Grandmaster Sam L. Buot, Sr. is no novice. In fact, he is the oldest living disciple of the Anciong Bacon, the founder of the revered Balintawak Eskrma style of Cebu, Philippines. Manong Sam has written perhaps more than anyone on Balintawak and his knowledge is deep and sophisticated. It reflects his understanding of the depth of this fascinating stick fighting art.
Grandmaster Sam Buot, born March 24, 1936, is a lawyer and businessman, a graduate of Silliman University in the Philippines. He was a broker, appraiser, investor and developer, who engaged in real estate both in the Philippines and the USA. Grandmaster Buot is an enthusiast of Philippine Martial Arts and has served as unofficial historian of the Balintawak Eskrima style having studied under the tutelage of Grandmaster Venancio Bacon, Jose Villasin, Teofilo Velez and Teddy Buot since the late 1950s. Manong Sam has received several awards for his involvements including the Outstanding Alumnus Award from his alma mater Silliman University and the Golden Life Achievement Award by the World Head of Family Sokeship Council, a worldwide martial arts grandmaster’s council. At 78, Sam is now retired and teaches eskrima in his backyard in Phoenix, AZ. For Tambuli Media, Sam is the author of Balintawak Eskrima. In the following paragraphs, we share some of GM Sam Buot’s insights into this art.
“Anciong Bacon’s moves were music in motion – direct, graceful, balanced, effective and powerful – even mysterious and baffling.”
“There are no extreme contortions, distortion, warping, and deformation or abnormal twists of the human body to place extreme stress and trauma on ligaments, muscle and bone structure. The twelve strikes are normal movements that can be translated to other offensive moves in other martial arts. The stances are normal athletic stances, the steps are normal walking steps and the movements are typical and consistent with every day human motions.”
“Balintawak Eskrima is not an ostentatious style. The deeper secrets of eskrima are hardly displayed nor will they likely be seen in print. Even if displayed, the moves are subtle, inconspicuous and innocuous that the secrets will go unnoticed even by sophisticated and trained martial artists. Even hands-on teaching to trained martial artists requires repeated and detailed instruction and demonstration of the finer points of the moves.”
“Demonstrations of the Balintawak style are sometimes dull, as Bach, Beethoven and Mozart are dull to unsophisticated musicians. That is the reason why some Balintawak seminars are laced, embellished and embroidered with flashy stick twirling by the young masters.”
“Eskrima is not a rehash, revision or imitation of other Asian arts. It is an art all its own.”
You can listen to Gm Sam talk about his training and insights in this interview he did with FMA Talk Live, April 22, 2015.
More depth and insights are offered in Buot’s book, Balintawak Eskrima, which took a lifetime to write. It contains 700 photographs in 260 pages of in-depth, and often never before seen or read, documentation on Balintawak Eskrima. To appreciate Anciong Bacon’s Balintawak Eskrima, you have to understand set-ups, anticipation, the art of outwitting through ruses and lures; economy and simplification of motion, sans lavish and squandered movements; effective strikes fused and bonded with speed, power, elegance and grace. That is the essence of Anciong’s Balintawak and these are the methods Sam Buot explains and demonstrates in this book.
Written from the author’s half-century of personal experience and hard-earned knowledge, Balintawak Eskrima presents the art from origin to modern times, as a fighting art, as cultural tradition and a means of personal development. Illustrated with nearly 700 historical and instructional photographs, this book is a must-have for all martial artists and those interested in the history of a people and their fight art.
“Tambuli Media has once again facilitated getting one of the foremost authorities on FMA, Sam Buot Sr., to sit down and write a comprehensive text… “Balintawak Eskrima” is arguably one of the more important treatise Tambuli has published.” —The Ground Never Misses
“This book is a treasure trove of knowledge and a book which will be considered one of the best, if not the best, book on Balintawak.” —FMA Informative
“Sam Buot’s techniques and knowledge are direct from the masters. If there is anyone who can teach them to the world, it is Atty. Sam Buot.” —GM Bobby Taboada
“Sam Buot takes the reader on a journey into the belly of Balintawak. His narrative is honest and compelling. One of my favorite FMA books!” —Dr. Mark Wiley
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