Historical question and/or Statement

DrBarber

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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.

Brian, Do not try putting words in my mouth. I have never heard GM Atillo disavow GM Bacon in any way other than to say, he (Bacon) was not my teacher.
That is a far cry from say that GM Bacon was not the founder of Balintawak. And what is Balintawak Eskrima? A new name for the Saavedra Eskrima art that
GM Bacon, Vincente Atillo, Delfin Lopez and Timoteo Maranga learned under the guidance of Lorenzo and Doring Saavdra. The club took its name from the street on which it was located, but the art came from what they all had learned from the Saavedras. I don't need to re-write history to tell the truth about the origins of Balintawak, nor do I have to try to tear down anyone associated with the art at any time in the past or present. I see Balintawak as a whole system with 5 parts.
Seven of my associates have taken to and utilized different aspects of three (3) of the five (5) parts, Taboada, Bacon-Buot and Atillo. I (we) see these parts as fitting our personal needs and agilities therefore we tend to be open to the entire spectrum of Balintawak.


Do some research.

Jerome Barber, Ed. D.
 

Tgace

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No dog in the hunt here...Im not a big lineage/history afficionado...but what are we talking about here?

Is Balintawak a "style" unique in and of itself created by one person? Or is Balintawak a "Brand Name" assigned to a FMA style that is being practiced by numerous people?

From what you guys are saying here it seems like a group of people used to work and train together and one person in particular (Bacon?) but the Balintawak name on it and started teaching it under that name. Is that correct/accurate?
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Jerome, the point is very simple GM Ancion Bacon is the founder of Balintawak. By everyone's account this is true. I am glad you are not disputing that. No one is tearing down GM Atillo. It is only because he named his system Atillo Balintawak you have this issue. By claiming that Anciong Bacon was not his teacher why in the world would he name his system Balintawak? Why not Atillo Eskrima or some thing else. If you go ask any Balintawak player other than Atillo's group they will say the founder of Balintawak is GM Anciong Bacon.

I see what you are saying though in that you and your associates are studying all that came out of the Saavedera lineage. Cool! That is great and gives you a very broad perspective towards your training in Modern Arnis and it's ancestry. Kudo's to you!
 

Tgace

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To rephrase Brian..and this is just from what Im gathering here....

Say You, me, Jerome and Dan all started hanging out and training together and eventually you go off on your own and start teaching "VanCise". Is "VanCise" what we were all doing together or is "VanCise" something entirely different that you put together? If I start teaching the same stuff am I teaching "VanCise"? Is the the same stuff? If I give it a different name but it is functionally and historically from the same roots is it the same thing?

Unless Im missing something (and I admit Im not educated in this stuff) this seems like the core of the debate.

Or (more likely) I just haven't grasped what you guys are debating here......
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Hey Tgace,

Like you I have no pony in the race here. However I am a firm believer that credit should be due where it is due.

Here is the short and simple version as I see it. By all accounts the group practiced together on balintawak street with Anciong Bacon being the principle. He then formed Balintawak the martial system and is credited with it as being the founder. Now other people were taught this and it spread. Everyone who practices Balintawak credits GM Bacon as the founder except for GM Atillo. My contention is that Balintawak was founded by GM Bacon. Jerome's contention is that Balintawak is a descendant system of the Saaverdera lineage and that Atillo Balintawak is one of several Balintawak lineages. I would say that Atillo's system is from the Saaverdera lineage and while it or course has Balintawak feel likeness (because they all trained in the same place) to it how can it be Balintawk if he does not credit GM Anciong Bacon who founded Balintawak the system as his teacher? To make matters more interesting since Manong Ted Buot's heart attack and passing this has come out. Manong Buot was the one who taught at the Balintawak school when GM Anciong Bacon was not there. (most advanced student and later carried on the legacy) Manong Ted Buot brought Balintawak to the US along with other Balintawak practictioner's who all in turn credit GM Bacon as the founder. All except for Atillo who uses the Balintawak name but does not acknowledge GM Anciong Bacon as the founder. None of this takes anything away from GM Atillo, his students, etc. However, because of the name choice you have this confusion! Now that is how I see it and if I am right everyone else except for GM Atillo and or future Atillo students who I am sure will be on here soon. I am also sure that Jerome see's it differently! ;)
 

arnisador

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Is Balintawak a "style" unique in and of itself created by one person? Or is Balintawak a "Brand Name" assigned to a FMA style that is being practiced by numerous people?

