How/Why did Balintawak gain popularity in the US?

Discussion in 'Balintawak' started by Carol, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Carol

    Carol <font color = blue><b>Technical Administrator</b><

    After reading some threads on this site as well as MT, I'm very deeply moved at how closely knit the Balintawak community is.

    Mr. Ceniza posted a lot of interesting information about the origins of Balintawak, but I'm did the art come to the states?

    What is it that has attracted people to the art? Or, if you train in Balintawak, what is it that has held your interest about the art?

    I'm curious to see what you all have to share. [​IMG]
  2. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    The rise of Modern Arnis has certainly helped, since practitioners of it who look for the roots of the art have been led to it. But that's only part of the story!
  3. samson818

    samson818 New Member

    Not exactly sure of the Balintawak timeline in the US, but I'll give this question a shot.

    I believe Manong Ted Buot was among the first of the Balintawak clan to come to the USA, yet he remained relatively low key even until now.

    Most of Balintawak's fame, IMO, comes from Master Bobby Taboada's efforts to spread the art.
    He has done a fantastic job of showing the effectiveness of Balintawak through DVD's, seminars, and other venues.

    Not sure when Master Nene Gabucayan, Master Zac Taco, Villasin's son came to the US, but most of these groups were underground and taught privately.

    And of course GM Remy Presas.
    Many of his students have gone back to study Balintawak after his passing, I believe on his blessing and encouragement.

    Feel free to correct any misinformation.
  4. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    Manong (GM) Ted Buot was in the US in the early 70's.

    GM Remy Presas gave his blessing and encouragement to many while he as alive. Manong Ted had a limited number of positions and he also required an introduction before he would take on the new student. Many of the existing students would give the introduction, and in some cases GM Remy Presas offered to make the introduction or did so or had an existing student of Both give the introduction.
  5. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    I’ll take a shot at this one. I think the biggest reason is the internet. With forums like MT, FMAT, FMA Forum, etc. it allows for a greater audience to reach out to. Seminars, camps and schools are being mentioned on the net all of the time.
  6. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    I made a similar observation early in my learning. The camaraderie amongst Balintawak students and instructors is very strong and is a large part of what I like about it. I think there are many explanations for this, of which I'll list a few.

    Balintawak is still a small community. With any relatively small group, maintaining good order is relatively easy. Charlatans and fools simply aren't tolerated. And word gets around...

    The one-on-one nature of the instruction naturally encourages close relationships amongst students and instructors.

    Overall, Balintawak is only in its second (third in some groups) generation of recognized masters (a master being one qualified to produce someone as an instructor). In the US, we're still on our first generation. This means that most practitioners are more or less contemporaries and a sense of mutual respect goes along with that.

    In the circles I move in, age and life experience has something to do with it. Most of the instructors and students are 30+ years old. At 37, I'm one of the youngest instructors. I guess we just have more to talk about than who's who in Balintawak. A BJJ guy once said that he enjoyed hanging out with us more that the BJJ crowd because we talked about all kinds of stuff; the BJJ folks only wanted to talk about the UFC. :laugh:

  7. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member


    Very well put, I likewhat you said. :D


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