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Grandmaster Bobby Taboada’s Filipino Martial Arts

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Grandmaster Bobby Taboada is highly skilled in the Filipino Martial Arts of Balintawak. Raised in the Philippines, GM Taboada learned from some of the best, namely Grand Masters Venancio Bacon, Teofilo Velez, and Jose Villasin.

The video is a demonstration of some of his techniques when he visited the Hard Ready seminar hosted by Ryan Hoover in North Carolina. He was a surprise guest at the venue but his performance left an everlasting impact on everyone that visited.

Starting off, GM Taboada demonstrates some swift knife techniques followed by some stick fighting. Both demonstrations show off some serious moves and you can tell by the faces that everyone is impressed. During his sparring, he keeps on emphasizing on the word ‘Magic’, which is his way of referring to some moves that are not quite perceivable to the eye.

During the stick sparring, he introduced one of those magic factors where he effortlessly disarmed his opponent with relative ease. He made it look so easy that the crowd also joined in with the laughter.

After this little arts demonstration, Grand Master Taboada gradually transitioned into fighting drills and that’s when things got interesting.

To start off, he calls a volunteer and started sparring with her. Now what’s interesting here is, he calls her and instructs her to block his blows. After the first few, he asks her to close her eyes and repeats the lesson. After a little stutter, she manages to get into the rhythm and blocks every shot, with her eyes closed. He ends the exercise commenting that it will now be much easier for her to repeat the drill with her eyes open.

The episode may seem entertaining, but there are a lot of things going on the background. This type of drills are unusual and goes on to show the level of difficulty that comes with this style.

As we progress further, we observe a few other sparring techniques, most of which are pretty basic but differ from their normal counterparts. Balintawak Arnis incorporates a lot more swift and quick movements, which may be hard to see at first, but learnable once you’ve put in the effort.

The short 10-minute video showcases a decent set of combat techniques, which you can pick up and start practicing right away with your training partners. They are easy to learn but hard to master, so make sure to follow through once you have committed to the routine.


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