VMA Balintawak clip

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

  1. Reactor

    Reactor Junior Member

    Mr. Deke:

    You seem to know Mr. Russell, and advocate how he teaches. Bravo to you then. You have found the instructor that resonates with your personality. (I'm assuming you are his student). Evolution in pedagogy is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Balintawak is a small and proud community. Its members are fiercely protective of its quality, and natural selection weeds out the undeserving. Pretenders and wannabes eventually fall to the wayside.

    At the end of the day, therefore, all this will not matter. It will be your skill, and the skill of Mr. Russell's students (in general) that will determine whether your faith in him and how he teaches is deserved, and whether the respect that you seem to want so much for Mr. Russell, who I'm sure would rather rise on his own merits, will materialize.

    And these opportunities will arise. It is inevitable in the MA, but moreso in a community like Balintawak :)

    So till then, plod on, learn what you can. Maybe someday, you, Mr. Russell, and others will be worthy of the reputation and peer respect now enjoyed by the living luminaries of this style we value so much: Mr. Buot, Mr. Elizar, Mr. Gaabucayan, Mr. Tabimina, Mr. Taboada, Mr. Velez (alphabetical order, off the top of my head, list incomplete, apologies to anyone whom I might've missed).

    That is heartening to hear. For Mr. Russell to do otherwise would be a disservice to his students.

    Unfortunately, what you say is true. As in many things in this world, caveat emptor applies and it becomes incumbent upon the prospective student to seek out quality instruction and weed out the wannabes. Forums such as this can help.

    My view though is that pretenders rarely rise to a level where they can cause great harm. They are eventually called out and when this happens, they cravenly hide behind a keyboard, or fail to produce the goods.

  2. samson818

    samson818 New Member

    I have to commend the Balintawak community for being so eloquent in this ensuing dialogue....

    I also dont know Mr. John Russell, his skill, what he teaches, etc.
    But obviously his sudents have not learned a lick of etiquette or sense of brotherhood. Not to mention the underhanded comments for other Balintawak instructors and their teaching methods.

    If you dont like what someone teaches, then move on and keep your mouth shut. Dont damage their credibility, their art, or reputation based on your limited seminar time with them. Not to mention your skills and intelligence may not be up to par.

    That is not an insult. Simply condsider your grasp of calculus when you were in 5th grade. By college you thought you knew if all until you met your professors. Learning is done in stages and quite often we become shrouded by our own arrogance only to discover years later that we knew nothing.

    But in the end, who cares what your training methods are, or who your instructor is. What can you do? What can you teach?
    Can you only play within context of a drill? Can you apply your precious clippings in actual combat?

    If not, then just keep training and keep the veiled insults to yourself.
  3. Apprentice

    Apprentice New Member

    Would you first please identify yourself? You're claiming to have trained with Nene Gaabucayan and Bobby Tabimina so; I'd like to establish some bona fides with them in regards to your training.

    Bobby Tabimina and Nene Gaabucayan both know who I am. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9rOqyje9IQ&feature=related

    I have trained with Nene many years ago when we were both at the YMCA of Manila,
    1-3 times a week for about a year, and with Bobby Tabimina, 1-2 times a week for about 4 months, when I went back to Iligan a few years ago.

    I met John Russell 13 years ago at one of Bobby Taboada's seminar and only started training with John last year.
    I'd also like to hear more of an explanation of your "set me up for defeat" comment. In what way do you believe they did this?

    Method of instruction: John teaches the blocks for disarms throughout the course of training. John also put a heavy emphasis on clipping. A fundamental of all Martial Art when confronted with a weapon; control it after a block, and with escrima, everything done with a stick can be done empty-handed.

    Nene and Bobby Tabimina are tried and true Balintawak street fighters

    Indeed they are, the history of Balintawak as I know of it, is from them, and also John Russell.

    and I've not heard of John Russell being considered such so, I hope you'll pardon me for being sceptical of your comment.

    You have a right to be sceptical. No one really knew who, or heard of John Russell, until this thread started. And I really don’t understand why there is an upset about clipping. John Russell learned from Henry Jaime who learn from Teofilo Velez- control with clip, not grab, control. This is nothing new to Balintawak.
    As for my comments on Bobby Taboada’s stick spinning, have a look at FMA Digest Special Edition 2007, page 16. All I did was say what I experienced from the last seminar I attended. And as for clipping; there are heaps of photos in John’s book http://akingtindahan.multiply.com/photos/photo/4/1http://www.fmaforum.org/lofiversion/index.php/t2426.html
  4. MacJ_007

    MacJ_007 Junior Member

    No wonder Sir Bob Tabimina said, "IT IS I WHO CHOSE YOU NOT YOU WHO CHOSE ME." You trained for 4 months, I trained with him for a total of 1 month. Compare our movements. I'm just sorry and I'm glad that you're not one of the chosen ones to carry on his legacy.

