Historical question and/or Statement

Discussion in 'Balintawak' started by Datu Tim Hartman, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    So I’ve been keeping my opinions to myself for a while. I’ve seen things posted on the net and I’ve let them slide. I’ve been doing a lot of work in the FMA community to try to bring people together and keep the peace. With that said, sometimes I feel the need to speak my mind and question the accuracy of statements and claims. I’ve recently seen this posted on the net:
    I have two questions or issues with this post.

    1. According to GM Atillo’s website, he was born in 1938. That means he was 4 years old when the Japanese invaded the Philippines. I don’t know how much training he could have done with the Saavedra’s at that age. And I doubt that GM Atillo ever trained with the Saavedras since they both died during WWII.

    2. Saavedra Eskrima is not Balintawak, its Saavedra Eskrima. Anciong Bacon modified what he was taught and it evolved into was is now known as Balintawak. Calling it Saavedra’s Balintawak is saying Yip Man’s Jeet Kune Do.

    Now I want to make something very clear. I’m not attacking Atillo. My problem is with the people who may be misinterpreting what he may be saying. Having trained with many different Asian instructors who speak English as a second language, I can see how someone can misunderstand what they are being told. My problem is with people who choose to misinterpret things with the intent of rewriting history.

    Now before everyone jumps all over me saying I don’t know what I’m talking about, let say one thing. I started my Balintawak training in 2000 as a private student of the late GM Ted Buot. Manong Ted was the leading authority on GM Bacon’s original ungrouped method of Balintawak. Manong Ted was the only person to teach in the Balintawak club when GM Anciong wasn’t there.
  2. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    In the years that I've been involved with the FMA and been training in the Philippines.. The Balintawak systems that I have seen (Reston's system included) have had an abcedario of 12 angles where as the Atillo's version has 10.. If you look at Sir Bobby Tabimina and Nick Elizir's Balintawak, they are consist of 12 angles of attack as does GM Bobby Taboada's. I have yet to have seen the Atillo's version first hand outside of video, so I won't voice an opinion on that.. But I would like to correct one thing that I saw on Datu's original post, the Philippines was attacked on December 8, 1941, the same time as the island of Guam was attacked.. So if my reading the original post was correct, that would have made GM Atillo a little over 3 yrs old at time of the attack..
  3. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    And there you go...
  4. Mono

    Mono Member

    Maybe I can add some Info to that - though I have not trained with Crispulo Atillo, I have trained with Master Dieter Roser (he started training with Vincente and Crispulo Atillo in the Philippines in the 80s) and some of his Students; they also use the 12 angle abecedario (as can also be seen in the Book written by Dieter Roser: http://www.amazon.de/Philippinische...TF8&qid=1374318453&sr=8-1&keywords=balintawak). So from what I ve heared and what I concluded, Atillo changed the Numbering Sytem in recent years (the reasons I ve heard are various and most of them speculative so I wont get into that...) and it is not the "original" Method he learned from whatever source the Atillo Style has developed from (be it Saavedra or Bacon).

    Other Lines of Balintawak also changed the 12 count abecedario in the course of time, the NECOPA (GM Moncals Balintawak Lineage) for Example added a 13th and 14th Strike (Strike to the Ankle/Foot) into their interpretation of the System...

    About the statment:

    I can see the the confusion this may be able to create and the intended claims - though what the statement above does NOT claim is, that (Crispulo) Atillo actually learned from the Saavedras, merely that he "knew" them personally.
    As for the Training Lineage, the "Family Tree" in the Book mentioned above (i think there used to be an online version of the same file but I cant find it any more...) also does not list a training-connection between the Saavedra(s) and Crispulo Atillo. The two sources of Crispulos training written here are his Father, Vincente Atillo (who himself is listed as having recieved training from Doring Saavedra and Anciong Bacon) and Anciong Bacon.

    About the question "what system (Atillo or Bacon) is the closest thing to the saavedra style" one could argue both ways:

    -Anciong was a student of Lorenzo and Doring Saavedra while Vincente Atillo "only" learned from Doring (referring to the Lineage printet in the Book) - so Anciong must be the one who has had more influence from them and therefore his Balintawak System is the closest there is to the Saavedra Eskrima.

    -Anciong was a creator and an inventor, he changed many different things about what he learned from the Saveedras to suit his physique and his preferences in fighting and added his own experiences from challange matches to his Art while Vincente "stuck" with the original Saavedra Teachings as he learned them from Doring and passed those on to his Son Crispulo. This way, one could argue that the Atillo System is realy the "closest thing" to the original Saavedra System out there...

    Hope this helps or adds some new perspectives to the discussion :)

    All the Best from Germany

    Philipp "Mono" Wolf
  5. James Miller

    James Miller Member Supporting Member

    This is from Manong Sam Buot:

    Sam Buot
    You got it absolutely right Tim. Too many 30-year olds even claim to have studied under Anciong. They were not even born when Anciong died. Ted was the senior instructor of GM Anciong when he left for the US. Ising is a legend in his own mind, albeit, he is a decent eskrimador. Humor him.
  6. James Miller

    James Miller Member Supporting Member

    Rocky Pasiwk
    Anciongs Balintawak is original and completely different then Saavedras Eskrima probably the closest to Saavedras Eskrima is Momoy Canettes' San Miguel Eskrima. Anciong was.taught completely different then the Cannette's. As for qhy he was taught different there is two versions of that story the first being he was hurting people with the wood.dagger so they took it away, Remy and Ted both agree on this another story is that Anciong was a phenomenal fighter so they took his dagger away to make it more fair for his classmates. It maybe a little of both. I did an article in Official Karate about 16 or 17 years ago about it you maybe able to find it online. POSTING FROM PHONE SORRY ABOUT TYPO'S
  7. James Miller

    James Miller Member Supporting Member

    I think that this is Datu's point:
  8. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    It's not worth the argument, Tim. As many of us know, this story has changed and twisted so many times over the years that people can't even keep up with the misrepresentations and half-truths anymore, much less make any sense of them. Attempts to carve out a legacy on the shoulders and coattails of others will not succeed and will fade into obscurity over time. This too shall pass.

  9. ryan4nayr

    ryan4nayr New Member

    Much respect to everybody who posted on this thread, all raised valid (and well-reasoned out!) points without clouding the discussion with emotionalism, et al.

    Would be nice to have a final/real answer to the initial question but the "cross training" nature of FMA ensures we'll never get a straight answer. If only we can get a flux capacitor to install into a DeLorean time machine!

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