For Filipino Martial Arts, weapon strikes are also included aside from empty hands strike. Reason being the Filipino Martial Arts heavily uses weapons for training. Even though the most common training weapon used is the rattan stick the term "weapon" can also refer to short weapon (knife, karambit, dulo dulo, balisong, etc) , long weapon (swords, bolo, parang, kukri, etc), empty hand (fist, knife hand, elbow, knee, kick, etc), improvised weapon (umbrella, bags, pens, handkerchief, etc) and other form of martial arts weapon.
Almost all martial arts has strikes and striking techniques, there are many strike and combination of strikes in martial arts that utilizes parts of the body ranging from punches, kicks, back fist, knife hand, elbow, and knee among others. It can start as a single strike then develops to two, three and four combination strikes until it becomes multiple strikes.
Basic building block of a Strike
Strike comes in different forms, angles and ranges. As to angles, there are diagonal strikes, horizontal strikes, circular strikes, and frontal strikes just to name a few. As for ranges, there are long range strikes like slash, mid-range strikes like snap strikes, short range strikes like and thrusting and butting. As diversified as the striking form may be, it boils down to the three basic forms of weapon striking: the straight, forehand and backhand forms. When a weapon strike is done it will take 1 of the three basic forms. Forehand refers to the form where you can see the hands, while backhand is the form where you can see the back of the hands while it is holding the weapon.
Strikes numbering system
Using numbers to refer to strikes or angles of attack in Filipino Martial Arts is very effective since the practitioner usually memorizes the strike and the number associated with it while the instructor also uses it when referring to a strike when teaching a student. Strike numbering serves as a shortcut when referring to a strike, so rather than saying "upper left diagonal slash strike" or "downward diagonal strike to the left temple" once the student knows the strike number, the instructor can say "number 1" instead of the long strike name. The term "numerada" actually refers to the numbering system that means calling a strike number and the student will react to it by doing the strike associated with that number.
It is very common in Filipino Martial Arts to use numbers when referring to a strike. Usually the number refers to an angle of attack in a particular style or system. Even though almost all systems has the same types of strikes, the sequential numbering of the angles of attack are were most systems differs. Aside from differing in angles of attack, there are styles or system that differs in the number of strikes. There are styles that have 3 strikes, while others has 5 strikes and still others have 12 strikes. The12 strikes are the common to most systems.
Strikes and Striking systems
Another resemblance and/or difference that can be observed in Filipino Martial Arts styles are the strikes that are commonly used within that style. There are styles that are built on certain type of strike that almost immediately defines the kind of style being used. For example, there are styles that focuses mainly on snap strikes that is often referred to as "witik" strike. Given the range of the witik strike that is for medium to close range, the styles and system that uses this almost immediately becomes mid to close range styles. On the other hand, there are styles that focus on slashing strikes. Slashing or follow through strikes like Rompida, Otso (Figure 8), Banda y Banda, can be considered as long range strikes so almost all styles that uses this strikes are considered as long range styles. Another common example would be the fanning strikes that are heavily utilized by the Abaniko style.