An outline of instruction:-
The student is taught twelve basic strikes, then taught basic blocks and counters to these strikes. The instructor will then attack in the ‘12 basic strikes’ and the student will block and counter this series. Later, as the students timing, control, speed and footwork combine properly, the instructor will then attack with ‘At Random’ strikes and then later will introduce stronger and faster random attacks which are sometimes called ‘Pak Gung’. The 12 Basic Strikes, At Random and Pak Gung are only the beginning. They are the basic foundation or platform of Balintawak and can be a very enjoyable free style, free flowing, free wheeling form of play. This platform is sometimes called ‘picidario’, the playing or teaching of basics, is where the major reaction stimulus of the student is built.
This basic area has a major impact on the teaching method of Balintawak. The student learns to block any basic attack of the primary weapon, (the stick) to any part of their body through the twelve basic strikes but only counters to the sides of the head/neck of the instructor. The instructor however, attacks all over the body of the student but only has to block the counter of the student to their head/neck.
Does it seem too easy knowing this, to formulate a fighting strategy to learn to defeat a Balintawak practitioner now? Not really. If you are an instructor you already know the student or defensive side and can defend all over, so as an instructor you can then attack all over. The early training is simply designed to teach a student defence first and to unconsciously react to an attack but in the later advanced training as an instructor, how to attack. The later combination or fusing of the two sides of learning to defend and attack complements each other and makes a better fighter.