January 01, 2020

WHO ARE YOU? HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOURSELF? WHATS YOUR STORY?

Most people that interact with me on a daily basis would define me by my role as a rehabilitation physician. Providing care to patients with illnesses that can cause dramatic life changing disability and palpable suffering has without a doubt influenced my perspective on the human condition. At the same time the resolve found in human beings is truly inspiring. It never ceases to amaze me when I see patients with severe disabilities that are happier than “non-disabled” folks. Being a rehabilitation physician has opened my eyes to the realization that we are here to live life, and get everything it has to offer. I believe that human beings, by makeup, are inclined to care for people who are suffering. Empathy and compassion are part of the gifts of human nature.

"12 BASICS..." CHIEF MASTER RICH COTTERILL"

January 01, 2020

"12 BASICS..." CHIEF MASTER RICH COTTERILL

"12 Basics" are 12 questions posed to Fully Qualified Instructors under Grandmaster Bobby Taboada and those in our orbit to give you a little insight into who we are as individuals and collectively as a Brotherhood. This installment we talk to Chief Master Rich Cotterill, head of Grandmaster Taboada's Balintwak Cuentada in Europe!

January 01, 2020

I first met Bobby in 1990 when he was based in New Zealand and had been invited to run a seminar at my local Karate Dojo in Melbourne, Australia. Bobby was accompanied by his sponsor in New Zealand at the time Peter Ball who he had trained in Balintawak. I had trained in Modern Arnis for quite a few years before I first met Bobby, and despite having trained in the Phillipines many times this seminar with Bobby was the first time I had seen the Balintawak style.

"12 BASICS..." GURO JEMAR CARCELLAR

January 01, 2020

"12 BASICS..." GURO JEMAR CARCELLAR

January 5, 2016

This begins what I hope will be an ongoing insight into the Brotherhood of the Taboada Cuentada system and those in our orbit. I have always been interested in the history of Balintawak. Listening to Grandmaster talk about how things used to be... how this particular thing developed... why this move made it into shadow fighting form... where this scar came from... it's hard not to be interested. 

January 01, 2020

I am just an ordinary guy with a love for Martial Arts, and Balintawak. Even though I am a martial artist I have other passions as well, I enjoy woodworking and balloon twisting. So, I can't really say what defines me, other that my zest for fun and life in general. I think life is too short to take anything to seriously!

"12 Basics..." Guro Sharon LoParo

January 01, 2020

WHO ARE YOU? HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOURSELF? WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

I grew up in Philadelphia, PA.  I was the youngest of 4 girls born to Marjorie and Joe
Infante.  Since my mother was only 20 when I was born and my dad 22 it is obvious that they had no real tools to raise 4 littles girls.  As many of these stories go my mother was swept away by an older man and the story of abuse and abandonment goes on for years.

The four of us went together and apart for most of our lives. My story went like this: foster homes, children’s homes, and then group home.  I learned at an early age to be quiet, don’t get in trouble, and you won’t get picked on or hurt. I know that it is hard to believe but I was a very shy little girl…......

"12 BASICS..." GURO BRIAN COREY"

January 01, 2020

"12 BASICS..." GURO BRIAN COREY

"12 Basics" are 12 questions posed to Fully Qualified Instructors under Grandmaster Bobby Taboada and those in our orbit to give you a little insight into who we are as individuals and collectively as a Brotherhood. This installment we talk to Guro Brian Corey!

"12 BASICS..." GURO JEFF SORIANO"

January 01, 2020

"12 BASICS..." GURO JEFF SORIANO

"12 Basics" are 12 questions posed to Fully Qualified Instructors under Grandmaster Bobby Taboada and those in our orbit to give you a little insight into who we are as individuals and collectively as a Brotherhood. This installment we talk to Guro Jeff Soriano!

