VMA Balintawak clip

Discussion in 'Balintawak' started by VMA Man, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. malcolmk

    malcolmk Member

    Not sure but are you (Vma balintawak) referring to clipping as being the temporary trap of the stick whilst you counterstrike? A little like this clip (excuse the pun) here?http://members.lycos.co.uk/nickelstick/
     
  2. garrotista

    garrotista New Member

    Deke,
    Appreciate your counter-to-counter point to my post. Yes, you are correct I have taken offense to the comments of an "overexuberant student," otherwise, I would not bother to critique a VMAbalintawak video clip. My motivation to write a critique on "style/technique" was not due to over exuberance, butVMAbalintawak09's poor judgement in his comments, "I have students who trained directly under Gaabucayan and Tabimina and they also feel the others PALE in comparison to John. Even the famous Velez brothers from Cebu whom John has learned from cannot compare," taken from previous thread. After reading this, I share the same sentiments as others: this was very disrespectful, especially to the Velez bros. The agak that John Russell learned from & is teaching, is based on the research/ experience of 'Noy Teofilo Velez. Monie Velez even instructed John for a short time. That said, I felt, as a Teovel student from the Velez bros: Monie, Eddie, & 'Nong Chito, as well as, Nene Gaabucayan, to respond with a critique on the "style/technique" of the John's agak. This is my opinion, I'm sure others will agree, I'm sure others will not. The video speaks for itself, viewer's like myself will evaluate the agak based on the skill level/knowledge/experience of their instructor/s, as well as, their own insight.
     
  3. deke

    deke New Member

    Clipping 101

    The clip is control of the instructors stick after the initial student block with the instructors stick cradled between the thumb and palm of the students alive hand. It is not a hold or a grab. The student if they grab the instructors stick is taught through a open palm strike to the shoulder (which would be a punch to the head in a fight) not to hold the stick or a number of other painfull variations. The clip also allows the instuctor to withdraw his stick for another strike keeping up the freewheeling nature of the play.

    Clipping serves a number of purposes:-

    1) following just after the students block with the stick the clip helps disapates the force and then clears away or down the instructors stick.

    2) Maybe more importantly the clip is about developing sensitivity in the alive hand to the power and flow of your opponents weapon. How well you clip is an indication of the level of control and feeling you have for the opponents power. This is why when it is done well it looks like Wing Chun Chi Sao.

    3) An effective clip (if your fast enough) can turn into a disarm. Free2flow clipping is not the same as what you call magnet in Lapunti. I trained with GM Ondo and its more of a lever/grab pull.

    4) Not Balintawak but like above the clip could turn into a sharp pull with the opponent unbalanced moving forward leading to an empty hand/elbow strike or into a grapple. The pull could also get the opponent thinking and moving towards a counter for an expected disarm.
     
  4. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    Well, no fewer than five people except 'VMAbalintawak' have responded. All of the discussion is well and good but, I want to hear it from him. Everyone else can only speculate about what he may or may not have meant. He made the comments so, I'd like his explanation.

    I also don't need to have a third party telling me about someone claiming to have trained with Bobby Taboada 20 years ago. If everyone who ever attended a seminar or trained for a few months with Bobby and then claimed they were "trained" by him, as if to imply they were an expert, were in fact "trained" by him, the list would be very, very long. However, everyone who has been fully trained by Bobby, and therefore qualified to comment about such, is listed here: http://www.internationalbalintawak.com/community/index.htm. That list is rather short.

    I notice that this has generated some interest from at least one new board member in Australia. Everyone else there seems to have clammed up. Someone else there must know who 'VMAbalintawak' is. The formerly verbose commentary from the VMA Aussie contingent seems to have ended since my initial post here. Curious...
     
  5. deke

    deke New Member

    Aussie

    Robert

    I think you are being a little unfair. Understandable considering some of the inflammatory comments floating around about your instructor.

    VMAbalinawak is clearly a student of John Russell NOT John Russell himself. I do not know who this guy is as I stopped training with John about 10 years ago. No comment in any of this thread can be attributed to him and it would be libellous to say otherwise.

    "The formerly verbose commentary from the VMA Aussie contingent"

    Contingent implies more than one. I am unaware of any personal correspondence; however, on this forum and also on UTube it appears that it has only been one person making these comments.

    "I also don't need to have a third party telling me about someone claiming to have trained with Bobby Taboada 20 years ago. If everyone who ever attended a seminar or trained for a few months with Bobby and then claimed they were "trained" by him, as if to imply they were an expert, were in fact "trained" by him, the list would be very, very long."

    Please do not misquote. John Russell trained WITH Bobby Taboada this included attending some seminars and some private lessons 18-20 years ago. John Russell had already studied Balintawak extensively under Henry Jayme. This said, there was no implication of extended training with Bobby in my statement. John in any discussion with me (we had numerous conversations on the topic) never stated an adverse opinion of Bobby Taboada either personally or in terms of technique. My personal recollection of Bobby Taboada was that he was a knowledgeable, skilled and humble man; I know John had a similar opinion. However, this being said it was clear that the curriculum which I was taught (which was described by both Henry Jayme and John Russell as Teovel's Balintawak) varied considerably from what Bobby Taboada was teaching. There is no inherent criticism or slight in his statement.

    As you correctly state in your post a few seminars and private lessons doesn't mean that someone has been trained BY Bobby Taboada. IMO it does (can) mean that an Instructor/Senior Student from another Balintawak school can get a taste for the curriculum and method of instruction of another school or instructor. John’s opinion was that what he saw was a curriculum which was more suitable for group instruction which was at odds (to the one on one) with what he had been taught. The two person drills which were part of the seminars were nowhere as effective as learning from an instructor (This was my assessment also). This in no way reflects on Bobby's personal skill.

    The VMA Balintawak curriculum (as it was 10 years ago) was (almost) totally orientated around the instructor student unit. It is MY belief (and I guess those that taught me) that this lays at the heart of good teaching and the philosophy of Teovel's Balintawak and in truth all schools of Balintawak.

    "Everyone else there seems to have clammed up."

    Who is everyone else? "VMA Balintawak" is an individual.

