Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started... The first step can be the hardest, and you have already taken it. In this section you can become acquainted with the ISE, which will help kick start your training.

Once you have submitted an Application for Membership, it will typically get reviewed within one week or less and you will be contacted about visiting the ISE. 

As a Member, you can attend any class given. During your first several classes we will get you up to speed on all the basic techniques including basic boxing, double stick work and disarming skills. These are the stepping stones to everything you will be doing in the coming months. Also, we will get you familiar with basic school etiquette to make you feel comfortable right away. Most importantly, you will have the opportunity to experience and become part of the uniquely friendly, family atmosphere of the ISE.

Your initial fee covers you for all the classes you want to attend for 30 days and includes your school uniform. Dues are made monthly. If for some reason you are not able to continue with your training, you may stop payments at any time since we do not require contracts.

Below are the most frequently asked questions we receive at the ISE. And in case we still missed anything, please feel free to contact us by phone or email.


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How can I become a Member of the ISE?

What should I wear?

Do I need to bring any special equipment?

Where is the School located?

When are classes held - how many classes may I attend weekly/monthly?

Am I fit enough?

If you knew you were going to be in the fight of your life today, would you have trained harder yesterday?

Is there a belt ranking system at the ISE?

What is Eskrima?

Is Eskrima a Stick Art only?

What is Inayan Eskrima?

What is the “Flow”?

What does FMA stand for?

Who was the Founder of Inayan Eskrima?

Does Inayan Eskrima practice full contact fighting?

What's the deal with the triangle I keep seeing?

What do the various instructor titles mean?

How long does it take to become an Instructor?

Where can I learn Inayan Eskrima as taught by an ISE Guro?

Are there additional training locations for Inayan Eskrima outside of the ISE?

Can I validate if a person or school is truly affiliated with the ISE?

Is there a way to find out more information on Inayan Eskrima?

How can I discuss Inayan Eskrima and other FMA's with others?

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How can I become a Member of the ISE?
The ISE accepts and reviews all submitted Membership Applications. We are always interested in growing our School with those that share the same passion as us. We are 100% committed to making each-other better through the Art. The first step to becoming a Member is doing the research which is what you are doing now. If you feel the Art and the School are something you want to pursue, the next step is to send us preliminary information gathered in the Application for Membership - found HERE.


What should I wear?
The student uniform consist of the grey ISE student T-shirt and black 5.11/Cargo/Military type pants. Scheduled visitors participating in class should wear any comfortable sports attire (jogging pants and light colored T-shirt).


Do I need to bring any special equipment?
All the basic equipment you will need to begin lessons is available at the school.


Where is the School located?
The ISE is located in Knoxville, TN on Central Ave. Pike just off of I-75. See the Contact page for additional information including a link to an interactive map. Entrance and Parking is around back. The School is up the stairs and to the right. Please schedule a visit in advance. 


When are classes held - how many classes may I attend?
We are typically Open a half hour before and after each class. The current training schedule for formal classes is on Thursday and Saturday...

    Tue:  7:00pm - 8:30pm (Reserved for specialized training, privates or other events - No scheduled Formal Class)

    Thu:  7:00pm - 8:30pm

    Sat:  11:00am - 1:00pm

Members may attend as many classes as they are able or wish to. A minimum of one class per week is strongly recommended for proper progress in the art.  


Am I fit enough?
An average level of fitness is required. You will be asked to fill in a simple health questionnaire which will alert us to any major problems, but if you have any concerns, please ask and we will be happy to advise you.


Is there a belt ranking system at the ISE?
Not exactly. To differentiate between ranks, students and instructors of the ISE wear symbolic medallions. The combination of metals, i.e. bronze and silver or all silver or silver and gold etc., that make up these medallions are how different levels throughout the curriculum (from beginner to instructor) are recognized. During class, Instructors of the ISE can also be recognized by their uniform - Black T-Shirt and Khaki Pants.


What is Eskrima?
Eskrima is a beautiful martial art that originated in the Philippines. The word "Eskrima" means, “to skirmish”. The Filipino Martial Arts ingrain an interrelationship between empty-hand skills and weapons, and because of this philosophy, Eskrima is widely recognized in the martial arts community for its extreme practicality and effectiveness.


Is Eskrima a Stick Art only?
No. Many people incorrectly believe this to be true. Eskrima has short-range weapon (i.e. knife) and empty hand applications/techniques as well. However, what makes the Filipino martial arts so quick and precise with the empty hand is a direct result of the countless hours of weapons training they have undergone. Unlike most other martial art systems, the Filipino arts, generally speaking, start the students out with weapons training. The students learn to deal with angles of attack (usually 5 - 12 in most styles) and are given a set number of blocks or "counters" to perform against each of the angles. Later, as the students progress with their studies, they are introduced to empty hand training and then realize what they have been doing with weapons can usually be directly translated into complete empty hand techniques. With this empty hand approach, students retain all of the movements they have studied with the weapon, thus reinforcing what they have already learned. There is no need to learn a whole new set of counters (blocks) just because they are empty handed. This simple yet highly effective way of training instills reflex within Eskrima students in record time.


