Eskrima training always begins with the use of the single stick. The stronghand wields a stick (approximately 30" in length and 3/4" in diameter, usually made of rattan) and serves as the primary offense. The empty hand is used mainly for defense, focusing on controlling the opponent's weapon hand. Most (but not all) of these techniques are similar to "espada" (sword) techniques. Twirling techniques ("amarra") are taught to develop wrist strength and coordination, which facilitates the ability to generate power and re-angle the wrist evasively at short range.
Solo olisi techniques are practiced in long ("largo"), medium ("medya") and short ("corto") ranges. The largo range (also referred to as "largo mano" range) is characterized by evasive footwork and angling, fast continuous strikes to the opponent's weapon hand. The medya range (also refeered to as "sumbrada" range) utilizes sophisticated checking of the opponent's weapon hand wth simultaneous counterattacking. "Tapi Tapi", the highly sophisticated system of trapping and checking is taught to develop these skills. The corto range (also referred to as "hubad" range) emphasizes curving attacks and continuous re-angling of the strikes around the opponent's defense.
One of the most fundamental solo olisi drills is the abesedario, a comprehensive defense/counter-strike drill, the seven levels of which are designed to develop movement, angling, checking and countering in each of the three ranges. A variety of disarming techniques are also studied.