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The Devastating Art of Kinamotay

(Photo Carter Brundage/The Ubyssey)

Kinamotay (also referred to as kina mutai) is a martial art emphasizing biting, pinching, eye-gouging and otherwise “dirty” fighting techniques. While the attacks may look random, an extensive use of grappling is required to control the opponent while utilizing these techniques to disable an attacker as quickly as possible.

Biting Techniques

Kinamotay biting technique is aimed at targeting areas based on time, angle and movement. The most effective targets include the face, neck, ear, groin, nipple and lat muscle. The goal of the bite attack is to assure attack from a position that is most difficult for your opponent to counter from. These targets include:

Radial Artery (arm)
Brachial artery (arm)
Carotid artery (neck)
Popliteal artery (back of knee)
Femoral Artery (inner thigh)
Dorsalis Pedis (foot)

According to blackphoenixmaf.com, the history of the Filipino martial art can be traced to the origin of many Filipino Wars. Filipinos found themselves outnumbered and outgunned in a number of battles and had to develop a way to fight back against the odds. They state:

“In the world of weapons combat, they concocted an amazing way of cheating: Instead of blocking a strike with their own weapon, they would smash or cut the opponent’s weapon hand. The opponent was likened to a snake and the weapon was the fangs of the snake; hence, the method was called “defanging the snake.” While the rest of the world went toe-to-toe while fighting with weapons—blocking strikes and trading blows like nobody’s business—the Filipinos would simply attack the hand.”

Every method of the martial art is aimed at disabling and defending by any means necessary. If you are in a self defense situation, these attacks can be very useful.

Eye Gouging Techniques

Kinamotay eye gouge attacks require the same principle as the biting attacks. You must first wrestle for a position that will allow for the greatest advantage against counters. As with biting techniques, eye gouges are extremely psychologically damaging to any attacker. Where you can use your head independently for a bite attack and use your arms to wrestle, an eye gouge requires the use of your hand. An attacker will instinctively attempt to stop the hand that is attacking their eyes, so look for an opportunity to attack other openings or get away quickly while they are disabled.

Kinamotay should only be used as a means of self-defense and self preservation. These attacks are brutal, but when your safety or the safety of others is at risk, there’s no ruling out the effectiveness of the techniques of Kinamotay. Even Bruce Lee didn’t rule out biting as a means of self defense.

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Kurt Tellez
Kurt Tellez is a Southern California-based writer and musician. He first developed a passion for writing and literature in high school that carried through to the completion of a B.A. in English from Cal State Fullerton in 2013. Inspired by Joseph Conrad, Emily Dickinson, Alan Moore and Hunter S. Thompson, he has pursued a career in writing through contributions to online magazine publications, blogging, and social media management. His musical studies began at thirteen, and has since played in garage bands, concert bands and jazz bands everywhere from Honolulu to The Matthew Street Beatles Festival in Liverpool. Kurt has followed MMA since becoming an avid listener of the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast. Inspired by Eddie Bravo's appearances on the show, he became a member of Tenth Planet Jiu-Jitsu in 2014.