Historical question and/or Statement

Discussion in 'Balintawak' started by Datu Tim Hartman, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    First, I would like to say congratulations to those GM Atillo promoted and or recognized.

    Second, I would like to say that I have never said to not train with GM Atillo and to find out what he has to offer and to learn from him.


    I have stated that he has posted incorrect statements on his website in the past. He made things up. Sometimes I think facts associated with his father have been associated with him. In other cases he either is not remembering them correctly or is just making them up.

    I have had this discussion before, with students of Dr Barber. There argument was that FMA is a verbal history and one needs to look at the verbal history.

    I countered with, I agree that it is mostly verbal history and when you have multiple lineages/groups who tell similar "stories" of what happened and they have an 85 to 95 percent commonality and the 5 to 15 percent are point of view statements that are neutral or do not contradict that data in the story, then this is a good way to use verbal history to validate.

    Yet, when one and only one source constantly has different stories and different data, and those stories and data keep changing then the disagreements occur.


    So if we go back to my first point, that GM Atillo has something to offer, then why does he need to re-write the verbal history to fit his needs?


    In one online discussion, I was told it was ok for GM Atillo to tell these tales as he was an old man telling the tales to his nephews and students. What is that harm in this? I cannot remember what exactly I replied with. I do know I made the point that if others did then this it escalates and people get upset and then not only disagreements, but possible fights could occur.



    The students of Dr Barber also tried to use published sources to make their point. This is good way to make a valid point as long as the published source is vetted. Also one cannot with any integrity publish something or give an interview to someone else to publish and the use that as your published source to back up your statements. This is a circular argument.

    With the published web announcement by Dr Barber and the allusion that the Saavedra's trained Atillo directly is just another attempt at trying to make it sound like Atillo's version is correct. I understand the process and that if they get enough false information out there, then it becomes the truth. As Perception is Reality.
     
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  2. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman Senior Master

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    I'm currently in the Detroit Airport waiting for my flight home. It's amazing what I missed. I think people are missing a point. 24 people didn't leave the Doce Pares Club to form the Balintawak club. Anciong left and the others followed him. He was THE teacher. Atillo was the son of one of Anciong's students.
     
  3. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman Senior Master

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    It's awful coincidental that these claims came out after Manong Ted passed away.
     
  4. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I've always heard them pronounced with the L's and the V sounded out but then I've only heard them said by Americans, so...
     
  5. Dan Anderson

    Dan Anderson Master of Arts

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    Hi Jerome,:

    I'm not Tim (Thank goodness for the both of us!) but a couple of the major differences between Manong Ted's balintawak and Ising Attillo's balintawak:

    1. From what I see of Ising's striking there is a lot of whip/wrist action while in Manong Ted's, there is very little if any wrist action.

    2. Manong Ted stressed the lower body/legs to create the power in his strikes. I do not "see" that when I watch Atillo.

    I say this having trained with Manong Ted and watched Ising Atillo as well as had Michael Bated demonstrate Ising's art to me. That being said, Ising DOES NOT move like a Doce Pares or San Miguel eskrima man. His body mechanics, set ups and follow throughs as well as check hand usage looks far more balintawak (albeit more the grouping method) in my eyes than many other styles.

    The key, to me, is does he do right by his students and teach them how to work the stick. It appears he does. That's all you get for 2 cents (MY 2 cents worth, anyway).

    Yours,
    Dan
     
  6. DrBarber

    DrBarber Green Belt

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    Datu Hartman,

    You've got this one about half right, but that is not what I want to deal with right now. I'd like to focus on the central question of system structure
    and your idea, as posted by you in the opening post of this thread, using a rough analogy between Balinawak and JKD.

    I have asked you on two pervious occasions to identify the significant differences between Atillo Saavedra Balinatwak Eskrima and Bacon Balintawak Eskrima. To date you have remained silent on the matter. So I am going to ask the question for a third time:

    How does Atillo-Saavedra Balintawak Eskrima significantly differ from Bacon Balintawak Eskrima?

    Please be very specific and provide some details in your reply. You have asserted that you are an authority on Balintawak and that you have been involved with the art since 1984, so I would think that you have the knowledge and experience to answer this question. I am taking you at your word that you know the differences between Atillo-Saavedra and Bacon since you have taken such a strong and unrelenting approach to any consideration of GM Atillo being a Balintawak player.


    Respectfully,


    Jerome Barber, Ed. D.
     
