Amy Sturdivant (Graduate 2019)
My name is Amy Sturdivant; I was born and raised in Washington State and now reside in California where I work in the film industry as a stunt performer.
I was first introduced to Balintawak by FQI (Fully Qualified Instructor) Bryan Sloyer, in 2013, when I moved down to Los Angeles. At the time, Guro Bryan and myself were at the beginning of our journeys in pursuing a career in stunts, and he became my first true friend in the city. He shared with me his passion for the art, how his relationship with Grandmaster Bobby Taboada has impacted his life, and his plans of using his gift of storytelling through film to share the Filipino art. It wasn’t until 4 years later (in 2017), however, that I decided to delve further into Balintawak myself; with the guidance and teaching of Bryan, of course. My understanding of Martial Arts was very limited but I was determined to gain clarity about what it was that drew in many of my closest friends and colleagues. At first I was hesitant. But, the more I began to lean into the teaching and apply similar philosophies to my life, I discovered that my perspective was shifting for the better. I became more introspective and mindful of the lessons to come from this transitional time in my life.
Two years later (August of 2019), serendipitously in my hometown of Seattle, I had the opportunity to express my dedication to the art of Balintawak and honor my teacher, Bryan Sloyer, in testing for Completion of the Art (level 6). During this experience, I got to meet and learn from those who brought Guro Bryan into the Balintawak family and taught him the intricacies and values of the art. Most notably, Grandmaster Bobby Taboada. It was truly an experience that I walked away from feeling as if I have gained a new purpose.
I am humbled knowing that there is still so much to be discovered, and that the journey extends further than myself. It is my hope to not only pass along the art, but to instill some of the principles I have learned to future generations. I believe my purpose in pursing the art of Balintawak is to offer a new perspective to the inexperienced and introduce to them the benefits it has to offer their lives.
I would like to thank Grandmaster Bobby Taboada for opening his heart and mind to all of his students, and the students of theirs. I would like to thank FQI Bryan Sloyer for his patience, willingness to guide me, and continual friendship - from my heart, you are welcome, and with respect. I would also like to thank COA Andrew Franklin and COA Justin Chang for stepping alongside me in this journey, motivating me, and maintaining the positive energy in the room. FQI Rick Mitchell for his wisdom and teaching. COA Armand Rabanal and COA Joseph Oreste, for your continual support. Kosey Baskin and Caitlin Hutson for their hard work. And to all of my peers who have been a part of this journey.
From my heart, we welcome you, and with respect,