrate on what’s being said to them.

Children in particular seem to find it hard to actually listen and take in what’s being said to them!

Concentration is hard to focus on. We have a saying in our Academy, Look, Listen and Learn.

Do not talk when being spoken to by the Instructor. Another way of helping concentration on listening is to make students assume a listening stance. Hands behind the back, feet a shoulder width apart, looking straight at the Instructor.

Try an exercise where you explain something to the students, no listening stance just talk to them about a topic then do something else not related to what you just said i.e.; a technique. After this go back and ask them about what you were explaining before the technique and see what they remember.

Now tell them to assume the listening stance and explain another thing, anything you wish related to your class then again do something else not related to the topic you just did. After this go back again and see what they remember. I’m sure you will see and hear a difference because you’ve made them concentrate more by way of the listening stance.

Attention Stance

Listening Stance

Two tools to help with concentration.

Chief Instructor & Founder

Gilliland Martial Arts & Fitness

Keith Gilliland

Which Martial Art is best for me?

Ok let’s look at a few questions you should ask yourself before going to a class.

What do I want from it?

Do you want fitness, self-defence, sport, competition, to earn a Black Belt???

Some classes focus on just the sport side and competition training whilst others concentrate on self-defence. Some classes have sparring, some have weapons training.

It’s a good idea to take a look at what the school / club teaches in the way of classes and their content. Do not think they are all the same.

Another important factor to consider is who is teaching the classes, what is their background, how long have they been practicing and teaching Martial Arts.

There should be a structured progressive learning program in place with regular gradings so the student can progress through the ranks towards Black Belt and beyond.

Goal achievements are a positive experience and create confidence and a feeling of accomplishment.

A class that is right for you will also be fun, you will enjoy going and meeting new friends is also a bonus.

Martial Arts training and learning can open up a whole new world for you. You can train for the fun of it, maybe to become a competitor, even one day an Instructor and pass on your skills!


Chief Instructor

Keith Gilliland