  7. DrBarber

    DrBarber Green Belt

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    Hello Dan,

    Hey what's with this "Hello Jerome,:" business? Slow down partner, I know you have a lot to say, plus I know you have better control over your puncuations than that ;-)

    Ahh, but to the question at hand. The differences that you point out are individual, personal behaviors and we should expect sort of thing when comparing different people doing the same general artistic system. For instance both GM Taboada and Professor Presas studied Balinatwak and trained under GM Bacon for a period of time. GM Tabaoda uses V-striking and Professor did not use it or teach it. What I am asking Datu Hartman to explain to us is what are the structural differences in the Balintawak approaches of GM Atillo and GM Bacon (allowing for the fact that he will have to use Manong Ted as his reference person). Everyone seems more or less agreed on the idea that Manong Ted taught Balintawak exactly as GM Bacon taught him, so he is a good and logical choice for Datu Hartman to use for the comparison. I'm looking forward to his answer and hopefully he will man-up and give us a detailed description of the differences.

    Dan, I did see GM Atillo's striking system and approach to swinging the stick. I have it on my own personal taped recording, with his permission, of private lessons and in seminars. He did generate his power from his feet with pivots, waist rotations and stepping. He is a small man, therefore he has to use his entire body structure to generate full power. You and I might get away with the occasional arm generated power strike, but not GM Atillo, so he has been very careful to make his pivots, rotations and steps. You are absolutely correct, GM Atillo does not move like most Doce Pares or San Miguel Eskrima players. He is very much a Balinatwak player who is schooled in the non-grouping methods. Hence my question to Hartman, what are the significant differences between the Atillo-Saavedra Balintawak Method and the Bacon Balintawak Method?


    Respectfully,


    Jerome
     
  8. Dan Anderson

    Dan Anderson Master of Arts

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    Jerome,

    It appears that I am punctuation challenged LOL. I'll need to relook at GM Atillo and how he works his body structuring with his strikes. I don't recall his body action being the same as Manong Ted's and Ted was VERY strict on the particulars of body usage. I don't believe I can get away with the occasional arm powered strike UNLESS I'm setting my opponent for the Good Night, Irene. Then I'll use only my arm. Manong Ted influence.

    Yours,
    Dan Anderson
     
  9. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    That's what I call it too! Sigh...we must be old indeed.
     
  10. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    Old, but still struggling with premature punctuation? :lol2:

    *ducks for cover*
    :redcaptur
     
  11. DrBarber

    DrBarber Green Belt

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    Hello Dan,

    The issue at hand is not whether or not GM Atillo and Manong Ted had the same body actions. The issue is whether or not GM Atillo's art is Balintawak Eskrima. Boht you and Rocky have noted that GM Atillo seems to be closer to Manong Ted's approach and like Manong Ted, he does not use the Grouping Method of some schools of Balintawak.

    If we took the body action of a person as the sole or primary factor in determining if someone is doing a particular art, a number of us would be in serious trouble. For instance if someone is a 6', 200 pounder with large muscle mass in the trunk and arms of his body, can we really expect that person to have the same body movement as his 5' 6", 140 pound instructor with long, lean muscles? The center of gravity point for those 2 bodies is quite different for those 2 body types.

    As a Modern Arnis guy, just how closely does your body movement conform to that of Professor Presas? Do you use exactly the same footwork patterns as Professor? Do you use exactly the same stances and execute them at the same depth as Professor? If your answers are no to any of these questions then I coud say that you are not really doing Modern Arnis because you are not an exact replica of the late GM Remy Presas. In essence that is the argument that a good number of people are directing at GM Atillo, while using Manong Ted as the surrogate stand-in for GM Bacon. It is a very foolish and illogical argument that is premised on the false assumption that there is only one way to do Balintawak correctly!

    I see differences between you and Professor Presas, but I do not maintain that you are not doing Modern Arnis or that you are doing it incorrectly. One of the big differences that I see between you and Professor is that he used a right foot forward stance most of the time, perhaps 85 to 90% of the time. You use the right foot forward about 60 to 65% of the time. That worked for him, but apparently not for you.

    GM Atillo began his Saavedra Eskrima training at about the age of 6 or 7 and joined the newly formed Balintawak Self Defense Club in 1952 at the age of 14. How old was Manong Ted when he began his eskrima training, who was his first teacher and what sytle was he taught? He joined the BSDC in 1959. How old was he at that point in time. These are very important factors and will explain why there are some personal differences between the two men. I am not making a good, better, best judgment in either direction, I am simply say that Atillo and Buot are different men with some different experiences who happened to also share a martial arts system, Balintawak, in common, but we certainly can not reasonably expect them to be identical in their respective approaches.