    From another of your posts

    "However, I'm thinking there must be a difference in terminology between what we call a clip and what 'VMAbalintawak' calls "clipping". It seems like a technique all its own since he makes such a big deal out of it."

    I will repeat Point 2 of my previous clipping post. Clipping is about tactile conditioning so that you feel and can respond to the power of your opponent. To do it REALLY properly you need great skill and finesse. Clipping as a technique is only a very small part of control of your opponent’s weapon hand but (in the whole) is a key principle of Escrima. Ever seen GM Cacoy Canete's control the weapon hand?

    Now if you read the post CAREFULLY you will see an explanation of where VMABalintawak's comments MAY have come from. Yes, it's speculation but I bet it's on the mark. You can offer Bobby my personal apology for any offence.

    "My instructor bets your instructor" crap is just that. Inflammatory comments seem so pointless and serve no useful purpose. No one is going to jump on a plane over words (however, impolitic, inflammatory and rude).

    Cheers

    David Eke
     
  6. free2flow

    free2flow New Member

    Thanks for you clarification. I don't do Lapunti, only Teovel. Sorry I didn't mean to say the same, just similar :).
     
  7. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    David:

    I'm not quite sure why John Russell's name got thrown into the mix here. I don't know him, have never talked to him, nor brought his name into this. My issue is with 'VMAbalintawak'.

    I want him to explain himself directly, in a public setting - the same way he saw fit to make his public comments elsewhere. I really don't care to hear any other explanations from anyone else or any excuse-making for him. Here is where many Balintawak people visit, although they may not post here, hence why I brought this up here in the first place. I really don't see how I'm being unfair with regards to that. I'm not the slightest bit upset about his comments about Bobby. Bobby takes care of himself and certainly doesn't need me to defend him. What I am irritated with is someone using my name in their numbskull comments. The longer this goes on, the more irritated I become. It's really quite simple: I want satisfaction - either in the form of a retraction, explanation, or demonstration.

    Enough about that...

    For the record, and for the benefit of everyone who reads here, I'll explain the backstory of this video clip: http://youtube.com/watch?v=47uywKffT_k.

    Regardless of what the title says, it's not a sparring demonstration, nor was it ever intended for distribution. There was a conceptual idea of producing a new video disc emphasizing the requirements for the completion of Bobby's curriculum. That concept never came to fruition. What is shown in that video clip is basically a camera, lighting and sound test done by Paul Falcon (note the blue screen and lighting to eliminate background shadows).

    That segment was flimed at about midnight, after we'd been going for about five hours. Paul filmed hours of video of miscellaneous things in the vein of "let's do this and see how it looks on video". Bobby wanted to practice his targeting and Paul kept the camera rolling so that he could monitor the video and lighting, as well as keep us in frame. I was Bobby's training bag ("Ro-bert, can I hit you a little bit?"). Watch, and you'll notice that I kept my left hand high on my chest during the hitting. That was intentional so as to give a clear target, avoid potentially having my hand banged up and to keep my elbow out of the way. There was no clipping and movement was done at about half speed.

    Paul put a bit of polish on that particular segment out of all of the video that had been shot that night. Again, as a demonstration of what the video would look and sound like with a little post-production work applied to it. Many people who saw it liked it, and it apparently found its way onto YouTube. Personally, I never really cared for it because it was not intended for distribution. However, other people enjoyed it and it became a promotional piece for a project that was never finished.

    That's the story.

    Now, where's 'VMAbalintawak'?

    Robert

    P.S. - It would appear that I didn't read FalconagentX44's (RIP) diatribe carefully enough. I found this gem - "Message: Hey mate, I am VMA Man from FMATALK. You can also see some of my youtube videos under username VMABalintawak." I'll send him a PM and an email.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  8. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member


    Robert,

    This is meant as no disrespect to you or Manong Bobby. I do know those that claim to have learned his system and or argue about the art of Balintawak from just a seminar or two from back in the early to mid 90's. I know this happens to most of the larger organizations and or instructors that teach in the seminar format. Just because they do it does not mean it is right though.

    I do hope you get an answer from the poster in question as I also would like to hear it from his own point of view.

    Thanks
     
  9. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    Rich:

    Oh, there are definitely people who do that sort of thing. There was one guy who attended one (ONE!) weekend seminar and within a few months was holding himself out as a Balintawak master under Bobby. As you know, the community is very small and word came back very quickly. That didn't go over too well.

    Straying even further off-topic but, people often don't seem to grasp the concept of the seminar format as Bobby uses it. A seminar is an opportunity to see it up close, experience it for a time, see some of how it's taught, and be able to take away some things that may be applicable to whatever art they study. Bobby does not teach by seminar nor award ranks or standing by seminar attendance. If you want to fully learn, you have to go to a qualified instructor. Anyone who thinks they can attend a few seminars and truly grasp the art or teaching method is delusional.

    Robert
     
  10. deke

    deke New Member

    Robert

    "A seminar is an opportunity to see it up close, experience it for a time, see some of how it's taught, and be able to take away some things that may be applicable to whatever art they study......Anyone who thinks they can attend a few seminars and truly grasp the art or teaching method is delusional."

    Have to disagree. 20 years as a secondary school teacher it takes me about 5 minutes in someone else’s class to get a real feel for what is going on. I think its the same for the MA's. O.K. you don't know the ins and outs of the curriculum but you get a real taste of what’s going on.

    Here is an electronic copy of my handwritten notes from a seminar of Bobby circa 15 years ago.

    12 basic strikes (same target and numbering)
    Counters same as Teovel’s Balintawak. Less emphasis on control of weapon hand.

    Bobby T wider stance. Front foot forward of shoulder. Back foot not parallel, looks like a half Karate stance (sometimes widening into full). Didn’t bend the knees to centre. Full body into strike almost turning side on. Doesn’t close range. Always finish with a florish but not on the target like hitting point.

    Simple two person pattern 12 strikes and counter. Stationary no footwork. Clip not emphasised.

    Didn’t correct footwork of helper (with light shin kick) when demonstrating. Helpers footwork all over the place. Finished with a Teovel disarm 1

    Pretty sure I had a second page but can’t find it. The notes where not meant as a criticism, just noting technical differences in style between what I was taught. I did get the impression that the curriculum wasn’t centred around the instructor student unit but class instruction. Am I wrong? Also I got the impression from the way Bobby was talking his major teacher was GM Velez? Does he teach the logical order of Teovel Balintawak e.g. 12 strikes and counters, Group 1 – 5, end plays, pull and pull, disarms, hitting point and palakaw?

