Armand Rabanal (Graduate 2018)
I was born and raised in Portland, OR
and currently reside in Los Angeles, CA.
My occupations include Film/Advertising, Music Composition, and Stunt Performance.
Balintawak was introduced to me in 2016 thanks to Bryan Sloyer. I like to say that Balintawak found me instead of me finding Balintawak. Growing up, I had no interest in Filipino Martial Arts. Bryan asked if I wanted to try a little bit during one of our group training sessions. I was hooked and since that day, Bryan became my first Instructor in the Art of Balintawak. What I liked about Balintawak and its training is the “aliveness” within the play.
Under Bryan’s guidance my training progressed, and after a year and a half (2017), Bryan took me to my first World Camp. There I tested up to Level 3 under GM Bobby Taboada. After another year (2018), I tested for Level 6: Completion of the Art while also the testing partner for Bryan’s Level 7: Full Qualified Instructor test. It was a humbling experience and gave me an idea of where my skill was at. About a year after my Level 6 test, I happened to meet GM Eduardo “Eddie” Velez and Master Eugene Nepangue at a local seminar at the Inosanto Academy. It was during that seminar where I had an idea of which direction my training was heading. Since then Master Eugene has been showing me a different perspective while cross training in other arts within my own practice.
In my journey, I have met a multitude practitioners of Balintawak and different styles. Each bringing their own unique flavor putting Balintawak in a constant state of evolution. I hope in the future my training will continue to improve my skills and I hope to carry on the teachings of all of my teachers in this art.
The late GM Eddie Velez - I am sad for your passing. I will never forget your teachings and I hope to carry on your lessons.
FQI Bryan Sloyer - Thank you for introducing this Art to me and showing me a big part of my heritage.
Master Eugene Nepangue - Thank you for showing me what it would be like to have an older brother. You have a big heart and I will never forget your kindness.
GM Bobby Taboada - Thank you for providing an opportunity for Filipino Americans like myself to learn the Art of Balintawak.
From my heart, we welcome you, and with respect,
Armand Cababat Rabanal