The most common version is that the name Balintawak comes from the Balintawak Self-Defense Club, located on Balintawak Street and run by Anciong Bacon in the back of a watch shop owned by one of his students. In that sense it would be his style, with various flavors from his former students. However, other Saavedra Doce Pares practitioners developed some similar innovations, and of course they occasionally intertrained. It's possible that some of them may have used the term colloquially to describe their deviations from the Saavedra style but I don't of any specific examples of this having happened. More to the point, some claim that the Balintawak Self-Defense Club was run more cooperatively by multiple people and they all had an individual style; see, e.g., Ising Atillo, whose main web page begins mid-argument:

Balintawak was established in 1952 not only by Anciong Bacon, Delfin Lopez, and Inting Atillo. There were also others who were involved in its establishment. Ising Atillo was an original member of that organization as well; he was the youngest member at the age of 14. Velez, Villasin, and Buot became members much later.

Ising Atillo's System is Balintawak but he added to it what he found to be more useful and removed what he thought was useless. Note that all other styles also customized Balintawak in their own way. Although the main foundation of all other Balintawak styles is the same, they are all different in some ways.

Ising Atillo claims to be original Balintawak, because he was an original member when it was first established. Anciong Bacon and his students alone cannot claim Balintawak because many of its original members were not students of Anciong Bacon.

So, the question as I understand it is whether all though who joined the club joined as students under Anciong Bacon or whether some came as fellow instructors.

My direct personal knowledge of events is extremely limited--I met Ted Buot once and we didn't discuss organizational politics.
 

arnisador

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Say You, me, Jerome and Dan all started hanging out and training together and eventually you go off on your own and start teaching "VanCise". Is "VanCise" what we were all doing together or is "VanCise" something entirely different that you put together? If I start teaching the same stuff am I teaching "VanCise"? Is the the same stuff? If I give it a different name but it is functionally and historically from the same roots is it the same thing?

I think it's more like this: Suppose the four of you all trained under Remy Presas, then left and trained at another school. This could happen in two different ways: You might all have left to study under Dan Anderson (say) as your instructor and hence be his students, or you might all have shared space and trained together but not considered yourselves each others' students. The mainline argument is that it was Anderson Style (in this analogy), while the other argument is that those are four separate but related styles all coming from Presas Style.
 

arnisador

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Anciong Bacon being the principle. He then formed Balintawak the martial system

I think there's an important side point to be made here. Nowadays when we think of soming making a new martial art we imagine it including from the beginning a specific curriculum, a well-defined rank structure, and a clear statement of lineage, all spelled out on a web page. This view of a martial art with clearly defined boundaries and the importance of transmission and legacy is, to my mind, a Japanese perspective that is being overlaid on other arts. My guess is that Anciong Bacon did what he did without a specific curriculum in mind. So, while he clearly had a martial system we should be careful not to assume that that includes the sort of emphasis on rank, curriculum, and hewing to a prescribed way of performing techniques that you'd expect from someone who studied under Gichin Funakoshi and started a variant of Shotokan. In many Filipino systems the history is muddled in part because they simply didn't view it that way. Indeed, I've been told (and believe) that many Filipino martial artists viewed their style as a a personal expression of an art and expected their students not to mimic them but to adapt the ideas to their own physiques and skills.

This is probably part of the problem here--many people who trained together at times might not have viewed the relationship in the formally way two Japanese practitioners would have. They would meet, spar, exchange some ideas, and go off to develop them, and while one might be teaching the other more than the other way around the relationship might not be codified as student-teacher nor thought of as the passing of techniques vs. the improvement of a person's combative skills. Strategy is so important in stick fighting that it seems like that's what I'm often talking about with someone--much more often than the mechanics of a forehand strike. My experience of other arts has had much more time on mechanics relatively speaking and less on overall strategy and concepts (at least initially).

All except for Atillo who uses the Balintawak name but does not acknowledge GM Anciong Bacon as the founder.

He says as much on his web page, as I read it--that he primarily practices a modified form of (Doring) Saavedra-style Doce Pares that is not heavily influenced by Balintawak but does call it Balintawak. He may be an example of someone using the term to mean not-Saavedra style which may well be what Balintawak meant to some people given the number of former Saavedra students who ended up there.
 

