Q: What are the differences between yours and other system of Arnis?
A: On the outset, I would say that all styles or systems of Arnis, including other martial arts are basically good. I would prefer to point out the uniqueness of our system, rather than make a comparison with the other styles. Our style is unique because of the following reasons:
1. Balintawak Eskrima treats the weapon as a mere extension of the arms; It is just as effective with or without the stick;
2. It specializes in close quarter combat utilizing other human weapons to compliment the stick. Its free hand is used for punching, pulling, pushing, grabbing, locking, breaking, etc. The lower limbs are used for low kicks, leg block, tripping, take-downs, etc. At extremely close range, the elbows and knees are used for striking. The human weapon is used as in empty hand combat. It is so versatile that almost all empty hand combat arts can be integrated.
3. It focuses on the use of a single-stick. as such, it is practiced since anything similar to a stick can be used to replace it, such as umbrella, racket, rolled-up newspaper or magazine, mineral water bottle, etch.
4. It is a pure Combat Art and Science and will never be converted as a sport. It is a true combat system in all sense; and
5. Its offense and defense movements are simple, direct and practical. It is noted for its stemless, short, and fast strikes adept to close-quarter combat. Also, its footwork are short, dynamic and fast; similar to western boxing.
Q: How is your style different from the other Balintawak Groups?
A: Basically all the Balintawak Eskrima Groups are similar in substance and form since they all come from a common origin; the art as founded by Grandmaster Venancio “Anciong” Bacon. They have more commonness than differences. The difference would come from the innovations each generation of Masters would integrate into the system to keep it relevant and current. Other differences would come from individual interpretations on the application of techniques, as influenced by the uniqueness of each master based on his experience and training background.
Q: What then are the significant differences of APO-Balintawak Eskrima System?
A: We are unique in our approach to teaching the combat art. Our teaching is geared towards the development of an Eskrimador on the three dimensions; physical, mental, and spiritual. Our holistic approach is necessary to mold and nurture out practitioners into significant martial artists who are mild outside but strong within.
Q: How long does the course of Balintawak Eskrima take?
A: The APO-Balintawak Curriculum takes 2 years to complete up to the advance level with an additional year for practice teaching. However, attaining proficiency in the system would depend on one’s interest and attitude towards learning.
Q: Is the two years enough to learn the Art and Science of Eskrima Self-Defense?
A: Yes, two years of active training would suffice. This is because the system specializes in the mastery of only one weapon; the single-stick. Furthermore, the single-stick blends well with the natural human weapon; the arms and legs. Also, it does not mess up with structured forms or patterns and fencing moves. It is simple, direct, and practical. Thus, it is easy to learn and master.
Q: How much is the price for a complete course in your Eskrima System?
A: The price is very affordable for the average people. You have to look at it as an investment rather than an expense. It is just like good education which will secure your future. All your life’s efforts would go to waste if you cannot defend yourself against simple assault. The system will give you a means of defending yourself and your loved-ones from assault at any given time.
Q: How can learning or practicing Balintawak Eskrima help improve and maintain one’s health?
A: First or all, consult your doctor before you start a new activity like Eskrima and determine if you are overweight, obese or underweight, . Our training method offers opportunities for weight loss by using up energy and burning calories. Balintawak Eskrima exercises and drills will make you feel breathless. This would help increase your metabolism by burning up more fats for energy. Through our training regime, one may lose 360-480 calories per hour. We start and end our practice sessions with meditation, limbering up and warming down exercises. We pause in between routines and drills for breathing exercises.
Q: What is your secret for surviving in the Martial Arts?
A: First of all, you must develop the interest. Then nurture that interest so it will grow into commitment. Finally, develop the passion and love what you do best. This leads to a Martial Arts way of life.