How does Atienza Kali differ from other Kali systems? Atienza Kali is a Filipino weapons-based system conceptualized here in the States vs. at home on the island. Kali was taught to the Atienza Tuhons (Allain, Carl, & Darryl) by their father (Edgar “Butch” Atienza) and largely focused on multi-opponent combat; how to fight a group and how to fight in a group were some principle concepts.
Many of the differences in this system are truly seen during the transfer of knowledge. Where many traditional drills repeat with no end, AK teaches the students how to evolve their movement, many times injecting the knowledge without the students even knowing that the transfer of knowledge is being communicated. AK uses systems such as Targeting Chains and Evolutions. Targeting Chains allow student to correctly identify proper targets on the body. Repetition of this helps with muscle memory and action to turn into reaction. Once established the TC’s are then practiced in motion; this helps the student apply the movements in coordination with the blade further enhanced by performing with footwork in an hourglass formation.
All of this is practiced prior to a two man evolution where the particular TC is broken down between two people. Evolutions are based off of specific fighter types. This enables a student to feel how an exchange can take place. There are multiple evolutions all with a specific purpose during a student’s course of study. Through out the course of study students will learn Mass Attack Strategies, Projectiles, Force Anchor Strategy, and Fighter types.
This heavily influenced system pays tribute to those who have fought many battles.
Guro Lenhaven Williams has been studying Filipino martial arts since 1993. He began studying Atienza Kali in 2009. Guro Len believes that "if you are interested in studying a proven urban, contemporary martial art, choose Atienza Kali".