"12 Basics..." Guro Patrick Schmitt

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? WHATS YOUR STORY?

Most people that interact with me on a daily basis would define me by my role as a rehabilitation physician. Providing care to patients with illnesses that can cause dramatic life changing disability and palpable suffering has without a doubt influenced my perspective on the human condition. At the same time the resolve found in human beings is truly inspiring. It never ceases to amaze me when I see patients with severe disabilities that are happier than “non-disabled” folks. Being a rehabilitation physician has opened my eyes to the realization that we are here to live life, and get everything it has to offer. I believe that human beings, by makeup, are inclined to care for people who are suffering. Empathy and compassion are part of the gifts of human nature.

I believe that it is the societal norm in the U.S. to be defined primarily by your “day job”. For some folks, this works perfectly. For me this has been a difficult pill to swallow. I would rather try to define myself through the experiences that I have with people, nature, and myself. I believe that we all occupy a varied space along the personality continuum ranging from being a provider/giver to a receiver/taker, and that when we are out of our healthy sweet spot, we are likely to cause distress both within ourselves as well as to those around us.

I would describe myself as loyal, and dutiful. I like silence and I am a private person. I crave physical movement and everything it offers the inseparable mind and body. This is one of many things that Balintawak provides for me. I would be a gym rat if I could, even at age 56 this has not changed. I try to follow some basic tenets. I try to be grateful. I try to appreciate the ever-present humor in day to day life. Working on being non-judgmental is important to me. The circumstances that are one person’s reality, and the values that drive one person's choices and quality of life goals, can be very different from the next. I try hard to get that. I have found that my expectations need to be reasonable, otherwise my cup finds itself half empty. That said, principles without compromise for me include the basic ethical tenets of fair treatment, justice, respect for persons and autonomy.

...I would rather try to define myself through the experiences that I have with people, nature, and myself.

HOW WERE YOU EXPOSED TO BALINTAWAK? WHO WAS YOUR FIRST INSTRUCTOR?

It was 1997. I had just moved from Midland Texas to a small city just south of Charlotte, NC in South Carolina called Rock Hill. I was not looking for Filipino Martial Arts (FMA). I was looking for Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). I ended up checking out a shared martial arts school in Charlotte on Montford Dr.* I happened to inquire about a flyer of Grand Master (GM) Taboada that was advertised at the school. I was told in no uncertain terms that GM Bobby Taboada was someone to check out. The Balintawak class at Montford was taught by Glenda Wolfe and Dean O'Hare. Glenda and Dean are two of GM Taboada’s early Full Qualified Instructors (FQI’s). GM Taboada would come by frequently and observe how the teaching was being done and how his system curriculum was being received. It was clear from the first time that I saw GM Taboada in action that this was an opportunity not to be missed. After I could do level one and two, I asked GM Taboada if he would accept me as a student. I have been studying under GM Bobby Taboada directly since that time.

*(Many of the “old” Charlotte Balintawak folks have a martial arts connection to the Montford Dr. location)


HOW LONG HAVE YOU STUDIED BALINTAWAK?

1997 to present.  In 1998 I moved from Rock Hill to a rural location outside of Columbus, NC, about 90 miles away from GM Taboada’s home in Charlotte. I built a training gym at my home and practiced the basics all the time. Every weekend, I drove initially to Montford then to GM Bobby’s home. I never knew what to expect when I arrived Saturday’s at 0900. Many times, my private lessons were learning how to teach someone else. Some people would find this problematic- thinking why should I be teaching someone else for my lesson! Well, I still thank GM Bobby to this day.  Sometimes we would go to another school to practice, I never knew beforehand. Often, others practitioners would show up at different times. Sometimes I knew them but often times I did not. Sometimes they were there to teach or test me, sometimes they came so I could teach them. Sometimes GM Taboada would train me one on one, and sometimes he would ask a visitor, if present, to go into the other room and I would “accept the pain”. There was always an expectation to go 100%. I learned quickly not to think that an injury was going to change this. I tried my best not to ask questions. There have been few times in my life that I have been mindful enough to get it in the moment and this was one time period in my life that I thank God I did. Many of the well-known phrases that we have all have come to appreciate were burned in my head. Be a good example, react quick, quicker, act like real fight, act like bow and arrow, the head is like a magnet, think about the next move, think about the counter to name a few. If I was very lucky I got an infrequent “that’s the one”.

