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Author Topic: about Atillo Balintawak and Balintawak history  (Read 43984 times)
death match
Guest
« Reply #50 on: January 21, 2004, 02:51:21 AM »

The term ?death match? is actually a misnomer when referring to eskrima matches in the Philippines.  I don?t think there is even a term in Filipino that easily translates into ?death match?.  The term ?death match? originated here in the U.S., probably coined by the early American students of old eskrimadors in Hawaii and California, who knew little of the cultural nuances of the matches their teachers spoke about.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s in the Philippines, eskrima matches were common during barrio, later barangay, fiestas throughout the Archipelago. Dumog, or Filipino wrestling, matches were also popular.  Town fiestas usually lasted a few days in honor of their local Saints.  A tradition which still continues today, fiestas were a time for each town to open up to other townsfolk to share food and celebrate in entertainment.  It was during this time that traveling companies would act out the popular ?Doce Pares?, and ?Moro-Moro? plays in front of eager children.  Sipa matches were also popular, a game not unlike volleyball but instead of using your hands to hit the ball you hit the empty ball with your feet.  So, it is in this context that eskrima matches were made popular, after the Spanish banned the natives of the Philippine islands from carrying blade weapons.  In the early 1900s, boxing matches also became popular during town fiestas.

There were some eskrimadores who made a career out of attending these matches, challenging local eskrimadors.  Reasons vary, some were doing it for the prizes, others just do prove their skills, but more commonly, many of these traveling eskrimadores did it for the women.

There weren?t too many rules to these matches.  There were no protective gears.  But, the two opponents were able to choose what sort of match they were going to engage in.  There was a match called juego sinyas.  Juego is Spanish for game, while sinyas simply means to signal.  So, a juego sinyas match was the safest of all matches, involving no contact, in which hits are announced when nearing the opponents head.  There is juego toque (to touch) in which hits were established by controlled stick contacts to the opponent.  Some of these controlled hits left bruises, but nothing serious.  Then finally, and more popular, were the Juego Todo
matches, which translaltes to ?all out game?.  This was what most respectable eskrimadors engaged in.  Anything goes, one man always wins.

But, unlike the Americanized version of these matches, they don?t usually result in death.  When the lesser eskrimador was severely hit, he would get knocked out or just simply surrender.  Deaths were not really appropriate  for fiestas.  And the winning eskrimador who had just killed, would certainly not get laid after the match.  So, unlike the American versions, eskrimadors, both the lesser and the better one, actually took great care not to escalate the match to death.

It is sad to see that non-Filipino and Filipino-American students have to portray their teachers and other eskrimadors as blood thirsty lunatics, whose solely purpose was to kill, to be proud of them.  It is sad, that they do not remember them as men with other passions, not just the martial arts.  Many of these eskrimadors, were lovers of women, of music, wine, nature, freedom, and life.  They were by no means simple mindless murderers.

Also, keep in mind that the Philippines is not a ?no man?s land?, there is a justice system present.  Murder is not looked lightly upon in this country, as any other state with the rule of law.[/b]
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death match
Guest
« Reply #51 on: January 21, 2004, 02:56:03 AM »

In defense to these old timers, who have now been labeled as liars, by men who know so little about them and about the tradition they were born out of, allow me to explain their ?death match? records and the ?hero myths? they surrounded themselves with.

Quote
I was just thinking about this whole "lies" business...  Isn't Floro Villabrille credited with at least 60 death matches?  Doesn't Cacoy Canete claim to have been undefeated in 100 death matches?  Bobby Taboada says he's had 30 death matches, several of which were against multiple opponents.


I am not certain about the numbers, you have posted for GM Cacoy Canete, you should verify this number before sarcastically making an example out of it (GM Canete will be in L.A. this coming June).  But, your numbers for GM Floro Villabrille and GM Bobby Taboada are close enough.  You, of course, are just rounding off.  Had you asked GM Villabrille, you would have gotten a consistent number.  And if you asked GM Bobby Taboada, you will definitely get a consistent number. In addition to that, he?ll tell you the details of each of these challenges and encounters, even the various witnesses of these fights for you to verify if you so wish (GM Taboada will be in Las Vegas in October).  

The reason why these eskrimadors, would never make up numbers about their matches is perfectly illustrated in this forum.  If they falsify and make up matches, people will know, people will talk, and then the eskrimador?s reputation becomes tarnished, again as we?ve seen in this forum.


