I have been pondering this subject for a while because Professor Presas’ family style included the crossada and palis palis version of espada y daga as can be seen by his demonstrations in the 1980s instructional video series. Along with his knowledge of his family style, Professor also studied Balintawak arnis under Rudolfo Mongcol, Timoteo Maranga and eventually, the founder of Balintawak, GM Anciong Bacon.
For those not familiar with the term “espada y daga” here is a Wiki article that gives a brief summary:
What is interesting is that before founding Balintawak, Bacon was part of the famed Labongon Fencing Club and later, the Doce Pares Club. Apparently, espada y daga was practiced quite a bit in these two clubs. According to legend, Bacon’s training dagger was taken away from him due to him being too rough with it. He was left with a single cane and empty hand. From this point on, he developed the art of Balintawak. Thus, two of the major influences on Modern Arnis have roots in espada y daga.
The benefits of espada y daga training are obvious. Training in espada y daga trains the use of both hands, coordination of two weapons of striking and checking patterns. It also trains the concepts of angling, distancing, and footwork. All of these concepts carry over very well into Modern Arnis tapi tapi and leads to increased competence. While it is extremely unlikely that we will be able to use espada y daga in self defence here in North America, there is much value due to the attributes that this discipline instills.
One of the major areas of training that Master Chuck Gauss has focused on is two canes vs. one cane training drills as it instills many of the same attributes that espada y daga trains.
Lately, he has focused on introducing Professor’s traditional styles into the two vs. one tapi tapi. As Modern Arnis has not only right handed tapi tapi but left hand as well, the two vs. one training is an incredible training tool. Many of the techniques and movements are very similar to espada y daga.