Sometimes they were there to teach or test me, sometimes they came so I could teach them.

I tested for Completion of the Art in 2000 at the Las Vegas, NV. camp. I tested for Full Qualified Instructor under GM Taboada in 2003 at the Charlotte, NC camp (see photo). Robert Klampfer was my partner. It was a honor to have the recently deceased GM Jorge Penafiel (December 2016) on my FQI testing panel.

Pictured left to right, Raymond Asuncion, Frank Hesse, Louis Grady, Randy Cornell, patrick Schmitt, GM Bobby Taboada, GM Jorge Penafiel, Sharon LoParo, Eric Lawrence

Pictured left to right, Raymond Asuncion, Frank Hesse, Louis Grady, Randy Cornell, patrick Schmitt, GM Bobby Taboada, GM Jorge Penafiel, Sharon LoParo, Eric Lawrence

I continued my training at GM Taboada’s home every Saturday until mid-2006, when with great dismay, I was required to move to Albuquerque NM. My path was then to Erie, Pa. and then to my current location in Cleveland, Ohio in 2010. From 2006 until now I have made the effort to return to Charlotte, or wherever I could connect with GM Taboada. In every location where I have lived since obtaining FQI status I have had a small Balintawak school. Like many other regional and international folks over the years I have gone many times to GM Bobby’s home to train for 3 to 4 days. I always felt lucky to be invited. I have had the good fortune to visit GM Taboada while he was in Cebu 2010 and recently in 2016. Both times I practiced every day that was possible with GM Taboada. While in Cebu GM Bobby facilitated training for me with GM Nick Elizar, founder of Nickelstick Balintawak. This was always a privilege. I also had the very good fortune to train and learn from his son Norman, both wonderful folks.


WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF LEARNING BALINTAWAK?

That would be lack of time. Secondarily, medical issues have limited my ability to train at peak intensity. At the time of this writing I am recuperating from two surgeries. I am hopeful that an upcoming job change and healthy recovery will increase my availability to learn, practice and teach Balintawak and martial arts in general.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF BALINTAWAK?

I am grateful that the opportunity exists for martial arts practitioners outside of Cebu and the Philippines to learn the Art of Balintawak and that individuals like GM Bobby Taboada have made it their life mission to promote the Art worldwide. I would not be answering these questions if that were not true.

I find practicing and especially teaching Balintawak to be one of the most rewarding parts of my life. Balintawak enables me to be in the “zone”. In that moment, I can be fully energized, engaged and immersed. There is no room for anything else.

From a functional perspective, Balintawak is direct with non-wasted action. In application, when I watch GM Bobby, I see changes in tempo, timing, speed, power, quick stops/ starts and explosive sudden non-telegraphed actions with body and foot movement-hitting- pushing-pulling etc. To me this movement does not equate to the commonly used term of “flow” as understood by many martial artists. For me it is reaction and counter based, both at simple and advancing levels. From a neuromuscular training perspective, the practitioner gets to experience and realize a level of performance with speed, reflex and reaction time, for example, that he or she did not think they were capable of. You see this often when GM Bobby is training someone. The student performs at a level exceeding their previous perceived limitations. I believe this assists the student in constantly increasing their potential abilities and resetting their performance ceiling. This type of training and action I like very much.

The most Handsome. GM Taboada

The most Handsome. GM Taboada

I like the standards embedded in GM Taboada’s Balintawak curriculum to FQI. (I will further discuss this in question 12). I like that there are not multiple levels of escalating rank past FQI. I think that this helps ensure a level of humility and respect among Balintawak practitioners. I like the flexibility within the Taboada Balintawak system in regards to specific person-to-person differences. Each student has a measure of acceptable leeway to make the techniques work based on their own body mechanical limitations or proficiencies. In a larger context, the path and goals for each practitioner is different and accommodated within the Taboada Balintawak system. You are not excluded based on your social status or profession. As long as you are committed to practice and are a “good example” you are welcome. Some folks may be directed, or are cutout to be primarily teachers and others privately trained fighters. This is recognized and facilitated by GM Taboada. In addition, with GM Bobby, there is a strong expectation that you respect your instructor, senior level practitioners, and all practitioners.

