Balintawak "Blade Work"

Discussion in 'Balintawak' started by Goatlemon, May 4, 2007.

  1. Goatlemon

    Goatlemon New Member

    I see it's all quiet on the Balintawak front, so I thought I would start a thread and hopefully liven things up a bit.

    A while ago while training in Corral Arnis my teacher once said something interesting. To paraphrase; "The knife work of Arnis is so good, if I taught it to someone and they attacked me with a knife while I was unarmed, there would be almost nothing I could do about it." Or something to that effect.

    Another thing was when doing stick work, (I never made it to blade work), he would sometimes take a technique we were training and explain that while it doesn't make much sense with a stick, it makes much more sense with a blade.

    Although I haven't done Balintawak for long I've noticed some rather big differences between the stick work of Balintawak and Corral Arnis. The biggest difference is that I don't tend to see those techniques that make more sense with a blade, everything seems to be designed for a stick.

    So then, bearing in mind that Balintawak, and indeed Arnis in general, seems to stress that training in the stick is also training in other types of fighting, does anyone think that the blade work of Balintawak has been watered down as a result of the refinement of Balintawak towards the single stick as a weapon instead of a training tool?

    I wish I could word this a little better, but it's been a long day, so I'll hopefully state things clearer later on if there is a misunderstanding regarding my question.
  2. 408kali

    408kali Member

    I've seen a knife drill on youtube with Sir Bobby Tabimina's son (I think) of Tabimina Blaintawak. It was interesting, and as usual, very fast. It included angling, countering, and a disarm.

  3. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    Balintawak is one of those FMA's where sometimes a stick is just a stick. The stick is not always a substitutue for a blade.

    Out of curiosity - with whom do you study Balintawak?
  4. 408kali

    408kali Member

    I wonder how many fma's are based on sticks as opposed to blades? And, out of those that are stick-based, how many of them are influenced more or less by Balintawak? It would be interesting to know... I really like most of the Balintawak I've seen online...
  5. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Modern Arnis is strongly, though not exclusively, stick-oriented (and is heavily Balintawak-influenced).
  6. oosh

    oosh Junior Member

  7. Goatlemon

    Goatlemon New Member

    I should be embarrassed that I don't know my teachers name yet, but I have a history of forgetting names as soon as I hear them so I'm used to it.:nixweiss:

    Anyway, what you said is pretty much what I'm trying to say. As you said "Balintawak is one of those FMA's where sometimes a stick is just a stick."

    However, I still read that the principles of Balintawak can be transferred to a blade, but how well? Has refining Balintawak towards the practical application of the stick made it less applicable and adaptable to blade work?

    BTW, thanks for the replies everyone, keep them coming.:)
  8. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Of course this all depends on who you are studying from and what they were taught. However in general I would absolutely agree.
  9. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Yes, different people were given different things, and different people took it in different ways! Bram Frank is an obvious example.
  10. MacJ_007

    MacJ_007 Junior Member

    In Tabimina Balintawak, the stick is only a training tool. Therefore, it should'nt matter what kind of weapon you are holding. If I was to strike with a stick let's say strike # 1, would I strike it differently if I'm holding a blade? Would you block, parry, evade differently if it was a blade? I don't think so. The Balintawak training for me is complete regardless of what weapon you are holding, be it stick or blade. It has slashing, stabing, striking, etc, characteristics of a bladed weapon. The only difference is the body mechanics/positioning, is different than that of a stick.

    Our GM Bobby Tabimina would always say, "Anything that is unknown to the body, you will get hit. But once you're body adapts to what is unknown, then you will have a higher chance of survival."
  11. samson818

    samson818 New Member

    I think Balintawak is one of those arts that treats the stick as a stick.
    If I were given a number 1 forehand strike with a blade or a stick, I would respond differently. Length of the weapon, weight, density all determine my response. With a rattan stick, I can absorb alot of the impact as opposed to a kamagong or bahi stick. With a 32" stick, it is very difficult to close the gap from largo to corto. Many FMA styles use the principle of using the stick as a blade. In theory using a stick as a training tool is great, but it is too generalized IMHO.

    Blades and impact weapons have totally different characteristics, and should be treated with that in mind.
  12. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Yes...different characteristics, yet they move on similar least until the one strikes and the other cuts.
  13. armas

    armas Junior Member

    Tabimina Balintawak is a complete system not only consisting of Stick training. All weapons are just tools for the development of our emptyhands. We do have knife work. It is a big adjustment in movements but orientation of strikes are similar. We put into consideration the range of fighting, the size of the blade, the opponent's skill, adjustment in weapon's capabilities. Again the knife/blade is only another stage in our traininng.
  14. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    Sometimes we all tend to forget that most of the people of the Philipines, especially the great masters lived in a world almost entirely foreign to most of us here in this world. I'm sure many of them had experience with blades already because blades were part of their lives( culture) in a more utilitarian way. So these masters' ability to adapt from stick to blade and vice versa was no problem to them. Consequently we as the students must challenge ourselves to learn the ability to adapt to changes in weaponry whether it be a stick, blade or a hairbrush, know your weapons intimately so as to move more naturally when one is in 'kombat'. One must see the 'big picture' to really get it.
  15. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Does it teach swordwork too then? How about the staff?

    There's so much more variety to Balintawak than I had initially realized!
  16. armas

    armas Junior Member

    So far in our training I have been exposed to the solo olisi, knife, dulo dulo, and barehands/emptyhand aspects. There is one thing that GM Bob is showing us I just forgot what it is called.

    Bout the sword. Not sure. Staff I don't really know to be honest. All Balintawak systems have their own flavor in their systems. GM Bob Tabimina said he developed his knife with the influence of one of the Velez brothers. I forgot which one.
  17. Goatlemon

    Goatlemon New Member

    I had a look through the site of the people whom I train under and found this:

    So it seems where I train there may be some specific stuff as well, although being a beginner I have no idea how much it's trained.

    How much emphasis does your school place on these things?
  18. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Does anyone have clips of Balintawak-style bladework?
  19. Goatlemon

    Goatlemon New Member

  20. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Thanks! With a little imagination I could see the Balintawak in it.

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