Balantiwak lessons?

chris arena

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Guys:

We would like to expand our Modern Arnis DeCuerdas and Visidario skills beyond the Modern Arnis that was left to us by the Professor. We feel that if he lived longer, he would have brought his students further into these skill levels and would have one day created a system that would have come closer to the Balintawak system. Judging by some of his final videos, one could almost see it coming.

I have been told by some that Modern Arnis was advanced from Balintawak as the Professor created much of his Tapi-Tapi to counter some of his past Balintawak sparring partners back when he was a student. However, in retrospect, I do not believe that this statement is at all true. In fact, it is my opinion that to really know Tapi-Tapi as the Professor developed it that a student must have the skills of a Balintawak player first, in order to have the speed and timing to even attempt to pull off the techniqes. From what I see from most Modern Arnis groups, (including mine) is that most of us cannot play at that skill level. In short, we do not want to stagnete. We need to find a more aggressive play for our better students, but still train safely. (No, we do not want to start the so called full contact pillow fight). We want to stay with just head protection and a stick glove only. With the emphasis on control.

At present, we have about 6 students that can play very fast freeflow sumbrada give and take. Some are even playing pretty energetic double stick Subrada as well. But once the stick or hand is grabbed, it stops bieng Sumbrada and is now starting to become a fight.
In order to improve our skills in this area, we are spending a lot of time researching the Balintawak videos on the net and starting to expand our decuerdas and visidario techniques from balintawak in order to get a bit more combative. In short, we are teaching ourselves.

This U-tube video is a few months old and it shows about where most of our students skills levels were at a few months ago. We want to get better! In fact, one of our students is also competing in local MMA cage fights

Does anyone out there have or recommend some decent video on the subject that shows the basics of the Balintwak drills? We would really appreciate the help.

Chris Arena
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Brian R. VanCise

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Chris you should have Rich Parsons down for a Balintawak seminar if he is of course interested. Balintawak would be hard to learn from a video. Just my 02.

By the way Rich is great at what he does and trained directly with Ted Buot!
 
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chris arena

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Thanks for the endorsement. I started the Modern Arnis class at Safety First and they are just about ready to take it on thier own. Although I still teach a class on Tuesday, they are capable of thier own growth and I am encouraging them to take thier own lead, (which they are doing quite well as thier video shows) They made it on thier own with no involvement from me. I am proud of thier initiative.

Personaly, I am also involved with NSI Modern Arnis on another level and SafetyFirst appears to be ready to go thier own way with Modern Arnis as they appear to be interested in the more traditional Filipino arts. If this is the direction they wish to pursue, then they need a good base to work from and Balintawak inspired Modern Arnis may just be the path for them and as a sideline, a lot of fun for me as well.

SafetyFirst will make the decision and I agree that from what I have heard Mr. Parsons would be a good choice. At present, this is a work in progress.

Chris A
 

fangjian

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You can learn from videos. But it will only get you so far. I had obsessively watched Balintawak videos before my first Balintawak lesson and it definately helped. I had studied their body mechanics and understood the basic Palakaw at random with the 12 strikes. I had that down fairly well. Then I tried to study the other nuances, like groupings etc. but it was hopeless until it was actually explained to me.

Your best bet is for you and all of your students to cough up some money and try to fly someone out to your area for a seminar.
 

fangjian

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I don't know who is closest to you. Maybe Jojo Ygay and Nene Gaabucayan in California
 

Rich Parsons

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Guys:

We would like to expand our Modern Arnis DeCuerdas and Visidario skills beyond the Modern Arnis that was left to us by the Professor. We feel that if he lived longer, he would have brought his students further into these skill levels and would have one day created a system that would have come closer to the Balintawak system. Judging by some of his final videos, one could almost see it coming.

Chris,

When Remy left Cebu, (* A story in itself *) he asked permission to teach what he had learned from GM Bacon. Manong Anciong told him he could teach it but not to call it Balintawak as he knew GM Remy's intention of adding in his other training from his family and his life experiences.

GM Remy did respect this agreement between him and one his Balintawak Instructors.

To the point at hand, the First Michigan Summer Camp in 1987 had a nice Balintawak Demo from Rocky and Remy. Rocky had just started his training with Manong (GM) Ted Buot but he had all his training with GM Remy and his veriosn of Modified Balintawak. It was a very nice demonstration of skill and timing by both men.

GM Remy would send Rocky to Ted with a counter, then GM Ted would teach Rocky the counter to that and then send him back to GM Remy. It was fun for Rocky and also for Both Ted and Remy.

GM Remy had his drills to get people moving, which is why over time more drills were added. This was more tools to get people moving. I do not think one tool is greater than the other in the Modern Arnis format. I do think they all have their place.



