More about balintawak
Vella continued that balintawak means “cry for freedom.” In Tagalog, the native language of the Philippines, there is also a contextual understanding of the term, meaning to “move like a butterfly.” And certainly, the graceful but lethal moves of the sport’s practitioners might be likened to those of a very deadly butterfly indeed, perhaps not unlike the late boxer, Muhammad Ali.
As Vella explicated, an eskrimador will primarily use a stick or blade for self-defense. But practitioners can also easily transfer to open-hand combat.
It can, she said, “really be applied with anything you can get your hands on at the time of an attack.”
She added that her son has benefitted from learning from the best.
“Tre has been blessed enough to have hands-on training with Grandmaster Bobby Taboada,” Vella said, “as he lives locally!”
She continued that she is very happy for her son.
“We are very proud of Tre,” said Vella, “in that he is a very hard worker. He strives to be the best at everything he does and hopes to one day become a U.S. Navy Seal. We think martial arts will more than prepare him for this goal in his life. Being home-schooled allows him the flexibility to train and focus on his martial arts. He loves serving in his church and in the community.
“He also loves roller-skating at our local skating rink and riding his bike,” she added. “If he can be active, he loves it! He wants to be a role model for kids his age and hopes to see more young people get into balintawak and martial arts in general.”
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