Picture of Mang Ben

Discussion in 'Lightning Scientific Arnis' started by Shaun, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    Hi guys.I hope it is ok to share some good times. This is a picture of me with Mang Ben and Master Elmer Ybanez after a training session in Manila in 1992.
  2. Pat OMalley

    Pat OMalley Brit with a stick

    Great Pic Bro, I remember meeting them both back then (phew 16 years ago) and I forgot you had those nobbly knees ;-}

    GLENNLOBO New Member

    are those regulation issue shorts??
  4. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    90's shorts,can't beat them.
  5. kabaroan

    kabaroan Kabaroan

    Outstanding! Keep it safe! Thanks for sharing!

    I cherish the photos I have with my instructors, training partners and friends. They are all family and therefore, special! :)
  6. chamber

    chamber New Member

    great pic! hope you could share some more. thanks!
  7. Supremo

    Supremo New Member

    thanks for sharing Shaun!
  8. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    You are absolutely right Kabaroan.I share the same sentiments exactly.
  9. chamber

    chamber New Member

    Training with Mang Ben

    hi shaun, could you give a short description on what training was like with Mang Ben? How many times a week? How many hours? And when he took you to train in Laguna, how was the atmosphere like with the other arnisadors there?
  10. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    Hi Chamber.OK here we go.
    How many times a week did I train with Mang Ben? Five,sometimes six.

    How many hours a day. Mang Ben and I would meet at Cubao Jollibee. early in the morning(E.D.S.A traffic allowing.Remamber, this was before the days of the MRT).I would return home usually about eight or nine in the evening.
    Or sometimes Grandmaster would come over to my mother's house (where I was living) and we would train for most of the day,stopping for lunch.Mang Ben would often have a nap and then we might train some more,or meet with a group of Grandmaster's students.
    I would always write up notes about what Mang Ben had shown me in the evening.It was pretty intense,so this was the only way to remember what I had learned that day.Often there was something new the following day,so the night time 'revision'was really helpful.
    What was the atmosphere like with the guys in Laguna?
    In a word,fantastic.Masters Boy and Juanito Villeno(from Laguna) had a huge amount of respact of course for Mang Ben.
    I remember Arnisadors in Laguna,that were not Lightning, wanting to meet Mang Ben because of his reputation.
    If you speak to Master June Villeno or Master Romy Santos they can tell you more about Mang Ben in Laguna
    I have been in contact with the guys from Laguna recently and they are a great bunch. I believe L.S.A.I. has a strong prescence in parts of Laguna,
    Ate Patty has regular contact with L.S.A.I. Laguna.
    I hope this helps.
  11. chamber

    chamber New Member

    Thanks for sharing Shaun! I've sort of pictured the images in my mind while reading thru it.

    I will do more 'revisions' myself, I believe that this is very helpful, appreciate you sharing this part. Specially at that time, correct me please if I'm wrong, as with the old GMs, their teaching methodology was different.

    How did Mang Ben teach then? Was he more of the - he'll show you the technique and you observe and copy type? Hope you could share a few of your insights on this.
  12. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    Hi Chamber.Yes,you are absolutely correct,the 'revision' is such a good tool.
    I believe Master Jocano also has found this really helpful.

    Grandmaster was really a 'hands on' teacher,as I am sure the rest of the guys will tell you.He did not just show you a technique and leave you to learn it.He loved doing the techniques himself,so for him it was also what he loved to do.

    Sometimes it would be just Mang Ben and myself training,so he would do a technique on me and I would try and pick up on it the first time(not always successfully).Then I would do the same technique on Mang Ben.If I got it right Mang Ben would sometimes say"very good",or just give a little nod of his head,or say nothing at all.

    The great thing was, Mang Ben would keep doing the technique with me until I got it right. If it was a particularly difficult technique,I seem to recall Grandmaster leaving it for the following day.This seemed to help in assimilating the finer points,such as what angle your stick should be in relation to your opponents. This happened on a few occassions. He was really very patient.

    Sometimes, if we were teaching another group of students,there was pressure to get it right the first time,but this was a good thing, as it really focused the mind.

