Bambooing is a metaphor, calling to the mind the image of a bamboo tree swaying in a tropical breeze. It’s a key component in the defense system of Balintawak Escrima Bambooing affords the defender two advantages.
1. There is the avoidance of getting hit. This is why it is called the great equalizer. Size and strength of the opponent is irrelevant. At the same time that bambooing is executed, a vital part of the opponent’s anatomy is exposed and can be hit easily with a simultaneous strike.
2. When a block is used in conjunction with bambooing, the opponent’s strike will have been partially spent and weakened at the moment of impact. Right away the balance of advantage is shifted in favor of the defender. Being in the dominant position, delivering a counter has a higher chance of success.
Requisite accompanying moves when bambooing is initiated.
1. The head is whipped to the side. The opposite shoulder is drawn up towards the ear (turtling) to avoid injury to the neck.
2. Head is kept facing the opponent so that, at no time should the eyes be averted.
3. Guarding hand should be in position.
Challenges in the learning and applying of the art of bambooing.
1. Bambooing is not a natural move. The details of each moving part of the body, to form the whole technique has to be learned from scratch. To be proficient follow the Grandmaster’s rule do it 10,000 times and the move becomes yours.
2. Timing is everything. To learn rhythm, the Grandmaster’s rule applies.
3. The ability to read body language is mandatory. This is not difficult to learn. Just keep the discipline of looking at your opponent’s elbows.
The different categories of bambooing
1. High stance bambooing.
A. Lead foot torquing in. This is used against a midline strike. The body is turned opposite to the lead foot. The lead foot is turned on the ball of the foot and the weight of the body is supported by the heel at the end of the move. The rear foot is also turned so it is parallel with the lead foot. The tripod principle is assumed. The hand is used to simultaneously strike the eyes.
B. 45 degree half step forward opposite to the side of the striking hand. A simultaneous strike by the hand on the same side is executed.
2. Low stance bambooing(ducking) The head and the knees are bent abruptly and at the moment of delivering the simultaneous strike, the body is turned in opposite direction to the striking weapon.
3. Bending away bambooing(torquing out) The body and feet are turned as if one is going to run in the opposite direction. The body is bent at the hips to deliver a simultaneous strike, or a kick can be delivered.
4. Sliding back bambooing(fading) This is applied when you are surprised with a fast forward moving opponent. Likewise if the opponent is using a long weapon (a kick or along stick) and closing the gap is not the appropriate response.