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AMOK Vs Sayoc

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  • AMOK Vs Sayoc

    If I would have the possibility to train either AMOK or Sayoc and if I mainly was interested in the use of the knife, which system should I choose?

    The same question as above, but If I also was interested in unarmed combat, which should I choose?

    If you'r able to answer on this questions, please write your reason to the specific choise!!


  • #2
    I have trained in AMOK and I really liked it. I have trained in Arnis as well and found the knife training in AMOK to be very reality based compared to most other weapons oriented systems I have trained in.

    Since I have only limited experience with Sayoc I cannot comment on its practicality or functionality but as for AMOK I found it both practical and functional.


    • #3
      darrianation thanks for you input! Strange that there aren't anybody else that have any ideés about this topic.

      Have you seen any of AMOK's unarmed combat, and how is it compared "other" styles of unarmed combat you have seen?

      Could I ask you which kind of Arnis have are you training?



      • #4
        I train in traditional Arnis (Cinco Terros, Doce Terros, muslim escrima, and Kalis Illustrissimo) for a while but don't know Amok or Sayok.

        Kalis Illustrissimo is taught publicly and I would advise you to learn it if you can. This system is based on blades, relatively quick to learn, no prearanged attack drills or other nonsense... Tatang Illustrissimo the late founder of KI still has an awesome reputation (a.o a very high body count) in the Philippines and his senior students are all of top caliber...

        If you are looking for an unarmed art and don't have a grandmaster around I could advise you to look for ROSS or SYSTEMA. I could write pages on this topic but don't have enough time, the very good point of this two systems is that from the start you get a clear understanding of body mechanics and will learn how to control your body in order to strike, manipulate your opponents, escape, take hits efficiently . Those two arts are also not technique based but principle based and will increase previous martial skills. They include empty hands, grapling, weapons, firearms, health practice and psychological tricks.


        • #5
          If you do a search, I think you'll find that Steve Lefebvre answered this question a while ago (someone asked about the similarities and differences between AMOK!, Pekiti Tirsia and Sayoc Kali).


          • #6
            Hello Everyone,

            Thanks Roland, it was great seeing you again at Sama Sama!

            Here is the information from the comparison post:

            AMOK! - founder Professor Tom Sotis, website When I first started with Professor Tom, it was on a search for Dagaso Tirsia from G.T. Gaje, this search eventually lead me to G.T. Gaje directly and then to Tuhon Chris Sayoc, whom I am currently studying with. AMOK! at that time had various drills to help a practitioner develop certain fighting skills. AMOK! at the time, also included Pekiti Tirsia's 64 attack system of practice into the regular curriculum. Later in the practice, Professor Sotis, did away with many of the training drills in favor of a much more/less structured art with alot more sparring/dueling added to the practice. Professor Sotis also continues to teach aspects of flexible weapons, unarmed skills as well as to tap into his practice of various arts, such as Kuntao etc. to augment his students fighting skill repetoire. During my time with him, I was only shown a few techniques derived from his training with G.T Gaje, and he continues with his path in AMOK!, training with various masters to help enhance his skill and art of AMOK! Definetely a person to train with!!

            Pekiti Tirsia Kali - Head Instructor - Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje, I started practicing PTK in the early/mid 80's by learning the Abecdario, from an article in a New York magazine that someone had given me. I had read the various articles about Master Gaje, and wanted to travel to New York to train but I was in school and then college and he eventually moved to Texas and then left for the Philippines. When I eventually got a hold of Tuhon Gaje in 1998/99, I orignally was just looking to enhance my 64 attacks(which I eventually learned thru various PTK students) One of the first things he told me was to stop practicing the 64 attacks as it was old technology! Tuhon Gaje has definitely improved on the old method of teaching from the 70's - 80's. Instead he now offers various various training methodologies from the Pamuno Tirsia(basic strikes), Palipas Tirsia(deflection movement), triplicado offensiva, Tri V forumula, Contra Tirsia Dobla Dos etc, he continues to work off the Contrada - recontrada methodologies from the earlier days but also includes more drills on the aspect of the short blade as well. I am not familiar with alot of his newer technologies that he is currently teaching. Still another person to Definitely train with.

            Sayoc Kali - Headed by Tuhon Christopher Sayoc, website

            The Sayoc System of Edged Weapons Dynamics is taught in three parts. Sayoc Kali, Sayoc Silak, and Sayoc Bakal. The Sayoc Kali system emphasizes the correct and effective usage of the blade. During training a student will learn how to use a single blade, with progression to the use of multiple blades, in conjunction with empty-hands training. Sayoc Kali contains the basic teaching formula, and is primarily concerned with the development of the "Feeder". Feeder based mentality is best described by answering this oft-asked question: "How would you defend against a guy with a knife?" Feeder Based mentality : "I have the Knife" The Sayoc Silak system is the counter offensive training and contains the second learning formula. This training revolves around the "Receiver", and is started with the empty hands. The Sayoc Bakal system is the third aspect taught. It is comprised around the use of projectiles in combat. It works as a complete system and complements and enhances both Sayoc Kali and Sayoc Silak.. Included in these 3 categories of training are: proper handling or blade edge discipline, blade deployment, vital target discrimination, defense against and the practice of disarms, projectiles and finger-touch methodology used in conjunction with knife work, critical injury management, teaching methodologies, non linear templates, 2 dominant weapon usage, environmental tactics, power assisted movements, and a system for multiple man situations.