    Throughout this whole thread my default position has been that The Bacon-Buot Original Balinatwak System is valid. It is one of 5 systems under the Balintawak designation. The common thing that they all share is a definite connection to the Saavedras, Lorenzo and Teodoro. Therefore the Atillo-Saavadra Balintawak System is equally valid along with the other 4 methods.

    There is another thing that people need to consider and research. The Original Balintawak Club was founded by GM Bacon, more than a decade AFTER the Balintawak Self Defense Club. Why did it happen that way? What were the social, political and personal reasons behind the development of the Original Balintrawak Club? I have a couple of answers, but most certainly not all of the answers. I believe that it would be better if people did their own research and at some time in the future we compared our finding and sources. After all, this is a discussion forum as MKS pointed out and we need information before we can have an informed and reasonable discussion.

    Respectfully,

    Jerome
     
  12. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think Dr. Barber that the issue here is that Anciong Bacon = Founder of Balintawak! To my knowledge all Balintawak systems out there pay homage to that fact with only GM Atillo not doing so. Instead GM Atillo seems to be positioning himself as the founder of Balintawak and that is what has people upset. Really, no one cares if he moves close like GM Bacon or Manong Ted Buot or when he started training, etc. What people care about is that it would appear GM Atillo is trying to lay claim as the founder of Balintawak or co-founder. That's it. That is the problem and it should not be muddled up with other stuff. This all could have been avoided with the forethought to name his system some thing else! Pardon the straight, blunt talk as I have no pony in this show but from looking into the matter from the outside this is what it looks like. As I have said before GM Atillo is probably a great guy, great martial practitioner with excellent students. (I really mean this) Just this one decision looks to haunt him from now on.
     
  13. Dan Anderson

    Dan Anderson Master of Arts

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    If that is the only issue, then it is a no-brainer. Ising Atillo represented the balintawak club in his match with Cacoy Canete back in the PI.

    DA, the historical miracle
     
  14. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Now if GM Atillo credit's Ancion Bacon as the founder of Balintawak then what I said above is completely a non-issue.
     
  15. Dan Anderson

    Dan Anderson Master of Arts

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    See above.
     
  16. DrBarber

    DrBarber Green Belt

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    What you said is a non-issue. The head instructor of the Balinatwak Club in 1953 was GM Bacon. It certainly could not have been GM Atillo who was around 14 years old when the BSDC was founded. According to the authors of Cebuano Eskrima, Dr. Ned R. Nepangue and Celestino C. Macachor, the BSDC was co-founded by Venancio Bacon, Vincente Atillo and Delfin Lopez on June 28, 1953. (p. 167)

    To quote the authors, "Together the established the Balintawak Self defense Club in June 28, 19953. One technical change was adapted and this was the use of the single olisi. Other pioneers included the names of Isidro Bardelas, Tinong Ybanez, Ationg Abellia, Timoteo "Timor Enoc Maranga, Sr. (d.1988)). The first elected president was Atty. Eulalio E. Causing, followed years later by Atty. Teodoro "Teoding" Amoco, Atty. Gaudioso C. Villagonzalo, Atty. Democrito T. Mendoza and Atty. Joe Villasin." (p. 167)

    Without taking any credit or prestige away from GM Bacon, the above information certainly implies that the BSDC was more than an eskrima training site. It was a social club and meeting site as well. We are too focused on the modern American version of martial arts training in which a school is established for one reason, to teach martial arts. That obviously was not the case in the Philippines prior to 1953 and the BSDC followed the traditions of that time period and place. There is another quote that I would like to share with you. "Practice sessions were sometimes scheduled in other locations, like the residence of Vincete Atillo in Basak Mambaling or another location in Mandaue." (p.168)

    That information is consistent with things that that GM Atillo has told me and others about how the BSDC functioned. "Many smaller Balintawak groups were soon organized around Cebu; the original place could no longer accommodate many interested individuals who wanted to study the art. Big gatherings usually happened on Sundays and during intramural tournaments organized every now and then. As Balintawak grew, group rivalries also grew." (p. 168) This latter statement by the authors serves as an excellent reason for the development of so many Balintawak teachers and GMs under GM Bacon. The early tradition was for the local instructors to send their charges up the line to more senior instructors and eventually to GM Bacon for "finishing off" their training. Two well know people who went through that training process were Professor Remy Presas and GM Bobby Taboada.

