By GM Samuel L. Bout, Sr.
From an old man’s perch, with a lifetime of unnecessary conflicts and folly, I say: avoid conflict. Conflict does arise and you don’t want it; your space is invaded, you are threatened and you are upset, fearful and angry and your adrenalin is pumping. Control your emotions. Lower your decibel. Consider your personal benefits and loses. Is it worth the trouble, really? Ask yourself these questions: “Can I walk away and feel proud of my self-control, knowing that with my skills I can hurt the aggressor? Would I be a ‘bigger man’ if I could avoid conflict?”
Lower your voice not in fear but with firmness of one who is confident but not hostile. Okay, so you know self-defense. Think of it as a cultural experience, an exercise, a bonding with friends of similar interest, a confidence builder and not as a tool for hostility and belligerence. Besides, someone will be bigger, stronger, faster and better trained than you and many will try to see how good you really are–just like the fastest gunman in the Wild West. Keep your skills to yourself! Besides, this is the age of guns and guns are the great equalizers. And as they used to say in the old country, “It takes only one bullet.” With that dark, somber and cryptic warning, cool down and be prudent in your use of strength. I have discussed the legal consequences earlier.
A question has been asked, what I expect in return for all the free lessons I have given on eskrima. Nothing material. Gratitude and respect count for me. Always remember the people you met on your way up. They will be the same people you will meet on your way down.
Gratitude is written on a stone tablet in the Filipino culture. Remember from whom you learned the art and give credit and acknowledgment to your mentors. I have given credit and honor to my mentors, stable mates and most of all to my Grandmaster for the knowledge and skills I have learned from them. Also, remember to credit the Balintawak Eskrima system and do not coopt it as belonging to your other style. Share your knowledge and wisdom unselfishly. It was given to you freely.
Share it unselfishly. Teach. Teaching is the secret to reinforcing and fortifying your own knowledge and training. If you cannot teach it, that means you have not learned nor understood it enough to explain and teach it. As for respect, respect those who have been generous with their knowledge. I am not particular about the bowing ceremonies, it was a part of our tradition but addressing your teacher must have an element of respect and deference. For me personally, it is sufficient to be addressed as guro’ for teacher, manong for elder or kuya for an elder brother. It is not uncommon for Filipinos to address close friends of the family as uncle or tito. The title of grandmaster should not be self-anointed but an earned respect given by students and colleagues for those who have earned it in service to the art in terms of its spread worldwide through teaching or publication.
Tree of Knowledge
Like the Tree of Knowledge in Genesis, you will start to possess knowledge for good or evil. You will possess dangerous skills that can be tempting and can be abused. Use your skills for noble, upright and righteous causes. Never teach it to the violent, evil and criminally minded. Practice and train hard, practice and train correctly and stay healthy and stay out of trouble! Good luck!
Rave Review for GM Sam Buot’s
Balintawak Eksrima masterpiece!
“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