An edited version of this Article was first published in Rapid Journal within the Philippines in 2007 under the Title of: The Importance of the Empty Livehand of Arnis/Escrima.
Part 9, Group 5 continued…
As was said, “The instructor/attacker stops being nice to the opponent, this opponent is too good” and as his stickhand is now free, (the students emptyhand has blocked the instructors emptyhand and left the instructors stick) butts the students face with the stick, this is now a twelve strike of Balintawak from the instructor, so the student continues to palm block the attackers emptyhand and as his stick is now free, he continues to bring his weapon up to guard, in a basic fighting move or Balintawak law of, Get your hands up, protect your head and continues in a normal 12 strike defence. Simple Balintawak principles that have been built up through Basic training and the Intermediate Groups. Both then move/play back into the At Random, Pak Gung strikes and Groups of Balintawak.
Another Grouped Balintawak teaching method item you have to consider during the training, is the instructor is always enhancing his timing and skills through repetition training with a student when he attacks. When he teaches a student to attack, the instructor is then revising his earlier techniques of destroying an opponent through defence and counterattack.
Why the Amnesia?
Why are some Balintawak schools beginning to forget about clipping or even grabbing? “Momentum” and “The Flow” look flashy and they resemble their competition’s training who are making it big in the Martial Arts world of teaching “Stickfighting”. If it works for the competition, “We had better join them”, they say. Well, for now, and maybe always, the flashy schools will be getting looked at, for people that like superficially brilliant, surreal, omnipotent ways.
For the people out there, that like flamboyance and like to teach the ostentatious, are they the ones that Balintawak was designed by and developed for?
Balintawak has always been for fighters and for teaching real fighting. Fighting is never flashy, just ugly, angry and brutal, with hopefully, you still standing and able to walk away in the end, but the opponent/attacker not.
The preceding explanations of the emptyhand use and its importance may sound confusing to some but after a certain amount of training, Balintawak can take an ordinary individual and make them good, by using and training their natural instincts of grabbing and hitting to the head. Not all will become a champion or a world beater. While some students will be better then others, if they stay the distance to learn the style and by training correctly, they all can be good at self defence. Two years with truly learning Grouped Balintawak and you can have a skill you can use well, for the rest of your life. Don’t forget however, you can take a $5000 horse and turn it into a $2000 horse by not working it properly. The same goes for Balintawak too. By not working and training Balintawak, you will in all eventuality go backwards. So training must be kept up, to keep condition and timing at a standard.
More Balintawak Articles To Come….