Rich Parsons

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First there was the Labingong Fencing Club

Then there was the Doces Pares

With in the Doces Pares there were the Saavedra's, Bacon and the Canete's.

Only Bacon had his Dagger removed from him as others would complain that they would bleed from being stabbed from his wooden dagger.
So Only Bacon trained with just a stick versus stick and dagger.

WWII happened

Lorenzo the senior Saavedra and Doring (Teodoro) died in the war.

After the WWII the Canetes and Bacon meet with the idea that they would form back the Doces Pares.
Bacon saw that there were more Canete's and they wanted to do technqiues he did not. There were more Canete's then him
and he felt like he would be out voted for where the club would go. So he went his own way.

Bacon continued to train and work with people. He was offered to train in the back of the watch shop on Balintawak Street.
At this point Inting Atillo enters the picture in the verbal history and with some documentation of pictures that he was an original member of the Club.


If Bacon was the only one to train with just a stick and he continued to do so after WWII and then taught the unique technqiues he was working on versus those wth Stick and Dagger
taught by the Doces Pares, then the two are different. Yes Doces Pares also had single Stick. So there could be similarities.

If Bacon did the Techniques that later were called Balintawak, and the original members of the club helped him train and practice and to work out the details then those original members would have something to offer.

So as Inting Atillo was an original member and Ising Atillo was a teenager and original member(?) (* Other than Ising I know of no other citation for this *), then Ising learning from his father as he claimed would also have something to offer to people. As I have stated in the past.


Yet, no where in there do these assistants in training or members and students of the club were mentioned as Founders or creators of the system. It was Bacon who was the founder and the creator.




In 1959 Buot started training and by 1960 he was teaching. He taught the fundamentals (Abecedario/Seguidas) to many a person, as well as advanced techniques. And until 1974 he was the only student who taught at the club other than Bacon.


So if Buot is the only other person to have taught at the club besides Bacon, then how could Atillo be a co-founder or founder of the system? Would he not also have been teaching?




Not being the originator is ok. One can still have a lot to offer.


So if Ising Atillo has something unique to offer, and wants to call his system something, he should call it what he wants. If he calls it Balintawak it will cause confusion, and the easiest way to handle this is to say this is the teachings of his father in Stick and Dagger from the Doces Pares. Which then begs the question of what is unique? Would it not then be Doces Pares?
 
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Datu Tim Hartman

Datu Tim Hartman

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Hello all-

I haven't been avoiding the thread. Unfortunately my schedule doesn't allow me the time to spend on the forums as I did in the past. I just got back from my seminar in Dallas and next weekend I'm hosting the 60th Balintawak Anniversary camp. Ad in fact that I'm dyslexic, it takes considerable time and effort to make a post.

I haven't commented on the differences of the system, because several people already commented on them. For the record I think Atillo does teach Balintawak. His father (who taught Atillo) was a student on Anciong. My problem is not giving Anciong the proper credit for creating Balintawak. Maybe this is because Atillo was kicked out of the Balintawak club by Anciong for hitting with a cheap shot during training?

Well I'm off now. I have a lot of prep for next week's camp. When I have some free time I'll post more.

BTW, here is the flyer for next weeks camp. Hope to see some of you there!

View attachment 18201
 

BuffaloFOI

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Hey Datu! I got those Atillo DVDs!!! You were Right! GM Atillo dvd guality is Good! But Im a bit confused when I read this Thread...I dont see the Big difference from when you tried to explain and demonstrate to me a few months ago after class. I know im not a black belt but i do research and dont take what people say on face value on others systems

Ed Saulters
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Grenadier

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Just a quick reminder to y'all...

There's nothing wrong with asking an honest question, as long as it's done so in a civil manner.

Repeatedly asking that same question over and over, following the target of the question from thread to thread, isn't very civil.
 

Dan Anderson

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To one and all. My next series of posts have nothing to do with the legitimacy of GM Atillo. He IS MY senior in the FMA and I respect and acknowledge him as such. My next two posts have to do with communication to Jerome. They are on their way.

Yours,
Dan Anderson
 

Dan Anderson

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Hi Jerome,
I am answering a couple of posts of yours in separate posts. The subject of this post is You can’t have it both ways.”

