Grandmaster Crispulo ‘Ising’ Atillo was inspired to learn the Filipino Martial Arts at a young age when, as a boy, he observed the legendary Cebuano Eskrimador Teodoro ‘Doring’ Saavedra training his father Vicente ‘Inting’ Atillo.
At 14 years of age, Grandmaster Atillo was the youngest member of the famed Balintawak Self Defense Club. He had the good fortune of being trained not only by his father, but also by his friends Delfin Lopez and Maj. Timoteo ‘Timor’ Maranga, and Grandmaster Venancio ‘Anciong’ Bacon. With his fiery enthusiasm for Balintawak Arnis and the Filipino Martial Arts Grandmaster Atillo soaked up everything he could from the training with these tremendous Eskrimadores.
Having integrated some personal adjustments and modifications to what he had learned and having formulated his unique interpretation of the Balintawak style, Grandmaster Atillo and his father formally split from the original Balintawak organization in 1975. They founded the New Arnis Confederation of the Visayas and Mindanao (NACVM), which subsequently underwent a name change to the Philippine Arnis Confederation (PAC).
In 2001 Grandmaster Atillo relocated to the USA and renamed the PAC to Atillo Balintawak World Arnis – Eskrima Original Saavedra Style. Since then he has continued to unwaveringly spread and teach his system of Balintawak Arnis through his popular seminars, and at his training facility in Beaumont, California.
Since moving to the USA Grandmaster Atillo has been sought out by none other than Guro Dan Inosanto, and he regularly teaches seminars at the Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts.
Grandmaster Atillo is 80 years old now, but his spirit and his passion for his beloved art remain as strong as ever, and he continues to actively train and teach.