    Me and Sir Bob will be on Perth, Australia hopefully this coming October. We will all see you there. Til then, I suggest you keep your comments to yourself and continue with your training.
  5. deke

    deke New Member

    No he is not my instructor and I have no affiliation to his organisation. Went to school with him, trained with him over ten years ago.

    So Johns 20 years of being involved with Balintawak should be enough time for natural selection to occur??

    Thanks for the sage advice. Maybe you should ask Nick or Monie about John? Mr Velez? which one? Do you know all these guys personally or have you made an assumption of their skill level by what you have heard or read from others. Now I'm not casting any doubt about their skill or ability in Balintawak; however, if you haven't trained with all these guys personally where is your frame of reference if it doesn't come from others. As a case in point 15 years ago instructors like Nick Elizar were unknown to the Balintawak community outside the Visayas. Before Nick had his own website John promoted him on his.

    This is not my experience, there are plenty of pretenders out there. Some might hide behind keyboards while others make living out of gullible people who believe the hype. How do you know someone is the real deal if you have no frame of reference? Also, how do you call someone out?
  6. deke

    deke New Member

    GI Joe

    Actually its a sense of friendship that made me post. I think you will find the Johns students are loyal to him. Brotherhood to whom? Others on this forum who have shown an equal level of disrespect. The people defending John are the people that know him and have trained with him?

    Of course it is! Not even the veiled ones that bother you so much. Actions speak louder than words. I don't think words said on this forum affect your instructors credibility.

    True but the same applies to all

    The mantra of the instructor comes out in the student.
  7. Apprentice

    Apprentice New Member

    I have personally spoken and made my peace with Bobby Taboada, Bobby Tabimina and Nene Gaabucayan. As my moniker suggests, I am merely a learner, an apprentice who has more to learn, who merely desires to learn more Balintawak. I am signing off from this thread and hope that there will still be someone from the Balintawak Community willing to train with me here in Sydney. I may be contacted via the youtube message service http://www.youtube.com/user/BalintawakApprentice
  8. Pike

    Pike New Member

    Men of there word ?

    This was lot of posts ago from page 6 (anyone care to read it)
    Apprentices last quote:
    [I am signing off from this thread and hope that there will still be someone from the Balintawak Community willing to train with me here in Sydney].

    Are these ''Men'' of there word (I will let the Balintawak Brotherhood make there own minds up)

    ''Oh here comes another newby from Oz with his take on teaching''

  9. Reactor

    Reactor Junior Member

    I think you answered your own question. That he is not accorded the same standing as, say GM Taboada, to cite just one example, after all this time suggests much. This is not a slight on Mr. Russell, just an observation.

    As to why this is so, who knows. Perhaps the fact that Mr. Russell is a foreigner has something to do with it. (Personally, I think it shouldn't). Perhaps Mr. Russell prefers to be low-key. Perhaps he is not well-represented in the community. Whatever the reason, it is what it is.

    To answer your question, community respect is my frame of reference. While not a statistically established one (at least not at this point), to my mind, it is a de facto standard.

    A good starting point, though, would be a peer review, such as the book of Mr. Galang, Warrior Arts of the Philippines. Primarily an Illustrisimo practitioner, Mr. Galang cites in his book the Balintawak masters who have earned his respect and who, he believes, are deserving of their status.

    It is not my goal to make you accept this. It is a personal view, but one that I believe is shared by many.

    So if it will help, take away the name of Mr. Velez and leave only those you do respect and re-read. I hope you will agree, however, that Mr. Russell's standing in the Balintawak community is not at par with say, GM Taboada, fair or not.

    Incidentally, I have read about Mr. Russell in the past, and I've heard of him from a few people. I am also aware that he has come out with a book, a sterling accomplishment which cannot be gainsaid. But for some reason, he is not spoken of with the same, for want of a better term, esteem, as the other masters I have mentioned.

    So in the end, you make my point. I personally know a few of the masters I mentioned. The others, I know of them. Therefore, that I listed their names despite my not knowing them personally speaks of the regard I, and I believe many others, have chosen to accord them.

    On a personal note, I would like to say that your loyalty to, admiration of, and desire to promote Mr. Russell are commendable, and I guess proactive marketing will help him gain better prominence in the community (assuming this is his goal), but he really needs a better advocate. As Louis Nizer once said, water seeks its own level.

    Simply put, I ask. I go to the individual and tell him I would like to be tested by him; I tell him I would like to learn from him; I tell him I would like to find out if he has something to offer me. I have done this in the past. Pressure-testing onesself, after all, is intrinsic in Balintawak and this is one way of doing it.


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