Is balintawak a 'soft' style

Discussion in 'Balintawak' started by Finlay, Sep 30, 2017.

  1. Finlay

    Finlay Green Belt

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    Would you classify your balintawak as a soft or hard style.I say 'your' as I imagine people have different takes on the art

    When people start talking about hard/soft styles there is often some extra discussion about the terms.

    To help this along I would to briefly outline them as

    Soft: primarily using angles and working round the opponents force. Taiji, bagua, aikido, bjj for example

    Hard: primarily using force to stop and over come the opponent. Boxing, taekwondo, kyokushin karate for example.

    In my opinion BTW is largely a soft art, maybe starting off as 'hard' as many styles do and progressively getting softer

    Any opinions ?
     
  2. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    Is there a particular difference between balintawak kali, and more traditional kali?
     
  3. Malos1979

    Malos1979 Blue Belt

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    I heard someone recently saying "Balintawak is Wing Chun with stick"......:D
     
  4. Finlay

    Finlay Green Belt

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    I have heard that a few times before or at least similar things.

    I find it interesting the amount if cross over I found between some Chinese styles and balintawak
     
  5. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    The Balintawak I teach is Hard/Soft
    It is hard as there are force to force blocks done with your weapon/stick/cane/rattan/..., .

    It is soft as your left hand is always moving and redirecting the opponents weapon/arm/body.
    It is also soft as it uses body leaning and angling as well as stepping.

    The control of the center line and other principals/concepts are compared many times to Wing Chun.
    As I have stated before, any good technique/principal/concept should not be unique to just one martial art, unless it is to address a technology and or terrain that does not exist elsewhere ...

    My instructor referred to the art as Balintawak Eskrima/Escrima. I know many also use the term Balintawak Arnis.
     
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  6. Charlemagne

    Charlemagne Black Belt

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    It's probably pretty comparable to WC in regards to its dominating the center-line idea, as Rich noted above.
     
  7. fangjian

    fangjian Black Belt

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    Hi,
    If we use 'your' terms than, "Yes it is a hard/soft style."

    However, Hard usually implies External, .... and Soft usually implies Internal.
    I have not met one person in Balintawak that has any Internal Power ( I.P.) . Common Internal Styles such as : Taijiquan, Aikido, Baguazhang, etc have a VERY limited amount of practitioners that can actually display legit Internal skills, as the arts had been diluted for many years for various reasons. But they are around if you know where/how to look for them.

    Also, soft/internal as a concept is largely misunderstood to mean something like: angles, timing, psychology of combat, etc. That is not the case at all. What it actually is, is a way to develop power by bypassing the usual way we cultivate strength/power. Instead of relying on muscles, you can use the connective tissue instead, which gives you a better structure with limited lateral loss of energy.

    So, in closing:

    No, Balintawak is not a soft style. However, Internal Power can be applied to any martial art. So hopefully in the coming years, I can make Balintawak a soft style. Will take a lot of time though as I am still a novice in I. P.
     
  8. fangjian

    fangjian Black Belt

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    Although I am not familiar with these definitions. You mentioned,
    "angles and working around opponent's force" = soft
    and
    "using force to overcome opponent " = hard

    But all styles generally do all those things often.

    But I did notice that you separated them by "striking" or lack there of:

    Soft: You include arts where striking is not typically seen (or not the main focus)

    Hard : You include arts that we typically see striking


    Is this how you are defining terms ?

    If so, where would 'Wrestling' fall under? Soft or Hard?
     
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  9. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Fighting is a hard style.
     
  10. Juany118

    Juany118 Senior Master

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    It is complicated indeed. I study both Wing Chun and Inosanto Kali. In the WC I study one of our primary axioms is "never meet force with forced" so soft? But we train to strike too so hard? Same with the Kali. We train to deflect and redirect attacks, especially weapon attacks, so soft? But we also train to attack via striking with weapons and limbs so hard?
     
  11. Mephisto

    Mephisto Black Belt

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    Hard and soft is a limited way of seeing things. Is every color black or white? For those comparing Balintawak to Wing Chun I don’t know but I do know. I do know that many old school balintawak founding members were boxers. I think the link between Balintawak and boxing is much closer than any other empty hand art but the in the U.S. there is a disconnect, most Balintawak practitioners come from other arts and they fail to see the relationship between Balintawak and boxing. It’s much easier to do chi sao than it is to step in a ring but some how many think chi sao is more realistic.
     
  12. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    Contact Tye Botting - He is a Kung Fu and Arnis instructor and skill. Ask him about internal power / usage and in reference to myself.
     

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