I started practicing Balintawak under my Kajukenbo instructor Sigung Tomas Encinoso Armas, in the Canary Islands (Spain). When I move to the United States I started teaching Kajukenbo and sharing with my students what I remembered from Balintawak. I was very fortunate to be accepted and personally trained by Bobby Taboada himself.
In October 2018 I obtained my level 6, also known as “Completion of the Art” in Balintawak. Although I value this achievement, I see myself as a constant student of the art and I see this as my beginning. I would like to thank the people who have contributed to my growth as a Balintawak practitioner (in no particular order): To Tomas Encinoso Armas, for introducing me to Balintawak, for your friendship and for sharing your knowledge; to Bobby Taboada for accepting me as your student, sharing your experience, for your guidance and, best of all, for sharing your history with me, Salamat tito!; to Claudette Delacerna for being my “partner in crime” in training Balintawak, and as the other half of our group, I wouldn’t be able to make it without your help; to Bob Sullen from New York Balintawak for his support and his wisdom and by leading by example; and I also would like to thank Jhun Occidental and Eliseo (Jun Jun) Barja, for your support, dedication and for helping our group with the cleaning and the little details.
To all of you, thank you very much!
From right to left: GM Bobby Taboada, Carlos Navarro, Claudette Delacerna, Tomas Encinoso and GM Nick Elizar