    On another topic does Bobby Taboada know and teach the single and two person patterns of Tat Kun Tao taught by Jose Millan?

    “Many people who saw it liked it, and it apparently found its way onto YouTube. Personally, I never really cared for it because it was not intended for distribution. However, other people enjoyed it and it became a promotional piece for a project that was never finished.”

    Got the Balintawak Cuentada logo on it. It says something about the people that liked it. Bobby does do some hitting point and ends with a disarm but it doesn’t showcase his obvious skill. Why don’t you put some good vids of “give and take” on youtube and as you say not be “training bag”
     
  11. Robert Klampfer

    Robert Klampfer New Member

    The operative words being "feel" and "taste". Again, seminar instruction is not the same as private instruction.

    I can't really comment on your notes, as they're your personal observations and I wasn't there. I will offer this - every Balintawak instructor I've encountered has been different in some way even though they're all ultimately from the same lineage. All have their own personal style. Bobby, Nick Elizar, Teofilo Roma, the Velez brothers, Nene Gaabucayan, Zack Taco all have their core similarities and also their differences. I attribute that to adaptation and evolution. Many times you can tell where a persons instruction came from by watching them move. They'll move similarly to their instructor but, have a style of their own.

    That would be incorrect. By necessity, seminar instruction is group instruction. And perhaps "instruction" is too strong a word. Maybe "group management" would be a better phrase. Full instruction is one-on-one. No way around it.

    Correct. He lived with the Velez family.

    If that's the order then yes, it's very similar. Bobby came from that lineage but, doesn't teach under the Teovel's flag. He left the Philippines shortly after the Teovel's chapter organization was established. He modified some of what he was taught and further refined his curriculum. Some things are taught somewhat differently than the way he was initially shown how to teach them. Some of the particulars of the groups are slightly different but, the core methodology is still there. Again, experience and evolution over a 40 year period.

    I don't know if he knows it or not. If he does, he hasn't taught it to anyone that I'm aware of. I'll ask him the next time I see him.

    I'll not read too much into that. I don't care to speculate much about why people like it or not, other than perhaps it's because Bobby and I are so handsome.

    Sorry, I don't do the YouTube thing. If anyone in Australia is looking for some "give and take", I suggest you look up Garth Dicker in Melbourne. He's a qualified instructor under Bobby. Seeing something on YouTube is nothing like experiencing it in person.

    Robert
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  12. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons Member

    Robert,

    Like I said I agree they are out there. And I will be quoting or using your comment about Delusional. :) ;)

    Thanks
     
  13. deke

    deke New Member

    Did he train him when me was living in Australia and NZ or later? My work sometimes takes me to Melbourne I'll look him up.

    Didn't know Nick Elizar has been to the US or does that mean you trained in Cebu? John Russell has trained with Nick and as a favour has some info on his website http://www.visayanmartialarts.com/nickelizar.htm

    John also trained with Monie for awhile but was already an instructor under Henry Jayme in the late 1980's early 90'.

    Any of the pictures I have seen of Velez, Villasin and Bacon show them in a short stance/posture, feet no more than a shoulder wide apart. I have also seen video taken in 1987 of Velez which shows a consistant short stance. Henry Jayme (one of my instructors) was a student of Velez has and teaches a short stance. I was always of the opinion the short stance was one of the features of Balintawak.
     
  14. teovel'sBalintawak

    teovel'sBalintawak New Member

    Deke,

    You are right the lever/grab pull is different from the clipping but you can combine it. In Teovel's Balintawak we call (lever/grab pull) the pulling technique application . We have a lesson called the push and pulling. Pushing is the preparatory of any stricking applications like elbow and punching while pulling is for the grabbing. All FMA have these techniques but have different emphasis or flavor. Pulling application is a very good entry for the take downs. Lapunti and Balintawak came from the same source Saavedra. They both evolved as years go by but are all very effective.
     
  15. deke

    deke New Member

    Yep, taught between end plays and disarms. Do you know Henry Jayme?

    GM Felimon Caburnay (Lapunti) credited his brother with (most) his training not the Saavedras. Lapunti differs dramatically from Balintawak with the former being very circular (with lots of abaniko striking) and the later linear. He was associated with Doce Pares but had a falling out and formed his own club.

    If you wanted to see the connection with the Saavedras and Balintawak you could go to Junquera and find Celso Mabalhin who was taught stick and dagger by Jesus Cui. Apart from being a Doce Pares GM he also taught combat judo. Great man who passed away in 2000. :-(
     
  16. teovel'sBalintawak

    teovel'sBalintawak New Member

    Deke,

    I heard of Henry Jayme but have not meet him in person. Henry Jayme studied Teovel's Balintawak in the early or mid 80's. My teacher Monie Velez the son of the late GM Teofilo Velez also have trained Jayme up to the advance and John Russell briefly.

    Arsenio Caburnay the older brother of Filemon Caburnay the father of Prudencio "Undo" Caburnay was a student of Saavedra. Lapunti means (Labangon Punta and Tisa) . Venacio " Anciong" Bacon was also a student of Saavedra. After Bacon separated from Doce Pares one of his student Eduardo Baculi Sr. offered him to train in his house. His place was in Balintawak Street located downtown in the city of Cebu. Thats where the name of the Style was created.

    Both styles have their own respective specialties and are both very effective. Balintawak have also a version of the Abanico we call it Tumbada. It differs a little bit of how it is being executed. Like I said it is how both systems evolve as years go by.

    Jesus Cui was one of the very skilled but low profile person. He was known for a very good stick fighter and a combat judo expert as well. Not only was exellent on both stick and combat judo he was also very good in chinese martial arts(the internal style).
     
  17. deke

    deke New Member

    "I heard of Henry Jayme but have not meet him in person. Henry Jayme studied Teovel's Balintawak in the early or mid 80's. My teacher Monie Velez the son of the late GM Teofilo Velez also have trained Jayme up to the advance and John Russell briefly."

