The world of Martial Arts has evolved and changed with the passage of time. Countless techniques and forms have been introduced along with various weapons that fit into the right hands. The concept of weaponry, especially applies to this variety of martial arts, known by many as none other than 'Libre Fighting', which makes use of knife fighting for quick and lethal attacks.
Introduced in 2004 by martial artist Scott Babb, this technique makes use of its close-quarters advantages and is described by Babb himself as, "a creative way to stab someone". In fact, majority of its skills are inspired by martial arts from the Philippines - Kali in particular. Since the aforementioned relies on intricate strikes which are done in a vicious manner, it became a key component in Libre Fighting's inception. Also, with the technique and weapon-in-use for this art, it's not hard to imagine why Babb described it as such.
When it comes to Libre Fighting, the use of a smaller knife, according to Babb, is an ideal way to handle this art. Since the focus is to strike specifically the vital areas of the opponent, the use of a smaller knife is of utmost importance. Also, what makes a smaller knife ideal is that it's made to be convenient for self-defense, which is also a core principle in the art of Libre Fighting. The inception of Libre Fighting made waves around the world, particularly in certain countries in Asia.
Since its inception 13 years ago, this martial art has spread considerably in countries like the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Mexico, Bosnia, and most notably, the Philippines. In fact, Libre Fighting has proven to be a perfect match for our country as its form deviates from the ancient Filipino martial art, Kali.
Libre in the Philippines has certainly made its mark among practitioners, especially with its history in close-quarters combat. In the past, Filipino martial arts were made crucial in times of war, especially during the Filipino-American war. Since the troops were trained in guerilla warfare, Filipinos used the martial art of Kali to their advantage as numerous American soldiers fell victim to the art.
To give a brief overview of the martial art, Kali (or Arnis) was first popularized by none other than the Grandmaster Antonio "Tatang" Illustrisimo. In the Philippines, Illustrisimo practiced martial arts, especially Kali, at a young age under the tutelage of his father and other relatives. By the time of his death in 1997 (at the age of 95), the Filipino martial art was already known as one of the Philippines' native forms of combat, with over 100 practitioners using it to this today. And with the introduction of Libre Fighting in the Philippines, knife fighting has become more than what it's called.
Nowadays, Libre in the Philippines has garnered a substantial amount of followers and students. Thanks to Scott Babb, numerous Filipinos have been educated on the principles of these martial arts. Because of Libre, every notion on self-defense has evolved into something more.
Living by the blade is one of the strong warrior codes every fighter abides. But with what Libre can teach its followers, surviving through time is a definite guarantee.