TESTIMONIALS FROM THE APO-BALINTAWAK SELF-DEFENSE SYSTEM PRACTITIONERS
Testimony from Louis Carlo Lim:
I started learning Martial Arts as a small child under my late father who was a Black Belt Karateka. So Karate was my first martial arts. Besides Karate, I also learned some Judo, Aikido, Taekwondo, Kick-boxing, and Modern Arnis. But in my search for that one complete Martial Arts system, I realized that there is no one style that would satisfy my needs; until I met Master Andrew P. Obon and discovered Balintawak Eskrima. I can say with confidence that Balintawak Eskrima is the best Martial Art.
The Balintawak Eskrimador fights and defends himself not only with the stick (primary weapon), bolo (secondary weapon), and knife or daga, as most people think but also with his bare hands which is the ultimate weapon. In this system, the martial artist is given a variety of opportunities for attack and defense. With the human body as the ultimate weapon, the Balintawak Eskrimador can apply not only combo strikes but also disarming, punches, kicks, elbow strikes, knee strikes, head butts, grappling, take-downs, and many more, with or without the primary weapon. And so the system allows me to apply the different techniques I learned from other martial arts- I can use my Karate, Judo, Aikido, Taekwondo, and Kick Boxing in combination with the stick, bolo, and daga.
Master Andrew P. Obon is a seasoned Martial Artist who, through constant meditation and practice was able to tap the real knowledge and wisdom behind the Art. He is among the 3rd generation of Balintawak Eskrimadors who has trained under 1st and 2nd generation Eskrimadors like the late GM Tinong Ibanes and GM Nick Elizar. He has also taught the likes of GM Melicio Balberde who is the Founder of CASASAI (Combative and Sportive Arnis System Association Incorporated).
Through the years, Master Andrew has continually molded himself into the martial artist that he is today not only through teaching but also through continuous research and refinement. Over a long career in the martial arts, he has developed a system which in my opinion is more refined and complete than the other Balintawak styles. He has added in the system the effective and powerful techniques from the other martial arts where he is also very proficient like Traditional Taekwondo, Judo, Kun Tao, Chinse Boxing, and many more. Thus, the APO-Balintawak Self Defense System is a product of many years of refinement. The system is not only an Art but also a Science. Master Andrew is not only able demonstrate the different techniques of the art but also explain the rationale behind each technique. In a way, he integrates the different principles behind each move or technique so that the practitioner will understand its real purpose.
Master Andrew P. Obon is a true Martial Artist. He is a God-fearing person who remains humble and down to earth in spite of his status of being a Master of the Art and other Martial Arts. Over the many years of his life as a Martial Artist, he has attained true Mastery. He doesn’t want to be addressed as Master but his Superiors, Students, and the people around him address him as Master nevertheless. He teaches his students to continually grow as a True Martial Artist. Thus he teaches not only the different techniques but also the virtues and values of the Art. I have so much respect for Him. He is not only my Master; He is also my Friend.
Louis Carlo Lim is the organization’s President, Finance Officer, and Chairman of Membership of Promotion
Testimony from Ben Gian Maglangit:
Martial Arts can be a sport and a means of defending yourself when you are in trouble. I like watching Martial Arts movies and I also love anime. I was first introduced into Balintawak Eskrima through my friend Louis Carlo Lim and I was amazed and interested with its story. Shortly after our short chat, he brought me to the Club’s main practice area where they usually held their sessions. At first I was disappointed because the master was out for a Company Meeting. But the next day, I finally met Master Andrew P. Obon with the two seniors and Lim brothers who are active practitioners.
Master APO asked two of his most active senior students in the persons of Don Tenio Dumadag and Fiedel Columbres to give a fast demonstration of the Club’s normal drills. I was very impressed with what I saw. I was awe-struck with what I was about to learn that I immediately decided to enroll at the club in the next day. The way Master Andrew taught and explained the Art was also impressive. It was also partly because of his good introduction and the moral support of my friend Louis that I decided to learn the Art.
Master Andrew P. Obon is one of my idols. He is already 47 years in Martial Arts and has learned different Martial Arts styles. In my sessions, I learned from him the mission, vision, and core values of the art. He teaches not only the different attacks, defense, and techniques of the Arts but also the philosophy of Balintawak. In a very short time, I have learned a lot of things from him. Evaluation Day is fast approaching and I am excited with the prospect of passing it like my friend Louis and the other senior students. Master Andrew P. Obon is the best teacher I’ve ever met and the APO-Balintawak Club is like a family to me.
Ben Gian Maglangit is currently the organization’s Promotional Officer and one of the Club’s most active practitioners.
Testimony from Wayne Toress:
Before enrolling in Balintawak Eskrima, it has been always my dream since childhood to learn Martial Arts. But it was only until recently that I discovered Balintawak Eskrima with the APO-Balintawak Self-Defense System. Right after seeing the club’s demonstration, I immediately understood that Balintawak is a complete Martial Arts. As a body builder, I believe that strength and size matters but learning Balintawak Eskrima is another story. Here, I learned a new set of skills and principles such as speed, fluidity, and mental alertness which is revealed in the different techniques in Balintawak Eskrima. And besides Self-Defense, I also learned the values of self-discipline along with the other virtues that makes up a good Martial Arts practitioner. For me, Balintawak Eskrima is a passion where there is nothing to lose and so much to gain.
Wayne Torres is the organization’s Chairman on Membership and Discipline. He is also a seasoned body builder.