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PROFILE OF A GRANDMASTER
The late Atty. Jose Villasin was a prolific father of fifteen children. Most of the children took up Balintawak Eskrima including the girls Evelyn (now in the U.S.) and Cherryl. All the four boys Jesus, Joey, Dennis and John took Eskrima seriously but only the latter pursued to be an instructor.
Atty. Jose Villasin represented one of the biggest Labor group in Cebu City the Allied Labor Union also known as ALU. He was the first President of Balintawak International Self-Defense Club then a misnomer at that time when the Club was hardly even recognized outside Cebu City.
But now, with the increasing popularity of Eskrima abroad, the name Balintawak has become a buzz word in the international Filipino Martial Arts community.
Atty. Villasin was one of the few articulate students of the legendary Balintawak inventor GM Venancio Anciong Bacon. He documented the salient moves of the diminutive Grandmaster and organized it into groupings.
It was an attempt for the first time to systematize the genius and Art of Venancio Bacon as a tool to teach the Art efficiently and with a progression that is designed not only to produce proficient fighters but instructors as well.
Among the illustrious students of Atty. Jose Villasin were GM Johnny Chiuten, Sam Buot, Nilo Servila, Isidro Bardilas, Dom Lopez and Eddie de la Cruz. Atty. Jose Villasin died on November 5, 1988 at the age of 65.
With the humility of his late Dad rubbing off on him, John Villasin insists that the ailing Nilo Servila is still the incumbent President following the line of succession laid down by his father.
With the squabbling and bickering over succession prevalent in many Eskrima organizations nowadays the example set by John Villasin is indeed rare and worthy of emulation
GRANDMASTER JOHN VILLASIN
THE NEXT GENERATION
John Villasin was born on the Feast of St. John the Baptist on June 24, 1964. He started practicing Balintawak Eskrima under the watchful eye of his Daddy while still in grade school.
Because nobody could stand up to him in a fight, John became the school bully of Tejero Elementary School just a walking distance from their house.
In high school he lead a gang called the L4G that figured in running battles with rival gangs from other schools. Aside from Eskrima, he also trained in Judo and boxing.
He finally outgrew his bullying when he studied Criminology at the University of the Visayas. John emulated the corridas bull-charging fighting style of his father who inspite of his height and stocky built was very strong fast and agile.
The Villasin style is unique from the other Balintawak derivatives with it’s “busy” alive hand or checking hand, parrying, shoving and punching. Today he teaches the same curriculum that his late father systematized.
The lessons start with the fundamental block and strike routine for beginners with a lot of emphasis on correct angles and footwork. Later as the novice progresses, he is given a set of drills that are arranged into five groupings.
Watching John do the Hubad-Lubod drill from one student to another, you can distinguish the beginner from the advance with the level of intensity and speed of the strikes.
Like Drigo Maranga, Ondo Caburnay and Mawe Caballero that inherited and actively propagated their father’s systems, John Villasin is one of the few dedicated Eskrimadors that is carrying on the legacy to the next generation of Cebuano Eskrima enthusiasts.
Grandmaster John Villasin is also the cousin to GM. Ver Villasin, look here for a statement from Teeling Villasin (GM. John Villasin’s Sister) about that subject.
GM. John Villasin can be contacted at phone no. 416 7087
I am a direct student under GM. John Villasin, here is some video clips with GM. John Villasin and me training Villasin Balintawak and the Villasin Balintawak “Combat Judo” in Cebu City: