Founder and Headmaster of Applied Eskrima, Master Virgil Orlanes Cavada was born in Cebu, Philippines in 1954. He began studying Karate at age 15. At age 17, he enrolled at the University of San Jose Recoletos in Cebu, where he studied Mechanical Engineering and competed in collegiate weight lifting competitions. Eventually he was named captain of the team and was nominated to join the Philippine National team for the Asian Games. Virgil competed for 6 years. As a 140lb lightweight, he could clean and jerk 360lbs.

During his college days, Virgil was introduced to the art of Eskrima. At age 19, he was recruited to join an Eskrima group headed by Vicente Atillo and his son Crispulo. Vicente Atillo was a well known weightlifter and wrestler in Cebu. He was a very calm and humble man who had a big influence on everyone he met. Virgil considers himself very lucky to have known him personally.

As true in most of his endeavors, it was not long before Virgil distinguished himself in Eskrima. In March of 1976, he became Grandmaster Crispulo Atillo’s primary sparring and training partner at the first Asian Martial Arts Festival.This was the same day he graduated with his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

In the United States, Virgil accompanied and assisted GM Crispulo Atillo at a variety of public and private seminars and demonstrations. Virgil also appeared on the first instructional DVD release of the Atillo Balintawak Saavedra Style in January of 2010. Since then, the system has been accepted by followers of other Filipino Styles wishing to augment their training with the devastatingly effective methods of the Balintawak style. Even martial arts legends like Guro Dan Inosanto have been learning the style. Guro Dan has been gradually introducing the style at his seminars all over the world, and when his schedule permits, he continues to study with Master Cavada.