Atienza Kali is a family system based on the skill and tactics of the Atienza family.

The highest level of combat application is based on the movements of the family unit, four people, a father and his three sons while engaging a mass of people.

Basic combat scenario of Atienza Kali: You are alone and are about to engage three people. One of them has a weapon but you don’t know which person.

“The reason that is our base scenario is because that is what we saw. The last time I had a one-on-one fight without weapons is when I was 8 years old” ~Tuhon Carl Atienza


The Atienza Kali family system was developed to deal with a particular combat scenario – mass attack. It was common to seeing masses of people attacking others in the neighborhood they lived in during the 1980’s. As a result of observing this the Atienza family developed a system to deal with this problem.

“I remember looking to my left and seeing my brother, Carl, holding his bow at full draw aiming out the window. I had my crossbow and was aiming at the same direction Carl was aiming. We were both targeting a mass of about 25 people, on the street, who were about to engage my older brother, Bong, and my father. They were both armed with, what we call today, sweepers.  I was 10 and Carl was 12 y.o.”  ~Tuhon Darryl Atienza

The Highest level of Atienza Kali starts with a group of 4 combatants (the family unit) representing Edgar Atienza and his three sons- Bong, Carl and Darryl armed with large blades. While in combat this group can break into 2 groups of 2 and further break in 4 individuals and recombine back to one group of 4 depending on the tactic being executed; our mass attacking another mass of people. All the Atienza Kali participants in the family unit have one thing in common- a high skill level I the use of a blade.

The family unit is only effective if the individual has skill with a blade.

“We always liked the sweeper sized blades, blade with a 12” or 13” blade length. We trained with a lot of different weapons of different sizes. But when it was go time we always went back to the sweeper. It allowed us to keep people at range and also worked well when people get close. Would a 15” or bigger blade length work better? Yes.  But sweepers were easy to hide.”

That is where Atienza Kali’s training progression starts.

The standard blade used in Atienza Kali is what is called a sweeper. The blade is usually 12”- 13” with an overall length of 17”.  When an Atienza Kali practitioner first starts training they will often use longer blades for the ease of executing basic techniques. As their training progresses the techniques are adjusted to sweeper sized blades then to knives and then to empty hand.

The long blade is the basis for the entire system and all knife and empty hand tactics come from the use of the long blade.