Myself and GM Bobby Taboada.
Myself and GM Bobby Taboada. Photo by Jody Melanson.

This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of participating in a Balintawak seminar taught by GM Bobby Taboada. The seminar was held at Sean Tyler’s Raging Tiger Martial Arts school in Scarborough. GM Bobby was a long time friend of Professor Presas and, as a matter of fact, Professor was GM Bobby’s best man when he got married. Aside from the personal connection between Professor and GM Bobby, there is the fact that Professor intensively studied Balintawak back in the 1950’s for 7 years. He trained under Mongcol, Timoteo Maranga before studying with the legendary Anciong Bacon. Therefore, going to this Balintawak seminar gives me an opportunity to glimpse Professor’s martial arts roots. As it turns out, there was much that GM Bobby showed that was similar to what I’ve learned in Modern Arnis over the years. I found myself not just watching or learning the techniques that GM Bobby was teaching. I was also observing his speed, timing, rhythm and energy as he executed/demonstrated the techniques he wanted us to work on. He would come over and watch me work with Jody, my training partner for the day. He would then demonstrate said technique on me with full power. Very impressive and very reminiscent of Professor. As a couple of people stated, his energy and power seemed to be of the “internal” variety that one would often associate with the great Tai Chi and gung fu masters. That description is spot on. I had a chance to talk with GM Bobby about Professor. He said that he missed the Professor and wished that he was still around. We also talked briefly about the post Modern Arnis world after Professor’s passing. Besides being an incredible martial artist, I can say that GM Bobby is a world class individual. Great guy. Here is a clip from the seminar:

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