Example: 8/1/2013
“I'm sorry Dan, but your discourse on mechanics simply doesn't fly with me.”
On the same day you say to Tim:

“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.”

On the same day again you yip at Brian VanCise: “Brian, Do not try putting words in my mouth.”

Yet just a few posts before that you say to me, “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.”

When in the hell did I say that? You are putting out that I am taking some sort of a stand of one against another without my saying so. Hmmm…

DA
 

Dan Anderson

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Hi Jerome,

You told Brian VanCise to do his research. I decided to do some of my own. Your research is flawed. You quote only one book, Cebuano Eskrima Beyond the Myth – Ned Nepangue & Celestino Macachor. That is minimal research.

Cebuano Eskrima Beyond the Myth – Ned Nepangue & Celestino Macachor
pg. 167 – “Anciong Bacon, considered being the “Mozart of Eskrima,” separated from Doce Pares in 1952. Many well known Doce Pares old-timers, like Vicinte Atillo and Delfin Lopez, followed him. Together they established the Balintawak Self-Defense Club in 1953.

Vivencio “Bebe” Lopez Paez” (b.1928) is identified with Delfin Lopez but actually learned his eskrima from Vicente Atillo, one of the Balintawak pioneers. Crispulo “Ising” Atillo founded the Philippine Arnis Confederation (PAC) on April 24, 1975 in Cebu City.”

Other than the two pages you referenced earlier (pgs. 168 & 170) the only other mention of Ising Atillo is on pages 114-117 having to do with his match with Ciricao Canete.

There is other reference material:


Warrior Arts of the Philippines– Reynaldo Galang
pgs 1&2 - “After the death of Tatay Ensong, internal bickering and politics rocked Doce Pares. Anciong bacon, one of the disgruntled instructors, later dropped out of the society, reportedly after a bitter feud with the Canete clan. He decided to break away and start his own club, opening his first gym in Balintawak Street in Cebu city in 1951.” [note: the balintawak people featured in his book include Sergio Arcel, Johnny Chiuten, Nick Elizar, Timoteo Maranga, Rodrigo Maranga, Bobby Tabimina, Bobby Taboada, Teofilo Velez, Pacito Velez, Jose Villasin, and John Villasin. Nowhere in the histories of these balintawak masters do they mention the names of Vicinte or Ising Atillo. DA]

Filipino Martial Culture – Mark V. Wiley
pgs 267-268 – “In the late 1920s, Lorenzo Saavedra organized the Labangnon Fencing Club, whose name was later changed by Ansiong Bacon (a student of Saavedra and founder of Balintawak Eskrima) to what is now known as the Doce Pares Club. Under the direction of Bacon the art grew in popularity and the Doce Pares Club gained students by the hundreds. In 1939, the club was jouned by Eulogio “Euling” Canete, who now runs the club. As a result of philosophical differences with Canete, Ansiong broke away and established the Balintawak Self-Defense Club.” [note: Wiley continues on with the history of the club and no mention is made of either Atillo, father or son. DA]

Eskrima Filipino Martial Art – Krishna Godhania
pg. 12 – “But with war comes casualties on both sides, and a number of Eskrima Masters lost their lives, among them the legendary Doring Saavedra (who was captured and killed by the Japanese kempe-tai); this left a void in the Doce Pares, although it regrouped with Ansiong Bacon as its top fighter. Unfortunately, personalities and politics soon divided the club. As a result, Ansiong Bacon left and founded the Balintawak Self-Defense Club (see p. 11). He later went on to train such notables as Delfin Lopez, Teofilo Velez and Jose Villasin.” [note: No mention of the Atillos. DA]

Arnis Self-Defense – Jose G. Paman
pg.24 – “Frustrated by the internal politics of the original group, Venancio “Anciong” bacon, a top pupil of Lorenzo Saavedra, moved to another part of Ceby and established the Balintawak Club.” [no mention of the Atillos. DA]

So, where are the Atillos mentioned?

Arnis – Reflections on the History and Development of the Filipino Martial Arts – compiled by Mark V. Wiley
A History of Eskrima in Cebu and Negros (Essay) - Krishna Godhania

pg. 55 – “In 1975, Crispulo “Ising” Atillo formed the Phillipine Arnis Confederation. Atillo, who learned the art from his father and Venancio Bacon later participated in the infamous duel with Ciriaco Canete in 1983.”

