Definitely part of the curriculum and required for promotion.
Purple - Single knife form, knife on knife drill, empty hand vs. knife drill, disarms, and knife sparring.
Blue - Single stick form, stick vs. stick drill, stick vs. knife drill, disarms, and stick sparring.
Green - Stick and knife form (Espada y daga), double knife form, drills, disarms, and sparring.
Brown - Double stick form, double stick vs double stick drill (Sinawali), Double stick vs Single stick drill, disarms and sparring.
Black - Long Stick (Tapado) form, long stick vs long stick drill, long stick vs double stick drill, and sparring.
At each level the student learns a weapon form, drills, disarms both with the weapon and empty handed against it, and has to
show sparring proficiency. The stick disarms include armlock takedowns and chokes. The sparring includes ground fighting as well.
Suffice to say a good chunk of the training is stick and knife work.