My personal life both in and outside of Balintawak has been supported, facilitated and improved due to the Balintawak people I have met and trained with in the US, Australia, and Cebu, etc. Meaningful and even a few lifelong friendships have been established. I also think that it is very important to note that under the circumstance that you cannot continue your physical training in Balintawak, there is always the opportunity to maintain a long-standing friendship with GM Taboada as well as the other Balintawak practitioners regardless of your martial arts rank or level certification. I think the bow sums it up nicely- “From my heart, you are welcome and with respect”.

I find practicing and especially teaching Balintawak to be one of the most rewarding parts of my life. Balintawak enables me to be in the “zone”. In that moment, I can be fully energized, engaged and immersed. There is no room for anything else.


HAVE YOU STUDIED OTHER ARTS? HOW HAVE THEY INFLUENCED EACH OTHER?

I am from Erie, Pa. I wrestled in grade school and intermediate school through grade 9. My first meaningful experience in martial arts started at age 12 in 1972. The school name was The Karate Fighting School of Self Defense under the instruction of Master Tom Myers (see photo). At times, it was a rough a tumble experience and consistent with the full contact point karate style of that era. Sensei Myers, who continues to be an exceptional martial artist to this day, worked in the local corrections arena and brought both an understanding of respect and reality to my early training. Sensei Myers was a great martial arts and life mentor in my formative years. I studied with him into my early 20’s and received a solid foundation in martial arts.

A younger Patrick Schmitt with Sensei Tom Myers

A younger Patrick Schmitt with Sensei Tom Myers

In medical school I traveled to many locations in the states. I tried to take advantage of the martial arts training scene wherever I ended up. In 1992 I finished my medical residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. and moved to Colorado Springs, CO where I practiced medicine until 1994. Here, while taking some private martial arts lessons, I was referred to Bob Vanatta. Bob is known in the Silat community. I practiced at his home garage studio with some very good martial artists at the time. Mostly I was on the receiving end.  Bob opened my eyes to a whole other fighting arts reality. I subsequently moved to Midland, Tx. in 1994, continued my training in that location, then on to Rock Hill, SC in 1997. There I was introduced to Taboada Balintawak as noted above. During the first year or so in the Carolina’s I was a student at the Charlotte Kendo Club attending their weekly Sunday class. Unfortunately, I could not drive the nearly 2 hours each way to Balintawak on Saturday and the next day a 2 plus hour drive each way to Kendo. I gave up the Kendo and focused on Balintawak. While living in the Carolinas I participated on and off at a local SC BJJ club that was close to home. While I was living in Albuquerque, NM. between 2006 to 2008, I was lucky to take advantage of some private lessons from a qualified Mande Muda practitioner. Although the many areas of martial arts that I have experienced outside of Balintawak have influenced my current knowledge, training and practice, I do not claim to have significant rank, teaching or practice expertise in these other areas. I do not tell people that I teach a “complete” system of martial arts. My martial arts foundation was early on through Sensei Myers and now continues under GM Bobby in Taboada Balintawak. The process is not static and I am not done. New areas of martial arts training and growth are expected in the coming years.

Regarding your question asking about how my experiences in different martial arts have influenced each other, I would say this- Looking back, it helped me greatly to have a solid foundation in one martial art prior to trying to learn and incorporate a new system of fighting into my knowledge base.

The process is not static and I am not done.


WHAT IS YOUR DAY JOB? HAVE THERE BEEN ANY CONCEPTS FROM THAT PROFESSION THAT HAVE INFORMED YOUR BALINTAWAK OR VISA VERSA?

In a larger context, I clearly see common ground among the attributes of respected professional organizations. Good professional organizations have policy requirements, standard operating procedures and guidelines that enable the organization to function long term and stand on their own. Good professional organizations have great leadership. Leadership ability not only requires knowledge and skill but also an understanding of organizational values, vision, and how your actions impact people individually and collectively. Good professionals seek and respect the advice of senior level colleagues locally, nationally and internationally. The long term strength of an organization is improved through transparency and collaboration both within the organization as well as outside its walls. Most organizations that provide services to the general public require a certain level of qualification obtained through education and training. At the end of the day, you are not “released” to practice on the public without being able to demonstrate competence in your particular area of specialty. I see the requirements developed by GM Taboada’s for Full Qualified Instructor where one of the main goals is teaching competency in Balintawak parallel similar requirements of other respected public service organizations.


