GM Bobby Taboada was born in Cebu City, Philippines, on November 6, 1948, the oldest of five children to Sergio and Gabriela Taboada.
Bobby was first introduced to eskrima by his father. After leaving home when we was 12, young Bobby pursued the studies of karate, boxing, and other fighting arts. GM Taboada was introduced to the Balintawak school founded by the Great Grandmaster Venancio "Anciong" Bacon, headed at the time by Grandmasters Jose Villasin and Teofilo Velez.
Though GM Taboada took mentorship from both head instructors of the club, he spent the most time with Teoflilo Velez due to his singular courage to withstand the brutal nature in which Velez would train a select few of his students. Because of this, young Bobby was often chosen for the more dangerous demonstrations that involved full contact.
In 1979, GM Taboada left the Philippines to fulfill his promise to promote his Grandmasters' art to the world. His travels took him to New Zealand, then Australia, and finally to the United States to present Balintawak to American audiences. In 1991, GM Taboada relocated to North Carolina, founding his "World Balintawak" Headquarters in the city of Charlotte where he currently resides and teaches.