    Henry must have been training with Teofilo Velez up to 1987 as I have a picutre of him acting as his assistant at the 1st World Instructors Seminar in Cebu City, August 1987. Was Monie or Chito there?

    " Lapunti means (Labangon Punta and Tisa) "

    Yes I know; more importantly its only part of the name of the system with the other part being Arnis de Abanico. I spent time with Ondo Caburnay in Panagsama with him trying to show me why Lapunti was superior to Balintawak. Wasn't convinced at all but was polite. The key difference is Lapunti is (circular including the footwork) and Balintawak linear.

    "His place was in Balintawak Street located downtown in the city of Cebu."

    Near Gaisano Metro, downtown. Spent almost a year living in Cebu. :)

    "Jesus Cui was one of the very skilled but low profile person. He was known for a very good stick fighter and a combat judo expert as well. Not only was exellent on both stick and combat judo he was also very good in chinese martial arts(the internal style)."

    My point was that Celso Mabalhin was trained by Jesus Cui (who was also a training partner of Bacon). Up until 2000 he was a living link between the Saavedras and Balintawak. I met and trained with him on John Russells recommendation (who had trained with him too) His stick and dagger was the same (with slight variations) as Teovels 12 basic strikes and counters. Very easy to learn if you knew Balintawak. He also taught what he called combat judo in his back room on the concrete floor which was a little tougher.

    Henry Jayme taught me the single and two person patterns of the Tat kun (tou) tao but I would have to say didn't think it has the same practical basis as Balintawak. The single person patterns are quite simple to master.
     
  18. deke

    deke New Member

    "I heard of Henry Jayme but have not meet him in person. Henry Jayme studied Teovel's Balintawak in the early or mid 80's. My teacher Monie Velez the son of the late GM Teofilo Velez also have trained Jayme up to the advance and John Russell briefly."

    Henry must have been training with Teofilo Velez up to 1987 as I have a picutre of him acting as his assistant at the 1st World Instructors Seminar in Cebu City, August 1987. Was Monie or Chito there?

    " Lapunti means (Labangon Punta and Tisa) "

    Yes I know; more importantly its only part of the name of the system with the other part being Arnis de Abanico. I spent time with Ondo Caburnay in Panagsama with him trying to show me why Lapunti was superior to Balintawak. Wasn't convinced at all but was polite. The key difference is Lapunti is (circular including the footwork) and Balintawak linear.

    "His place was in Balintawak Street located downtown in the city of Cebu."

    Near Gaisano Metro, downtown. Spent almost a year living in Cebu. :)

    "Jesus Cui was one of the very skilled but low profile person. He was known for a very good stick fighter and a combat judo expert as well. Not only was exellent on both stick and combat judo he was also very good in chinese martial arts(the internal style)."

    My point was that Celso Mabalhin was trained by Jesus Cui (who was also a training partner of Bacon). Up until 2000 he was a living link between the Saavedras and Balintawak. I met and trained with him on John Russells recommendation (who had trained with him too) His stick and dagger was the same (with slight variations) as Teovels 12 basic strikes and counters. Very easy to learn if you knew Balintawak. He also taught what he called combat judo in his back room on the concrete floor which was a little tougher.

    Henry Jayme taught me the single and two person patterns of the Tat kun (tou) tao but I would have to say didn't think it has the same practical basis as Balintawak. The single person patterns are quite simple to master.
     
  19. Scott Brailey

    Scott Brailey New Member

    Point 1) Robert asked:
    Off-topic, but...
    Any of you VMA folks connected with the person using the name "VMAbalintawak" on YouTube?
    Robert

    The reply from a man or person who has been discredited on this forum who has nothing to do with the VMA in Australia who has now been discredited by the administrators of this forum as being from California replies with a bunch of posts from You Tube and he has the nerve to doctor them in an attempt to tar several names with the same brush.

    Why are some people on this forum still referring to this discredited persons post?
    To Clarify.
    I do not know who VMA Balintawak on "You Tube" is period. I have asked around as has John Russell. Someone has made an account and used a very similar name to the one in which I posted a video. It is true an email was sent to Falcon AgentX44 by VMA Balintawak09 (ME) but it differs greatly to the one the discredited Falcon AgentX44 has posted. The Actual comment he made to our video and the ACTUAL response given is below.

    FalconAgentX44 (3 weeks ago) Show Hide
    Reply | Remove | Block User | Approve | Spam
    New Comment (Pending Approval)
    With all due respect, I agree with what juramentado stated, it does appear that they DO need balintawak instructors in the area of Australia where this Mr. John Rusell is from.
    His "agak" looks like girly BATON TWIRLING.

    Sent: 29 January 2008
    Read: 30 January 2008
    Subject: Show me your agak bro??
    Message: Hey mate, Show me how your "agak" is better than Johns and I'll post your comment. Yeah your agak. Not your instructors, your agak. Who do YOU train with?
    I've trained with Taboada personally and know John is better, I have students who trained directly under Gaabucayan and Tabimina and they also feel the others PALE in comparison to John. If you have better bro, show me(if you can), Then I'll post your comment. Until then.....

    As you can all see from the above it is my personal opinion and the opinion of my students who spent extensive time training in the Philippines that was directed to another individual making an attack. It is My Opinion and the opinion of these other students that Johns method of teaching is superior and it is a shame it had to brought here in such an inflammatory fashion by FalconAgentX44.
    This FalconAgentX44 person has chosen to add his own negative comments in an attempt to entice conflict on this forum. It appears he has been successful with a great number of you. His broken use of the english language should have been a clear giveaway. No-one in Australia would say "Better than Taboada 100 times"
    VMA Balintawak could be one of the many students John has trained in over 17 years as a Balintawak instructor.

