Range question: Serrada and Balintawak

Discussion in 'Serrada' started by Rich Parsons, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

  2. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Serrada and Balintawak

    Interesting question. Generally longer weapons dictate longer ranges - but other factors may come into play.

    As a matter of pure conjecture: Balintawak evolved out of its founder's involvement with the Saavedras and the Doce Pares Club into a stick-fighting (dueling) art that took place in the narrow back alleys, rooms, and courtyards of Cebu. (It's interesting to note that Cacoy Canete's art took a similar turn.) Hence a desire to close, jam, trap, and hit quickly at corto range. Your stikes are short, percussive, and use alot of ricochet (de cuerdas?).

    Serrada's slightly longer range makes sense it you substitue a 24" machete or similar weapon (e.g. a short cutlass) for the stick. In this case you have a highly precise, tight method suitable for fighting while you're defending a ship or in the middle of a dockyard melee - but you still have enough distance to generate an ugly slash with your weapon.

    Just my 2 cents - I don't study either art, so I may be off-base on this one.


    Steve Lamade
  3. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    I agree with your comments here in particular with the limited demo I saw, as the thrusts and strikes would be very condusive to a blade that size.
  4. darkpaperino

    darkpaperino New Member

    in fact - that's the point! having some experience in both, serrada and balintawak, it's very interesting to see the differences in both styles as well as what they have in common.

    when I had my first balintawak lesson, I used my "short" serrada stick and I really had problems protecting myself against the fast strikes from my teacher who hit me from a distance I never thought someone could strike with a longer stick than I was used. I always thought, serrada plays a close game but that was much closer!!! I tried to use my stick as a stick and doing so - my teacher just closed the distance, and strikes, punches and traps destroyed my attempt to hold the distance.

    it was very important to understand that serrada is a blade art! a lot of the techniques are considerd to be carried out in blade fighting and do not make sense using a stick. Just try to do free flow or just the counters with a bolo instead of the stick and you'll see!
  5. nash

    nash New Member

    Although Serrada is a blase art, I found that you can convert to a stick quite easily. By taking the slashing movements and doing more a whipping movement, you can use the Serrada form in a stick fight.
  6. darkpaperino

    darkpaperino New Member

    Yes that's right and I don't deny that. but there are undoubtly techniques which are definitely made only to be carried out with a blade. it is very important to try all the counters with a stick as well with a blade. I know serrada players who are now in their 12th year and they never had even the idea that "something could be different" when they use a blade instead of the stick!

    the ability to transform the concepts is very important and once understood how to serrada is one of the finest methods to engage in a stick fight!
  7. 408kali

    408kali Member

    I've been taught that Serrada is a blade art from the get-go. As I progressed in my training I was challenged with using different weapons, and the way I would use them differently, i.e., bayonet, bat, chain, bolo, etc.,..

    It's good that your friend's eyes were opened to the concept of Serrada as a blade art, because it is. Serrada Espada y Daga (sword & dagger). Once that is engrained in you, the concepts become much clearer. It expands your martial vocabulary, esp. concerning Eskrima/Arnis/Baston/Kali etc.

    I find it quite interesting when some groups call it stick fighting. I just think wow they're missing out on the possibilities. On the other hand I see the stick as a functional means of self-defense (esp. hardwood!). The practicality of Serrada is that the movement is so effortlessly translated into knife fighting/stick, which makes alot of sense for our times.

    Peace, ~John
  8. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I always thought of it as a stick art like Balintawak because those were the only pictures I ever saw of Angel Cabales, and I identified the art almost entirely with him. It's good to get a more complete picture!
  9. 408kali

    408kali Member

    Hey just as an interesting sidenote, I have found another one of Felicisimo Dizon's students, Grand Master Lazo, of Luzviminda Arnis Kali Brotherhood.

    As some may know well, Angel Cabales was a student of Dizon's.

    The site is www.lakb.net .

    Also, I have recently been corresponding with this very nice man who for a very long time preferred to remain low-key. He is a very nice guy! He restores old Philippine weapons, and is also a Panday (bladesmith). I hope to visit him one day!

    Peace, ~John
  10. nash

    nash New Member

    It's weird, when I talk to people that have been in Escrima for a while, they tend to think that Serrada is a stick art. One thing I learned that every stick that is used in the art of Escrima, no matter what style, is really a substitute for something else. In my studies I found that the most of the longer sticks were actually farm tools that the farmers would use in defense.
  11. gold_chapter

    gold_chapter Balintawak Eskrima



    Felicisimo Dizon was also from Cebu, correct?
  12. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    One could venture to say that Serrada , Balintawak & Kombatan are cousins. The lineages show that in GM Lazo's bio. Range is relative to the circumstances that the combat situation provides. But closing range and distance and fighting inside close makes good sense to me. Hope to meet this man someday.
  13. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    I would believe that!
  14. pahhhoul

    pahhhoul New Member

  15. geezer

    geezer Member

    "Range" or "weaponry" ?

    This thread began as a comparison of ranges using sticks. My experience in Serrada is limited to a few workouts with some great guys from that system, and I only know Balintawak from a couple of afternoons working out with an equally terrific guy named Sam Buot, back in the late '80s. But, since both Serrada and Balintawak are complete systems, involving sticks, knives and empty hands, the issue of range can't be explained by weapons preference alone...Or body type and size, either. It comes down to your technique, style, comfort zone and attitude. I trained in the Latosa system (which largely evolved from Cabales Serrada) and Wing Tsun, and perhaps most importantly, did wrestling as a youth (what you do as a child stays with you the longest). I'm smallish (5'8"), not particularly strong or skilled, so common sense says I should keep my distance. But, my "comfort zone" is in close...Hit with the stick, punyo, fist, elbow, shoulder, hell...head butt if you feel like it...Trap, grapple and throw. And I don't know much about knives, except to respect them a lot. In short, I guess I'm, saying that a system's--or a player's preferred range isn't just a matter of knife vs. stick.
  16. Dagadiablo

    Dagadiablo New Member

    Serrada is a blade art. As a stick art it is almost useless. Seriously. Most Serrada players are still think it is a simple stick art but under closer analysis, it's movements are much, much deeper than what is taught. Balintawak plays closer with a longer stick because it's overall goal is to develop sensitivity to your opponent's movement of attack at a very close range. Balintawak's sticks movement's are more to develop empty hand fighting, whereas Serrada--at medium range-is more for knife trapping, zoning, checking and locking. In addition, Serrada really means "to close" not "close" like mosty current generation Serrada players play it.

  17. StixMaster

    StixMaster -== Banned ==-

    GGM Angel was real good with a blade, in fact once when I was with him to pick up some Chinese take-out, the owner of that restaurant in Stockton, Ca. told me in front of Angel how good he was with a Bowie knife. Serrada is based on blade but you can use it stick way too, its all in the tip with the body torque, footwork and chi, it will be effective with the stick too, especially with the gates, chance em brah, multiple strikes more small kine figure 8s(abanico) moves. More control with the shorter stick - 24"-18" especially with 'bahi or kamagong' Like boxing with a stick in your hand. Anyway I when walaau too much already, Aloha A hui ho

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