I have been told by some that Modern Arnis was advanced from Balintawak as the Professor created much of his Tapi-Tapi to counter some of his past Balintawak sparring partners back when he was a student. However, in retrospect, I do not believe that this statement is at all true.

Chris, I agree with you here. Here is my insight. In Balintawak. the off hand is used to manage, monitor, and delay the opponents stick. If you grab you have reduced your reaction time as you now have to let go and you have also remvoed technqiues from your options as your hand and arm are in the way. But here is the gotcha. If you take a beginner or intermediate Balintawak player and put them up against the beginner and intermediate Modern Arnis Player one could see the idea of Modern Arnis was "created" to "counter or beat" Balintawak. If the Modern Arnis Player grabs the stick to slow down the fight or to just control the opponents weapon and the Balintawak player is not good enough yet counter in time, then yes the Balintawak Player will get hit. So, given a limited amount of exposure and training one up front could look better than the other.

Yet, as you state the skill sets will not be developed if one grabs, as options have been removed. Of course one needs to train what to do if one does grab as well. This is just a small example.

In fact, it is my opinion that to really know Tapi-Tapi as the Professor developed it that a student must have the skills of a Balintawak player first, in order to have the speed and timing to even attempt to pull off the techniqes.

Speed is not the real issue. It is the timing. Knowing when to move your stick and your off hand and both at the same time. This is a major key. Speed will come, but if you do not have the timing at a slow speed you will never get it at a fast speed. Timing has the priority here.

From what I see from most Modern Arnis groups, (including mine) is that most of us cannot play at that skill level. In short, we do not want to stagnete. We need to find a more aggressive play for our better students, but still train safely.

Chris, I would not say "CANNOT", but I would say are not able to "YET". There are people who have natural timing and skills that could compete. There are ways for people to learn. And as you have doen here, people can investigate and learn from multiple sources.

(No, we do not want to start the so called full contact pillow fight). We want to stay with just head protection and a stick glove only. With the emphasis on control.

I prefer myself no pads. This does two things. One the opponent and you are training wiht control. Two, if you get hit you know who it will feel and can learn from the "feedback" that gettign hit in the hand is something not desired. I also agree not to use all the armor, but I have found SmakStick training at the right time does allow for people to go a little bit harder and also with a little less control to see how they fall apart under stress and also if they keep control or not. Each tool can be used effectively, if it is used in the right location. :)

At present, we have about 6 students that can play very fast freeflow sumbrada give and take. Some are even playing pretty energetic double stick Subrada as well. But once the stick or hand is grabbed, it stops bieng Sumbrada and is now starting to become a fight.

As stated above grabbing has it place, but ask the person why they grabbed? Were they scared? Were they behind and trying to get caught up? Then go back and address the situation two or three moves before hand that lead to them wanting to or instinctively grabbing.

In order to improve our skills in this area, we are spending a lot of time researching the Balintawak videos on the net and starting to expand our decuerdas and visidario techniques from balintawak in order to get a bit more combative. In short, we are teaching ourselves.

I really do not like to learn form videos and do not like to recommend it. I have quoted antoehr post below as well. I will comment there.

This U-tube video is a few months old and it shows about where most of our students skills levels were at a few months ago. We want to get better! In fact, one of our students is also competing in local MMA cage fights

Good Luck in the Competition.

Does anyone out there have or recommend some decent video on the subject that shows the basics of the Balintwak drills? We would really appreciate the help.

Chris Arena
[email protected]

If you are to pick a video, I would pick a family of Balintawak and go from there. The differences in families and preferrences will not come into play if you stick with one upfront. Then later look at the rest.

Thanks for the endorsement. I started the Modern Arnis class at Safety First and they are just about ready to take it on thier own. Although I still teach a class on Tuesday, they are capable of thier own growth and I am encouraging them to take thier own lead, (which they are doing quite well as thier video shows) They made it on thier own with no involvement from me. I am proud of thier initiative.

Making it their own is a good thing. Having an instructor to referrence and ask questions of is a better thing from my experience.


Personaly, I am also involved with NSI Modern Arnis on another level and SafetyFirst appears to be ready to go thier own way with Modern Arnis as they appear to be interested in the more traditional Filipino arts. If this is the direction they wish to pursue, then they need a good base to work from and Balintawak inspired Modern Arnis may just be the path for them and as a sideline, a lot of fun for me as well.

If it is their desicion then let them decide. You can give them feedback. Have them attend a seminar or two, and go from there. Have them look up an instructor and train for a while.

I really recommend the one on one student instructor relationship to learn Balintawak.

SafetyFirst will make the decision and I agree that from what I have heard Mr. Parsons would be a good choice. At present, this is a work in progress.

Chris A

I am available, but there are othes as well. Thanks for the comment and nice words.