    I think what you mentioned about the 'old GMs' teaching methodology is interesting.Mang Ben did not really do a great deal of explanation when he showed you a technique.It was more a case of learning first by watching and and the trying to match his movements and then being corrected if you got it wrong.

    Having said this.Grandmaster would always answer questions and I never felt inhibited about asking.You see ,I really felt at ease with Mang Ben.He wanted you to learn and this made all the difference.

    I hope I have not 'rambled'on too long and I hope my Lightning bros.and fellow FMA practitioners do not mind me sharing about my time with Mang Ben.

    Train hard.
  13. chamber

    chamber New Member

    training with Mang Ben

    Thanks again Shaun for giving me a glimpse on what it was like to train with Mang Ben!

    Will do, thanks for the encouragement.
  14. Supremo

    Supremo New Member

    This is what we need to hear from those who got the chance to personally train with Mang Ben. Salamat Shaun!
  15. Banakun

    Banakun New Member

    Share more Shaun! Hahahahaha...

    I remember Mang Ben to be a hard person to please. He was quite meticulous. He would have you do the same thing over and over again until you either got a small nod of approval or silence! Hahahahaha. In the end, he was just looking for that little twist of your body or position of your stick...Sometimes he would say good job... especially when he's caught up in the moment during drills like bigay tama where he would start talking to you going "Lumaban ka...lumaban ka... yan! Yan ang palo! Maliwanag!" Sometimes he would not say anything but brag about you to others... as he did to some local escrimadors who visited him while we were in Davao...he would go "Pag mga bata ko makatapat niyo, patay kayo diyan..." Hahahahaha.

    Master Elmer had the same meticulous teaching approach as Mang Ben. But Master Elmer would explain underlying principles better. For Mang Ben, you had to figure it out most of the time!

    Attention to detail, especially with the basics... that's the foundation for a great escrimador. Mang Ben and Maestro Elmer both knew that and that was their approach to teaching.
  16. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    Hi Nols, thanks for refreshing my memory and sharing.

    Yes,Mang Ben was proud of his students and would brag to people about them.I do remember this.

    It was really great training with Master Elmer.I found if there were some things that were perhaps not clear,Master Elmer would always help and fill in the gaps.

    Nols do you remember Mang Ben saying your Arnis should be "walang gaps"
  17. Banakun

    Banakun New Member

    Yep. When we brought him to Davao, the first thing he did was look at our movement and knowledge base. I think he could see how deep our understanding was just by looking at bits and pieces of the LSAI stuff we did. Then he decided what he wanted to concentrate on and teach. He didn't dwell on bigay tama anymore... more on counter-for-counter and in particular, the emptyhand defense against hack number 1. After that, he went straight into the "Lanseta", the term he used for "knife."

    Every night he would say, "Ibinigay ko sa inyo lahat, mula sa ugat hanggang sa tuktok ng puno" (I'll give you everything, from the roots to the tree top). "Para walang butas ang arnis niyo" (so that there are no holes in your arnis).

    Basically that's my approach to teaching as well. I look at a person, ascertain his weaknesses (gaps/holes/butas) and patch that up with special one-on-one training. So at any given moment, my advanced-level guys are training/specializing in different things. The basic levels are pretty much the uniform in development so not much need for that.

    Nathan and Jon spent more time with Mang Ben than me though, so I guess they would have more stories to tell.

    One thing I remember with maestro Elmer, when we had our first tournament exposure, we were asking him how we should deal with a player from this or that style/system. He just said... "Magtiwala kayo sa alam niyo. Magaling si Mang Ben!" (Trust in your knowledge because Mang Ben is good!). Hahahahaha. Talk about confidence!
  18. oosh

    oosh Junior Member

    Great stories, thanks for sharing them.
  19. Batongbuhay

    Batongbuhay New Member

    confidence! there was one time wheni was about to drive him home from marikina when i asked him to put on his seatbelt coz the "law" was in effect and tht we didnt want to get caught by cops so i said "mag-seatbelt po tayo" (lets put on the belts, we dont want to get caught by cops), he then looks at me as if i was a silly boy, slaps my leg then says... " hm hm... kaya naman natin yun..." ( we can take 'em on...)
  20. Shaun

    Shaun New Member

    Thanks for sharing Jon. Good times.

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