Rare Fighting Styles

Written by k.t. parker
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Rare Fighting Styles
All cultures have developed methods for self-defence. (Chinese Kongfu image by huaxiadragon from Fotolia.com)

Learning to fight can be an effective way to stay physically fit and relieve stress, while also learning self-defence. Some styles of fighting deal mainly with physical moves, but others also include a core of spirituality. Some commonly known varieties of fighting styles include boxing, kung fu and wrestling, but some fighting styles are relatively unknown to Western culture, including Kapu Kuialua, Eskrima and Pak Mei.

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Kapu Kuialua

Kapu Kuialua, also called Kuialua or just Lua, originated in Hawaii, and was first taught to royalty. It was illegal to teach a commoner the art of Lua. Kapu Kuialua means "forbidden way to fight" in the Hawaiians' native language. The style emphasises joint locks and a series of strikes, with the intent of breaking bones. Lua techniques include boxing, kicks, throws, dirty fighting and the use of weapons, including hoe lei-o-mano (oar), maka pâhoa (double-edged dagger) and ka'ane (strangling cord). A kumu is a trained instructor of Lua, and an olohe is a master.


Eskrima is a Filipino martial arts style that originated to train large numbers of Filipinos how to defend themselves against conquistadors, using little besides their bodies and sticks. The techniques are usually easy to learn, but the style is complex enough that fighters must take many years to learn every nuance. Eskrima has three styles. The short form, or Kadena de Mano, is the first learnt, followed by the medium form, Inayan Serrada, and finally, Inayan Largo, or the long form. Once students master all three separately, they learn how to integrate them.

Pak Mei

Pak Mei--also known as White Eyebrow--is a form of kung fu invented by a Shaolin monk named Pak Mei, who was also called White Eyebrow. Moviegoers might recognise this style from the movie "Kill Bill." Pak Mei fuses Taoist and Shaolin kung fu into a distinctive fighting style. The student is known as a tou dai, while the master instructor is called sifu. The technique emphasises the science of fighting along with focusing one's life energy (chi) to maintain good health. Pak Mei calls for a perfect balance of six elements--the hands, neck, waist, back, teeth and stance. Pak Mei is a short- and medium-range fighting style, with fast, balanced strikes.

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