Quote
And what about Angel Cabales?  Does anybody really believe there's a "cave of death" on Cebu that only he seemed to know anything about and, lo and behold, only he was able to fight his way through?


?Hero Tales?, to use an Anthropological term, are common among warrior and fighers of old.  This is true among the Vikings, the Arabs, the Samurais, and Sioux warriors.  It is a strategy, whether understood or not, of deception and misinformation.  Sun Tzu was once quoted, ?If you are one, appear to be many?.  This strategy of engaging in ?hero tales? is also true among Filipinos.  

While a eskrimador?s matches are for everyone to witness--public domain, open to scrutiny.  The purpose of a eskrimador?s ?hero tale? is to engage his opponent and future opponents in psychological warfare.  This is where the use of orasyones and anting-antings (amulets) come in.  Some embellish tales of supernatural teachers.  Some go as far as to claim supernatural powers themselves.  These, unlike their records of matches, are not meant to be verified.  This should be obvious.  The purpose of these tales is purely strategic.

In fairness, to GM Angel Cabales, it wasn?t he who claimed to have gone through your sarcastic description of this rite of passage, but rather his teacher, Felicisimo Dizon, who was related to the Ilustrisimos of Bantayan Island.  And the rite of passage, you described, didn?t happen in Cebu, but rather in Mount Banahaw, in Laguna, Philippines. Agapito Ilustrisimo (an uncle of Tatang Ilustrisimo), who was later affiliated with the Katipunan movement, headed a religious group at the foot of Mount Banahaw, long since been held as a sacred mountain prior to the arrival of the Spaniards.  It was here that Dizon became part of this group.  Millenarian cults are still present in Mt. Banahaw to this day, and many of these cults still undertake rites of passage very similar to what GM Angel Cabales described.

Before you accuse all Filipino eskrimadors of being no good liars, atleast try to understand the cultural background and the historical context in which they have come from.  But, more importantly, get your story straight before you boldly make accusations, God forbid, we get into another senseless argument about ?a student who defeated his teacher who had cancer, 30 years his senior?.
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Anonymous
Guest
« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2004, 09:25:37 AM »

Woof All:

Still in Joshua Tree:

Death Match:  Interesting read.   Nice touch to admit the role of sex appeal in all this  wink  o==8  I have heard that the term "Death Match" referred to an all out fight (a "Juego Todo"?) wherein the participants signed a letter asking friends and family to forgo revenge should they fall.  In other words, death was not the intended result, butrecognized as a real possibility.  In your opinion, (or anyone with an informed basis for theirs) is this accurate?

Woof,
Crafty Dog
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james
Guest
« Reply #53 on: January 21, 2004, 03:07:28 PM »

"Anyway, I don't think that Alvin and Dennis should be vilified.  They undoubtedly intended to help GM Atillo, whom I know knows very little, if anything, about running a website.  Like the old telephone game, what went into their ears one way simply came out another.  I think it's human nature, particularly amongst youthful devotees of a charismatic teacher like Atillo, to embellish the truth and make a sparring session into a fight, and a fight into a death match."  

the telephone game analogy would make sense, if there was a 3rd party, 4th party, or even a 5th party involved in the story telling.  but, the little fabrication was only between the website owners, students of Atillo, and Atillo himself--teacher and student.  the two boys heard it directly from Atillo.

there is a world of difference between a friendly little sparring session and a real match in which GM Bacon was defeated.  it's like saying, "i'm going to the philippines and i'm going to Mars".  there's only 3 ways this fabrication would have continued.

1.       the boys who own the website lacked analytical skills to differentiate between a fight and a training session.  but, the fact that these two boys were able to make a website, means there analytical skills are pretty normal.

2.       there was some communication flaw between Atillo and these two boys, a misunderstanding due to faulty communication.  but, the boys and Atillo speak the same language.  do they not?