"12 Basics..." Guro Floyd Yoder

January 01, 2020

WMy name is Floyd Yoder.  I am a retired SWAT operator with over 26 years of experience from the Hickory Police Department in Hickory NC.   Currently, I am employed with the North Carolina Department of Justice at the North Carolina Justice Academy where I am the Special Operations Coordinator/Instructor and responsible for the SWAT and Active Shooter program in the State of NC.  Law enforcement has been the passion of my life for over 37 years.  I have retired from active duty on the streets and successfully transitioned into the classroom where I serve as an experienced and passionate instructor/mentor to our law enforcement students and profession.hat's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

January 01, 2020

Very simply I started training Martial Arts at the age of 14yrs old with an Incredible Ju-Jitsu instructor Sensei Allan Clarkin, Who now has been awarded M.B.E for dedication and teaching of Martial Arts, with fighters in Sombo, Kick-boxing and M.M.A, his fighters competing at a world class level... a great great man….
I then trained with Soke Martin Rogers again an incredible Kenpo Ju-Jitsu Instructor, again he runs a well-established traditional ju–jitsu dojo, and a kick-boxing, BJJ and MMA Gym with national and international level competitors and Champions, a great friend and instructor. It was then I meet Richard and Bill and my Balintawak journey began and is still continuing to this present day.

January 01, 2020

What's your story?

Well, this is not an easy answer for me. I’ve never really articulated my past on paper, nor on a public forum. However, my story is deeply rooted with experience. To know my past is to know me. So I felt compelled to share more than just a brief summary for this project. I wanted to give everyone a mask-less look into my life and how it has shaped me into the man you see today.

January 01, 2020

..One day, back in 2004 while I was working out at the local fitness center, I saw my soon to be instructor, Guro Jeffri Love, in the back room practicing the art. Since I was in a new area after graduating college, I was looking for something that completed the athletic side of me.  Guro Jeff made the art look powerful but also effortless.  So, I approached him and asked what he was doing. He told me it was Balintawak and he asked if I wanted to learn. I said, "Of course" To which he replied, "Meet me here Saturday at 8 AM and I'll teach you." The rest, as they say, is history.

"12 BASICS..." GURO MICHAEL-VINCENT MALANYAON

January 03, 2023

"12 BASICS..." GURO MICHAEL-VINCENT MALANYAON

"12 Basics" are 12 questions posed to Fully Qualified Instructors under Grandmaster Bobby Taboada and those in our orbit to give you a little insight into who we are as individuals and collectively as a Brotherhood. This installment we talk to Guro Michael-Vincent Malanyao!

"12 BASICS..." GURO ELMANN CABOTAGE"

February 23, 2023

"12 BASICS..." GURO ELMANN CABOTAGE

"12 Basics" are 12 questions posed to Fully Qualified Instructors under Grandmaster Bobby Taboada and those in our orbit to give you a little insight into who we are as individuals and collectively as a Brotherhood. This installment we talk to Guro Elmann Cabotage!

"12 BASICS..." GURO BOB SULLEN"

May 28, 2023

"12 BASICS..." GURO BOB SULLEN

"12 Basics" are 12 questions posed to Fully Qualified Instructors under Grandmaster Bobby Taboada and those in our orbit to give you a little insight into who we are as individuals and collectively as a Brotherhood. This installment we talk to Guro Bob Sullen!

"12 Basics..." Guro Terence Dayot

January 01, 2020

WHO ARE YOU? HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOURSELF? WHAT'S YOUR STORY?

My name is Terence Dayot and I was born and raised in the Philippines. I moved to Canada when I was 16. My wife, Christy, and I live in the Greater Toronto Area with our three kids. While I do have a day job, I also run Pugad Lawin Martial Arts where I teach FMA; primarily Balintawak and Modern Arnis.

HOW WERE YOU EXPOSED TO BALINTAWAK?

