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There was a gem of a man who once lived in Stockton, Ca. and not that very long ago. Loved by many and respected by everyone lucky enough to have had any contact with him: His name was Bobby Antuna.

I thought of him this Saturday when driving by Lindey's Dough nuts. I remembered sitting one day in Lindey's when Bobby happened to come in for some of the localy famous potatoe flour dough nuts.
If you are looking for a Filipino in Stockton and wait long enough they will eventua...lly wander into Lindey's.

I wasn't looking for Bobby that Saturday morning, but was happy to have shared a dough nut ortwo with him over coffee. We sat down for awhile and talked things Escrima. Bobby was taught by the extremely knowledgeable Dentoy Revillar.

Bobby achieved his Master's with Manong Dentoy and honestly, this is quite an achievement. Manong Dentoy trained under all three of the most famous early Master's of Stockton and is considered a treasure within the Stockton Escrima community.

I have never failed to learn something from Manong Dentoy whenever I've been any where near him. He recently underwent major surgery and truly wish him the very best and a quick recovery.

So when I bounced a few questions off of Bobby and asked his thoughts about a few technical questions: I knew that I was in good company to get well thought out answers,because of his being a fellow Escrima Master and the solid Escrima foundation he had recieved under Manong Dentoy.

I clearly remember asking Bobby if Manong Dentoy was upset because of the videos that I've been putting up. He said no, because Manong Dentoy saw that I wasn't putting up any foot work. Nobody knows how hard it is for me not to show foot work in my videos. My feet want to move automatically. Foot work is the cherished secret of Filipino Martial Arts. Moving with purpose in Filipino Martial Arts is the very least understood part of being an Escrimador.

Generally, much of the video coming out of the Philippines shows really good examples of proper foot work. In the U.S. there are many fine Escrimador's using superior foot work, but sometimes foot work lacks because it is being taught in a sterile environment. In the Philippines you may have to use your training on the way home from training.You tend to take shit seriously, when you really may have to use your training.

I think because Stockton is a shit hole, many of the Escrimador's in Stockton pay homage to realistic training. In my upcoming book and video's it will be hard for me to leave out the core foot work of Serrada Escrima. The secret of Escrima is in the foot work.

I will never ever be able to ask Master Antuna any questions ever again, because he sadly passed away way too soon. I will never be able to sit and ever again enjoy a dough nut with Master Antuna.
He was a gentleman and gifted Escrimador: Bobby I salute you and you are not forgotten.

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Comment by Ray on January 19, 2015 at 11:06pm

Bobby had a gift for teaching.  He would watch, then if you were lucky, he would "demonstrate" a technique.  If  you "understood," he would smile and say "Climb the Ladder." 

Comment by Guro Lawrence Motta on January 20, 2015 at 3:42pm

Master Bob Antuna was indeed an awesome instructor and a great man.  I was lucky enough to know him and every time I saw him, he would light up with that smile!  Every time I trained with him, he'd hit a deep nerve and new lights would come on in my brain.  I made him one of my first custom knives when I first started making them and he treated it like one of his most prized possessions.  It wasn't all that great a piece  but every time I saw him, he reminded me how much he loved it.  Made me feel like a million bucks.  That was Bobby.

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