How many styles?

Discussion in 'Balintawak' started by fangjian, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    How many different styles of Balintawak exist?

    Some may have different names but employ the same concepts, teaching methods etc. For instance, I would say Teovel Balintawak and GM Taboada's system are too similar to be considered diffferent Balintawak. (if I am wrong, it is because of my own ignorance and am not truly trying to be offensive)

    But Atillo, Tabimina, Teovel, etc. are different enough to be considered their own styles.

    Anyone wanna take a stab at this?
  2. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    I would say:

    1 Teovel/Villasin
    2 Necopa
    3 Tabimina
    4 Atillo
    5 Maranga
    6 Original
  3. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

  4. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    GM Nick Elizar teaches the Teovel method I think.
  5. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    How many styles? There's only one Balintawak.

    Now, if you were to ask about differences in curricula and regimens, there are several. Balintawak was never codified in its original form and suffers horribly from a lack of documentation. Thus, every club/group does some things somewhat differently. However, if you know Balintawak you recognize it when you see it. A better, more appropriate question would be how many Balintawak organizations/clubs are there?

  6. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    Or even nomenclature! The names are often whatever the particular training group chose to call a technique. "If you do this, I do that..."
  7. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    I was taught a version of balintawak, but it had nothing to do with the systems from Cebu. Master Reston taught a system called balintawak, but it was named after the home of Filipino Independence which was named the Barrio of Balintawak.. Master Reston was originally from Batangas and was taught one of the old estokada forms of eskrima when he was younger.. As time progressed and training opportunities came about after Master Reston's time as a Filipino Guerilla and Filipino scout, he trained with several of the old masters in the Pampanga region... I am working on putting together an article on Master Reston's system for publication by an eskrima magazine in the UK and once I get the pictures together, it will be out for publication.. It is part of the manuscript that I received from Master Reston during one of my trips to the Philippines in 03 when he retired from teaching..
  8. Mono

    Mono Member

    About Nickelstick: In a way it CAN be considered a Style by itself since there are some changes in Curriculum, Re-Organizing of Variations in Groupings, Addition to Grouping Method etc when compared to the "original" Teovels (if anyone can actually poit out what exactly that is...) - but then again, no - it is in a way not a different Style since the Core of all Methods, Principals etc are still as taught by Teofilo Velez...

    I d say it is impossible to classify Balintawak into a Certain Number of Styles. Yes, there are some clearly Seperable Lineages (One using Groupings, the others are not, NECOPA Using 14 Angles others use 12 etc etc) but after all, the CORE Methods and Principals follow the Teachings of GM Bacon - everything else is a matter of Personal preference of the "First Generation Student" and what theri studens adopt from them (or other sources as well...

    I ve had the Pleasure of meeting and Training with various Teovels, Mongcal/Necopa, Atillo, Tabimina, Presas and Buot Lineage Students, Instructors and Masters/Grandmasters - and it was always a great experience.
    And even within the Same Lineage you find very different Preferences in the Execution of the same concepts, techniques and methods depending on the Individual.

    Thats one thing I love about FMA - ther is usually no "wrong" way of doing sth as long as you follow the principals of your style and make it work!
    Noone will tell you "you have to turn your wrist 1.5 inches more outward or your Punch is Wrong" (as I have seen/experienced in traditional Karate for exmple).
    It always comes down to the Individual.

    So if you get look at the Big Pickture, the Answer to the above Question could either be:

    Ther is Only ONE Balintawak


    There are as many Styles as there are Players in the Art :)

    Just my 2 ct.

    Greetings from Germany!

    Philipp "Mono" Wolf
  9. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    I understand the idea that we are all one Balintawak. But I posted this thread on 'FMATalk' AND in the 'BALINTAWAK' section. So I'm hoping for some real discussion.

    In my opinion, if I change around the numbering system of the striking angles and call 'pushing and pulling' group 0 I really havn't changed the system, but if I started using stick and dagger 'only' ( no empty hand ) I might end up creating a new ' style ' which of course still would be in the 'Balintawak' family.
  10. Mono

    Mono Member

    But would this not be the Question of "Wich Styles have been influenced by Balintawak" Instead of different Balintawak Styles?

    AfaIk, there is no System that uses - to pick up your Example - purely Stick and Dager (or any other Weapons that would fullfill your requirements as stated) that is still called "Balintawak". There are of course some Styles that have been Influenced by it - such as Remy Presas Modern Arnis; it is Definately a closely related art to Balintawak but there are also so many different Changes in what is beeing taught in MA that it is usually not referred to as a "Style" of Balintawak...
  11. Twist

    Twist Junior Member

    Just stop using the term "style" and start discussing lineages and - as mentioned by Philipp - new systems based on Balintawak ;)
  12. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    Hmm. I guess I'm using the word 'style' differently. I don't know , maybe 'flavor' or something. "New systems based on Balintawak" sounds good. But it would still have to be a Balintawak, and not, for example Modern Arnis.
  13. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    Indeed. And you've so far received replies from three Balintawak people who've said essentially the same things in their replies.

    Here's the crux of the problem - once one strays too far from the system, it ceases to be what it once was and becomes something else. It's either Balintawak or it's not. If it's no longer Balintawak but, it had it's roots somewhere in Balintawak, it may be considered to have been influenced by Balintawak but, it's not a "system of Balintawak".