3.       Atillo has never seen the website, in which he was proclaimed Supreme GrandMaster of Balintawak, having beaten GM Bacon himself.  He was never able to reprimand the two boys, who spread all these lies about him and his place in Balintawak, because he never saw it.  but, again, this would be high unlikely, since the boys created the site to honor their new found master. so, he had to have seen it.


http://pub9.ezboard.com/fexxeslogikfrm9.showMessage?topicID=15.topic

"As far as Atillo and Bacon. There has been contradicting views about it. Students of both sides claim victory. The fact is, there was a fight that occurred which brought about the breakdown of the old Balintawak group. This was caused mainly because Villasin was presidnet for too long and didn't want to step down. It occurred in Punta Princesa where I grew up. " -- Alvin Ylaya

"Atillo himself claims that he won. I'm sure Bacon's students claim the opposite. Atillo was in his 30's and Bacon was in his 60's when this happened. It's really unfortunate, sportsmanship is really not a Filipino quality. We don't accept defeat graciously. As for me, I of course agree with Atillo until otherwise proven. " -- Alvin Ylaya

"I agree with Alvin's statement. I grew up in Cebu also and we know Ising's reputation, but I will have to close this topic now cuz it's getting a little hostile in here. "  -- Dennis Flores



that's from their forum.  the "facts" they put up on the website (before they took it down) were more authorative about this match.  that's not just some silly misunderstanding you get from the telephone game, that's a total fabrication there.

simply put, it is a big lie.  whether by the two boys or Atillo himself, there are only two options here.

now let us examine the two likely motivations:

1.    the two boys just probably wanted to please their master, and make themselves look cool by stating that they learned from the best of the best in Balintawak (if you can beat Anciong Bacon, you gotta be the best).

2.    or, and i know this is the hardest pill to swallow, it was Atillo himself that fabricated the story to feed his own ego.

logically speaking, these are the only two possibilities.... either this fabrication was the fault of two bright-eyed novice students, or it was GM Atillo.  now, you guys have to choose...
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PatriK AyaLin
Guest
« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2004, 06:10:40 PM »

Guro Crafty,

I beg of you. Can you please just delete this whole thread already? This little discussion is making our GM and school look bad, not to mention this is also totally useless talk.  Thank You.

PatriK
[/i]
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Anonymous
Guest
« Reply #55 on: January 21, 2004, 08:23:06 PM »

"There is a great deal of hard lying in the world; especially among people whose characters are above suspicion."

---Benjamin Jowett

"When I tell any truth it is not for the sake of convincing those who do not know it, but for the sake of defending those who do."

---William Blake

"We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter."

---Denis Diderot

"The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off."

---Mal Pancoast

"The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls."

---Elizabeth Cady Stanton





"A lie never lives to be old."[/b]

--- Sophocles
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guest
Guest
« Reply #56 on: January 22, 2004, 02:12:49 PM »

Quote from: Anonymous
Quote from: guest
now, your dragging everybody and their mother, (hell, even bruce lee!!!), to justify a lie.  

why not just be a man about it...  ADMIT THE ATILLO VS. BACON WAS A FABRICATION, SAY SORRY TO THOSE YOU GUYS HAVE OFFENDED, AND BE DONE WITH IT.

no need to call the rest of the FMA community liars, because of the precedence you guys have set yourselves!!! that is insanely idiotic.  just say sorry, and be a man about it!!!


So...  show us that you are a man.  Tell us your name, not your screen name but your real name, first and last, and then tell us how we can arrange to have the two of you meet.


hahahaha... first you guys lie about something big.  then you guys get caught with your pants down.  then instead of retracting and saying sorry for the lie, you guys change it to "it wasn't a fight it was actually just a training session".  and now you're offering challenges? no thanks, i don't fight liars, cuz when i beat the hell out of you guys, you'll just turn around and say, "there was a no grappling rule!!! so, we win". just say sorry, instead of offering challenges, and save your honor.
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Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31697


« Reply #57 on: January 22, 2004, 08:03:33 PM »

Woof All:

I don't like using the choke collar, but  my doggie nose detects a whiff of things about to go south from here.  Lets wrap this one up please.    

Crafty Dog
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Dennis Flores
Guest
« Reply #58 on: January 22, 2004, 11:26:23 PM »

well I appreciate the help but I just want to let the rest of you know that I could care less what other poeple think about us or GM Atillo and I care less about what happened long ago. What happened in the past is nothing important to me, i'm simply telling a story that came out directly from GM Atillo and if there was a mistake, only GM Atillo himself will make me change it.

http://www.balintawak.com/
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Paolo David
Guest
« Reply #59 on: January 23, 2004, 01:18:02 PM »

So, Dennis if you've noticed in some previous posts someone was using my name. It wasn't me if you were wondering. If that's his real name then fine but if not, that's some sad attempt at trying to divide and conquer man - we're not gonna fall for that one again are we?

ingat!

