Filipino Martial Arts teaches both the weaponry and the empty hand techniques right from the start of the program. This enables the student to make the connection, very early on, that the weapon is simply an extension of the hands and the same or similar rules can be applied to both.
The other distinction is that it teaches double handed weaponry and this helps remove the dependency on the prominent hand. i.e right or left handed.
Once these principles are learned then the benefits manifest themselves very quickly and often, if the student trains in other programs, helps the student in those programs too.