    Please go out and do some research then comment.

    Jerome Barber, Ed. D.
     
  17. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Is it not true that every Balintawak group claims that GM Bacon is the founder of Balintawak and that only GM Atillo does not recognize that?

    I mean every Balintawak practitioner that I have worked with adheres to this. Doing a quick google they all reference back to GM Bacon as being the founder of Balintawak. It seems like you are trying to help in the rewrite of history here Jerome.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  18. DrBarber

    DrBarber Green Belt

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    I'm sorry Dan, but your discourse on mechanics simply doesn't fly with me. I've seen all of the people that you've mentioned and I see differences in each of them, within their body mechanics. No judgment, just an observation. Part of the differences are tied to their respective bodies which are dissimilar to one another.

    I understand where you are trying to go with your mechanics argument and it certainly is your right to go there. The bottom is still unchanged. GM Crispulo Atillo is a Balintawak player and has been since 1953 when the Balintawak Self defense Club was formed and he was accepted as a member. He does not need to move like Manong Ted or GM Bacon to be a Balintawak player. He was not trained by either man. He was trained by his father in the Saavedra Eskrima style which is the foundational art of the Balintawak System, both grouped and ungrouped. As far back as 1957 and before Manong Ted got involved with Balintawak, GM Atillo was being recognized as a Balintawak player according to the authors of Cebuano Eskrima:


    "An exclusive group of young Balintawak stylists calling themselves the Ogok Gangcirca 1957 in Mambaling, Cebu city. The Ogok Gang included Benedicto "Bening" Medado Comaingking, Sr. (b. 1935), the leader, Crispulo "Insing" Atillo, Andres Honorides, Flor Escasenos, Pepe Simon, Ruben Simon and Baldo Cabase." (p. 170)

    The fact that GM Atillo represented the Balintawak club in the match with Cacoy Cenete from the Doce Pares Club in 1983 was no accident. Each man was a well known and established member of their respective clubs in Cebu City, prior to their match. Trying to diminish the stature of GM Atillo to make GM Bacon and Manong Ted seem larger and more important is really a sorry way to honor the latter two men. They can very well stand on their own merits and deeds. After all is said and done all three of these men have continued the legacy of one of the most important families of Cebuano Eskrima, the Saavedras. Not only are they associated with the Saavedra Eskrima style, which may have been technically known back in the day as either De Cuedas or De Cadena (Cebuano Eskrima, page 158), but they gave rise to Doce Pares, Balintawak and the Lapunti Self-Defense Club (Cebuano Eskrima, page 171)). Not to mention, one leg of the three legged stool that formed the basis of Modern Arnis.

    So if you want to take a very narrow and parochial view of Balintawak having to follow only the Bacon-Buot line, that's you position and you are welcome to it. I prefer to see the broader picture in which the Saavedra lineage and influence was broad enough to give rise to 5 branches of Balintawak. Each branch is a strong and viable entity that bears great fruit generation after generation since 1953. It seems to me that GM Bacon and his closest associates were wise in their nurturing of their legacy and it is only now in the modern era that pettiness, envy and greed are threatening a wonderful blossoming flower within the FMA.

    Respectfully,

    Jerome


    I
     
  19. DrBarber

    DrBarber Green Belt

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    Hello Datu Hartman,

    Given the amount of time that has passed since if first asked my question and you have not answered, I am left with only one conclusion:

    You Can Not Answer my question because there is no significant structural difference between what GM Atillo does and the late GM Bacon did as Balintawak Eskrima.

    Case closed.

    Jerome Barber, Ed. D.
     
  20. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think anyone is taking a petty, envious, narrow, parochial line Jerome. No one is trying to diminish GM Atillo, his students or their/his skill level. From all accounts GM Atillo is one of the more skilled eskrimadors out there. No one is also saying he is not a Balintawak player (I am not) just that he is not the founder of Balintawak which is GM Anciong Bacon. I think in the end if he had just named his system some thing else there would be no confusion and no need for us even to be having a conversation regarding this.

    We agree absolutely that the eskrima that came out of individuals like Saavedra, Bacon, Maranga, Lopez, Atillo, etc. (I am sure I missed a few) is pretty darn awesome! We just disagree on the one important point. ;)
     

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