    Point 2) On Clipping
    At a seminar in November 2007 held by GM Taboada after watching the demonstrations by GM Taboada and his training partner I asked the question (During question time when the seminar was called to an abrupt halt 45 minutes earlier than advertised)
    "When does clipping come into play?"
    I asked the question as it quite evident to myself and the other VMA instructor present that the student/instructor from Bega NSW of 7 years experience was not clipping any of GM Taboadas attacks.
    GM Taboada replied over a 10 minute period with the following answers to my question on clipping:
    1) Clipping is DANGEROUS
    2) Clipping is ADVANCED
    3) Clipping is for DUMMIES
    So perhaps VMA Balintawak is someone from the seminar or someone who has heard through the grapevine what was said by GM Taboada.
    GM Taboada seemed to know EXACTLY what I was referring to when I asked him the question about clipping. Perhaps some people that don't know should ask him.
    Hopefully you will get a clearer answer than I did and can post it here for all our benefit.
    You are assuming this VMA Balintawak person is on this forum thanks to the lies of the discredited FalconAgentX44.You can choose whatever name you want on these forums as well as on You Tube and unfortunately it can be used as a way to attempt to discredit certain individuals and groups as FalconAgentX44 has done so here.
    You will probably have more luck finding the WMDs in Iraq than you will in finding an individual who probably doesn't even know this forum exists.
    As for advice on clipping please see the below article by John Russell published in the Philippines premier martial arts magazine Rapid Journal March 2007 given to me by permission of John Russell to explain the ACTUAL VMA view on clipping.
    So to answer your question Robert I don't know who VMA Balintawak is but if I find out I'll let you know. It won't be behind closed doors either.
    Did I take offence to someone saying my footwork sucked - It did. If you have video posted you can expect positive and negative critique. Unfortunately most people do this critiqing behind a pseudonym. If you don't like the videos of yourself on You Tube ask the person who posted them to remove them or to have the sense to set the video so comments must be approved. Otherwise you have to put up with criticisms based on what people see. You should be comfortable enough in knowing yourself how good you are. Oscar Wilde once said "There's no such thing as bad publicity"
    I don't feel the need to explain my absence from this forum either. I prefer to spend my time both training and with my family than staring at a computer screen.

    Cheers,
    Scotty
    --------------------------------------------
    John Russell 2006
    The Importance of the Empty/Livehand of Arnis/Escrima
    Clipping/Grabbing, Disarms/Locks and Punching
    Of Grouped Balintawak

    Many Arnis/Escrima (A/E) schools always seem to be concentrating on the stick, with how fast and flashily they can spin and zip it around. Some are
    forgetting or simply don’t understand the importance of the live or emptyhand in fighting. They are especially forgetting the emptyhand use of clipping/grabbing/locking both the arm and/or stick, the body/shoulders of the opponent and the knockout punches by the emptyhand that can be used in fighting. The stick whizzing around looking fantastic, flashy and fast, with very little use of the emptyhand, may be what some people think as proper A/E training, but is it the appropriate training for what a human being will do in a real fight?

    Clipping/Grabbing
    Is clipping/grabbing important in a fight?

    Have you ever seen a game of Rugby League or Rugby Union? You know, the physical intimidation games played on an open field with no head gear, (they always taught me to enjoy pain). Have you ever seen or been involved in a Rugby fight? The men involved will often, well, quite always, grab their opponent and bash/punch into them, always to the head, with their best hand. This to me, is one of the greatest examples of spontaneous violence and real fighting. I have even seen drivers at car race meetings both wearing full face motor cycle helmets try to hit each other to the head, when in a violent rage or confrontation.

    Why do human beings instinctively grab and then hit to the head? Good question, but I am sure the answer is why for sports, organisers take the instinctive grabbing away from boxers by putting them in boxing gloves, mostly ensuring longer fights for peoples paid entertainment, i.e. the spectators will get their monies worth, it will not be over in a few seconds. If you allow people/humans to grab each other and hit each other hard, one or both will fall down, as they can’t move from each others zeroing in tactics, the grabbing. The aim of grabbing is to immobilize the opponent, enabling better hitting power and
    better contact, so your best hand can bludgeon the opponent’s computer centre, the brain. So clipping in Arnis/Escrima, especially in the Grouped Balintawak style I teach, has the effect of immobilizing the weapon or weapon/best arm, the thing you must stop, as some Martial Artists from other styles try to do.

    Remember the old law or One of the Physical Principles of A/E:
    Weapons interchangeability using the same arm movements.
    Let us twist this around here to an emptyhanded school against a weapon, then for us to go back to stick against the stick.
    With most Martial Arts emptyhanded schools such as Karate, Jui Jitsu and Hap Ki Do, teaching emptyhanded defence against a weapon or knife, teaches the student to block and GRAB or secure the weapon or weapon arm, then disarm. (Disarms Later). With A/E, the stick should block and more importantly the emptyhand should always clip/grab/check secure the weapon or weapon hand, as if not restrained, the weapon will simply be redirected to hit or pulled back to re-attack.

    Students in Balintawak A/E (well my Grouped Balintawak school) are initially, always taught to block all over with the stick (or the best arm), then the emptyhand will always clip/grab. The students stick/best arm immediately counter strikes hard, back to the neck/head of the attacker/instructor, in a downward motion of an almost forty five degree angle. Grab and hit to the head is an important part of Balintawak, much like the explosive/instinctive emptyhand fight in Rugby of, grab and hit to the head. This clipping in A/E of the opponents stick/best hand with the emptyhand makes it harder for the instructor/attacker to build up momentum with their weapon or best hand.

    Momentum is something you do not want your enemy to build in a real fight. Sure, there is a the Pak Gung of Balintawak (A harder and faster attack or feint and redirection back to the students head) but the student has, through proper training, learnt to automatically react and counter back to the head/neck with the stick/best hand and has nullified the instructors spinning Pak Gung stick redirection to the head. The student should always employ instantaneous response of a hit back to the head/neck. The emptyhand of the student/defender in Pak Gung by not being able to grab/clip the faster attack, will (having
    been trained to), move their emptyhand back to guard their own head, (Hopefully not guarding the chest, like some schools of Arnis). Then on the next strike by the instructor, the student must try even harder to grab/clip the weapon or weapon arm. STOP the opponents momentum or you are dead.

    The instructors emptyhand in Grouped Balintawak has several duties in basic training. Before the Pak Gung moves and also after them, it’s most common duty in teaching the student, is as a focus mitt for the students return strike during the simple training routines. The stick in a Pak Gung move, acts as a punching bag target for the student but initially is also a redirect strike to the students head for the instructor, if the student does not instantaneously respond. The students counter strike, being properly executed to the attackers head, is now a block, with correct timing.

