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Balintawak Master Bob Silver “Bobby” Tabimina was born in Iligan City, on March 20, 1950. The son of Col. Olympio N. Tabimina, former Deputy Chief of Police of Iligan City, Bobby has over 35 years of training, teaching and fighting experience in the martial arts. He started training in the martial arts in the early 60s eventually earning black belts in shotokan karate, Kodokan Judo, and American Combat Judo. He was introduced to Balintawak in 1967 and has been with the art since. Among Bobby’s teachers are Balintawak masters Jose Villasin, Teofilo Velez, Timoteo Maranga, founder Anciong Bacon, and traditional master Ciriaco Cañete.

Bobby was trained as a fighter first. He was among the Balintawak fighters of the 1970s. His skill therefore springs

from the application of his training in combat. He is a veteran of many juego todo matches, including a widely-known one with Roman (surname withheld), erstwhile Chief Instructor of Anciong, whom he beat
decisively in an unscheduled challenge match that transpired during a general Balintawak meeting held at Pasil, Cebu in the late 70s (see STORIES section).

Bobby is also one of the few individuals to learn the updated fighting system that Bacon developed during the time the

latter was in prison and the period following his release. This fighting style is believed to be superior in developing body mechanics and empty-hand fighting compared to the older Balintawak style, due to it's

closer range. Bobby was personally and intensively trained in this style by Anciong between 1971 and 1975 (see STORIES section).

Bobby claims that Balintawak is an art where he has found his true home and challenge. He calls the art sagrado, by virtue of its continued evolution into an ultimate bare hands fighting discipline. He has studied and perfected this art for close to four decades and still considers his learning process to be in constant evolution. In his 52 years of age, he is indebted to teach and share his knowledge and skill among martial art enthusiasts. In his words, “I am no longer a fighter in my prime age, but an instructor of humility and indulgence in this infamous secret world of the BALINTAWAK.”

Because Bobby trained under several Balintawak masters, his understanding of the art is deep, and the way he trains his students reflects the depth of his knowledge. On top of his own unique style, Bobby can effortlessly fight using the forceful style of Maranga, the weaving style of Teofilo Velez, or the twisting and evading style of Anciong Bacon, enriching his students in the process.
He is perfectly at ease teaching absolute beginners and advanced students alike. He is well versed in both the grouping system of instruction as well as the random method of instruction preferred by the older masters (see GROUPING AND RANDOM SYSTEM section). He employs both methods when he
teaches, to suit a student’s temperament and skill level, making each student’s training program truly personalized.

Bobby is a ferocious and skillful fighter, but also a humble and God-fearing man, devoted to his wife, children and students. Now 52, he is an excellent teacher who unselfishly shares all he knows with those who have an open mind and are willing to learn. He conducts his classes with genuine concern for his students.

© 2001 Jose Virginio R. Martinez