Machete Methods

“Steel seeks flesh, Stick seeks bone”; a common phrase heard in most old school weapon-based fighting systems.

Unlike depicted in the movies where swords flash and attacks are blocked and countered with another block, real blade fights (and stick fights) among competent practitioners do not last long. There are no beautifully choreographed moves, no high kicks, no summersault flips; it is like a game of chess where your moves have to be precise, economic and planned in advance but all dependent on your opponent’s next move for it to be executed perfectly.

No matter which culture you are from a "blade master" never lets the edge of his blade touches another blade edge without reason. He will most often use his empty hands to control or check his opponent OR use the flat or blunt part of his blade offensively to create an opening or defensively to invite an attack.

Hollywood and Hong Kong movies has instilled false perception among the public and a handful of martial artist that sword fights are commonly done by trading blows and blocks. In ancient times, weather it be in Japan, China, Indonesia, or India; a sword is crafted to its masters’ criteria, and it usually stays with its master for life and even handed down from father to son, especially if it has been used in battle. Unlike in the present time, in the olds days steel, especially good steel are not easily obtained and if it is, it is only affordable to the more privileged. The perception of using the edge of the blade to block another blade is one of the many things in my seminar I address as something that should be avoided. Reasons being;

1. You will chip and dull your blade affecting its cutting ability,

2. A chipped blade creates a stress-point, multiple stress-points increases the risk of the blade to break if hit repetitively in battle or practise.

3. Flying debris or shards of metal from the blade might fly toward you.

4. A damaged blade is not a reliable weapon if you are fighting againts multiple opponents.


In The Video

The counters done could finish off the fight, but for the sake of flowing and understanding body mechanics and momentum, the attacker continues to attack freely without stopping on every counter.

Take notice that the defender’s empty hand moves independently checking and redirecting every attack creating openings for blade entries.

Counters are done with multiple slashes and hacking movements. Unlike Japanese sword arts, the “one blow, one kill” concept do not exist in SSBD. We destroy the attacker’s “fighting spirit” by aiming for arteries and vulnerable parts for a slow and painful death or tendons and joints to disable. If man dies too quickly he can’t contemplate on his mistakes.


The methods presented are used by ancient malay warriors of Borneo and those under its rule. It does not depict the mind-set of present day Brunei. The presentation is just to show why olden days Bruneian warriors are efficient in what they do.

My appreciation to Sensei Marco Guy for being my reciever.


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