WHAT IS THE MAIN LESSON YOU WANT YOUR STUDENTS TO TAKE FROM YOUR BALINTAWAK INSTRUCTION?

Balintawak should upgrade your physical and mental tools, improving your ability to generate speed, power, timing, and body movement both on defense and offense. These tools are useful in the arenas of martial arts and self-defense. You should gain basic knowledge and proficiency in application of the system. At the end of the day the goal is to learn to be able to defend yourself and those important to you. I emphasize that Balintawak is a stick based training system with strong carryover to empty hand and other weapon applications. I explain that at some point, if you stay with the training levels, there will be an expectation that you bring your own student to the level of Completion of the Art and that you develop your own techniques based on your fighting background or your own interpretation of Balintawak.  I explain that I have an expectation that you practice. I explain that my class is Balintawak and taught in the standard level to level format in almost all circumstances. It is not a forum primarily for technique exchange or mixed with other fighting systems. I explain that this will come after Completion of the Art. I try to convey the importance of being able function while you are being pressured, compressed or getting hit. Although critically important, I do not do spend time in class with additional strengthening, flexibility, aerobic or other specific conditioning.  I can assist with what these areas should look like, if requested, but it is up to the individual student to make that happen on their own. I simply do not have the time. I tell my fellow students that my primary goal is to teach and to make them better than me.

I explain to the potential student that he or she will be allowed to publicly advertise and teach Taboada Balintawak only after Completion of the Art, and that they will be able to test levels 1-5 only when they have passed FQI. I tell them that it is the current standard that level 6 and 7 are tested and promoted directly under GM Taboada. I tell the new students that no one can prevent them from teaching anything to anyone, but to be recognized and acknowledged by GM Bobby Taboada and the Taboada Balintawak organization certain very basic and fair rules and guidelines need to be followed. I tell them the cost of Completion of the Art and FQI from the get go.

It is important to know why someone wants to learn the skill that you are offering to teach. People do martial arts for many reasons. I ask about their expectations and goals. This is important. The fit needs to be correct.  If it seems that the person would be better served at another program, I do not hesitate to tell them. In fact, I think it is a disservice not to help a person get to the right place. I teach some small classes at my personal training site. Only after knowing the student do I invite them to my home. These classes are small, usually 1-3 people. Outside classes are larger and require different teaching methods. I try to use what GM Taboada has taught me in this regard.

I tell my fellow students that my primary goal is to teach and to make them better than me.


WHAT DO YOU EMPHASIZE WITH BEGINNERS AND WHAT DO YOU EMPHASIZE WITH YOUR MORE “ADVANCED” STUDENTS?

If the student is truly a beginner and interested in self-defense I try to encourage them to read and seek knowledge and training about self-preservation. I tell them that many aspects of self-preservation have less to do with your hand to hand fighting skill in combat range and more to do with topics like not being at the wrong place at the wrong time, knowing your surroundings, (exits, fire extinguishers, useful objects in your environment), being street smart, using you intuition, how your own mindset or behavior may make you a target, how different circumstances and settings are likely to impact and change the level of threat, how maiming or killing someone even in self-defense may change your life forever, understanding that there are people that want to take advantage of you, harm you or worse, know your “go” word and practice, the importance of the will to survive.

One thing I have learned with teaching folks is that there is a tendency for the instructor to be more invested and proud of their skilled students. This becomes readily apparent after they stop showing up. The engaged, practicing, but struggling students often get more growth out of training compared the students where the training comes easy. These students often give more back to the teacher. I think that this is a good lesson for folks that are planning to become instructors or mentors in their life.

Many of the Balintawak practitioners that I have had the good fortune to train with in the past or present are more skilled then I am in martial arts. I am blessed to have them. They make me better. I still emphasize the basics, just better basics! As the real time action dynamic changes with years of practice, new options and counters open up to be seen and explored. I try to make it clear that training and fighting with a relatively light rattan stick is very different from bahi and kamagong and that proficiency with these and other tools are necessary. I emphasize to the students that one of the great things about Balintawak is that the simplicity of the system allows you to apply what you learn early on in your training. That said, I tell the students to not be mislead. There is a complexity to the Art that requires a lifetime to appreciate, let alone to be able to do. To sum it up- I am not sure what advanced is but I don’t think I’m there yet.

