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To me Dumog is incomplete because it does not seem to cover two of the ranges needed for close combat. I have only limited exposure, but as far as I know it does not have:

1. The shoot and sprawl range;

2. The guard and mount phase;


In addition, up to now, it has not been practiced in a free-flowing, unrehearsed, manner with resistance. Thus, IMO, it's better to learn BJJ where those elements can be trained.






To encourage further discussion on the number of topics brought up, this thread has been closed. The original questions/topics brought up have been addressed. Further inquiry and discussion into Dumog should be conducted in new discussions.


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Unfortunately, your exposure is limited. Dumog as I train and teach it covers all melee ranges with and without the use of weaponry. Entries, breaks, locks, takedowns, positioning is all par for the course. Like all FMA, flow is the key. If what you practiced didn't cover these things then you should seek someone out that can fill in the gaps.


OK what do you use to counter the shoot? What types of shoots/takedowns do you use? Have you trained them against a wrestler? If you have not at least tested them against a college level wrestler and had success you may find they don't work against trained resistance-based fighters. Beware of using 'in-house' method that haven't been stress tested.

What do you use in the standing grappling range. If your answer is 'breaks and locks' you will fail against a wrestler who does the collar tie-up, pummeling, and over/underhooks methods. Train those against college level grapplers or beware of the fail potential.\

I don't mean to be hyper-critical but your attitude seems to be 'cup too full' at first glance. 


Dumog is the stand up aspects of the filipino grappling up.. Buno is the ground work which comes after the tie up is done and the situation goes to the ground.. This is what the grappling arts of the Philippines consist of.

During the old days, if the individual tried to shoot in, he would be cut in one way or another.. Even the set up for the shoot, the attacker would be met with elbows and other strikes.. The filipino warrior was never unarmed as he had eight natural weapons that were also used as blades for counter offensive/defensive actions..

I mean no offense, but can't you bjj proponents ever see it? To "shoot" an actual vicious fighter could conceivably mean the end of life as you currently experience it. The world is full of people who don't practice play fighting, and to whom a fool who tries to seize their legs or waist is just a victim.... seriously. The are people (I am one) who would rather die than allow some guy to get them on the ground and pound their face to bloody jelly..possibly killing them .See? So if it happens, if that type of fighter DOES go down, someone is going to be seriously injured. ...rather be judged by 12, etc.

Your argument sounds a lot like the 'too deadly' to practice one of old. However, I'll give you your point and just say that feeling you can 'kill someone who tries to take you down' is no excuse for having no skill in that range, for failing to practice it, for pooh-poohing that type of encounter. 

You may carry razor blades on your elbows, a Predator-style shoulder cannon, Wild Bill Hickock six guns on your hip but you're just relying on your technology which can fail. You might drop your knives, run out of bullets in a melee and then where will you be with your 'too deadly' elbows? You don't -allow- (or disallow) someone to get you in ground fighting range. It just happens. It's up to you to decide if it's a skill you want to omit.

In Reply to this topic, I wanted to repost an article that I wrote some years ago concerning the empty hand aspects of the FMA

The Empty Hands of the Filipino Martial Arts

To most people and martial artists, the Filipino Martial Arts purely concentrate on the use of Sticks, Knives and Edged weapons. To those who have some knowledge of the arts know that it contains a large section of empty hand fighting skills.

We derive these empty hand skills from the movements with the weapons are taught within the framework of weapons techniques. For instance, the footwork and arm positioning used in a snake disarm would also be used in delivering an uppercut or hook punch to the ribs.


Footwork is one key thing that binds all the various fighting areas together. This is basically around a boxing format with the notable addition of the triangular footwork patterns. Any Kuntaoer will tell you, the footwork is the primary means of evasion to an attack.
They base Male and Female footwork around two triangles placed on the floor in the shape of an X. If you stand in the center point, the triangle growing away from you is the female triangle and the triangle going behind you is the male triangle. If you keep one foot in the center and step out into a boxing stance to one point or backwards keeping your lead foot in the center, you will gain the basic footwork.

If you add a large square around the X pattern you can then practice your step and slide around the X, then go through the X and make your own patterns up.
These patterns make up the shapes from either sticks placed on the floor or you can use tape to mark the pattern out with on the floor. Some Kuntaoers prefer the latter method as you can use differently colored tapes for the triangles and the square that make it easier to pick out a particular pattern if a particular form of footwork is to be practiced

Another important piece of footwork is that of the arrow. If you imagine a straight line attack Toward you, such as a right cross, is the shaft of an arrow of which you can step down either side of the arrowhead to avoid the attack.

Empty Hands(Panantukan)

The empty hand skills taught is essentially a modified boxing format with one key difference, the fighting range. In Western Boxing, the fighting range is from the end of the punching hand to your opponent’s chin. In the Filipino styles however, have their fighting measure from the end of the punching hand to a distance where you can attack the attacking limb. For example, where you can elbow strikes your opponents cross to prevent him from punching you again. Many of these movements are tied into the use of the knife, where evasive footwork and parries followed by an attack to the weapon hand is often preferred.

