Fencing and Balintawak - Taken from Sabre and Modern Arnis

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

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  1. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    I think what we must remember that just because it is on a website doesn't mean it's accurate. I remember one Balintawak master made some claims in print and recanted them after being confronted by someone who had the facts and was there.

    We must look to see how far from the source our Intel is coming from. In my case, a first generation student. In others 3rd, 4th or even 5th generation, this can contribute to less than accurate information.

    As far as the fencing goes, I don't see it. I've put much time into fencing in myself. It was SCA fencing, but I was taught by people who where classical instructors. I can see how fencing has influenced some arts, but I don’t see it in either Modern Arnis or Balintawak.

    Unfortunately I won’t be able to participate on this forum much for the next week and a half. I leave in the morning for a ten day seminar tour in Sweden. I’ll check in when I can, until then I’ll see you all later.

  2. G22

    G22 -== Banned ==-

    Same thing for books then no?
  3. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    That' why I asked GM Buot. He was there!
  4. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    If you can't rely on sources like that, how can you hope to know anything?
  5. G22

    G22 -== Banned ==-

    To keep this on track. From what little I know about Balintawak, I must agree that the blocking techniques do in fact seem very similar to block/parry techniques in Saber fencing (that I have dabbled in slightly as well). It just seems to move more from the shoulder with the stick and more from the wrist with the blade.....

    This is foil, but the basic parries here are similar too...

    Heres Saber...

    some of those those look really similar. All except for the low blocks which are really pretty much the same "angle" but with a different grip and tip orientation.

    If I could find some Parry/Riposte diagrams...I am curious to see if theres any similarity.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2005
  6. G22

    G22 -== Banned ==-

    This of course is only my opinion. I in no way have enough training or experience to make any factual claims. But from what little I know I can see some similarity.
  7. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    P. Martin,

    What you are presenting here is not theoretical, because theory would require credible supporting data. What you are presenting is mere idle speculation. I don’t care what you do with that, just so long as anyone else reading this understands what it is.

    Also, don’t try to put this off on me to PROVE you wrong, because anyone with a brain knows that when you make a claim, the burden of proof is on you. You made the claim, Martin, so the burden of proof is on you, not me to prove a negative.

    And since you brought it up for discussion, let’s talk about my "standard" of evidence, and method of making historical claims. Although you tried to misrepresent my "standard" here as something impossible to reach in order to level the playing field, you’ll find my standard and method to be similar to that of most historians, and easily attainable if a claim is true.

    There are 3 tests that evidence should have to pass before it can even begin to be considered credible.
    1. Transmission Test: This is where you check the trustworthiness of the evidence or claim by looking at the facts that we have available. There are no facts that support the idea that Anciong was a boxer, or that the Labarong fencing club was influenced by traditional European fencing to even begin to check your claim. Your attempts at providing evidence (for example trying to tie the names "Doce Pares" or the word "fencing" in the name of Saavadre’s club to Europe to then make the leap to conclude that European fencing influenced the club) are a far cry from anything factual.
    2. Internal Test: This is where we look at elements within the evidence provided to see if there are contradictions with the claim. There are many things within Balintawak that points to major contradictions to the idea that it was influenced by Euro-fencing. Namely, why don’t you find Saber or Foil or Eepe(sp?) work in Doce Pares or Balintawak, period? Why is traditional Balintawak far different then Euro fencing? Why don’t many of the Filipino masters of this lineage reference Euro fencing? In fact credible masters don’t agree with your idea. Your claims don’t even begin to pass this test.
    3. External Test: This is where the claim or evidence is supported by sources outside of itself. There is nothing that holds weight in combat history to support your ideas.
    4. Source Credibility Test: This is important mostly when only anecdotal evidence is available. This is also important when dealing with primary sources. When 2 sources contradict each other, you look to the source that is the most credible. So, you can’t reduce the word of a first generation Student of Anciong to that of a blurb on a website put out by a 3rd or 4th generation Balintawak player, for example. Not all evidence holds the same weight. Also, motive of sources is important to consider. For example, if one has commercial interest in a claim and it contradicts someone who has little interests in his claim, then that might be a factor in determining credibility. Regardless, it is important to understand here that not all evidence has the same weight.
    So, there you go. If you want to put up any real evidence to your claims, then cool. If you want to idly speculate, then that’s cool too. Just realize the difference.


  8. Christopher Umbs

    Christopher Umbs New Member

    Of course some of these parries only work if you are using and being attacked with a fairly light weapon. In foil the parries of 6 and 8 weren't used with the older, heavier blades. The saber parries here are for dueling sabre, not military sabre (see http://ahfaa.org/saber.htm for military). For example my cane style is mostly based on Spanish/Italian sabre, but I won't use parries 5 & 6 with it - I'll use high 1 and 7. When I enter FMA tournaments I use the foil/epee parries of 1,2,3,4,5 and 7 (called half circle in the older weapons) and sabre 1,2,3,4 and 7 (in regular, low and high variations).

  9. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    Paul J.,

    Your stance is that I am wrong. I have posed a theory: Educated guess. I have supported it with things that I think give it a reasonable possibility. If you disagree - to the point that it isn't even probable (I'm referring to the fencing influence in Doce Pares/Balitawak/MA) then that is something that you must prove if that is your position. Basic debate approach/tactics. Your not proving a negative, your proving your stance that my position is totally impossible and therefore untrue because my stance is that it is only a realistic possibility.

    By no means am I saying that it is absolutely true or real.
    I have acknowledged that most/all of the stuff that supports opinions on these types of discussions is at best anecdotal. I am not trying to say it is gospel. Heck, even Bart Hubbard is of the opinion that Western Culture/arts are influencial in Doce Pares/Balitawak as referenced by the quoted interview response.