    Some Balintawak schools are unfortunately, now not teaching, do not know or are ignoring this clipping/grabbing and are also ignoring a hard hit back to the
    opponents neck/head (in a forty five degree, downward angle). They prefer the student hitting back to the instructors stick on a flat pane, (to wherever the
    stick may be) or on a flat plane almost over the instructors head, allowing the instructor to more easily defend both with their stick and emptyhand which allows a momentum build up. They are joining the ranks of what they see as the more successful, commercial styles and schools teaching stickfighting only and the emptyhand serving very little importance. This not clipping/grabbing by some schools, enables them to be able to move flashily from one set of moves, back to the same set of moves, or to another series of stick buzzing manoeuvres.

    Some, while teaching stickfighting only, are also simply using wrist motions to make their strikes and routines faster in more of an Abanico type of strike. Abanico, translates to fan strike, a strike using more of the wrist to generate power to the end of the stick/weapon. With a weapon/stick, it can only take a small Abanico strike to open up the opponents face with a strike. While this is good if you are armed, (and the opponent does not know the defences against the Abanico strikes) take the stick away and try to practice Abanico strikes with the fist as the striking point. It simply does not work. Abanico’s are simply a stick variation on striking in A/E. With the real teaching of A/E you must power up for the strike by pulling the weapon hand back to the body.

    People often say, “I don’t want to learn A/E, as where do you find a weapon in an emergency. Carrying weapons (in most countries) is against the law”. Translate your training to emptyhanded and you will see if your school is teaching you stickfighting only, or a complete Martial Art that can be used with or without tools. Balintawak was never meant to be pretty but a realistic attempt to teach real fighting, both with a weapon/stick and emptyhanded.

    The importance of clipping was illustrated when I was training with one student from another Balintawak school, while I was the attacker or leader. He did not clip at all. This allowed me to easily move and redirect my weapon, (after the initial contact with his blocking weapon), less than an inch around and under his emptyhand to strike him. This redirect counter while not a full power strike, would enable me to set the student/opponent up, for the powerful finishing off strike to the head, that I would deliver while the student is in pain and distracted into not defending properly. I redirected my counter several times and then I asked him after we played for a little longer, why he didn’t clip. He said to me “We do not clip for at least a year and are then taught to clip. It is more the flow that our instructor wants.” This guy however, had been training with his instructor for over five years. To me in Balintawak, the flow comes from the student doing their defensive and attacking moves properly, not letting someone get away with an attack and redirect
    counter by not clipping, ALL THE TIME. With clipping an attacker cannot redirect. The attacker must pull the stick back out of the defenders grip, to again properly strike the student. This is not fast and pretty however.
    One thing that this statement from this student did, was disappoint me. Learning A/E for one year (or longer) and then throwing that years training away and learning something new, is like learning boxing for a year, then having said to you by your coach “Throw what you have been taught away, now we are going to show you the real way to box.”

    One of my instructors of A/E from Leyte, (not Balintawak), a former Manila Cop, then a Malacanang security officer, (Filipino Presidential security), a Los Angeles city Cop and then a parole officer at Solidad prison in California, always said to me “If you can’t learn to fight in a year, go and buy a gun. Something or someone is holding you back. Either it is yourself or your instructor.” Is this what is happening here?

    Another reason that some instructors of Balintawak and even other A/E styles like the flow generated with no clipping, is that these flows are great for partner demonstrations. Not fighting or combat training but impressive moves in a demonstration. In real fighting (if you are attacked), you grab the weapon or arm, the torso , the shoulder or the head of the opponent. If you have grabbed the weapon or weapon arm, you try to immobilise it, stun the attacker to make them more pliable (this may knock the opponent down), get rid of the weapon (disarm), finish the guy off (if he continues to attack, by knocking him down), then get the hell out of there before his friends or the authorities arrive. It’s simply, cover up, grab if you can, push, shove, most importantly, hit to the head and finish. Sometimes with skill but always with heart.

    Why heart? Real fighting is also a test of nerves and endurance. There is no referee to stop it when it becomes deadly, no time limit to a round where the opponents can sit down safe to think and analyse the opponents style. A real fight must be over as fast as possible with the most energy expended, so as the littlest amount of damage can be done to oneself by the opponent, especially if there is a weapon or weapons involved.

    With an emptyhanded fight, one or both fighters will fight to exhaustion in a very quick time and one will often win not by being the best but the most endurable and/ or, the luckiest. They can sometimes win because the other guy stopped and lost or losing his nerve, simply ran away, in the fight and/or flight reflex. This exhaustion however, will not happen in a fight where a lump of wood is being directed towards the head. In hand to hand fighting the head can take and absorb several hits especially
    with the hands helping, if up guarding the face. A lump of wood/rattan hitting hard to the head? Hands guarding the head in a weapon attack may be able to absorb several blows before they lower leaving the head open. The head may only be able to absorb one full force blow and of course a stab from a knife to the neck/head is commonly fatal. So you have to stop/grab/clip a weapon or weapon arm so it cannot be redirected or pulled back to strike again.

    Bringing us back to the Teaching Method of Balintawak. The instructor in Balintawak being the instigator, attacker or leader is always ahead of the student, making the student able to be hit by the instructor, especially if the student does not clip. The student is behind a move and of course does not want to offend the instructor in training or in a demonstration by doing something away from the training moves, as they will never be taught again, be ostracised and never learn the SECRET’S of their instructor. This allowance by the student for the instructor in training and a demonstration, usually builds up the instructors reputation. “Look how easily he hits and disarms the other guy.” “He’s the real deal” is often said by adoring, unquestioning, unknowing seekers of their instructors secrets.

    The teaching method of Balintawak is: an attacker uses a certain technique/strike. What do you then do, in defence? When you learn defensive moves well enough, then, you are taught to instruct/attack. It is not real fighting or combat but a teaching method. In real fighting each combatant is wanting to attack, with no thought of wanting to wait or of being a student. Sometimes you need to defend but then attack. If you understand Balintawak well enough, both opponents in a real confrontation, will use ALL their attacking and defensive moves. All these moves when learnt from both sides can be combined, pulled
    apart and recombined for countless variations of attack and defence.
    DISARMing the Best Weapon.

