Hello and welcome to the "Club Normand Kali Eskrima".
Our club is located in France and works to promote Filipino martial arts, including Balintawak.

What is my martial art background?

I studied Shotokan Karate for more than 10 years and have always had a keen interest in martial arts and combat sports.  My interest in Filipino martial arts (FMA) was awoken after reading an article in a martial arts journal; it identified a Filipino Master of Kali Eskrima in Paris, who was holding a seminar.  Though this discipline was totally foreign to me, the photo of Master Mike Inay of the Inayan Eskrima system with a knife and bolo inspired me to find out more and attend the seminar.

The seminar was a revelation for me.  How weapons could be used in a timely, systematic and efficient way.  The concept of flow and use of unconventional techniques got me hooked!   

Upon returning to my home I got together a small group of students and formed an associate called "Club Normand Kali Eskrima".

To teach the techniques, principles and flow of FMA was complicated, so I made a decision to dedicate myself to a single FMA style.  In 2005, 3 of my FMA students and I travelled to the Philippines to find a style and begin our FMA journey.

It was in Cebu City, the Mecca of Eskrima, that we met Grand Master Nick Elizar from the Balintawak style of Eskrima.  His son Norman showed us the Balintawak basics.  We were all impressed and made a decision to stay in Cebu and study this FMA style.

In the midst of urban pollution and conditions of high humidity, we trained for 6 hours a day for 3 weeks.

Returning to France, I incorporated the teachings of Grand Master Nick Elizar into my classes and decided to dedicate myself and my club to the study of Balintawak.  This enables my students to improve in the style at a faster rate.

I followed up my initial visit to the Philippines with up to 3 visits per year thereafter and was able to quickly assimilate the new concepts and refine my learning of Balintawak from Grand Master Nick Elizar and his two sons, Norman and Neil.

In 2008 I invited Grand Master Nick Elizar to France. He came to France for three months.  He gave a series of workshops to promote Balintawak across Europe (France, Norway, Spain and Germany).   

The seminar in Paris was run in collaboration with my friend Mitchell TSIA KING FUNG from Arnis Koredas, it was a great success.  Sixty-five French eskrimadors made the journey to discover Balintawak and to meet the Filipino master.

At the end of this 3 month period, Grand Master Elizar and I wrote an article for the Combat magazine and recorded a Balintawak instructional DVD with the company Independence Production.

Although my martial art of choice is Balintawak, I took the opportunity to meet other amazing eskrimadors while I travelled around the Philippines.  These included:

  • Manuel Caballero from Eskrima De Campo 1-2-3 Original
  • "Buck" Mariano from the Siete Generales
  • Supreme Grand Master "Cacoy" Canete and his faithful assistant Grand Master John MAC from Cacoy Doce Pares Eskrido
  • Grand Master Tony Diego and his assistant Arnold Narzo in Kali Illustrissimo
  • Master Panto Flores the grandson of Grand Master Filemon "Momoy" Canete of San Miguel Eskrima
  • Master Eduardo Ceniza in Baraw Sugbu
  • Grand Master Ondo Caburnay from the Lapunti Arnis de Abanico.


To meet and touch hands with these Masters was a valuable opportunity and a great privilege.

I knew that I could not learn everything and I didn't want to create a new hybrid style, so in additional to Balintawak Eskrima I picked a group of systems that would expand my martial understanding and my skill level in all the fighting ranges.

I studied the original 1-2-3 DE CAMPO Eskrima with Master Manuel Caballero, son of famous GMaster Jose CABALLERO who was one of the main teachers of Master Edgar Sulite from Lameco Eskrima. This style of Eskrima is practiced mainly with solo baston in largo mano for the long range.

I was initially uninterested in work knife.  I could not see any style that demonstrated skills to deal with a real knife fight or stabbing, that was until I discovered Master Eduardo CENIZA, who practices a very interesting style of knife called Baraw Sugbu or Arnis de Diablo.

Other Balintawak masters that I have had the opportunity to meet and train with are Grand Master Bobby Taboada, Grand Master Bobby Tabimina and Flint, however it is with Danny VEDUA of Askal the Hybrid Balintawak and Master Eddy Velez WOTBAG that I have continue train with to improve my Balintawak.  These two great eskrimadors are true masters in their field; they have had the opportunity to test their techniques and skills on many occasions in street fights or challenges called JUEGO TODO.  This has established their reputation in their respective style.

In June 2010, I organized a trip to the Philippines for a group of ten people to train with some of my teachers: Grand Master Nick Elizar with his son Norman, Eddie Velez, and Danny VEDUA with Samuel Responso.  It was a magical trip and very rewarding for those French eskrimadors.

 
What do we offer?

As part of the promotion and development of Balintawak in France and abroad, Club Normand Kali Eskrima established a technical syllabus.  The syllabus enables us to position Balintawak students at their appropriate skill level and gave them a definitive promotion levels to aspire to.  Our instructors have a good technical knowledge which they pass onto their students; this ensures that during skill exchanges with eskrimadors from other groups in the Balintawak family our students perform very well.

Our comprehensive Balintawak Syllabus safeguards the quality of the style taught in our group.  It is independent to national and international federations.

The syllabus consists of 12 levels and 3 levels of technical education.

The 12 levels allow progressive learning, rational and quality.  Symbolically, the levels correspond to the colors of the 12 clubs established by Grand Master Teofilo Velez when creating his group "Teofil's Balintawak" in April 1982.

Our syllabus clearly assimilates with the Balintawak transmission through "Groups" established by Grand Master Atty. Jose Villasin and developed by Grand Master Teofilo Velez.

The 3 levels of technical education stem from my past research, my current understanding of the art and more importantly my numerous meetings with Filipino's professors in martial art, namely

  • GRAND MASTER NICK ELIZAR
  • MASTER EDDY VELEZ
  • MASTER DANNY VEDUA
  • MASTER SERGIO ARCEL
  • MASTER BOY CENIZA.


Are you interested?

If you want to learn or to open a club of Balintawak Eskrima, we offer courses, training and private lessons.

For more information please contact me on 06.67.15.98.92 or email fabienjolivel@hotmail.fr.

Regards,

Maramaing Salamat.

Fabien Jolivel.