"12 Basics..." Guro Randy Cornell

sonder
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.
— Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Who are you? How do you define yourself? What's your story?   

I am just an ordinary guy with a love for Martial Arts, and Balintawak. Even though I am a martial artist I have other passions as well, I enjoy woodworking and balloon twisting. So, I can't really say what defines me, other that my zest for fun and life in general. I think life is too short to take anything to seriously!

How were you exposed to Balintawak?

In 1991 Irwin Carmichael had a seminar with Bobby Taboada. As soon as I saw him demonstrate, I knew I had found what I was looking for!!

As soon as I saw him demonstrate, I knew I had found what I was looking for!!

 How long have you studied? Who was your primary instructor?    

I started in 1991 at a seminar with Bobby Taboada, and started training with him privately
shortly after that.  Grand Master Bobby Toboada himself. I am very LUCKY!! :)

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What was the hardest part of learning Balintawak?

Defense and Counter from the basic position. Don't know why really, just couldn't get my head around it.

Favorite part of Balintawak?  

In a word, “camaraderie” seems that everyone I meet that is into Balintawak treats everyone else with the utmost respect! No matter the rank! THAT”S COOL!!! :)

Have you/do you study other arts? How have they influenced each other?

Karate and Modern Arnis. Yes, Yes I have. I often tell people that Modern Arnis is kinda like Kung Fu in that it is more of a “finesse” and Balintawak is kinda like Karate in that it is like a hard style. I have the best of both worlds.  Anyone that has trained in both would understand what I mean.

What's your day job? Have there been any concepts from that profession that have informed your Balintawak or vice versa?

I own and operate a full time Martial Arts School so….. I would say YES of course! :)

What is the main lesson you want your students to take from your instruction in Balintawak?

That with hard work and dedication they too can achieve great things. Both in Balintawak and in LIFE!  :)

That with hard work and dedication they too can achieve great things. Both in Balintawak and in LIFE! :)

What do you emphasizes with beginners and what do you emphasizes with your more advanced students?

With beginners I work on movement and with advanced students, I work more on proper technique. For example: With the beginners I will teach the angles of attack and with the more advance students, I will teach the finer points , ie. body movement, touching the neck and the arm on the same strikes.

What does a typical class look like when you teach?

We start with everyone doing the “basic” stuff. Then we break off and I have the advance students teach the beginners and then trade off. So everyone gets to teach and learn. Each student has 2 goals for every class (they must achieve one of them) #1 Learn something new #2 Get better at something they already knew. It is best if they achieve BOTH.  :)

Each student has 2 goals for every class (they must achieve one of them) #1 Learn something new #2 Get better at something they already knew. It is best if they achieve BOTH. :)

What kind of things were you thinking about when you were developing your 24 techniques?

Simplicity. Things that would work,and things that wouldn't. What would be good to look at. How do I integrate things I knew into the Balintawak system.

Why did you want to become a Fully Qualified Instructor?

With me. I was one of the first to test under Grand Master Bobby Taboada in the U.S.
It was kind of a big deal (for me anyway). As I said before I am very lucky!  :)

1 Extra. What are you known for in the Balintawak community?

That is something you would have to ask other people.... I think.