    There are two ways to teach disarms against a stick/weapon, in Grouped Balintawak. One is after the beginner has been taught the defensive/student side of the Groups One to Five. They then move onto the After Groups or the End Plays, such as the hitting point, butting, push and pull, and of course the disarms for the student. The most significant way for the attacker/instructor to learn the ENTRY to disarms is in Group Five.

    In the beginner/student phase of the End Plays Disarms, some Balintawak Schools, while teaching disarms, do not teach to counter strike the head of the opponent. A technique that has been instinctively ingrained in the students reaction over ALL of his training to this point but are now told, “Don’t counter, go straight to a disarm”.

    I remember in my training and talks with Grandmaster Victor Cagadas of the Doce Pares. He was on the cusp of the late 40’s early 50’s Arnis movement in Cebu where many Doce Pares instructors finding their then current club system restrictive, went their own way, forming Balintawak. He told me of training with Timoteo Maranga, Venancio Bacon and Jose Villasin (early Balintawak people) and the way they taught and fought. He said (over a bottle of Tanduay Rum), “It’s all the same. Both opponents want to hit the other guy first and win”. Victor stayed with the Doce Pares until the early 1990’s.

    Gagadas Doce Pares from Grandmaster Victor Cagadas of Bohol (now deceased), shown to me by the GM, and Henry Jayme taught to block, grab, counter strike and then disarm. The Balintawak I teach for a student to disarm shown in disarming after the Groups 1-5, the End Plays, teaches to block-clip-counter and then disarm. Yes, I took some of my fighting ideas/methods from a Doce Pares Grandmaster. This cross fertilisation from different styles of Cebu Escrima was brought to my thoughts in full, with the last years of one great Balintawak instructor, Jesus Que. Jesus Que Sr. Tall man, Spanish looking, he a Balintawak knife fighting genius. Having no where else to turn while old and sick, lived his final years in the house of a Doce Pares Grandmaster, Celso Mabalhin.

    Anyway, Victor’s ideas on fighting and disarming simply made sense to me. His ideas on disarming were: If someone trys to grab your stick and you are not disorientated, why would you let them take it? He would say to me, “Why would you not fight back and stop your stick from being taken from you. You are angry and pissed off and most fighters will say to you, I will not let you take my weapon! You must be hit first, so the opponent has the chance to take your weapon away.”

    A lot of Grouped Balintawak schools in the End Plays, do not teach a student/defender to counter first after a block/clip but simply to block/clip and disarm. What are the attackers/opponents doing when they are having their stick taken away? Watching, with their emptyhand index finger in their nose? This is what I call dummy training or crash test dummy training. After an initial attack/strike by the attacker, the defender is allowed to do all the moves and the opponent is what, shocked and awed into immobilisation. The defender/disarmer has two hands down by or at the attackers/opponents stick or arm. The attacker has a live hand at his face (hopefully guarding his face, not chest) or at the defenders stick or stickhand, palmblock/breaking. If the disarmer/defender is concentrating on the attackers stickhand with both hands, doesn’t the attacker want to hit the defenders open, unprotected face with his
    emptyhand fist? A defender must block/clip, strike hard to disorientate and then disarm.

    This brings us to disarms, locking and punching with the emptyhand
    used by a Grouped Balintawak instructor/attacker.

    Punching. The flowing abbreviated statement was said to me by one of the greatest known exponents and educators of Arnis/Escrima and Kali, (A/E/K) and said to others many times at a certain styles Martial Arts seminars I attended back in the 80’s.
    “Over fifty percent of the knockouts came from the live or emptyhand”
    He was talking about his old instructors experiences and fights and I always wondered about it back then. I had been to, seen and trained in many schools but never saw their emptyhand knockout exercises, not even from their senior students. I often asked while training “Why do we not have or where are the drills that concentrate on emptyhand knockouts, why are we still spinning sticks?” Maybe they kept their drills from me and others out of fear of the student obtaining too high a standard.

    A good Grouped Balintawak instructor however, while having a healthy respect for the student’s capabilities, does not fear the
    student knowing the drills. The instructors job is to teach the student how to fight properly. The drills for the instructor/attacker in Grouped Balintawak that show the emptyhand punching drills are in Group Five, but are sometimes disguised, being bundled with initial counter strikes, then locking and/or disarm attempts. They, once taught in Group Five can also be now inserted into the previous earlier groups, to heighten a students training.

    Group Five in initiality however, shows you, as an instructor/initiator how to enter a disarm as an attacker, how to lock as an attacker and how to punch as an attacker, while the other side teaches a defender/beginner/student how to nullify these attacks. The nullifying of the locking, disarming and punching techniques for the Balintawak Student in Group Five is of course employed by the defenders emptyhand. One hand simply counters the other. He grabs your stick/stickarm allowing it not to move. The student breaks the stick attack to the head or emptyhand disarm, then grabs/clips this instructors attempt to
    disarm or lock. The fight now turns into a tug of war. How is this tug of war or stalemate broken? One takes the gamble and trys to punch the head of the opponent, usually the instructor, as by trying to disarm, he has the stick on top, or being the initiator has manoeuvred his stick on top. The student cannot block the emptyhand punch with their stick, as it is under the instructors stick. The students emptyhand leaving the attackers stick to guard/block, along with ducking/weaving, manoeuvres the student out of trouble. Maybe.

    Another explanation of the use of the emptyhand and especially Group Five’s role in an abbreviated whole of Grouped Balintawak is as follows.
    In training, the instructor will initiate an attack. Let us say a #1 strike/slash of Balintawak directed towards the students left temple. The student blocks/clips, pushes down (clears) the instructors weapon and then counters to the instructors head with their weapon. The instructor breaks/pushes, sometimes flows, with his emptyhand and clips/grabs the students stickhand/arm. Now do they go to a:
    Group One where the student’s emptyhand lifts the instructors emptyhand clip/grab and the students emptyhand destroys the instructors following counter block, while the instructor practices breaking and flowing with their emptyhand when their stick has been captured by the student? Maybe...

