Fencing and Balintawak - Taken from Sabre and Modern Arnis

Discussion in 'Balintawak' started by Rich Parsons, Oct 28, 2005.

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  1. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    Close, but not really totally on target. MY point is that the influence of Euro fencing is there from back in the Doce Pares days, which influenced all down the line.

    Exactly my point about the approach and NOT technnique. Of course the technical side is going to have loads of differences simply because of the practical elements of weapon, goals, rules (or lack), .....
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2005
  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Opinions obviously vary on this issue. Let's try to keep the discussion at a focused, polite level.

    -FMATalk Admin
  3. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

  4. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    Bart Hubbard turned out to be a great source of info about the Fencer/Doce Pares origins. Here is a clip from an email interview he sent me when I was researching this idea.

    "He's [Atillo] mentioned the french fencer on more than one occasion but at one point it was an italian fencer. The main deal is that he was a european. In my opinion, the story is true, but the guy probably wasn't a fencer in the sport sense, but rather a mercenary character (docks thug, enforcer, adventurer, pirate, etc) who knew how to use a sword. Lot's of people in the 1890's did but were not explicitly sport fencers.
    [Here I would add that the Euro Fencer may not even be trained in the formal/classical model either.]

    Atillo isn't the only one with the story about the european in jail with Saavedra. I've heard it in circles from every Saavedra descended art I've come in contact with. I'm surprised though that no one has though to look at the records to see who was in jail at the time. The Spanish kept meticulous records."

    And Bart's historical information on the influence of boxing on PI arts as well.

    "On your other point, pretty much all of the old time
    eskrimadors spent time boxing. The period from
    193?-195? is known as the "Golden Age of Pinoy
    Boxing". Boxing was popular on par with basketball
    I am an advocate that FMA weapon arts are heavily
    influenced by the West."

    Bart also mentioned a Mark Mikita as a good interview source for Doce Pares information. If anyone has/had contact with him, the opportunity for another perspective would be great.

    Last edited: Nov 1, 2005
  5. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member


    I never stated that PI Boxing did not influence western Boxing, nor did I never say that Fencing and Spanish and other influence did not get put into arts in the PI.

    What I said, is that in this case, I do not see nor can I support it with my sources for Balintawak. For the Savaadra's and the Doces Pares and even some influence into Modern Arnis, yes I can see and see the influence, but not for Balintawak.

    Like I said, an art does not have to be all encompassing to be a good art, nor a fun art to train in.

    I agree there were influences, just not as you see them.

    Now I grant, like I said that GM Bobby's teachers or personal influences could have easily added in the teaching aspect of fencing, then again, it could be a common teaching tactic that many developed themselves over time. Break it down to the techniques, you certain techniques to keep distance wiht the opponent, and the students all of a sudden learn boady mechanics and foot work and positioning all at once. I have done this myself in Modern Arnis, but no classical training in Fencing. Yet, I grant the possibility there, I just do not see it for Balintawak.
  6. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    1. Rich, I understand that. You really don't need to waste typing time/space with the disclaimers. Specifically, the boxing info was not directed at you or your comments. I don't think I even quoted your post when I wrote the boxing comment.

    2. That's fine. You have made it clear that your level of experience with fencing is limited and you can only base your theories on what you know. If you don't see it, you don't see it. It won't impact the quality of your training. I am sure, if it is there, that there are/were instructors that don't see it either and they can still master the art. I am just as sure that, if it isn't there, that making that conceptual connection won't hurt my training either.

    3. Not sure where that fits in but I agree.

    4. I understand that you don't see them and why. I am posting information that supports my perspective. If you were willing to share your Balintawak source information, I would be open to viewing it. It does seem unlikely that the euro-fencing influence would be in Doce Pares and Modern Arnis but be absent in the linking art of Balintawak IMO, though.

    5. As far as any direct fencing influence between Bacon and Taboada is not something that I am aware of personally. If it is there, fine. If not, fine. I did feel that I was on the right path when I mentioned directly to Bobby during a training session that the bait, tactical focus and some of the skill training modallities were very similar to fencing. All I got was a big cheesy grin from him, but that reaction led me to believe that I was on to something theoretically. I didn't push it at the time because he was swinging sticks at me and I was a little more interested in the current training than historical influences...simply put, I didn't want to get hit in the head!
  7. G22

    G22 -== Banned ==-

    What are Balintawak's roots? I am not very educated on the history of the art. Is there Doces Pares in the woodpile?
  8. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member


    GM Anciong Bacon trained in Doces Pares, but the system is a collection of different systems.

    So to say that the Fencing Club was closed and the Doces Pares group was formed and from that was a person who left and formed his own club of Self Defense on Balintawak street, that became known as that Balintawak.

    Yet, what people keep forgetting is that GM Anciong had his training dagger taken away from him, as he would actually stab people so they would bleed and or cause bruises.

    Being little and not having his training dagger, he started to optimize his own training for the single stick. These optimizations assume that it is a stick, although you can translate to it being a blade, with body and hand position changes.