    I think so. Three systems come right to mind: Tres Personas/Combat Eskrima Maranga, Modern Arnis, and Lapunti Arnis de Abanico. Tres Personas/CEM is heavily based upon Balintawak. Modern Arnis and Lapunti Arnis much less so but, still influenced by Balintawak.

  14. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    Ok, so there are not different styles of Balintawak then.
  15. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    How to define 'style', 'system', etc., is always an issue. Everyone has their own personal expression of the art too! With the informality of FMAs it's even harder to tell if it's a different style (or if the question is even meaningful).
  16. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    Well said.

    I think from my first posts about the issue I kind of explained my idea of what 'style' means, relative to this thread. I said 'Teovel, Atillo, Tabimina, Original, Necopa, and CEM'. I have to admit though I don't know much about CEM.

    There are of course many many expressions of Balintawak out there. Like if I called my system..........'Swift Waters Balintawak' we still pretty much do Teovel Balintawak even if I add a few things here and there. But I think from the above mentioned 'styles', they are different enough from what I do, besides 'Teovel ' of course.

    If you watch a video of two Balintawak players you can definately tell if they are playing Tabimina's or Atillo's method. I don't know. The question is meaningful to me, but I don't want to just talk to myself about it. :)
  17. MacJ_007

    MacJ_007 Junior Member

    In the Philippines, when we say "What is your style?" It normally pertains to the name of the art that you know. So we will say Balintawak, YawYan, Aikido, PKA, etc. If its Balintawak, we then ask "Who is your instructor?" If its a different art, we will try to spar/fight them to know if our art is superior. This has always been the mentality of the Balintawak that I know since I learned this art 16 yrs ago. I'm with GM Bob Tabimina now, and the mentality has not changed one bit, but the perception is more mature.

    All Balintawak lineages might look the same when you observe a video. The similarity is uncanny but the distinction between lineages can be noticed. You can only tell if theres a difference when you started learning the core teachings of each lineages.

    So to answer your question:
    1. One must have learned from all the lineages of Balintawak and learning their core teachings.
    2. One must have played with each of the lineages of Balintawak.

    The one who have done these, is the more appropriate person to answer your question. I surely am not qualified to answer your question, since I have not played with all the lineages. I opt for number 2 since number 1 is next to impossible.
  18. fangjian

    fangjian Jo Dong

    I bet Sir Bob would be the one to ask, from what I've read about him.

    To me it's like when I was telling someone that I train BJJ and he said ' Oh so you do Judo' and I responded, 'No, I dont do Judo, I do BJJ'. He again kept saying all I was basically doing was Judo. I kinda' understand why he was saying that but DAMN. Stop hatin' I guess.

    I like number 2. of your suggestion. Who's the closest Tabimina instructor to me in CT? I think Master Chad in Florida.
  19. Soncen

    Soncen Teovel Balintawak

    The Balintawak Arnis is only one and the name was very well established. It is a recognized identity that described the style of self-defense art developed by the late great Grandmaster Venancio (Anciong) Bacon. Martial arts enthusiasts during the time of Anciong went to train with him when they heard about this new self-defense art and his fame of winning challenge fight rung up all over the province. The people in the neighborhood began to call them the Balintawak group to identify it from the Doce Pares Arnis group.

    Since the beginning of the Balintawak propagation the brand of teaching is hands on one-to-one personal contact and it looks to be a simulation of actual combat fighting, but they called it the at random method. Anciong made some innovations when he noticed only few brave students of him persevered to complete his curriculum. Some of his students also made some innovations when they started to teach of their own. The grouping method was first introduced by the late Teofilo Velez where the training was less harmful to the students and this innovation was later on got his approval.

    Self-innovation of teaching method from different teachers of the Balintawak Arnis made them independent to each other, but all of them belong to only one community of the Balintawak population. Teofilo Velez had commissioned twelve of his most trusted follower to teach in this new grouping method of teaching and he became the Grandmaster. Upon his demise the twelve continued to spread out his innovative teaching, but at present the twelve was reduced to only five groups. The three children of Mr. Velez form an alliance and made Chito Velez the eldest to be the Grandmaster.

    Bobby Elizar and Joe Cavan merged with Nick Elizar the younger brother of Bobby and Nick became the Grandmaster. Bobby Taboada and Nene Gaabucayan settled in the U.S.A. and became Grandmaster of their respective group. One of the twelve was now deceased and the other two are inactive. The fifth among the groups was Teofilo V. Roma who established himself in Mandaue City; he is very active in the propagation of the art for the demised Grandmaster Teofilo Velez. Roma commissioned three of his most senior students to teach and assist with him and he became the Grandmaster.

    There is only one person I knew who misused the name Balintawak for his style and for his group. But this guy is not learning from Anciong or to any of Anciong’s students and his style not Balintawak, so his group is not belong to us and they are a separate entity which do not have the rights to use the name. Because their origin did not come from Anciong whom had established the training venue in the 1950’s at the Balintawak St. in downtown Cebu City, hence the name of the style was then taken befitting in it, Anciong’s group identified by the name that described their self-defense art system.

    Wilson R. Ceniza
  20. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member


    It's good to see you back here. I was wondering what had happened to our resident Balintawak historian! I think there is an error in your last post, though. Was it not Jose Villasin who developed the grouping system and then taught it to Teofilo Velez?


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