    Into a Group Two where the student learns to defend against the butting (and thrusting) techniques of the instructor, with their emptyhand and forearm, when their stick or stickhand has been captured by the instructors emptyhand. Then returning to Group One techniques to detach the instructors grip or destroy
    their block.
    Maybe...

    Group Three. The instructor now attacks faster and harder again. Slicing over his Pak Gung block with a thrust generally directed at the face/chest of the opponent/student but sometimes not. The student has missed the clip on the hand or arm and must body manoeuvre and slash his stick around to block again, and then again a return counter. This Group is more like the fencing of Arnis/Escrima and is sometimes played with thin swords. The student not being stupid enough to try and grab the sharp metal weapon edge, again body manoeuvres and slashes his weapon around to block again and return a counter. Countering the instructors all over spinning, slashing and thrusting attacks with faster blocks and counters, hopefully at some time grabbing the hand or arm of the
    attacker. Maybe...
    To Group Four where after the instructors attack and break/push down/clear, the students emptyhand helps to move their stick/weapon back to a vertical position to defend against abanico and powerful thrusts off the back foot, (the students two hands are stronger than the instructors single emptyhand), then sometimes not, as the students emptyhand can also defend against an abanico and powerful thrust as well. This group reinforces the simple law of Balintawak
    of: Try and move both hands up to guard/defend the body and head, learnt throughout the students training. Maybe...

    Group Five. The instructor, after his initial #1 attack and break, pulls his stick back, attempts a counter head stunning strike, while clipping the students stick/hand, attempts a lock, attempts to disarm but being nullified and finally punching. Maybe...

    When the instructor moves into a disarm OR a lock it has been preceded by a camouflaged stick stunning strike to the head that is always practised by the instructor during this Group. The student by now has been taught to see and feel the differences in the instructors moves. They can feel and see a simple push break release against the students clip or a move into something else, such as a disarm or lock and the strike that comes with it. Remember, all the previous Groups and this one depend, (much like real fighting), on feel and timing, (but don’t forget heart as well). The instructor now will try and lock and/or disarm the student with an initial stick strike/stun thrown in. The student feeling a strike to the head, a lock or disarm coming uses the most simple
    thing to stop the strike, disarm. The student uses their empty or livehand to break or stop the instructors stick hand motion. Each hand simply nullifies the other. The student simply grabs or breaks (palm blocks) the instructors stick or stickhand. Both hands are then locked in a tug of war.

    Who will break this stalemate or tug of war? Usually the one with the last hand on the top and this will be the instructor as he is the initiator and one move ahead.
    So what does the instructor do now?
    He says to himself in Group Five training, “Hey this guy is good, lets just stop being nice to him by stunning him and taking his stick away. He has
    clipped/grabbed my stick, so I have to smack his face in with my emptyhand fist”. How does the student counter this?
    Well the laws of Balintawak say there is a counter to every counter so... the students emptyhand palm/forearm blocks (breaks) and grabs or flows through and grabs the instructors emptyhand attack, the punch. So what happens next?

    As was said, “The instructor/attacker stops being nice to the opponent, this opponent is too good” and as his stickhand is now free, (the students emptyhand has blocked the instructors emptyhand and left the instructors stick) butts the students face with the stick, this is now a twelve strike of Balintawak from the instructor, so the student continues to palm block the attackers emptyhand and as his stick is now free, he continues to bring his weapon up to guard, in a basic fighting move or Balintawak law of, Get your hands up, protect your head and continues in a normal 12 strike defence. Simple Balintawak principles that have been built up through basic training and the intermediate Groups. Both then move/play back into the At Random strikes and Groups of Balintawak.

    Another Grouped Balintawak teaching method item you have to consider during the training, is the instructor is always enhancing his timing and
    skills through repetition training with a student when he attacks. When he teaches a student to attack, the instructor is then revising his earlier
    techniques of destroying an opponent through defence.

    Why are some Balintawak schools beginning to forget about clipping or even grabbing? Momentum looks flashy, and it looks like their competition who are making it big in the Martial Arts world of teaching “Stickfighting”. If it works for the competition, well, “We had better join them”, they say. Well, for now, and maybe always, the flashy schools will be getting looked at, for people that like superficially brilliant, surreal, omnipotent ways.
    For the people out there, that like flamboyance and like to teach the ostentatious, are they the ones that Balintawak was designed by and developed for?

    Balintawak has always been for fighters and for teaching real fighting. Fighting is never flashy, just ugly, angry and brutal, with hopefully, you still standing and able to walk away in the end, but the opponent/attacker not.

    Conclusion
    The preceding explanations of the emptyhand use and its importance may sound confusing to some but after a certain amount of training, Balintawak can take an ordinary individual and make them good, by using and training their natural instincts of grabbing and hitting to the head. Not all will become a champion or a world beater. While some students will be better then others, if they stay the distance to learn the style and by training correctly, they all can be good at self defence. Two years with truly learning Grouped Balintawak and you can have a skill you can use well, for the rest of your life.

    Don’t forget however, you can take a $5000 horse and turn it into a $2000 horse by not working it properly. The same goes for Balintawak too. By not working and training Balintawak, you will in all eventuality go backwards. So training must be kept up, to keep condition and timing at a standard.

    The Group Five explanation above, is only one of the emptyhand drill knockouts of Balintawak. Would you like to hear another? Not enough time or space, so
    hopefully I’ll see you in person soon....
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  20. Pike

    Pike New Member

    Oscar Wilde once said "There's no such thing as bad publicity"

    The only true words in the post from Scott.
    I have read the post countless times and i feel i must say my piece.

    Everything is complete dis-respect for the Masters of Balintawak especially those still with us.

    Scott you say all others pale in comparison, now that is a very bold statement from a man who only asked a simple question on clipping at a GM Bobby Taboada seminar.
    Got an answer that he did not understand, or has no relevance to his train of thought, so it means nothing or decided it wasnt the answer he wanted.

    ''Clipping'' are you clipping in the you tube video earlier,(the one were you claim your leg is poorly) if you are not, then why not and if not why make a big stink over clipping why not show it so we can all see.

    I was looking forward to said book, there seems a bitter after taste of late.

    ''Give respect to get respect''

    My Two Cents, my opinions

    Pike
     

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