What Is Big Stick Combat?

In short, Big Stick Combat is the art of self-defense with a baseball bat, a long stick, and a cane. All of these weapons are approximately 36 inches in length, and are realistic, legal weapons.

I am Darrin Cook, and Big Stick Combat is a synthesis of my studies in the martial arts, particularly the following Filipino grandmasters:

  1. GM Estalilla of Kabaroan Eskrima. Kabaroan uses a heavy stick of approximately 36 inches in length. GM Estalilla lives in Fresno, California, where I studied with him privately. GM Estalilla authorized me to teach Kabaroan.
  2. GM Vasquez of Modified Tapado. Modified Tapado uses a short staff of approximately 47 inches in length. GM Vasquez lives in Bacolod City, Philippines, where I studied with him one-on-one. GM Vasquez appointed me Modified Tapado representative of the Northwestern United States.
  3. GM Maranga of Combat Eskrima Maranga. Combat Eskrima Maranga is a style of Balintawak, which uses a short stick of 28-30 inches at very close range. I was a private student of GM Maranga at his home in Cebu City, Philippines.

My ultimate aim is to have a realistic system of self-defense that is modern-day and practical. Although my teachers are Filipinos, I live in the United States, and have adapted the art to life in America. For example, my weapon of choice is a baseball bat, not a rattan stick.

I welcome you to contact me with your questions, comments, and suggestions.


5 Responses to “What Is Big Stick Combat?”

  1. Keno Ask Says:

    I really enjoyed your Web-site:) MARAMING SALAMAT PO!

  2. Corniliaz Says:

    what are your strong sticks made of Cook?

  3. I just finished reading, I think, your entire blog. I’m a trained SCA swordsman, did karate as a child, but no longer am practiced at it. Today I walk often with a cane (I am 57) and have three times in my life had to defend myself using a stick, in real life against criminals. I won all three. I rarely practice these days, and many people frown on the sword training I received as “nonsense re-creationist crap” because, frankly thats what we did, recreated the middle age knight “stuff”.

    But for twenty years until I “retired” from fighting, I practiced daily and what I did was as much “martial art” as any type or style as I have seen in my almost 6 decades on this world.

    Dad was a Marine and a black belt in some kind of karate. I learned a lot but never took it setiously until I spent time learning which end of a wooden sword to hold on to!

    Today I walk with a homemade cane with a brass top, or a Jo. Either works for my many-times broken right ankle and tricky right knee. I also, for self defense carry concealed but prefer my stick any day.

    Simple is best, a few easy and simple techniques work best, and 9mm as back up will win the day if he must. Beyond that, rule 1 is avoid being where there will be trouble. Rule 2 is to “be the gray man” … the guy no one sees. Rule three is to leave if trouble starts and the last rule is “wine if presed”.

    Best wishes.


  4. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I am planning a trip to the Philippines. I would like to make contact with master Vasques of modified Tapado. Please give me his contact details.

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