Nicomedes 'Nick' Elizar

Grandmaster Nicomedes ‘Nick’ Elizar was born on September 15th, 1948 in Cebu, and has been teaching Balintawak Eskrima or Arnis since the 1970’s.

Initially starting with boxing which had gained popularity at the time as a result of the international success of a local boxer by the name of Gabriel ‘Flash’ Elorde, GM Nick further went on to study Tae Kwon Do/Karate. At the time, styles of kickboxing were relatively unheard of, yet GM Nick successfully combined the disciplines he had studied to develop his own style. As he began to develop a reputation for his physical abilities, he was hired as a personal bodyguard to a prominent local businessman and politician, up until the declaration of martial law in 1972 by the then president Ferdinand Marcos.

Whilst walking through the Colon district in Cebu one day in 1972, he bumped into his close childhood friend, who has since become a distinguised Balintawak Grandmaster himself, Bobby Taboada. Bobby Taboada invited his long time friend Nick to join him at a club where he had recently begun training. The club was headed by Jose Villasin as president, Teofilo Velez as vice-president ,with GM Venancio ‘Anciong’ Bacon as the honoured grandmaster of the organization. It was called ‘The International Balintawak Self Defence Club’, and it is here where Nick Elizar began his lifelong  journey in Balintawak Eskrima.

GM Nick Elizar completed his training and received authority to teach the art in 1976. He moved away from the city and this led to him teaching in Dumaguete, around an hours ferry ride from where he was stationed for work in Samboan, and where he also taught Balintawak.

In 1979 Nick Elizar returned to Cebu City and resumed training with Teofilo Velez. He also organised his own group of students in the area which he now resided in. Bobby Taboada also organised his own group of students where he lived, which was adjacent to the home his childhood friend Nick Elizar, and both would regularly train together.

In 1982, Teofilo Velez formed his own association, the ‘Teovel Balintawak Group’. Along with others from his trusted group of students, GM Velez bestowed the title of ‘Master’ upon Nick Elizar,  who in turn went on to lead the ‘White Chapter’ of Teovel’s Balintawak Eskrima. GM Teofilo Velez sadly passed away seven years later in 1989. Since his death, Nick Elizar has kept his promise to his teacher to diligently spread the art developed by GM Anciong Bacon. In 1994, Nick Elizar was awarded the title of ‘Chief Instructor’ of Teovel’s Balintawak, and represented the group a number of times at WEKAF conferences held in Cebu.

In 2003, Nick Elizar created his own group, and named it the ‘World Nickelstick Eskrima Club’. He has been featured internationally in a number of documentaries, as well as numerous times in print.  At 75 years of age GM Nick Elizar is considered to be one of Cebu’s premier eskrimadors, and has continued to propogate and teach Balintawak to whomever wishes to learn. He travels internationally delivering seminars, and teaches both local and visiting students daily at his school in Cebu.