Hey guys, I thought you would be interested in learning a little about Balintawak Arnis, the new style we are teaching this year.
In my younger years I had the amazing opportunity to train with John Russell, a Central Coast native who has trained around the world in a variety of martial arts including a long stint in the Philippines learning under the masters! He is a master of the Visayan Martial Arts School.
What is Balintawak?
Balintawak is one of the lesser know schools coming out of the Filipino Martial Arts Systems, of which the best know of these styles is Arnis/Escrima/Kali. Most people would know Kali as Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do system popularised this style in the 1980s under Don Inosanto. Kali is closely related to a number of styles from other schools around the Pacific Islands such as Silat from Indonesia ( this is becoming a popular style used in movies such as The Bourne Identity).
Whist these styles use two sticks, Balintawak uses one stick with the open hand used to assist in blocking and controlling your opponents weapon. The other beauty of the Filipino systems, and especially Balintawak, is that it is a great style to move into hand to hand combat. If you lose your weapon, you can use exactly the same moves as punches!
Why Balintawak and what does it have to do with Star Wars?
Why not? Everyone uses long sword as the basis for their combat, why can’t there be other weapons and fighting styles in the Star Wars universe? I’ve been wanting to use styles and weapons that not only make us stick out from others in the Star Wars combat but to challenge our students! The beauty of Balintawak is that the shorter weapons bring the students closer together meaning that the fights will be quicker, more dynamic and it will also allow the students to become comfortable with basic hand to hand moves!