Welcome to Heartland Eskrima School


Eskrima (also called Escrima, Arnis or Kali) is the general name for the martial arts of the Philippines. Heartland School of Eskrima and Self-Defense exists to promote and keep alive the native martial arts of the Philippine Islands. Our primary goal is to train students in methods of self-defense that are realistic, practical and effective, and provide students a safe environment in which to fully test their skills. Training at Heartland Eskrima School emphasizes preparing the student to be a teacher who is able to branch off in his or her own direction with integrity.

The Inayan System of Eskrima, founded by Mangisursuro Michael G. Inay (1944-2000), and continuing today under the leadership of his son and heir to the system, Suro Jason Inay, is one example of a system of Eskrima. There are literally hundreds, and possibly thousands, of different styles and systems of Eskrima being practiced today.

Guro Kristine Strasburger received her foundational martial training in the Inayan System of Eskrima. She has also published several articles on Eskrima.

Most styles of Eskrima are weapons-based, traditionally using rattan sticks as the primary training tool for both stick and blade combat. For example:

  • Some styles such as Serrada and Dequerdas (or Decuerdas) primarily employ a single medium-length stick.
  • Styles such as Sinawali often use two sticks of equal, longer length.
  • Long-range styles such as Larga Mano use a single longer-length stick.
  • Styles like Espada y Daga use a medium and a short stick (or blades) together.
  • Styles such as Kadena de Mano are primarily empty-hand styles.

All of these styles have distinctive aspects beyond their range and weapon employment, making the expression of Eskrima a highly individualistic martial art form.

Systems of Eskrima differ from styles in that a system is a compilation of several styles being taught under one individual, family, school or organization. The styles within a system are usually kept distinct, and are taught in such a way as to interconnect them so that the practitioner learns to flow between styles seamlessly as the situation dictates.

Instruction at Heartland School of Eskrima and Self-Defense includes balanced training in all distance ranges and all weapons combinations, including empty-hand defense. Training is done outdoors whenever possible, frequently under nighttime and low-light conditions. Live-blade training is introduced and practiced according to individual student ability at instructor discretion.