    GM Anciong Bacon also did not do or know any Sinawali's, yet GM Bobby teaches Sinawali's. So some people have modified (* GM Moncal *), Grouped (* Villisin and others *), and added into their system, GM Maranga and also GM Remy Presas, as well as others who did all or none of the above.

    So, just because one group teaches something, does not mean it came from GM Anciong. Just because GM Anciong started and was a member of the Doces PAres and Trained and studied under and with the Savaadra's as the case may be, he also changed what he did.
  9. G22

    G22 -== Banned ==-

    So is there any Doces Pares influence in Balintawak?
  10. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    Discalimers from someone who has nothing nice to say about me, but will not say it to my face? So, I took your past comments about me, and made an assumption, yet, you state now that there was nothing such, and that you meant the best, so, I let you last reply go, yet you seem to need validation in a reply, so here it is. I hope you enjoy.

    As to understanding, I have to make the comment that it is quite clear that your knowledge of Balintawk is next to nothing. The last time we had a discussion about this, I was e-mails and told I needed to contact someone to set me straight on a few issues. I called and we talked, and when he allowed me to speak (* A nice person *), I explained and read to him what I had written and he agreed what I had said was correct. He then asked me who said This . . . ?, and I read him the replies of those involved, and he sounded upset or frustrated and agreed that it was not correct.

    Ask GM Bobby, if his instructor(s) in Balintwak taught him knife and or Siniwalis? If they did then please ask him if he knew who added it in? For it was not GM Anciong.

    Hence my comment that you try to sound knowledgable, and make others in the art sound less so to increase your standing. Send me GM Bobby's phone number (* Askhim nicely first please. *) and I will call him. If he wishes to call me (* My Number: 248-467-9454 *), I will make my self available to him. I would like to know what you actually training history is with him or another instructor in Balintawak? How many hours of one on time, or is it just a couple of seminars from years ago?

    It fits as well as anything else in this thread does.

    My Source is Manong Ted Buot, who trained with GM Anciong Bacon, and tells me stories of him weekly, and my source knew and researched his art, such as asking about Sinawali's and such.

    Yet, if you look at the art of Balintawak as taught by GM Anciong Bacon it was a dueling art with sticks, and very much optimized for sticks. These techniques and one on one teaching was done teacher to student so the teacher could correct any issues at the time. Although after time if a peson would not even try to learn something, GM Anciong Bacon would not correct them anymore, unless they asked, or showed improvement.

    Knowing 20 years of Modern Arnis and 7+ years of weekly priavte classes in Balintawak, I think I can see fencing and or teaching styles between them.

    If I ask an example of something, such as do you know what a High Chair or Limbo or Macarena is? I would think you do not, and I know these terms were added in by Manong Ted, so you see, I can open my eyes and see the progression from Teacher to Student to the next generation of teacher, yet I do not presume that all families do exactly the same thing or have the same name, and at the time GM Anciong did not have names for many of the moves and would say "do it like this."

    There is no connection to classical fencing and Balintawak. The connection you are tryiong to present is like saying that Analytical Geometry and Trig are simliar in that they both use math.

    All martial arts are similiar as there are a limited ways to effectively move the body, and accomplish the task, yet, they do not have to be directly related, even if there is a similarity.
  11. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    From what I know the influence is in the art that influence GM Anciong Bacon in his early days, but even the San Miguel of the Doces Pares is not a direct relationship to Balintawak. Did it influence a man, I am sure, but I do not think there is a direct one to one relationship between the two. Although I grant that many who trained in one also trained in the other in the early days of Balintawak and later the issue between these two "Arts" or Clubs is that of the students of students, as GM Anciong and Manong Ted could stop by any other club and or person's home and be welcomed and treated with respect, be they together or by themselves.
  12. G22

    G22 -== Banned ==-

  13. PeteNerd

    PeteNerd Member

    That's a trick question. Anciong Bacon was an early member of the Doce Pares club. He used to poke people too much with his training dagger so they took it away from him. That's part of the reason that Balintawak is a single stick art, because Bacon wasn't allowed to use the training dagger. I belive he had a falling out with some of the members and eventually he left the club and started his own. Many other styles have came out of the early doce pares club also san miguel escrima and victor cagadas black dragon doce pares. I would say there is a Doce Pares influence on Balintawak in the areas that I mentioned before. There is little to no influence from Doce Pares in the state it exists today. As far as techniques and training I don't think there is much influence from Doce Pares, other than helping Bacon figure out what he didn't want his system to be. All the strikes are direct, simple, effective. There are no showy moves, no stick twirling, other things that are associated with Doce Pares.

  14. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    So many people in the martial arts like to make claims, faking expertise with little to no supporting evidence to support the claim. This case presented here is all too common of a trend.

    Unfortunately, with historical evidence of many of the arts, we are left with anecdotal evidence rather then more credible proof. However, just because this is the case, this does not mean that one can make up **** and expect everyone else to eat it.