There is a complexity to the Art that requires a lifetime to appreciate, let alone to be able to do. To sum it up- I am not sure what advanced is but I don’t think I’m there yet.


WHAT DOES A TYPICAL CLASS LOOK LIKE WHEN YOU TEACH?

All students, including myself, go through the level 1-2 and some combination of punching drills at every class. The only exception is when time is so tight and specific training demands otherwise. Following level 1- 2, and punching drills we work on levels 1-7, or specific training techniques or drills depending on need. I try not to stray too much from the way I was taught.

As my class time is limited, I do place an expectation on my students to practice on their own. Specifically, in regards to Balintawak training, I tell folks that they should practice some combination of level 1, 2 and the striking drills at least once per week on an impact target without a stick, with a light stick and a with heavy stick, preferably bahi or kamagong.

I convey to my students to call me the day before and cancel their participation if they were not able to practice. Life can get complicated and I understand that. No worries, see you next class.


WHAT KIND OF THINGS WERE YOU THINKING ABOUT WHEN YOU DEVELOPED YOUR “24” TECHNIQUES?

That seems like a long time ago. At the time, I wanted to come up with techniques that were based on my understanding of basic Balintawak principles. This was my first opportunity to be allowed to use my left hand ( I am left handed). My strategy was to come up with 12 right hand stick to right hand stick techniques and 12 left hand stick to right hand stick techniques. Having extra techniques beyond the required 24 was a good idea. Sometimes what I thought would work didn’t and sometimes if you breeze through your 24 required techniques without difficultly you were asked to show more. I often worked in reverse, starting at a good ending point, then figuring out how to get there in fighting motion. Initially, I was met with more failure than success. I would often try out my ideas with my fellow practitioners. I am thankful for their patience. (Robert Klampfer, Eric Lawrence, Sharon LoParo to name a few). I trained three years between Completion of the Art and FQI. Since then many of my original techniques have been modified, changed, thrown out or hopefully improved.

Currently, to assist with my group, I am working on a more organized process with a step by step routine for each individual technique being developed. The goal is to improve the training and ultimately the application potential for both participants. For example:
a) Your partner knows or does not know what technique you are going to do. No counter resistance.
b) Your opponent knows or does not know what technique you are going to do. Counter attempted. You try to make it work with proper application.
c) Your opponent successfully counters. You then develop a counter to counter technique.
Many practitioners already go through this type of activity during their training and development of their 24 techniques. I think that the difference for me is that when it is expected it becomes part of the normal routine anticipated by every practitioner.

I often worked in reverse, starting at a good ending point, then figuring out how to get there in fighting motion. Initially, I was met with more failure than success.
Patrick Certificate 1000x911.jpg


WHY DID YOU WANT TO BECOME A FULL QUALIFIED INSTRUCTOR?

There are other Balintawak styles that produce well respected and quality teachers and practitioners, each having their own methods of achievement and requirements for instructor status. The Taboada Balintawak System is simply the path that I know. I am both proud and humbled to be a FQI under GM Bobby Taboada.

I believe that the Full Qualified Instructor requirements developed by GM Taboada will serve as a template for Taboada Balintawak FQI for years to come and this is why:

a) Achievement: The path to Full Qualified Instructor in Taboada Balintawak does number of positive things for the individual practitioner, the Taboada Balintawak organization, Balintawak and martial arts in general. The Taboada Balintawak FQI level is a measure of individual achievement not only witnessed and judged by GM Taboada, but also by your fellow Balintawak practitioners and the martial arts community.

b) 24 Techniques: Once you pass Completion of the Art you are required to develop your own 24 techniques. This process is designed to incorporate not only your understanding of Balintawak but also your current or previous martial arts background into your skill set. The development and successful demonstration of your own techniques helps to confirm a basic understanding of Balintawak principles in fighting motion. In addition, the process of developing your own 24 techniques should give back to the Balintawak community through the expectation that in the future you will share what you have learned and developed along your journey. In essence, this requirement is designed to ensure continued growth not only individually but also within the system.

