Bakbakan seminar description


Black Belt
Aug 22, 2002
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East Northport, N.Y.
Following is a description of a Bakbakan seminar with Reynaldo Galang that was held at Extreme Martial Arts in Philadelphia, PA on November 16th:

After introducing several sinawali patterns that were to serve as the basis for the rest of the seminar, Master Galang showed how they could form the foundation of hagibis entries and throws. Participants returned to these patterns throughout the seminar to refine the movements, develop applications, and add variations. It was evident how important footwork was to the execution of the sinawali patterns, which were of a higher level of sophistication than those typically seen. Footwork was also particularly important with respect to whether the applications were to be used in an offensive or defensive manner. Master Galang also taught a single stick parrying and passing drill that was quickly adapted to a free-style variation. Bakbakan espada y daga technique was shown later on during the day, as well as the Alas form from the tulisan knife system.

Master Galangs infectious good humor and gracious behavior underscored a very well thought-out and organized seminar. He is an excellent practitioner and obviously loves to teach students at all levels.


Steve Lamade
In Modern Arnis we also use sinawalis as the basis for a wide variety of techniques, including empty-hand techniques such as locks and throws.
Hello Steve,

I'm glad you enjoyed the seminar. Although I was unable to attend, I would like to add to this post.

You are correct. What makes the "Sinawali System" a bit sophisticated is not the techniques but rather proper mechanics, footwork, ambidexterity and understanding of how to use 2 weapons in harmony. The latter being the most important as each weapon has it's specific function when the movement is executed.

The drill you referred to is called Cuatro Cantos and is the most versatile drill we use. Not only can it be used with an array of weapons and weapon combos, it is also used for empty-hand applications. Furthermore, depending on what range the participants choose to engage in, it is also a very good tool to practice your "live hand".

The form "Alas" is a blade orientation exercise. The primary purpose of the exercise is to introduce blade manipulation. This is why the movements are executed in a wide motion. Once the practitioner understands, he/she is taught how to refine the movements for proper use. Within the 6 exaggerated movements, it can dissected to 16 techniques. The basic rule of thumb is to keep ALL movements within the parameters of the shoulders.

My best to you in your continued endeavors!

Yours in the Arts,

John G. Jacobo
BAKBAKAN International

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