You can learn from videos. But it will only get you so far. I had obsessively watched Balintawak videos before my first Balintawak lesson and it definately helped. I had studied their body mechanics and understood the basic Palakaw at random with the 12 strikes. I had that down fairly well. Then I tried to study the other nuances, like groupings etc. but it was hopeless until it was actually explained to me.

These are key points: Body mechanics, the striking, and for some the groupings and others just technqiues. But the basics, of hand and stick realtionship and off hand movement and weight during the strike and body leaning and movement are all there, but may not be seen or understood unless pointed out. So, while this posted did well, many others miss this.

Your best bet is for you and all of your students to cough up some money and try to fly someone out to your area for a seminar.

I agree, contact some people see who it would benefit you short term and long term to bring in.
 
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chris arena

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Thanks everybody for your insightfull comments!

It is obvious that we will need some instructorship on a seminar basis. However, I believe that we could at least expand our DeCuedas Modern Arnis drills by starting to learn the basic 12 angle Palakaw patterns.

Could anyone recommend a video on this subject that we could get for now? In this way, we can at least get familar with the subject. I have searched some of the Balantiwak sites and have yet to filnd one.

Thanks all...

Chris A
 

fangjian

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chris arena

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Thanks for that video! It shows exatcly the DeCuerdas that Remy showed on his tape, "Modern Arnis Advance Tapi-Tapi Techniques"! Then expands from there.
This is what we have been looking for! When we were playing free flow Sumbrada and got a little cocky and started grabing the stick or hand to impede the flow, our techniques started to break down. This is when we knew we had a problem!
Last night in class, went back to DeCuerdas and Visidario basics and now this video will be of great help.
In a few month's w'ell do a u-tube and see if it helped us progress.
Thanks all.

Chris A
 

fangjian

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There are many videos on you tube that show this basic palakaw. I am surprised you havn't seen them all. What do you mean by 'decuerdas'?
 

Dan Anderson

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Hi Chris,

If you have the funds available, get Rich to come in and do a seminar and private lessons. He is excellent at crossing the t's and dotting the i's - very technically minded. he is also very non-political and gets along with practically everyone.

Yours,
Dan
 

fangjian

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There are many people that might be able to come up there. I've always wanted to go to Washington;)
I would also like to mention that since you will not have a regular instructor in that area, this could also affect what lineage of Balintawak would be most suitable for that situation. IMHO, I would imagine the 'grouped' method of instruction would be best, since many techniques/concepts can be learned quickly. Teovel, Villasin, and Taboada are the lineages that teach this method.
 
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chris arena

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You guys are absolutey correct. It's not that I really am looking to be a serious Balintawak player per sey, For one thing I don't have the benifit of a local instructor in my area. However, As a Modern Arnis student it appears that at least the basics of Balintawak are part of our art. As the Cuerdas & Visidario drills that the Professor only started to show before his passing. The Prof. has passed on and it is now up to the student to work on these missing links and do his own work.

You can hold your hand out and let me do one of the many Modern Arnis Tapi-Tapi techniques on you as a willing partner and I can look pretty good. But can I do it when it really matters and you are seriously trying to do me in?

The Professor did not call it "The deadly Balantiwak" for nothing! For now my little group is working on what we have and some progress is bieng made. However, we will have to get a little help in the near future. That is something that we will be discussing.

Again, Thanks all!

Chris A
 

fangjian

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Good luck. Post some videos if you have time, We'd love to see what you're up to.
 

Brian Johns

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Thanks for that video! It shows exatcly the DeCuerdas that Remy showed on his tape, "Modern Arnis Advance Tapi-Tapi Techniques"! Then expands from there.
This is what we have been looking for! When we were playing free flow Sumbrada and got a little cocky and started grabing the stick or hand to impede the flow, our techniques started to break down. This is when we knew we had a problem!
Last night in class, went back to DeCuerdas and Visidario basics and now this video will be of great help.
In a few month's w'ell do a u-tube and see if it helped us progress.
Thanks all.

Chris A

Chris,

You mention that when folks got " a little cocky and started grabing the stick or hand to impede the flow, our techniques started to break down." I just wanted to mention that Master Chuck Gauss and Master Ken Smith (of Chicago) are very very adept at addressing this. I have trained with Master Gauss quite a bit and I can tell you that he is very very good at this.

Take care,
Brian Johns
 

Dan Anderson

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Yes, that was a specialty of Prof. Remy's. The big trick is to continue to flow without getting caught up into "Oh my goodness, he's grabbed my stick. What do I do now?"

Dan Anderson
 
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chris arena

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I have devised a counter to the stick grab.

When my opponent grabs my stick. I quickly, with my left hand pull the cord that conveinently drops from above and let the 10,000lb weight fall on him.

Chris A
 
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chris arena

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Good God! that would have meant that I would be attacked with a banana! Not much you can do then. Had to use the tigers.

Chris a
 
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