Panantukan, more commonly known as Filipino boxing employs all the upper body weapons to neutralise an opponent. The art, traditionally practiced without gloves, allows the practitioner to employ various parts of his body (fist, forearm,elbow) to neutralise parts of the opponents' body. This is more commonly known as limb destruction. By striking various nerve points and muscle tissue, partial paralysis occurs in the affected limb, thereby making it useless in combat. However, Panantukan also employs other weapons such as the shoulder (for ramming) and the head (for striking). Strikes are also not limited to the limbs. The ribs, spine, and the back of the neck are all valid targets in this art. Its value is proven in the many techniques that are found in Eskrima, Arnis and other weapon based styles which are derived from Panantukan, the most common being the limb destruction.


Panantukan ("Dirty Boxing") is the empty handed boxing component of Filipino Martial Arts. Many of the techniques and movements are derived from Eskrima/Kali (Filipino blade and stick fighting). The art primarily consists of upper-body striking techniques such as punches, elbows, head-butts, shoulder strikes, and groin punches, but it also includes low-line kicks and knee strikes to the legs, shins, and groin. Some camps choose to group this kicking aspect into the art of Pananjakman, which relies on kicking and only uses the arms defensively. Common striking targets include the biceps, triceps, the eyes, nose, jaws, temples, the back of the neck, the ribs, and spine, as well as the "soft tissue" areas in the body. Panantukan prefers parries and deflections over blocks, as it is not known whether or not the opponent has a bladed weapon. As such, emphasis is put on minimizing contact from the opponent (in other words, one does not "eat" punches or absorb them the way a Western boxer would). Panantukan is normally not taught alone; instead it is part of the curriculum of an Eskrima or Kali school. Some Eskrima schools neglect this aspect almost completely, while a few schools solely teach the boxing art, though this is quite rare.

Philosophically, it is very similar to other forms of street-oriented kickboxing in that it emphasizes practicality; Dan Inosanto, Bruce Lee's star pupil and partner, integrates aspects of panantukan into his interpretation of Lee's Jeet Kune Do, and many concepts from panantukan and the Filipino Martial Arts are found in several Jeet Kune Do Concepts systems today (such as Paul Vunak's PFS). Since it is not a sport but rather a street-oriented fighting system, the techniques have not been adapted for safety or conformance to a set of rules for competition, thus it has a reputation as "dirty street fighting".

Panantukan is the system used in the fight scenes of the Bourne Trilogy.

Limb Destruction

Panantukan focuses on countering an opponent's strike with a technique that will nullify further attack by hitting certain nerve points, bones, and muscle tissue to cause immediate partial paralysis of the attacking limb. Common limb destructions include guiding incoming straight punches into the defending fighter's elbow to shatter the knuckles (secoh), or striking the incoming limb in the biceps to inhibit the opponent's ability to use that arm for the remainder of the fight (biceps destruction). Limb destructions in panantukan are also known as gunting techniques, named so for the scissors-like motions that describe how the practitioner isolates or stops the attacking limb from one side and executes the destruction from the other. Perhaps gunting more aptly refers to the bladed weapons aspect of Kali/Filipino Martial Arts in which these techniques were used to trap, cut, or sever the opponent's hands, forearms, and head. Whereas original Jeet Kune Do emphasizes intercepting incoming strikes, panantukan and Jeet Kune Do Concepts add destructions to the fighter's arsenal.

Body Manipulation

Panantukan uses arm wrenching, shoving, shoulder ramming, and other off-balancing techniques in conjunction with punches and kicks to push, twist and turn the opponent's body with the goal of exposing a more vulnerable area to strike, such as the neck, jaw and temples. An example technique could include trapping the attacker's arm and quickly yanking it down to bring the attacker's head down and forward, exposing him to a head butt or knee strike to the head. Panantukan borrows techniques from Dumog, the Filipino upright wrestling art, for most body manipulations.

Angles and Switching Leads

Practitioners of panantukan often use the angles outlined in Kali to evade and parry incoming strikes and to attack the opponent from an outside angle where he is less able to defend against strikes. Practitioners constantly switch fighting leads to exploit different angles of attack and to maintain flow. The fighter will often use a finishing strike or kick in a combination to step into the new lead. Footwork is of upmost importance for these techniques, and as such, fighters generally invest much time into practicing Kali stick fighting drills and combinations.

