Teovel’s Balintawak Arnis was renowned by our late Great Grandmaster “Teofilo Velez”. He was the one who started propagating art of balintawak arnis, GM Teofilo Velez & Late GM Atty.
Villasen they are the one who initiate to modify on how to teach Balintawak arnis in easiest way for students.The Velez Brothers (Chito, Eddie, Monnie) are known to be his successors and the first ever instructors of GM Teofilo Velez are his sons: Pacito “Chito” Velez, Ramon Franco “Monnie” Velez, and Eduardo “Eddie” Velez Sr.
When Late GM Teofilo Velez passed away because of cancer, Mr. Chito Velez was chosen by the members to be the New Grand Master of Teovel’s Balintawak Arnis. Few years after, the Velez Brothers continued teaching the Balintawak style of arnis.
GrandMaster Monnie Velez teaches arnis at his home in Englis,Guadalupe Cebu and later at Ayala Park while GrandMaster Eddie Velez teaches arnis at one of our Headquarters in Guadalupe, Cebu. By the year 2007, the Velez Brothers regrouped.
GrandMaster Monnie Velez and his students came up with the name of WOTBAG which stands for “World Original Teovel’s Balintawak Arnis Group”.
With the help of Master Oliver Mag-uyon, they were able to register the group to the Secretary of Exchange Commission in order for it to be legalized and they were also able to elect new sets of officers.
Now the The Three Pillar’s( Velez Brothers ) introduced a new method of teaching, focusing on the students’ performance on flexibility, timing, speed, hitting points, defense and offense,knife fighting.
They were also able to share their tactical skills by using all the knowledge they have learned during their training with their late father, Great Grandmaster Teofilo Velez which he also learned from his late mentor, Great Grandmaster Anciong Bacon, who introduced the Balintawak Style.
Now we have our WOTBAG and IPMAF Balintawak Eskrima Poland Association by cooperation of Agreement by their Chairman GM Dr. Andreas Boruta as official representative of WOTBAG in Europe will help on developing and propagating WOTBAG.
Characteristics of WOTBAG:
The basic core of WOTBAG training, is a reactive ‘counter to counter’ style and is taught virtually and is more effectively learnt ‘one on one’.
The student is taught defensive and offensive techniques, where at all times there is a need to guide the student’s moves from the very basic to the advanced.
A level in the latter part of the students training will be reached where the student and instructor ‘give and take’ all the techniques of the style. Initially, for the beginner, WOTBAG can seem a very defensive style. When the instructor attacks, the student will learn to defend with a block and counter with a ‘single’ strike.
This is where other styles argue that their systems are better as they learn to counter with multiple strikes. WOTBAG is different. The style considers that an opponent will defend effectively your counter strike and counter your counter.
A lot of Arnis schools do not consider that an opponent will defend themself properly to a counter. But what if they do? Of course if the opponent does not defend properly then they leave themself open to multiple strikes.
WOTBAG however, pays due consideration that an opponent may be skilled and that every move has a counter and that every counter has a counter. It is simply timing that plays the major role between true skilled Escrimadors.
A simple outline of instruction of the WOTBAG style:
The student is taught twelve basic strikes, then taught basic blocks and counters to these strikes. The instructor will then execute the ‘12 basic strikes’ and the student will block and counter this series.
Later, as the students timing, control, speed and footwork combine properly, the instructor will then attack with ‘At Random’ strikes and then later will introduce stronger and faster random attacks which are sometimes called ‘Pak Gung’.
The 12 Basic Strikes, At Random and Pak Gung are only the beginning. They are the basic foundation or platform of WOTBAG and can be a very enjoyable free style, free flowing, free wheeling form of play.
An advanced set series of attacks are now used by the instructor against the student and the student will learn the advanced set series of counters and defence to the instructor’s attacks.
These set series are called the ‘Grouping’ or ‘Groups’ method, and are considered a type of grading system. They answer questions such as “What do you do if your counter has been grabbed, what is the defence?”
One of the groups will show the student how to defend in this situation. “What if the opponent tries to disarm or grabs and locks your stick or arm and punches?” The Groups answer these questions and the style is gradually built up, further and further by showing the counters to the counters, from the basic platform of the style.
When the student does all the techniques from the groups in a flowing fashion, then the movements between the student and instructor will become an advanced freewheeling motion, all based on the students and instructors individual timing.
After that when students familiarize all the skills that been taught WOTBAG instructor’s also teach the student using “knife” or “knife with stick” defense and offense style, hand to hand combat, judo,take downs in advance students.
To some people that may sound like the end of the learning but it’s not. You will always be learning, both as a student and instructor, as each student and instructor of WOTBAG are different human beings and each can have variations in their timing, as well as in their fighting.
WOTBAG has a single person Kata’s or patterns, nor does it have hard rigid long stances but uses short, very mobile stepping movements just as if the person was walking.
The student is taught to be elastic in their actions and can use an evading, twisting long style sometimes referred to as ‘bamboo’’. They can use the more forceful ‘breaking’ or ‘sikit’ style where the emphasis is upon the distance of the empty hand to be able to touch the opponent’s shoulder, or they can use the low, tight, bobbing and weaving styled movements sometimes called ‘Likay”.
WOTBAG for safety teaches the use of a single stick for the majority of their training, but it is emphasised that each strike can be either a slash, butt or thrust like a bladed weapon.
Teovels Balintawak teaches the ‘principles’ behind the movements of the stick work, so that variations of these moves can be used to defend yourself without thinking “Do I have a knife, sword or am I unarmed”. WOTBAG does teach some specific stick, knife, sword and empty hand techniques but the majority of the principles are the same and if you understand the principles you can apply the variations.