This limb destruction is also done by applying forward pressure to your opponent as you are preventing him from hitting you as effectively while you are closing your opponents attacking tools down, i.e., "Defanging the Snake.”

We have commonly done limb destruction with two tools at the upper body range, these being the hand and the elbow. The elbow is by far the more potent weapon in terms of destructive power, but, the only problem is unless you are attacking the hand, you have to close the gap to employ it.

The Three common methods in which the elbow is employed as a limb destructions are done by using the point of the elbow on the fingers of the fist, or driving into the bicep or pectoral.
The third method is a defense against a side kick as we can also drop the point of the elbow onto the side of the calf.

The major hand attacking method used in Limb Destruction is Gunting(Scissor type motion). This is where one hand parries an attack and your other hand attacks the limb which attacked you.

For Example:
Your opponent attacks with a Right Cross, you step to the outside of the punch, parry to you’re right with your left hand and you hit the nerve between the bicep and tricep with the knuckles of your right hand.

We can deliver the Gunting either horizontally, vertically and in either direction, up or down. The choice of a tool you use is up to you, as it can be done with the knuckles, back fist or knife hand.

One important thing to note with the use of the Gunting is that in certain situations you are open to very subtle counters which will probably destroy your own limb. This is where your opponent either drops or bends his elbow as you attack. They can apply this against you if you are attacking from the outside line or if you are attacking vertically upwards.

There are no blocks per se but as parries and evasions as used in boxing, these are often used with a limb destruction as described above. The different types of limb destructions include slapping blocks and jams to hinder your opponent while you setup your own counter. Twisting of the body is stressed to move your vital organs out of the line of attack and to present as small of a target as possible.

The elbow can be brought up to cover the side of the face while the arm covers the side of the head. If you step forward as you do this it can also be used as a strike to the pectoral or shoulder joint of your opponent.

The major striking tools are the fists as exhibited in boxing, and include the use of the hammerfist, knife hand, knuckles and elbow.

Flowing attacks are commonplace where once you close the gap you hit and hit until your opponent is incapacitated. Remember the art revolves around the flow, you must be like water, moving from one obstacle to the next, you go either through it or around it. This may be because most fights in the Philippines involved weapons and you could not afford to let your opponent gain the advantage over you.

You counter with the gunting as described above, then fingers jab your opponent with your right hand, wrench the attacking arm back as you deliver a left-hand elbow strike to the bicep, then grab the head and leg sweep your attacker to the floor and finish.

We can also apply your stick striking patterns into your empty hands, such as Heaven 6 by replacing the sticks with hammer fists or knife hands.

Empty hand skills are also taught against the stick and the knife, in terms of a street attack in the USA or Europe, you are probably more likely to face the knife and Eskrima has plenty or parries, evasions and tie ups for facing a knife attacker following up with strikes or disarms. We must stress, however, that these are desperate measures when all other options such as getting away from the area are not options. I recommend you see a qualified instructor, if you wish to learn these techniques.


Dumog is the Filipino form of wrestling which includes the use of Joint locks and Off balancing techniques. It is basically designed to keep your opponent from hitting you while are you hitting them.
A favorite technique is to use your forearm to wrench the bicep of an opponent down as this will drag your opponent’s upper body down enabling you to use head butts, elbows, take downs or locks. This technique is effective no matter how big your opponent is, if they happen to be quite a bit bigger, then step back slightly as you do it.

Locks are usually taught in a flow during Dumog, because this is done to help you flow from one technique to another and allows for quick recovery of follow up locks if your opponent escapes from the applied lock. The flow they that taught me begin with a basic one handed wrist lock and finishes with a figure four armlock, working up the arm from wrist to elbow to shoulder.

Locks are generally not sought after, but if there is an opening to use them, you should know how to apply them, there may also be a time when locking somebody is preferable, e.g., if a friend or relative is drunk and behaves irresponsibly, you may not want to take their head off. Many of the locks tend to dominate the head, because if the head is moving, the rest of the body will follow.

One main characteristic of Dumog throws is that they are not very easy to fall from, like Silat they often involve twisting and turning the opponent’s body during the throw. The aim is to cause as much damage as possible. Remember that there are no mats out there on the street, just good old coral, asphalt and concrete, so the harder your opponent falls, the more pain they are going to be in when they land.

Kicking (Panajakman/Sikiran)
The Filipino arts do not kick very high, instead they prefer to kick at waist level and below, the primary targets being the thigh, knee, and shin. The kicks are not very pretty to watch, but are delivered with body weight behind them and from punching range.

