A typical Free-Warrior GRABONG is an even, body-long quarterstaff made of heavy hardwood. Antique war staffs were additionally covered with braided steel wire or riveted with metal plates to better withstand sword blades.
Common and relatively widespread were simple staffs (Plong), fishing spears (Hog) and glefs captured on battlefields (Twoun, Twoun Song Nahh, Ngauw and Ngamm). Also muzzleloading rifles could be used like staffs, if there was no time to reload. Nowadays mainly billiard cues, broomsticks and street signs or scaffolding poles are used by GRABONG warriors.
Quarterstaff fighting in the sense of GRABONG requires a pure harmony of movement between body and staff, which must not hinder each other during the fight. This requires different handling and turning techniques from and to every position. Those techniques differ clearly from artistically shaped stick turning techniques (juggling, spinning, fire stick, etc.).
It is said that the art of handling a GRABONG is about moving a bulky object like a long staff so skilfully that it appears as soft as rope and thus effortlessly overcomes the opponent‘s defence. A snake knows no obstacles. A GRABONG can be used single-handed and with two hands. The whole length of the staff is used for attack and defense.
Although the GRABONG is a relatively long weapon with a correspondingly high range, it is rarely used in this way. Unlike other staff fighting styles, it does not necessarily require an open space. GRABONG was explicitly designed for use in narrow environments (e.g. in the jungle or on the battlefield).
The effective range of the body‘s own weapons (fist, foot, elbow and knee) is extended by the quarterstaff. Conversely, the hand-to-hand elements of GRABONG (especially the kicking techniques) represent a shortening or supplementation of the staff techniques. Similar to the DAAB, the GRABONG uses the centre of rotation of the weapon to divert the power of an opponent‘s attack into a counter technique.
An experienced GRABONG warrior knows how to handle quarterstaves and body-long objects of all kinds. He incorporates both, bodily weapons and ground fighting, into his fighting style. With his handling techniques he swiftly changes between different hand positions and distances. On contact or impact he manipulates the opponent‘s weapon in his favour.
A multidisciplinarily trained GRABONG warrior can alternately use his staff like a quarterstaff (full length), a sword (half length) or a knife (sixth length). He also uses knowledge from LING LOM to apply leverage techniques or to disturb the opponent‘s balance to gain an advantage.