This article marks the half way point in our ten part blog post series chronicling the use of Eskrima for self defense in scenes taken from famous films. The various clips have been handily compiled here for quick reference: This post focuses on the shortest scene on the list; a minute of footage from The Bourne Legacy, which claims number five on the list linked above.


Following the massive box office success of the original Bourne trilogy, the filmmakers continued using the infamous name and known titles while finding a new main character similar to the last. Aaron Cross is the agent in question, and similar to Bourne he has fallen on the wrong side of his employers and become marked for death after giving everything to his country.


Several levels are added to the characterization of Treadstone operatives in The Bourne Legacy. From the beginning we see Cross regularly supplementing with different coloured pills, which we later learn provide him with physical and mental chemical enhancements. Without the agency’s support Cross knows he is likely to perish from his addiction to the otherwise unobtainable pills, and in an all or nothing quest for survival he kidnaps and befriends a doctor who helped develop the pills. Hoping she is capable of performing the procedure that will eradicate his addiction, Cross brings her to a highly secure medical facility in the Phillipines. This is where our sixty second look at Eskrima for self defense begins.


Top Eskrima Fight # 5: The Bourne Legacy


Misdirection and distractions would have been essential to the survival of an ancient Eskrimador facing off against larger, better armed foes. Cross implements this wisdom as he is approached by several security guards, all of whom have weapons holstered on their belts. Rather than running or attacking, either of which might have resulted in a situation outside his control, Cross behaves as if he outranks the guards and is merely annoyed by their presence. He turns and strides confidently into a restricted area, threatening to call the head of security. Between the barb and his violation of the facility’s security protocols, the lead guard is compelled to initiate contact, grabbing Cross by the shoulder.

We see Cross make a split second decision – that yes, he can overcome all three opponents without risking harm to the doctor – and attacks. The spirit of Eskrima for self defense is strong as he renders the guards unconscious with little discernible technique. Cross smashes one guard’s head into the floor and then switches between menacing the other two with a captured pistol and cracking them with groin kicks and other “cheap shots” that would be out of place in any other martial art. But Cross stays true to Eskrima’s principle of minimum effort, and dispatches all three assailants in less than thirty seconds.