THE BALINTAWAK TWELVE BASIC STRIKES
There are Twelve Basic Strikes in Balintawak. With the teaching of the strikes the Basic Footwork is taught also. This footwork gives the student the knowledge which is needed to manoeuvre and properly position their body for a more stronger faster strike.
The Twelve Basic Strikes in a class situation are also performed by the student every time the instructor faces them to teach or review what has been taught. It is the closest action the Balintawak system has to a formal bow.
Why Twelve? The number of twelve strikes are common in most styles prevalent today in Arnis/Escrima. Most other styles however, will often direct their twelve strikes towards different target points of the opponent depending on the thinking of the formulator of the style. These twelve strikes of Balintawak try to cover the many attacking angles that an opponent can use and is a follow on from the “Doce Pares” or “Twelve Pairs” club that most if not all of the original Balintawak practitioners came from. Twelve strikes are complemented and defended by twelve blocks and counters. So twelve pairs. One reason given for there being twelve is that the instructors had to formulate a number for the many angles and that twelve was a number that the majority were happy with. Another reason given is that the Philippines being an extremely religious Catholic country, the instructors liked the number twelve as it resembled the number of apostles that Jesus Christ had, so the number was considered a good omen.
The figure in the left of the photographs will be called A, while the figure in the right of the photographs shall be called B. The twelve strikes shown are using the left foot to move. The right foot also can be used moving to perform the strikes.