Interviews mit GGM Nicomedes „Nick“ Elizar und anderen Großmeistern des Balintawak Eskrima

Im Folgenden finden Sie einige Interviews mit den Großmeistern
-Nicomedes „Nick“ Elizar
-Bobby Taboada
-Nene Gaabucayan
(Diese stehen z.Zt. nur in englischer Sprache zur Verfügung!)

Interview with GM Nick Elizar
by Malcolm Knight (April 2006)

MK : Nice to see you again Nick, first let me say how much I enjoyed my training with Norman and yourself in Cebu, April just past (2006).
I am really looking forward to my next visit but for those folks that do not know of you, your reputation and the Nickelstick Balintawak style perhaps you could give a small introduction.

GM Nick : Okay, let me first introduce myself, I am Grandmaster and founder of World Nickelstick Balintawak Escrima Club, Nicomedes Albutra Elizar, born on Sept. 15, 1948 in the small municipality of Ronda, southern part in the province of Cebu, Philippines. I was only five years old when my parents migrated to the queen city of the south- Cebu city, Philippines in order to seek a greener pasture. My contact cell phone number is +639192175863 and my landline is (032)412-1248 and my complete address is 84-y Cabantan st., Brgy. luz, Cebu city, Philippines.

ME : So Nick how long have you been involved in martial arts I know you have experience in systems other than escrima, what was your first martial art and what attracted you to it? Is involvement in martial arts a family tradition?

GM Nick : At the young age of 13, my favorite sport was boxing, a first year high school student in university of the Visayas, Cebu city, Philippines, I have already some amateur boxer friends in our school. at first I am only learning this as my body fitness, but later on, I learned that boxing was a very good lesson in martial arts self-defense. My father told me that my grandfather was also good in escrima martial arts, although I was not able to learn from him because by the time that I started training self-defense, he was already dead.

ME : What made you change to escrima and was the Balintawak style your first choice? If not what other styles did you try
and why did you change to Balintawak?

GM Nick : After being trained in boxing for about three to four years, I changed to karate. Then after learning karate I formed my owned fighting style in combining my punching and kicking, at that time kickboxing was not yet introduced in our place. I was also training in kung fu under gm Johnny Chiuten, if you have a copy of the book entitled Warrior arts of the Philippines, you can find there some demonstration between gm Johnny and me. As years goes by I, again keep on searching for more improvements in martial arts, I happened to visit different martial arts club in Cebu city way back in 1972, one day whilst I am walking through the street of Colon, in Cebu city, one of the oldest street in our country, I accidentally bumped into Bobby Taboada, my childhood neighbor and a very close friend of mine. After exchanging stories and updating each other on our lives, Bobby Taboada invited me to attend in his eskrima training session in balintawak international self defense club. During that time the club was run by late gm atty. Jose Villasin as the president, late Teofilo Velez, as the vice president and the great late gm Venancio Bacon as the grandmaster. gm Venancio Bacon was the founder /grandmaster of the balintawak original club. After viewing some of the eskrima techniques being demonstrated by late gm Teofilo Velez and Bobby Taboada, I applied right away for enrollment as a new student of the club.

ME : I believe that in the old days balintawak had no amarra or empty air sequences to learn am I right? I am thinking of the 8,9 and 10 count striking patterns, the basic 12 position butting and of course the power strikes. I am sure there are other innovations that I am as yet unaware of. What was your motivation for introducing these into the Nickelstick system.

GM Nick : Before world war II our eskrima /arnis merely consisted of plain hitting the opponent by the attacker and vice-versa with the used of sticks of varying length and size, usually a rattan stick not less than one meter long and about one peso coin in circumference. But now, our eskrima/arnis style has developed by combining punching, elbowing, holding, pulling, pushing, butting, head batting, kicking, foot sweeping or tripping as well as the application of combat judo.

ME : When was the birth of the Nickelstick Balintawak system and what prompted you to develop it? 

GM Nick : The year 1977 was very fruitful  and gratifying when I was finally given the opportunity and authority to organize an eskrima club in Dumaguete city, Philippines by both the president  and vice president of the balintawak international self defense club. During my  time in that city I happened to meet some eskrimadors who came to my club maybe  to test my expertise in escrima, but luckily not one of them succeeded in  defeating me, so my club continued. In 1979, when I returned to Cebu city I stayed at my elder brothers place in Englis, barangay Guadalupe. There I formed an eskrima club consisting of not less than 30 students, but at the same time continued developing and training with gm Teofilo Velez. So that when the Teovels balintawak group was formally organized in April 17, 1982 headed by gm Teofilo, I was one of those inducted as a members of the board of directors and instructor. On Feb. 17, 1990 gm Teofilo Velez passed away and his eldest son Pacito Chito Velez became the successor of his father and became the new grandmaster. In 1994 during the birthday anniversary of the late gm Teofilo I was one of the awardees to received a certificate of master degree from gm Chito Velez and became the chief trainer and chief instructor of the world Teovels balintawak self-defense club- white chapter for a couple of years. But perhaps more in answer to the question, Filipinos are martial arts loving people, hence it is but logical and proper, and we should develop our own style or flavour of martial arts. It is then that I organized and formed a more developed eskrima  style, the World Nickelstick Eskrima Club, balintawak style. On April 27, 2003 together with my officers and members of my World Teovels balintawak – white chapter, held a general meetings and one of the items on the agenda was to rename my group into World Nickelstick Eskrima Club which was carried unanimously. The officers and members who were present during  the aforementioned meeting strongly and formally endorsed me to be the grandmaster of the new club, and this was the birth of the World Nickelstick Eskrima Club, balintawak style. Nickel is from my name Nick plus the first two letters of my last  name joined, stick signifies the single stick style of balintawak. 

ME : What do you see as the future development for Nickelstick style balintawak? 

GM Nick : Right now I am busy conducting arnis seminars and workshops to different groups of martial arts aficionados,
police officers, and some physical education students from other universities. Propagating and promoting this cultural treasure from our forefathers, our
filipino martial arts, and arnis. My goal in organizing and forming this club is to promote our very own filipino martial arts especially the World Nickelstick Eskrima Club, balintawak style to the rest of the world.

ME : Thank you Nick and finally may I say what a pleasure it has been to discuss these matters with you and I personally wish you well with all and any attempts to put Nickelstick balintawak fairly and squarely on the map where it belongs.

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