John’s focus is to train the student to become the best fighter possible in the shortest possible time.


His Grouped Balintawak exercises adaptability and completing the ideas of other martial arts. Our attention is put more towards the method of “learning better” and understand ‘why do we’, than just know ‘how to do’.


He trains his students to be fighter first, instead of training them to support the instructor, to make the instructor look good. It is not a club for inner admiration.


John Russell’s Balintawak is built on just a few sound principles. It is ‘simple’ by nature but not ‘simplistic’ in mindset.


Martin Giselsson, student of 3 years

Russell Grouped Balintawak is in my opinion built for reality not for demonstration. A student of Russell Grouped Balintawak must learn and feel by doing, not by sitting on one’s backside looking with admiration at others doing it.


The methodology of Russell Balintawak gives you the battle reflexes you need and the Basic Platform and Groups enable you to react to many situations under pressure. Russell Grouped Balintawak will allow an average guy with no fighting history and not brought up in a hostile environment, to have a fighting ability.


Russell Balintawak is not built upon war stories and ripping yarns of a previous generation. Russell Grouped Balintawak has a functional efficiency, it is not a flowery show case art but a fighting art that gets the job done, with a minimum of fuss.


Rex Cribb, student of 5 years

I have been a martial arts practitioner for fifteen years during which I have become proficient in both empty-hand and weapons training.


However, training with John Russell has given me a deeper understanding of martial arts, in particular how his Balintawak system highlights (and derives from) sound general laws that hold for all fighting. This has allowed me to form a more strategic line under his instruction, which is always engaging and routinely comprised in clear and astute detail concerning the realities of street violence.


I choose to train with John because of his reputation as a world-leading balintawak instructor, and because his classes are offered to follow at your own pace or in an intensive mode for accelerated learning.


Richard, student of 2 years

With real-life application, John Russell’s EvolveCQC is the real deal.  After training in many martial arts, EvolveCQC is the first weapons based solution that works simply and effectively.


With a simple but direct approach to teaching, John’s skill really shines through.


Adrian Turley, student of 1 year


Here are some testimonials from our Evolve CQC students.