c) Defensive Skills: GM Taboada has always made it a point to emphasize that defense is often harder than offense. During this portion of your FQI testing you are actively tested directly by GM Taboada one on one. In addition, your martial arts peers present on the testing panel actively engage and participate based not only on their Balintawak skills, but also in using their varied martial arts backgrounds in a real-time interpretation of your test. During this portion of your test you are purposefully challenged by placing limits on your offense. You are required to primarily demonstrate your defensive abilities while being pushed through multiple engagements of different peers under pressure and fatigue.

d) Teaching Requirement: A cornerstone that sets the Taboada Balintawak FQI apart from many other martial art instructor level certifications is the requirement to bring your own student forward who must pass the Completion of the Art level or you will not be eligible for FQI status. This standard also sets the FQI level apart from the other levels of Taboada Balintawak. Bringing your own student to Completion of the Art is a process that cannot be evaluated in one single testing session. Not only does this requirement help to ensure teaching competency, but also demands a measure of time and dedication to the Art. From this point forward, a continuous reflection of the practitioner’s FQI status will be in part measured by the success of their own Balintawak students.

e) Testing Privilege: Another important standard in Taboada Balintawak FQI is testing privilege. FQI status must be realized before you are allowed to test your own students in the basic levels of Taboada Balintawak. You cannot test or grant basic certification (levels 1-5) in Balintawak unless you are at a the FQI level. (GM Bobby has publicly stated that while he is alive the standard procedure for testing and promoting practitioners to the Completion and the Art (level 6) and the FQI (level 7) are only done under his direct supervision).

f) Opportunity for lifelong Learning: Masters and Grand Masters in Balintawak will tell you that achieving the level certification of FQI status is only the beginning. What they freely say is don’t think you have reached the pinnacle of the Art and what you have learned and experienced up to the FQI level is small in comparison to the knowledge and skill level possible beyond this certification. One of the many great things about the philosophy of GM Taboada is that for those practitioner’s that want to continue to learn past FQI, the opportunity is open and available directly under GM Taboada as well as within his system and through his organization.

g) Opportunity for Teaching and Promoting Balintawak: As the overall skill level of FQI’s continues to improve both in Balintawak as well other martial arts GM Taboada has facilitated the opportunity for FQI’s to teach and be more visible at his seminars as well as through other groups in and outside of his organization. New FQI practitioners pursuing formal independent teaching and related activities are expected to follow a few basic steps. These steps not only assist the new FQI but also help maintain the standards important in any professional service organization. First, discussing and obtaining approval from the instructor that got you to your new FQI status demonstrates a basic level of respect and transparency within the organization. Next, your instructor in turn is expected to assist you by a number of ways. With the approval of your instructor you also carry the support of GM Taboada and the Taboada organization. This not only lends a meaningful level of respect for you at the visiting or teaching location but also makes it clear to those participating that GM Taboada and the Taboada Organization have your direct backing. Teaching comes easy to some and hard to others. One of the perks of FQI status in Taboada Balintawak is to enable the practitioner to both be seen and to gain teaching experience.

h) Good Standing: If passed, it is made clear that in order to maintain your FQI status in good standing there is an understanding with GM Taboada and the worldwide Taboada Balintawak groups that you are representing and respecting each other in regards to the mission, values and the personal character expectations of the Taboada Balintawak organization.

I believe that these standards bring a meaningful level of accomplishment and respect to the FQI level not only within Taboada Balintawak but also within the greater FMA community.

I have one final thought.
You do not need to be in GM Bobby’s backyard to be successful in learning and teaching Taboada Balintawak. GM Bobby speaks highly of folks thousands of miles from Charlotte, NC like Richard Cotterill, Garth Dicker, and John Soriano. Through the support of GM Taboada these folks have been successful and have developed respected schools and teaching programs regardless of the distance. These Full Qualified Instructors have a primary focus on promoting, teaching and maintaining a traditional approach to the curriculum and standards of the Balintawak System as developed by GM Bobby Taboada.
I am hopeful that current and future instructors of this prototype in the U.S. and around the world will continue the mission of GM Guillermo "Bobby" Taboada to be a worldwide leader in the teaching and promotion of The Art of Balintawak.

GM Taboada with Guro Patrick Schmitt, who, no matter what, is always smiling.

GM Taboada with Guro Patrick Schmitt, who, no matter what, is always smiling.


WHAT ARE YOU KNOWN FOR IN THE BALINTAWAK COMMUNITY?

Two things-
a) I am not the most handsome! b) Stop standing around –LETS PRACTICE!