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EventsMay 03, 2022

Filipino Club and RAWC host Escrima Lessons

Written By: Samantha Contreras

Thanks to a partnership between a student club and a passionate professional, students at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith had the opportunity to learn about escrima, a form of traditional Filipino martial arts, throughout the spring semester.

“Since January, we’ve been doing these workshops every month,” said Filipino Club Vice President Jonathan Schafer, a sophomore media communication major. 

Army Sgt. First Class Richard Ly, an area resident of Filipino descent, volunteered to offer the escrima lessons. He describes escrima as “one of the oldest Filipino martial arts from the Philippines that still exists today.”

“I donate my time to assist the Filipino Club of UAFS to preserve and perpetuate Filipino Culture,” he said.

According to Ly, throughout history, escrima practitioners used sticks, blades or impact weapons, and hand-to-hand techniques for special operations and jungle warfare. Escrima's style of combat has been lauded by experts for its effectiveness in war. 

“The style I teach is called Serrada Escrima,” said Ly. “It is the first Filipino martial arts to be openly taught to non-Filipinos in the United States.” 

Students interested to learn more about advanced escrima lessons may contact Ly at (479) 437-4005.