The most damaging range in the Filipino Martial Arts is trapping range. You can barrage your opponent with knees, elbows, headbutts, low line kicks, stomps, sweeps and standing choke outs. In the Filipino Martial Arts, trapping doesn't just refer to techniques, but to the range itself. When an animal is trapped in a cage, it cannot move forward, backward or side to side. This is what the opponent will feel like against a trapper. Trapping range is reached when two fighters start our in boxing range, where all the punching takes place. The two fighters now get into a clinch where they are both too close to punch. This is trapping range, where muscle destruction's, hand immobilization's, knees, elbows and headbutts take place. While in trapping range, you will be using a lot of forward pressure while you are hitting. It is very hard to defend against all these strikes when you are being forced to back pedal.
There are also many different hand trapping and immobilizing techniques in Kali. When an opponent tries to block a strike, that block can be turned into a devastating trap. Kali has traps that will cross an opponents hands, so that he can't block any more. These traps are very similar to Wing-Chun Kung Fu. When the opponents hands are trapped, the Kali man can then headbutt, knee and elbow. Hand trapping almost always follows some type of muscle or nerve destruction. Hand trapping skills are important to offset an opponents blocks. An opponents block is referred to as an obstruction, and Kali teaches you to remove these obstructions, or go around them. This training enables you to hit your opponent at the same time you are immobilizing his arms. The best traps will have are tying up your opponents two arms with just one of yours. Now, you can strike with all of your close range weapons, while his arms are trapped.
TRAPPING COMES FROM THE WEAPON
The bulk of the trapping in the Filipino Martial Arts, comes from the single and double dagger systems. The Filipino's believe that if you can trap with the weapon, your empty hand trapping will be enhanced. The empty hand, and the knife, both seek the same path, destroying and removing obstructions. The main difference between being armed and unarmed, is that in trapping range, the empty hand needs a solid hit, but the knife just has to graze the opponent to cause damage. In a stick fight, two combatants can clash and not have enough room to swing. This is the range where the two fighters can trap the hand or the weapon. Headbutts, knees, and elbows will also fly in this situation.
TRAPPING VS GRAPPLING
Trapping skill can help against fighting a grappler or wrestler. Whenever the grappler tries to grab you, you must control center line, and let the elbows, knees and headbutts fly. A wrestler or streetfighter can't grab, lock or throw you while he is being barraged with these shots. Unlike punches or kicks, knees, elbows, and headbutts almost always break the skin when they hit the face or head.
TRAPPING RANGE TOOLS
In the Filipino Martial Arts, elbows are usually thrown in combination. A Kali man can hit in combination with both elbows at an incredible speed. The main targets for the elbows are the hands, the bicep or tricep, the deltoid, the collarbone, and the face and head. The elbow is also used to defend against kicks or knees.
The knee attack is usually aimed at the nerve in the thigh or at the groin. After the knee is throw, the foot can then stomp down on your opponents instep. The knee is also thrown in fast combinations while your upper body is striking.
The headbutt can be the most damaging weapon in trapping range. The headbutt is always performed with the top of the head.
The general rule of headbutting is if you see your target, you're positioning is wrong." The headbutt is aimed at the eyes, cheek, mouth and nose. It can be used as a defense to a grab or while your opponents hands are trapped.
Foot sweeping is another tool used in trapping range. One of the best times to sweep your opponent is when you are in trapping range and he covers his face with his hands. It is hard to score when your opponent covers up, so you can just re-route your attack to the low line and sweep out one of his legs. A sweep can also follow a knee to the thigh to weaken his balance.
There are also may standing chokes done in trapping range. While you have your opponents hands immobilized, you can use your free hand to perform one of many lapel chokes. Lapel chokes and other standing chokes can be found in such arts as Kali, Jiu Jitsu and Judo.
So you see, in long or midrange, the only tools you have are punches, or kicks. In Kali trapping range, you have elbows, headbutts, knees, stomps, sweeps, chokes and bites. These tools combined with lots of forward pressure makes a very formidable opponent. Trapping range is the range most people aren't familiar with. It is very important to be able to function in close range. When most fighters clash in midrange, the fight usually ends up on the ground. Learning Kali's trapping range, will give any Martial Artist, a whole new way of looking at combat.