CASAS means Combative and Sportive Arnis System, designed by Guro Melecio O. Balberde and Guro Lino B. Baldevarona. Arnis or Eskrima is often misunderstood by non-practitioners of the Filipino Martial arts. They thought that Arnis training is confined to the used of sticks only. On the contrary Arnis is a complete system of Martial Arts.
Arnis System is unusual because the practitioner begins by learning armed combat and progress to unarmed fighting skills that includes boxing, kicking, grappling and trapping. CASAS is actually a system of Arnis training which utilizes modern and scientific approach in training students in acquiring self-defense techniques and skills in Arnis sport competitions. What makes CASAS unique is that it begins training the practitioner with the use of two sticks.
CASAS teaches twenty four variations of Sinawali movements designed by Guro Mel O. Balberde to enhance good coordination in both right and left hand. Mel believes that good coordination plays an important role in sports competition as well as in real combat. After learning the basics of the Sinawali movements the students are taught the basics strikes using single stick, and progresses to defenses and counters and disarming and locking techniques. After learning the single stick as weapon, the students will learn the Espada y Daga, and then the Filipino style of knife fighting. Knife fighting include dagger versus dagger, empty hand versus dagger. After learning these skills, practitioners are taught to apply the movements of hands with weapons to empty hand fighting techniques.
Arnis in itself is already a mixed system of martial arts which uses sticks as main weapon. It also employs mano y mano or empty hand techniques which uses almost all parts of the body, like the fist used in boxing and other martial arts, kicking or sikaran, head butting, elbow strikes, grappling, and dumog or the Filipino wrestling. The CASAS therefore utilizes the use of boxing focus gloves, punching and kicking bags, kicking pads and shields and also using traditional equipment to enhance the development and sharpening of skills. Traditionally, serious Arnis practitioners become expert in using bladed weapons both offensively and defensively. The CASAS will also give emphasis in teaching self defense techniques using bladed weapons like knives and bolos/machetes.
CASAS recognizes that Arnis sport is a good avenue wherein an Arnis practitioner can express his learned skills in Arnis. Though it is different in a real combat, it will encourage students to become very disciplined, sharpen their skills, and also promote unity through the spirit of sportsmanship. It is in this notion th at CASAS will help in promoting Arnis sports which are already established by other organizations like the International Modern Arnis Federation, Arnis Philippines Inc., and other Arnis international and local organizations.
CASAS training methods include Aerobic exercises such as running, skipping and jumping ropes, and other exercises that are designed to develop stamina. Besides practicing coordination exercises with the use of sticks, CASAS will also employ flexibility exercises to enhance good coordination and timing in delivering different techniques whether in actual combat or in sports.