The Saavedra family were among
the founding members of both the Labangon Fencing Club of the 1920’s and
then again among the group of the founding members of the Doce Pares Club of
the 1930’s. The Saavedra’s style greatly influenced Anciong’s personal
fighting style, which later, would put him at odds with some members in the
late 1940’s and early 1950’s Doce Pares Club. These members were from
another famous family of instructors, also containing founding members of
the Labangon and Doce Pares Clubs - the Cañete’s.
Balintawak is one of the rare
martial systems, that can realistically be expected to deal with random acts
of violence. In real fighting situations you must learn to protect your
vital areas with lightning actions and natural movement, so no moves will
work for you unless you are able to use them instinctively, instantly and
simultaneously. Each move learnt in Balintawak has an obvious purpose, there
are no superfluous movements, with every attack a defence and every defence
an attack/counter. Balintawak teaches to constantly block and counterstrike.
Never ever, merely block and then block again or not counter with an
effective return strike. Learning to always block and counter is the
quickest and most effective way of developing instantaneous response.
As the training is designed to ingrain an instinctive reaction, so much so
that in a sudden confrontation, one do not become paralysed by your own
thoughts and fears. Split second reaction is fundamental to combat survival
and Balintawak constantly drills the student, that timing in every move is
the difference between skilled Escrimadores, not simply the techniques that
anyone can mimic. When and how a student delivers a technique are more
important than the technique itself. Through Balintawak’s tactile training
you are enabled to feel instantly the force of your opponent and the holes
that can be in their attack and defence. This feeling learnt through proper
training, becomes an automatic response, not a cognitive thought.
Balintawak is one of the last true fighting systems that has not been
adapted for sport or entertainment. You do not have to be superfit and can
be of any age to train, enabling ordinary individuals to learn this art for