What is Inayan Eskrima?
Inayan Eskrima is a complete martial art system, founded by Mangisursuro Mike G. Inay. As part of this system we study several styles of Eskrima but focus on three "core styles": Kadena de Mano, Serrada, and Inayan Largo Mano. Each is taught in its whole form as a complete style and covers a specific range: short (Kadena), medium (Serrada) and long (Largo). Having these three styles that cover these three separate ranges, and being able to flow between them effortlessly, is the key to balancing out Inayan Eskrima. There are also several complimentary styles that include Inayan Sinawali, Inayan Dequerdas, Inayan Sibat/Bankow and Inayan Espada y Daga.


What is the “Flow”?
Obtaining the ability to flow in combat is the ultimate goal of a FMA practitioner. A student of the FMA attempts to move smoothly between the ranges of combat without any disturbance in the transition. This requires skills in all of the ranges both with and without weapons. The ability to put motion and technique together continuously and the sensitivity to fit your technique to your opponent's are also of high importance. These attributes create smoothness in combat, which is called the flow. To quote the founder of Inayan Eskrima (Suro Mike Inay) on the subject; "Spontaneous adaptability is the key to a warrior’s survival”.


What does FMA stand for?
Filipino Martial Arts.


Who was the Founder of Inayan Eskrima?
Mangisursuro Mike G. Inay. Suro Inay was the creater and founder of Inayan Eskrima. Suro passed away while doing what he loved the most - teaching Inayan Eskrima. Though he was taken from us long before his time, he made a profound impact in the Martial Arts world and improved the lives of many. Those that he touched most have vowed to keep his dream alive by spreading the word of Inayan Eskrima in it’s truest form. A lifelong Student of Suro Mike Inay, Tagaturo Steve Klement is the founder of the Inayan School of Eskrima.


Does Inayan Eskrima practice full contact fighting?
Yes. Grandmaster Inay felt it was important to "test the waters" from time to time. Although it has never been mandatory for beginner students, we find that most eventually want to express themselves through the art in this way long before they are required to do so. In Inayan Eskrima, when we go full contact we do so with minimal padding (typically helmet, mouthpiece and groin protection only). The thought process behind this is that you will never learn from your mistakes if you don't know you even made them in the first place (by wearing too much gear). We have practiced full-contact stick fighting since ~1980.


What's the deal with the triangle I keep seeing?
The triangle shape is of huge importance in the Filipino Martial Arts. It represents many things such as footwork and philosophy, to name a couple. Because of this, you may see the triangle incorporated in one way or another in most Eskrima styles/school logos etc.


What do the various instructor titles mean?
ISE Instructor Ranks…

Katalungan Guro  -  Inayan Apprentice Teacher (Probationary Instructor Rank)
Guro  -  Inayan Teacher
Lahong Guro  -  Inayan Senior / Seasoned Teacher
Masirib Guro  -  Inayan Elder / Expert Teacher
Tagaturo  -  Master Instructor /
 Inayan Guide / Principal Instructor


How long does it take to become an Instructor?
Anywhere between 10 - 15 years of intense training under the supervision of the founder of the ISE - Tagaturo Steve Klement. The physical aspect is simply put, the easy part. Along the path the student is expected to develop attributes of loyalty, respect and honor to the art, the school, their Teacher, his Teachers, the Country and the Human Race in general.


Are there additional training locations for Inayan Eskrima outside of the ISE?
Yes, there are several Instructors actively teaching Inayan Eskrima that are respected friends but not part of the ISE at locations found throughout the U.S. and Europe. Please feel free to inquire to us about Instructors or Schools in your area - we will gladly direct you to a qualified Inayan Guro and help you steer clear of the rest.


Where can I learn Inayan Eskrima as taught by an ISE Guro?
Presently, all ISE Instructors teach at the Inayan School of Eskrima in Knoxville, TN. If you are a School owner interested in hosting a Seminar for your Instructors or Student body, please see a list of available subjects HERE.


Can I validate if a person or school is truly affiliated with the ISE?
Quality control is vital to us. Please contact us at info@inayan.com with any questions or concerns.


Is there a way to find out more information on Inayan Eskrima?
One way is to read the magazine or news articles published on Inayan Eskrima. You may also find it educational to visit the "Photos" section of our web site. The "Suro Mike Inay" gallery and the "Inayan History" gallery would be great starting points. Articles on Inayan Eskrima and the ISE can be found HERE. Instructional VHS tapes and DVD's on Inayan Eskrima can also be ordered from various sites on the internet including Abanico Video Productions.

Also, you can interact with us on these social venues!           


How can I discuss Inayan Eskrima and other FMA's with others?
Student’s and affiliate members of the ISE can join the Inayan Forums and take part in discussions about the Filipino Martial Arts, the Inayan School of Eskrima and much more.