Speed, Flow, and Rhythm

Panantukan emphasizes speed in striking, with the intent of overwhelming the adversary with a flurry of attacks. Practitioners will rarely cease striking, opting to string together indefinite combinations of sometimes radically differing strikes and body manipulations to make successful defense a relative impossibility. Such a strategy is also employed in the Wing Chun and Jeet Kune Do "straight blast" and the Muay Thai elbow "blitz."

Another central concept in panantukan is “flow”. Flow is achieved through using speed to quickly and continuously execute strikes and maneuvers, through switching leads and angling to expose new angles and lines of attack, and through the ability to perform a strike from multiple angles and positions. A practitioner may throw a punch or kick from any angle (high, low, overhead, underhand, back fist, hammer fist, etc) in order to maintain his offense; the fighter does not "reset" himself after each strike or combination and thus denies the opponent an easy opening for a counterattack.

As with the other combat arts of the Philippines, panantukan has a close connection to the tribal rhythm of the drum, and it often pays mind to beat and tempo. In panantukan, the rhythm can be broken or changed to the advantage of the commanding fighter. The goal is to "steal the beats” or interrupt the rhythm of the opponent, exploiting the opponent's chances for attack to initiate a counterattack. This concept differentiates panantukan from most of Western sport boxing, which relies on the steady exchange of blows, covers, evasions, and counter-punches to establish the fight's cadence.

Many strikes in panantukan are said to be performed on "half-beats," or in between the major strikes of a combination, so as to disorient and overwhelm an opponent, increasing the opportunity for more devastating strikes. An example of this could be performing a swift slap or eye strike after throwing a jab with the same hand in a standard jab-cross-hook combination; the eye strike both disrupts the defense against and masks the incoming cross. Additionally, low-line kicks often come in on the “half-beats” in between boxing combinations to further injure and disorient the opponent.

Close Association with Weaponry

While panantukan is designed to allow an unarmed practitioner to engage in both armed and unarmed confrontations, it easily integrates the use of small weapons such as daggers, wooden slivers, and palmsticks. These weapons give a potentially fatal edge to many of panantukan's already brutal techniques, but do not fundamentally change how the techniques are executed. Daggers used in panantukan tend to be small, easily concealed and unobtrusive, and alternative designs such as the claw-shaped kerambit are often preferred.



Training Basics

Shadow boxing


Shadow boxing serves many purposes to our training. It offers a chance to warm up the muscles, get the body coordinated and the mind focused. It is a tool for self analyzation of movement. Feeling our way through techniques repeatedly increases muscle memory and smoothes transitions from techniques and combinations. Every technique used can be shadow boxed against an imaginary target. Creativity and visualization are utilized and developed as we express our techniques.


Individual technique and Combinations


Partner training


Every technique and combination that is shadow boxed can be used with a partner. Although care  must be taken not to strike or injure our partners. To aid in approximating an actual target and simulate an opponent, drills are done with a feeder and a responder. Particular responses are developed against various attacks and counters. Having a moving partner gives us the feel and tactile reinforcement that helps develop more realistic technique.
Focus mitt training


The same techniques and combinations used above are repeated but with the addition of focus mitts and bag gloves we can actually have our partner hold for techniques we can hit with force. The drills with focus mitts closely resemble the partner drills with some deviation for safety and economy of motion. This are of training is where we can cut loose and really go at it.


Basic Attacks/De fences
Boxing hand strikes, with an emphasis on non gloved techniques: Rick Faye has described the techniques of Panantukan as "everything that is in western boxing and everything that is illegal(not allowed) in boxing. The art is a loosely systematic method of street fighting. I use the term "loosely" because we are not taught regimented classes that progress with belts, katas and such. Rick teaches the individual techniques, puts them together in drills that are designed to teach offense and defense, accounting for the free hands, and utilizing body position manipulation for advantage and strong follow up or finishes.  It is not a sport in the western sense. Though it is  said that in the Philippines they consider it more sport oriented than say, Kali knife fighting because no one is getting cut!
hair pulling
head push/manipulation
eye gouging, ear rake or slap
Elbows, knees, foot stomp, head butts
Foot Work
Escala foot work, many variations
Emphasis on both leads, switching leads
in response to opponent, avoidance or better attacking angle
to position opponent in a causal manor-proactive-shove into advantageous position