I was exposed to Balintawak through Ike Sepulveda. I met him a few weeks after I started Modern Arnis in 2008. My Modern Arnis instructor Brian Johns was telling me about a gentleman who came to visit him and his class

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THE OCEAN OF BALINTAWAK

December 3, 2015

by FQI Benjamin Winn

 

Stand on the shore with a group of people, look out at the ocean, and you will all see something different. The person next to you may have a nearly identical view but it is still different. This is because we cannot occupy the same space at the same time no matter how close we come. We may be able to occupy the same space but we must wait to do so and as we wait the ocean changes and so do we. Even standing still we cannot hold the same view from moment to moment. As we absorb new information it changes the way we see the ocean, whether we become accustom to the pattern of the waves and begin to form expectations or someone from the group shares a story about the last time they were at the shore, it changes the way we see. Every observation and interaction is filtered through the collected totality of your experience, rewriting and amending it as you go, an exponential number of variables that continue to come together in a specific way to create a view and understanding that only you are capable of having in this moment, in this place. Your perspective is unique and it is what you have to offer. Take it seriously.

 

“Your perspective is unique and it is what you have to offer. Take it seriously.”

 

 

I wrote before about how Balintawak is a formless being, an ideal Platonic form. At one time this form resulted from the culmination of Anciong Bacon's experience, it was a small cup of water formed and contained by one man. The first time he taught his art to someone and called it by its name it overflowed it's cup. This formless Being gave GGM Bacon's students a way to Be in the world and was simultaneously given form through their being. Balintawak was viewed and understood through a multitude of unique perspectives, seen in ways it had never been seen before. Ways that may have always been there but could not be seen from where people had been standing. As more people learned Balintawak the larger it grew, until it was an ocean deeper and wider than any single man could envision by himself.

 

 

But just as easily as the ocean grew it could have dried up. When a person abandons Balintawak or passes on from this world that perspective is lost forever and the ocean becomes that much smaller. Think of the things that could have been seen if the beginner didn't quit. Think of all the untold, unfathomable knowledge that has evaporated into the ether with the passing of the masters and grandmasters. Yet despite what has been lost Balintawak is still a swirling dynamic ocean! So, why? Because teaching, bringing others to the shore and showing them how to swim, is fundamental to Balintawak.

 

 

Personally, this is the difference between completion of the art and a fully qualified instructor. When you are recognized as having "completed the art" there is a sense that you have an understanding of its essence but it remains to be seen what you do with that understanding. Those who complete the art have stood at the shore gazing long and hard at the ocean, studying its tides and the pattern of its waves, dipping their toes and pointing out their observations to those who have just arrived. They now have a choice regarding what they do with their understanding, do they act upon it or not? Those who are fully qualified instructors have chosen to act and have immersed themselves in the waves. They no longer explain their observations about the ocean, they demonstrate them to everyone on the shore, drawing them into the water, as they become part of the ocean over time.

 

 

Balintawak may look different from system to system and between individuals in any given system but its essence is the same. After all, we are all swimming in the same ocean even if we are wading in from different shores. As our students wade into the water and join us they are exposed to our unique understanding of the essence of Balintawak. However, you cannot touch something without it touching you back. Their understanding begins to inform our understanding, we learn from our students. We must remember that they see things in a way that no one else can, just as we do. We may have gotten to the ocean first but we are all in it together. 

 

 

“Their understanding begins to inform our understanding, we learn from our students. We must remember that they see things in a way that no one else can, just as we do. ”

 

This exercise is stretching a metaphor was inspired by advice that GM Taboada gave at the East Coast Gathering in 2015 (and I am paraphrasing here):

 

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"Your students should always be ahead of you, building upon your understanding and adding their own. Don't hold back from your students, show them everything (in due time), and in return they will push you to become better. They will figure out how to counter your favorite moves and you will have to figure out counters to their counters and the quality of our understanding will grow." 

 

 

The art will grow in us until there is no difference between us and the art. Anyone who has seen GM Taboada hold a stick, let alone swing one, understands what I mean by this. There is no distinction to be made between him and the stick, it's not just an extension of his body, it is him. He no longer swims in the ocean of Balintawak, he is a tidal wave.

 

 

This is what I strive for. I have left the shore and swam out into this vast ocean of Balintawak after my brothers, showing others how to swim after me and beyond me. One day I will become so good at swimming I will no longer have to do so because I too will be a wave in this mighty ocean.