You may be asking yourself "Why from Punching Range?"., This is because at this distance, you will be trying to counter your opponents attack and the kicking techniques are used to distract your assailant, destroy his mobility and if possible take them to the floor. You should be able to put these low level kicks in while punching or locking.

Striking Tools

The most common Kicking tools are the Knee and sole of the foot, occasionally the ball of the foot is used. I have never seen the instep used this possibly being because the instep does not give you as much penetration of power.

Oblique Kick(Sipa) ‑ we deliver this with the sole of the foot, usually from the rear leg to the knee or the shin. This type of attack will cause instant pain and is intended to stop the forward motion of the attacker. This kick will also keep pressure on the opponent while allowing yourself time to maneuver into a better position.

Front / Point Kick ‑ The front kick is generally delivered with the ball of the foot or the toes. This gives more penetration to the kick. The kick can either be used as a straight attacking tool or as a counter attacking tool.

Knees ‑ The knee is primarily used to attack the thigh. The points to attack are the Sciatic Nerve ("Dead Leg"), the back of the thigh (Hamstring) and the front of the thigh. Kneeing the front of the thigh is usually done to stop your opponent moving forwards. This is not to say that obvious targets, such as the groin is not taken advantage of. The knee is also used in pushing attacks to off balance your opponent, this is done by pushing your opponent’s knee either to the outside of his body or by pushing the knee straight back. This is done with a foot trap to provide a lever.

Shins ‑ The shin is usually delivered in a roundhouse fashion, either to the side of the thigh, similar to a Muay Thai kick, or to the front of the thigh. This kick is usually delivered to help bend your opponent over. The kick to the front of the thigh is delivered from the side and is done with a trapping move to the arm.

Feet ‑ The feet are also used to apply trips and sweeps to the lower leg to put and opponent down. Stomping is also another viable form of attack, . As this, is usually done with another attack to keep your opponent off balance and confused. The heel is also used in a hooking type of kick to attack the rear of an opponent’s leg, and this would be to the Knee, Calf or Ankle.

The preferred targets are the knee and the shin. The knee if pushed from either side is very easy to collapse and will result in your opponent falling. The shin is very easy to target and can cause a lot of pain if kicked with boots or shoes.


As you can see, there is more to the empty hand side of the Filipino Martial Arts than meets the eye. The only level of combat not really covered is the horizontal grappling / ground fighting area. The Filipino Martial arts are as diverse as the individual who undertakes the study of a particular system. The Fighting arts of the Philippines have always encompassed the thought of using what is available and applicable, but we also discard what is not feasible or does not fit in the development of your own self defense system.

Thanks for the contribution Bill! 

I would add that we, as a system/style, do cover the 'horizontal' aspects.

He didn't say he doesn't practice that range or that he omits those skills.  He said his approach is different.  His intent and tactics aim to permanently incapacitate the attacker - not submit him. He did not mention weapons.

FMA movements, concepts, and principles are universal.  They do not teach a dependence on weapons or ranges, but a freedom to understand all aspects and ranges.  Some systems may have missed the boat as with any endeavor, but that is not true as a whole.  :)

To me the important elements are the methods of practice, and especially those which make the art work for the weakest proponents (females), how the transitions between ranges are made and practiced and how the system is stress tested. Some elements of integration of weapons make the FMA a very (potentially) robust system. Those same elements can lead one down a path of ornamentation as we all are aware.

How do you practice knife sparring (for example). There is a unique and functional system which makes it all work but few understand the principles and the methods. Yet they will take 8" live blades and go out and swipe at each other and assume they're learning to knife fight. People fail to be able to break things down into functional parts because they have a bit of hubris about their art (and rightly so, FMA is amazing).

I agree completely!

Mr. Malmo, Your clear understanding of my point  is not surprising based upon what I know of you...Yeah, weapons are whatever one has in the shower, as I learned years ago when practicing with blades.I was taught that if I dropped it, forget it, and move on, period. I had a training partner who was a cop, and his life was his gun and club, tonfa, whatever..I learned much by seeing him lose all physical confidence when forced to go empty-hand. 

It may sound like that "too dangerous to practice" b.s...  but that's not the way I see it.

Close combat is inevitable....It's a skill I cultivate, not omit. Neither does my practice involve  "Pooh-poohing that type of encounter".....It's a real thing, fights go to the ground, but why make it the first choice (as so many bjj players do)? Constantly practicing to pull guard is absurd, because we do...what...we...practice.

So: I can't practice killing you at close range but I CAN practice HOW to kill you...A fine distinction. Picture learning the garotte for example, or knife-based sentry removal..It's the same principle.

I agree, Mr Johnson, that there are many things about traditional martial practice that can be improved, and all the arts have specific blind spots....but so does bjj, and all its offshoots.

The mature combat artist needs to recognize what type of practice is genuinely trying to approximate reality, and what type is pretending to do so, and is based on hoping your opponent fights "fair".



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