Hu Bud (close range striking and parrying drills) trains a reflex response to stimuli of varying angles and pressure.
with punch to catch, left and right side
switches; A. catch on inside, pull to outside (shoulder), push / thrust. partner wedges, pats and now punches with opposite hand. B option to push / thrust: as arm extends grab and elbow break pat and punch. (or elbow biceps, backhand, wedge, pat and punch; C catch, elbow fist, backhand, wedge, pat and hit.
with punch to parry inside, outside
wedge switch
high-low wedge switch
arm drag inside, outside
elbows feed repeating elbows each side


Gun-ting (scissoring destructions, stop hits)
Other destructions
raking elbow: Used to snap across target
jamming elbow: Combination of elbow and cover, a salute movement; attacks limbs, chest, or head
Body manipulations
Arm drag/dumag
head push/rotate
hair pulling
foot stomp/push
Destructions in conjunction with above or intercepting (elbow, knees)


Basic Combinations (Done in both leads): Usually consist of individual techniques linked together like the notes of a song, played in both left and right lead. Different pieces are strong together to simulate different reactions or counters. Most techniques are shadow boxed to give a good warm up and familiarize the movements then the same (or as similar as possible) movements are punched out on the focus mitts.
Jab, Cross, Hook x2
Jab, Cross, Uppercut x2
Jab, Cross, Body Hook x2
Jab, Cross, Backfist(or hammer fist, knife hand, etc) w/step through, Cross, Hook, Cross x2


Basic Gunting Combinations
Outside Gun-ting
Catch the Jab, Outside Gun-ting the inside of the Cross; Cross, Hook, Cross
Catch the Jab, Outside Gun-ting the inside of the Cross; Backfist and step forward(lead switch), Cross, Hook, Cross
Repeat with Elbow at end of sequence. Thrown from the lead arm.
After the Gunting the lead arm snaps into a lead Elbow. I.e. left lead, left elbow. Then Cross, Hook, Cross.
Second sequence, after gunting step out and new lead arm does a "waslik" (throw the arm away) and brushes off same side limb, and snaps across with an elbow followed by a lead backfist then Cross, Hook, Cross
Catch the Jab, Outside gunting the inside of the Cross; Lead gunting hand captures limb and salute/elbow the limb(wrist, forearm, biceps, shoulder), chest or face. The more traditional combination elbows the biceps, followed by a scoop and uppercut, a pull and backfist, and Cross, Hook, Cross.
Outside to Inside Guntings
Outside gunting to the jab, Inside gunting to the cross, lead backfist(or eye thumb, face push, arm check, etc) and cross, hook, cross. x2(switch leads)
Basic Combinations Versus the Upper Cut
Alternating Elbow / forearm parries on same side (take on elbow for intercepting destruction, can be used like an intercepting hook-jab so that fist hits to body while arm takes deflection, or just deflect)  Followed by "hand in" to manipulate head. The last checking hand raises to opposite side of opponents face, ideally palm up( if it just checked the Upper Cut it already is) so that crook of wrist/thumb matches nicely at jaw line, and push for head manipulation. Although as usual it doesn't have to be an upward facing "hand in". It can be a back hand hammer fist to face or neck, a forearm smash to same, a karate chop, whatever works.
Forearm parry on same side followed by scoop to opposite side (your hand is already half way there!) followed by uppercut, elbow to biceps into lead backfist, rear cross, hook, cross. It's sooo pretty!
The stifle is a simple drop of your hand to catch the incoming upper cut followed by an immediate punch. It doesn't have to stop it necessarily stop it altogether, just prevent it from connecting. The upward inertia of the uppercut helps throw your hand back up into the opponents face. It should look like it almost bounces down and across to the target.
Alternating stifle and hit on same side, followed by lead backfist, cross-hook-cross.
Alternating cross stifle and hit on opposite side