    Why all the hubbub about this topic?

    The rest of that stuff is in the texts and instruction I do regularly with my higher level students. Those still are not examples of you leading by example with that kind of credibility screening. It is solid information though.

    This is still only a theory guys (Paul J, et al). I respect your right to disagree with it. I don't think you have effectively 'proven' that it isn't a possible reality though.

    I have already acknowledged that any proof of Ancion Bacon having boxing experience or not is inconclusive at best based on your own standard of credible evidence. But, I still don't see any proof that my sources are incredulous or wrong.
  10. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    By the strictist definition, a citation like this only proves that Ted Buot believes that Ancion Bacon did not box. It doesn't prove that he (Bacon) really did or didn't.
  11. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    By no means am I saying that your standard is impossible to reach, only that I don't think I have really seen any volumous application of what you were referring to as 'credible' evidence. I simply am admitting that based on that standard, most or all of what is up here, MT or other places is anecdotal at best. By you, me and most/all of internet posters.

    Can we please stay on topic?
  12. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    Here's a simple question:

    Would it seem likely that the teaching of basic strikes and defenses as an introduction, then a seemingly unstructured, 'random' progression of techniques and tactics would be the way that two people exchanging knowledge with nothing better to do might use?

    It isn't proof by any means, but if it does seem likely that two fighters would banter in a random format to kill time in a prison cell AND that the 'ungrouped' approach of Balintawak as the next evolution from Doce Pares is taught in this way, then there is some similiarity between that Fencing source and those arts.

    It seems logical to me when you combine it with some of the other things. Reminds me of the after training rap sessions, the backyard work outs of my younger days and the way that we use to shoot the poop when I came across another martial artist in the service during the hurry up and wait games. Also reminds me of the USA Hockey coaches training that promotes allowing players to apply skills in free play training to develop creativity and natural responsiveness.

    Much like the military where collecting enough unsecure info can lead to secure/secret conclusions, collect enough anecdotal evidence and you can come up with something that is at least a reasonable possibility.

    Your welcome to disagree if you want. But if the point is to prove me totally false, that is going to take info by the same standard of credibility.
  13. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    No Martin. You have not posed up a theory or an educated guess because you have no credable evidence to support your claim. Therefore, it is idle speculation. And, it is not up to me or anyone else to disprove your idle speculation, it is up to you to prove it. Also, don't try to twist your arguement now to save face. No one is saying that European culture couldn't have been an influence on Filipino culture; it is absurd to think that there couldn't have been that influence. You made a claim and presented it as "theory," that being that the original Labangong fencing club was directly influenced by Euro fencing. Myself, and most of us are saying that this is probably not true because you have no evidence to back up the claim. And, the arguement isn't over what "could have" happened, either. You made a claim without evidence without any disclaimer that this is only speculation what-so-ever until you were called you out on it. Now your trying to transform your arguement and clarify to save face.

    Why all the hubbub? Because this is a clear case of you running to the latest internet forum and trying to look like an expert in something that you clearly have limited knowledge on. Some of us who have had previous experiences with you get a little tired of your behavior, and in this case, I am not letting it slide. So, you can make any claim you want to try to sound credible and expert-like on a forum; I just hope that people have the chance to read this to realize that you aren't.

  14. Cruentus

    Cruentus Tactician

    Also, your not a moderator, so we don't need you telling any of us how to behave...

  15. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    1. Actually my point was that Doce Pares had a euro fencing influence through interaction between one of the Savaadras and a Euro fencer. THis seems to be common knowledge in the Doce Pares circles if not in Balintawak.

    2. I do have supporting details that are anecdotal at best...I have admitted that, as well as that it is probable as a theory.

    3. I think the IMO is a disclaimer of 'my theory' which is clear in the post that Parson cut and paste here. Also the theory comments are hair splitting for just some internet chat.

    4. I never claimed any expertise in anything.

    5. The point of this new forum is not to dredge up the past, personal issues or other forum topics.

    6. I wouldn't put it up there if I didn't want people to read it.

    I am sorry that people seem to have a hard time separating the message from the messenger.

    I'll make this my last post on this topic if people are having a hard time being civil in return.

    I am not a moderator, but then neither are you. I was making a request, not telling people how to behave.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
  16. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    Personally, I'll trust the first had accounts.

  17. loki09789

    loki09789 -== Banned ==-

    OKay, breaking my own rule here.

    I would agree that Ted's rememberances would be pretty reliable. Not fool proof but definitely worthy of trust. I would also trust the Visayan Martial arts info and Bart Hubbard's information as well though. So the results are inconclusive at best. Ted as a first generation student is on par IMO with a Cebu city based Balintawak Organization's website because any discrepencies/inaccuracies would be held in check by local artists. Some say he did, some say he didn't. Not everyone knows everything about someone else. I am sure that there are things that some people know about you or I that others don't. Just the nature of informal interaction. So in the case of Doce Pares, there is a vulgate story of a fencer in the origins. THere is not in the case of Bacon and boxing.

    Anecdotal evidence isn't automatically 'bad' IMO.

    If anyone finds out a reason for me not to take these sources seriously, I will definitely explore more deeply.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2005
  18. G22

    G22 -== Banned ==-

    WTF?? Whats is the big deal here? People cant post their opinions/thoughts w/o having to PROVE IT!?? If ya dont believe its right ya dont believe its right. He clearly stated it was his opinion, and he provided other sources that backed his opinion up. Whats the big deal? Plenty of people post like they are experts on topics they have no real business pretending to be. Lets not get started there.
  19. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    We're now arguing about arguing. Everyone, please, confine future discussion in this thread to fencing and arnis.

    -FMATalk Admin
  20. G22

    G22 -== Banned ==-



    No fencing mentioned, but it does specifically mention boxing.
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