Image (Standing from 2nd left to 5th): APO, Tinong Ibanez, Nick Elizar (Nickelstick), Teofilio Velez with some of the Balintawak Chapter Members.

It is said that a true martial artist is one who is mild outside but strong within. With this as our objective, the APO-Balintawak Group understands, believes, acts and sacrifices (UBAS) to inculcate among its advocates the Rules of Engagement, Values and Virtues with the chief definite aim of molding each practitioner to live the way of a true martial artist.

On the outset, to achieve the end, we must first reap and nurture the seed of UBAS (Visayan term for grapes) among each and every member-practitioners.

We must first understand the Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives of the APO-Balintawak Group, and its Value System. Only then can each member believe and act out by walking the talk, and sacrifice to achieve in what he or she understands, believes and acts on these. In other words, we have to mature and grow in our value of UBAS and link this to the other sub-value system, as follows:

The 3 Rules of Engagement:

Rule No. 1 – Avoidance. Stay away from places, situations or people who are sources of potential danger. This is a pro-active self-defense measure that is better safe than sorry.

Rule No. 2 – Defensive. If you must fight then do so only to the extent of defending yourself or your interest with just enough force as necessary. Do not maim, kill or destroy.

Rule No. 3 – Win-Win. The ultimate is to be able to win without fighting. Talk your way out into victory. This is the essence of a true martial artist.

The Rules of Engagement by themselves cannot be fully complied with unless a martial artist first conquers himself or herself. To help temper ourselves, we advocate and instill within us the three core values and the ten virtues, as discussed below:

The Three Core Values are:

(1) Self-Discipline. It is the disciplining of oneself or one’s desires, habits, etc. that would be detrimental to oneself or to others in relation to your inner self.

(2) Self Control. It is the control of oneself or one’s own emotions, desires, action, etc. in relation to social norms or external regulations.

(3) Respect. To feel or show honor or esteem for others. We have to respect ourselves first if we want others to respect us. Respect begets respect.

Image: APO Karate Team with 8th Dan Roberto Gonzales

To conquer oneself is still not enough. The Three Core Values must be reinforced with the Ten Virtues of B.A.L.I.N.T.A.W.A.K., as discussed below:

1) Benevolence – an inclination to do good, charitable acts or gift for others. A repetition of this act will develop into the habit of sharing and giving to those in need. A cheerful heart is one who gives.

2) Altruism – unselfish concern for the welfare of others or selflessness. This also means to put others first before oneself, especially those who are weak and have less in life.

3) Loyalty – a quality, state or instance of loyalty, faithfulness or faithful adherence to a person, organization, cause, duty, etc. Hence, be loyal to your teacher or master, to your friends, etc.

4) Integrity – the quality or state of being of sound moral principle, uprightness, honesty, and sincerity. This is the mother of all virtues. It is putting into action what is morally right even if nobody is watching. As sample is disposing your waste properly.

5) Nationalism – devotion to one’s country, culture, heritage, etc. As such, it is but proper that we, Filipinos, promote and pressure our heritage like our combat arts.

6) Temperance – the state or quality of being moderate, self-restraint in conduct, expression, etc. A person of temperance has control over his anger even when under agitation. His mind is like a calm pool which reflects its surrounding like a mirror. Hence, he can anticipate and be pro-active in his strategy in combat or life’s challenges. This virtue plays a significant role in the observance of the rules of engagement.

7) Awakening – the act of being aware, or realizing something unpleasant in oneself, environment, society and exert effort to improve on the condition or concern.

8.) Wisdom – the quality or state of being wise; power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action based on knowledge, experience, understanding, etc. This is akin to critical thinking or an analytical mindset. It can be nurtured. Simply, it means think and analyze well before you act. This would prevent and/or minimize many unnecessary mistakes or blunders. Wisdom also comes with open-mindedness. Hence, a wise man may learn from a fool but never otherwise.

9) Attitude (of humility) – ones disposition, opinion, mental set, etc. An Arnisador must nurture a winner’s attitude inside him but regulated with humility outwardly. The attitude of being mild outside but strong within should be practiced by all Arnisadors.

10) Kindness – the state or habit of being kind. Some of the different ways of kindness are – being sympathetic, friendly, helpful, gentle, tender-hearted, and generous. A kind-hearted person is a happy person. And a happy person makes no enemy.

Image: APO with his martial arts students

Equipped with the three rules of engagement; the three core values; and the ten virtues, a true Arnisador can walk the talk like a real winner. One who is mild outside but strong within. One who can win without fighting. This is the ultimate in today’s martial arts.

Video: Balintawak Shadow Fight

APO-Balintawak Self Defense System, All Rights Reserved. No portion of the text may be used or reproduced in part or in whole without the express written consent of APO-Balintawak Self Defense System.



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