Traditionally the 12 strikes are taught by having one partner stand in front of you while holding both ends of his stick with both arms relaxed and down. The other partner shall then proceed to execute the 12 strikes in proper sequence from numbers 1 through 12. It is done at the beginning of the training session. The partners may or may not switch roles at their discretion.
The 12 basic strikes of the Balintawak system of arnis are as follows:
1 - a downward diagonal forehand swing to the left side of the head.
2 - a downward diagonal backhand swing to the right side of the head.
3 - a downward diagonal backhand swing to the right side of the torso.
4 - a downward diagonal forehand swing to the left side of the torso.
5 - a straight forehand thrust to the abdomen.
6 - a straight backhand thrust to the right shoulder.
7 - a straight forehand thrust to the left shoulder.
8 - a downward diagonal forehand swing to the left knee.
9 - a downward diagonal backhand swing to the right knee.
10 - a straight backhand thrust to the right side of the head.
11 - a straight forehand thrust to the left side of the head.
12 - a straight downward overhead swing to the forehead.
Sadly though, some teachers only glaze through this part of the training, or (much worse) do not even fully understand how the abecedario is relative with the more advanced kuridas and cuentada training of the system.
Thinking that the 12 "basic strikes" are just plainly basic when asked about it is an understatement. The basic strikes may seem like plain old strikes when beginning your training with it, however with the introduction of tiny variations and new concepts the 12 basic strikes training takes on a whole deeper meaning in terms of the depth and richness of techniques found within it.
There are techniques for trapping (Pang Trangka) and off balancing, even triangle footwork and evasion if you look hard enough and are creative enough in looking for these little bits and pieces. Once you start finding these little bits and pieces, your training will become a whole lot more fun and interesting.
Until next time my fellow Arnis, Kali, and Eskrima practitioners...
TRAIN HARD, TRAIN SMART, AND TRAIN SAFE!