Paolo David
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Canadian Bob
Guest
« Reply #60 on: January 23, 2004, 02:44:39 PM »

This has been a very interesting read.  I read a few posts, then ended up reading it all from start to finish.  I do not know personally the parties involved, but I am familiar with Balintawak.  It is good to know that stories like these are not left to linger, but are instead critically examined.  A sort of quality control for our community.  I just wanted to make some points about the quote below.  I am not trying to offend anyone further, I just wanted to pose a couple of questions for thought.


Quote from: Guest
Being that the 1983 match between these two men was a "sport fight," why is it that Canete's clear breach of the rules he agreed to abide by is ignored and his "victory" upheld?  I have a high-resolution digital photograph of the original rules for this fight - a document that both men signed - which states categorically that it was to be a stick-fighting-only match.  If either man resorted to punching, kicking or grappling, he was immediately supposed to be declared the loser.  I took this photograph myself.  It has not been altered or retouched, and I would be happy to put it up here.  The bottom line is, Canete clearly broke the rules, so he was the loser.  The newspaper picture that everyone keeps referring to is irrefutable evidence of his breach.


Now, I?m not a Master in Eskrima, but isn?t this art suppose to be a complete art?  Meaning there is tripping, punching, grappling, slapping, locking, kicking, disarming, elbowing, poking and kneeing involved.  Without all these facets to Eskrima, then what you have is just a basic stick fight akin to Olympic style fencing.  Which by the way is really boring and unrealistic, and most importantly, cannot gauge a Eskrimador?s complete skills.

Secondly, I wanted to know if these rules were insisted upon by one particular party, or was this just a general rule for all Eskrima fights in the Philippines?

Personally (and this is just my humble opinion) if GM Atillo was a better fighter than GM Canete, then he should have been able to resist and escape GM Canete?s signature grappling/judo techniques.  I respect the fact that both fought without protection.  But, Rules or No Rules, as someone who has also participated in full contact sparring sessions, knowing full well that these sessions can go to the ground since grappling is part of Eskrima, I think GM Canete did win the fight in question.  (but, again this is just my humble opinion).  Thank you for letting me share, and God Bless.

--Bob
 


P.S.--  Guro Crafty, I commend you for running a very open forum, in which opinions and ideas flow freely without hindrance.
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james
Guest
« Reply #61 on: January 23, 2004, 03:48:32 PM »

Quote from: Dennis Flores
i'm simply telling a story that came out directly from GM Atillo and if there was a mistake, only GM Atillo himself will make me change it.


well, this is staight from the horse's mouth.  it should now be obvious that this was not some telephone game story telling gone bad.  this was a total fabrication told by atillo himself to two highly impressionable students lacking the common sense to check the story for inconsistencies before posting it on the web.[/size]
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DEADLYBALINTAWAK
Guest
« Reply #62 on: January 24, 2004, 06:49:09 AM »

""""... At 65 years of age, I know that my little 5'2" instructor is still ready and willing to prove the efficacy of his art in battle. If you have a problem with anything he says, step up, but leave your knee pads, street hockey gloves and fencing headgear at home. Ising has gone at it for real. He deserves your respect... so put up or shut up.""""

hahaha, this is true. I think people here are more JEALOUS than anything else they hate they hate the fact that ising is now in the USA teaching his art. DONT HATE THE PLAYA HATE THE GAME.. as for put up or shut up.. i dont think you will get any from these modern arnis, sorry michigan balintawak practitioners..

and yes if you break the rules which you have agreed upon, you lose.
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Deadlybalintawak
Guest
« Reply #63 on: January 24, 2004, 07:12:28 AM »

also who really cares what Ising's students are saying on the website at least they have evidence to back something up.. they dont complain about you guys saying your teacher is the true balintawak GM and rightfull heir!!
At least Ising has had documented fights..
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Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31697


« Reply #64 on: January 24, 2004, 10:08:05 AM »

Woof All:

  OK, my intuitive sense of things is that it is time to muzzle this one.  I now go to figure out how to lock this one down.

Crafty Dog
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