Black Belt magazine online
FMA Up Close: Arnis Grandmaster Crispulo Atillo

by Keith Vargo – June 6, 2013
Few people in the world can truly be called a grandmaster of arnis. Fewer still have studied with the original Filipino masters or fought in stick-fighting challenge matches. Crispulo “Ising” Atillo is one of those rare people.

History
Crispulo Atillo was 14 years old when he began his formal training in 1952 under arnis legend Venancio “Anciong” Bacon, but his first fighting experience came at a much younger age. During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in the early 1940s, Crispulo Atillo’s father was a member of the resistance, and more than once both father and son narrowly avoided capture. It was also during these war years that he witnessed Venancio Bacon and another legendary balintawak master, Teodoro Saavedra, fight in challenge matches.

These early experiences left a deep impression on the young Crispulo Atillo and made him a lifelong devotee of the original style of balintawak arnis. After World War II, the only surviving balintawak master was Venancio Bacon. It was from him that Crispulo Atillo learned most of this single-stick style. But Crispulo Atillo’s father was also a student of the late Teodoro Saavedra, and the senior Atillo passed those skills along to his son. The result was a style of arnis that made the junior Atillo one of the best ambassadors of arnis in the Philippines.
http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/t...a-up-close-arnis-grandmaster-crispulo-atillo/
[note: anytime I have worked with Black Belt magazine, they usually contacted me first hand to verify data was correct. DA]

And here is how the title “Original Balintawak” came about…

"ESKRIMA"
This article were taken from Grandmaster Dionisio Canete's book 'Filipino Martial Arts Espada y Daga'. I found that this was the most informative and comprehensive discription, of the history of the Doce Pares, and revealed many things that was never written down before.

“The tension brought about by the rivalry between these two groups [balintawak & doce pares – DA note] had considerably eased in the beginning of 1970, and it was about this time the Cebu Eskrima Association (CEA) was born. Spearheaded by lawyer Dionisio "Diony" Canete, the youngest son of Eulogio, all the fourteen Eskrima groups/organizations in Cebu joined as members. "Diony" was subsequently elected as charter President with Jose Villasin of Balintawak as Vice President, and event considered by many to have virtually ended the bitter rivalries among the eskrimadors in Cebu.

Shortly thereafter Balintawak had split into four different factions. Bacon headed one group called the Balintawak original while Villasin and Teofilo Velez named theirs as Balintawak Internatinal Self Defense Club. Timoteo Maranga who then held the rank of Major in the Cebu City Police Force baptized his club as Tres Personas Eskrima.

Vicente Atillo and son Crispulo headed another one known as New Arnis confederatin of Visayas an Mindanao (NACVAM) and was later changed to Atillo Original Balintawak Eskrima Association.

Subsequently, Villasin and Velez also parted ways with Villasin adopting the name Joevil Balintawak and that of Velez, the Teovel Balintawak Eskrima.” [note: italics are mine and I left the misspelled words alone. DA]
http://www.bandalan.com/History/doce-pares_history.html

My point? Simple. You’re apparently using only one book as a reference point to base your entire premise. This is sloppy research, especially since there are other reference materials out there. Now, unfortunately, the written history of FMA is nowhere as complete as Japanese martial arts or martial arts in America so the total accuracy of any of these references are in question. History is written by…the writers, if not by the winners.

Yours,
Dan Anderson
 

Rich Parsons

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Hi Jerome,
I am answering a couple of posts of yours in separate posts. The subject of this post is You can’t have it both ways.”

Example: 8/1/2013
“I'm sorry Dan, but your discourse on mechanics simply doesn't fly with me.”
On the same day you say to Tim:

“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.”

On the same day again you yip at Brian VanCise: “Brian, Do not try putting words in my mouth.”

Yet just a few posts before that you say to me, “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.”

When in the hell did I say that? You are putting out that I am taking some sort of a stand of one against another without my saying so. Hmmm…

DA

Hey Dan,

Good points!

I have never said there was only one. Nor have I said one is better than another.


I have stated there are differences and those differences should be documented and credit to those who made the changes be given, so people understand.


Thanks
Rich
 

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