            I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

            Guro Steve L.



            • #7
              Hi, Steve.

              It was good seeing you and your bunch, too.

              Did you stick around for the Sayaw?



              • #8
                Hello Roland,

                It was great to see you again as well!

                The Sayaw was AWESOME!!!!!

                Guro Steve L.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by The_student
                  darrianation thanks for you input! Strange that there aren't anybody else that have any ideés about this topic.

                  Have you seen any of AMOK's unarmed combat, and how is it compared "other" styles of unarmed combat you have seen?

                  Could I ask you which kind of Arnis have are you training? Thanks
                  The style of arnis I studied was Modern Arnis. However we primarily did stick, and a little knife taining and we didn’t get into various other weapons. The training for for the most part was practical, and a lot of fun.

                  AMOK was a lot of practical knife fighting with a lot of live drills. It is a bit less flashy than Sayoc, much closer to Arnis, but more intense. You don’t spend a lot of time hitting the different quadrents, or practicing knife parrying drills, but a lot more time going up against resistive partners, performing live action drills and sparring.


                  • #10

                    Any system that train close Quarter is an alive system.
                    Like boxing, like grappling you can not live at this range with out some knowledge of clinching and anti- clinch work. Thus as you progress at this range you’re grappling will become very intense as you try to prevent multiple knife attack to your person. To spar at this level with out understanding and sensitivity will lead to injuries i.e. elbows, shoulders and knees, not to mention the head butts and hooks and uppercuts that offset any disadvantage that you may encounter. Now when you spar the knife isn’t the only thing you have to worry about albeit the most important thing. Any system that helps you along these lines as well as seeing attacks from others and or projectiles (bricks, bottles, knifes) is worth training in. I’ve heard great things about Amok ,but I train in Sayoc for the reason I have stated above.


                    • #11
                      AMOK has three areas of concentration-knife fighting, empty hand fighting, and improvised weapons.

                      Under the guise of improvised weapons they teach baton, and stick, and they also get into a whole bunch of everyday items including clothing that can be used as weapons.

                      In their empty hand training they do things that resemble shredding. The techniques are simple and common, but put together in a very practical and realistic way.

                      The knife training is probably one of the best I have seen. Granted, I did a seminar once many years ago in sayoc, so I wouldn’t say I know that system well. I have heard some good things about it. AMOK knife fighting relies a lot on deception; drawing and use without the bad guy even knowing you have the knife. Concealment, stealth acquisition, and speed, is the main focus.

                      Many live drills Start off with an unpredictable (unknown) attack, you will begin with your knife holstered (sheathed in pocket, or however you choose to carry), and you’ll be expected to defend your self with empty hands until the time and distancing is right to draw, stab/slash.

                      I recommend the AMOK system highly. It is a no thrills, down to earth, no nonsense system.


                      • #12
                        Heard and read a lot about AMOK although I have never trained in it. It looks pretty solid and promising though ane most write ups on it that I have read have responded positively to it. Does anyone know if there are any instructors in Australia?


                        • #13
                          There are two Australian instructors listed on the AMOK website (under Locations):

                          On topic: I really don't see why it has to be choice... both styles have solid techniques, great depth, and supportive communities.

                          One of the big similarities is that they are both constantly evolving and refining. Maybe 20 years down the road, they will have turned into widely diverging schools of knife fighting. But right now they both approach FMA bladework with a realistic, JKD-like mentality and both can add a lot to your bag of tricks.


                          • #14
                            Brass Dragon- Absolutely correct!

                            "Absorb what is useful, disregard what is useless, and add what is specifically your own."

                            Good words to live by!

                            Guro Steve L.



                            • #15
                              Thanks alot for all the replies.

                              My picture of the 2 styles after the information I have recieved are like this :

                              AMOK :

                              A system that teach Knife as its main weapon both also flexible weapons and everyday objects as well as some empty hand(kuntao).

                              The system relies more on sparring/dueling then different training drills. Amok also relies on that the "bad" guy dont know that you have a weapon/knife and that concealment and stealth acquisition are some of the main focus.

                              Sayoc Kali:

                              "Knifes All the time" - Puts focus on the knife all the time and doesn't teach Empty handed whith in this style( I konw there are 3 major styles of sayoc). They also have flexible weapon and use to train how to throw everything(knifes, spikes etc) at the enemy.

                              The system uses mainly different training drills to focus on the feeder mentality and stress the natural movements of the enemy. Sayoc uses 2 or more knifes in thier training and speed and angeling are two of the more important focuses.

                              I don't know it this is correct but I hope that you don't get over my mistakes

                              I sadly don't have the time to train both system, I mainly train empty handed (60%) and weapons (knife/stick) the rest of the time. I have seen some of the sayoc's DVD and use some of thier drills. This drills feels very good and have give me a better understand how to use the live hand.

                              I haven't seen anything from AMOK yet and think that I´ll keep up with the Sayoc traning.

                              Thanks alot for your input!!