    Anciong was not a boxer. He was a fighter, yes, and was well noted for that. There were a few cases where people would ask him about empty hand application, and I know one of these people who asked was a boxer. But, this does not mean that Anciong got in the ring, but the gloves on, and went to town. Also, this does not mean that Anciong's Balintawak has an empty hand system. This just means that he was an expert fighter whose opinion was respected. If anyone can provide credible evidence of one example of Anciong boxing (not just empty hand fighting, but actually boxing), then I will stand corrected. And no... anecdotal blurbs from questionable sources on the net don't count.

    European fencing did not directly influence Balintawak, or the Labangon Fencing Club for that matter. I would be the first one to jump up and down excited over this if it were true, because I have great admiration and respect for European combat systems. But, unfortunately, there is no credible evidence to support this claim. There are no prison records of the Saavadre's being jailed with a noted fencer of any type. There is no evidence of European combat systems being directly influential on the Labangon Fencing Club. If anyone can show credible evidence to prove an influence, then I will stand corrected. And no... anecdotal blurbs from questionable sources on the net don't count.

    Now, I love boxing and Euro arts. So, believe me, if credible evidence exists that these claims are true, then I will be on board and excited about it. But, unfortunately, the evidence does not exist, making the claims mere armchair hypotheses. It's good to wonder about these things and ask questions, but one has to ask himself why someone would go as far as to make claims like these without supporting facts.

  15. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    THe type of boxing that I am referring to is not the sport boxing environment that is common to today. I am talking about boxing clubs/programs like PAL boxing programs, corner martial arts clubs, and such. My point was that, according to sources from PI, Ancion Bacon had boxing in his resume of arts. That is all. No different than saying that western wrestling was in your resume of martial arts experience because you did it in High School, like myself and many other kids. Everything can be an influence in your training now, so it could be then too. The likelihood of Bacon having boxing experience is high if you are open to Bart's comments about that period of time as well.

    I am making theoretical comments. I am supporting those ideas with information. If you are making outright claims about what was or was not, I would appreciate supporting evidence of your own that my theory is not possible or probable. Disagreement is fine. But this is starting to look like your trying to prove me wrong. That requires evidence of it's own.

    I find it disheartening that the integrity, accuracy or honor of the PI Balintawak Escrimadors that are associated with Visayan Martial Arts, a cite by PI Escrimadors and about Balintawak, is considered less than credible. I don't think I have seen any sources cited that are any more or less 'credible' in the past.

    As Bart stated in the posted interview, no one to date that he is aware of as researched the prison records, but the story is common knowledge to those who train in Doce Pares because of their direct contact with the founders of Doce Pares.

    This to me is as credible as it is going to get, much like any anecdotal evidence such as interview/comments in passing from T.Buot or other Balintawak instructors. By this logic, Rich's stance is no more credible because his source is anecdotal.

    I am staying on topic, showing my supporting data for my theories and not dredging anything else up. I thought that was this whole new forum was about.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2005
  16. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

  17. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Definitely! Everyone, let's please keep on track!

    -FMATalk Admin
  18. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    Rich, that is my point too. I just see the Euro Fencing influence through the Savaadra's as part of this influence. Obviously we differ on how significant that influence is, but we seem to agree on the possibility that Doce Pares was an influence on Bacon's Balintawak.
  19. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    Well I guess the question here is how reliable are your sources?

    Well I guess the question here is how reliable are your sources?

    Master Ray Galang has recently published a book called “Warrior Arts of the Philippines” which has a rather large section on GM Bacon. As I recall none of contributors made any reference to Bacon having a background in boxing. In addition I train with Manong Ted Buot, who is probably the last of Bacon’s 1st generation students. During one of my classes with him I specifically asked if Bacon was a boxer and his response was no.

    Now let’s make one thing clear. Many off the programs that split of from Bacon’s original club may have added things to the program which may include boxing, but according to someone how was there it had no influence on the original system.

  20. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-


    Here is the website: http://www.visayanmartialarts.com/
    I already addressed the sadness I feel when the integrity of a PI based Balinatawak art website is questioned so readily. What proof is there that it isn't credible? What if the simple truth is that the topic just never came up in Galang's research? I would think that there would be some integrity in a website about FMA, by PI nationals that live and train in Cebu City. If they were incredulous, wouldn't the local 'legitimate' schools be ready to keep them honest?

    Again, a 'no mention of' comment is no proof either way of a point. Also, based on Janulis' own standards, a personal rememberance/interview comment is only anecdotal at best and therefore not credible enough to convince some.

    I am not calling Ted Buot a liar or anything close to that. I am saying that if the evidence that I am citing is not satifactory based on the source information (interviews, citation sources like web text from PI sources....) then an interview from any source is equally unsatisfactorily anecdotal. Janulis' standards not mine.

    I would think that a Website text publication/claim would have to be as verifiabe as any hard copy text. They are both subject to viewer scrutiny and could lead to consequences of falsification.

    Based on that, we don't have any conclusive 'credible' data that proves anything substantially about Bacon's boxing experience. On that I am willing to agree.

    This is a tangent from the fencing/Doce Pares lineage but it did bring to light what will satisfy the 'credibility' requirement for some folks.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2005
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