ABOUT PEKITI-TIRSIA KALI
Kali is the indigenous fighting art of the Philippines.
With its Cultural and Philosophical values its history traces back
more than 1500 to 2000 years in the past. The Pekiti-Tirsia system
of Kali is the family system of the Tortal Family. It is headed
by the only sole heir Grand Tuhon Leo Tortal Gaje, Jr. Right from
the beginning Pekiti-Tirsia Kali convinces with its logical and
consequent Self-protection System, which is based on the Strategic
and Tactical application of Counter-Offensive techniques as defense.
An important part of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is its
positive, life appreciating philosophy: To believe in Life, in
Good Health, and to believe in Success. Full understanding of Pekiti-Tirsia
as a living Martial Art leads to continuous improvement and continued
adaptation of its methods to new demands. Because of this, Pekiti-Tirsia
Kali today still is a valuable and practical Survival Art.
As Grand Tuhon Gaje says: "Pekiti-Tirsia
Kali is the Art of Modern times in the living past!" In Pekiti-Tirsia
Kali updated (martial) arts technology merges with lived tradition!
The practical use and counter offence against impact and edged
weapons has always been and still is the focus of Pekiti-Tirsia
Kali training. That's why Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is today as up-to-date
as it was 50, 100 or 300 years before.
Origin of the Pekiti-Tirsia System
Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is one of the oldest Kali-Systems
of the Philippines. It originated in the central region of the
Philippines, in the province of Negros Occidental. Today Pekiti-Tirsia
Kali is represented by the sole heir of the system Grand Tuhon
Leo T. Gaje, Jr. the only grandson of the Great Grand Tuhon Conrado
In the year 1997 the Centennial Celebration for
100 years of Pekiti-Tirsia was celebrated in Subic Bay, Zambales,
Philippines last October 25, 1997. Pekiti-Tirsia is the only Filipino
Martial Art that made the first one hundred years celebration.
Grand Tuhon Gaje pioneered the teaching of Kali
in the USA. He and his Pekiti-Tirsia Kali earned recognition and
respect from major Martial Arts Organizations such as Jewish Karate
Federation, The United States Karate Association International
and the United States Karate Federation.
Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is the only system recognized
by the Philippine government including the teaching of the system
to the elite Force-Recon Philippine Marine Battalion, Armed Forces
of the Philippines.
Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is a compact and comprehensive
fighting system. It encompasses all phases of self-protection.
- From Awareness to fighting in Ranged to Medium, to Close Quarters
and Ground fighting.
- Fighting out of different angles and positions.
- Counter offense as defense against unarmed and armed attacks
(stick, sword, knife, firearms)
- Counter offense as defense against single or multiple opponents
Pekiti-Tirsia System is based on the principle of offensive
defense against Edged or Impact Weapon Attacks. The very
same principle is true and functional for empty hand fighting.
Therefore, in the Pekiti-Tirsia system, there is only one
set of fighting principles and movement - no matter if attacker
or defender are armed or unarmed. This structure allows a
more economic use of practice time and creates confidence
by understanding and experience. If a method works against
an opponent armed with a knife, it also works against the
The Mastery of a set of movements requires
hard work and full time dedication. In the Pekiti-Tirsia
Kali system mastery is acquired by the application of movements
through distance sparring and close-in technical exchange
by use of tapping and cross-tapping methods.
Because a skilled knife-fighter does not
rely rely on on brute muscle power, but on speed, timing
and co-ordination, Kali offers convenient and logical methods
against stronger opponents - no matter if knife or empty
Pekiti-Tirsia Kali for Law Enforcement and Security
Majority of Police Officers and law enforcement
personnel in the United States, Europe and Asia have viewed the
Police Training Film "Surviving Edged Weapons" which
was produced by Calibre Press of Chicago USA, accepted and recognized
worldwide as the best training tape on Edged Weapon awareness which
featured Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje, Jr. as technical advisor. If
it comes to Blade Awareness and Tactical Knife Defense this police
training film qualifies as world standard.
The Safety Baton System, which Grand Tuhon Gaje has developed
out of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali, is a training method especially developed
for Law Enforcement Officers and Security Personnel, which is setting
standards in the field of application of intermediate force. Dr.
Kevin Parsons, Exec. Director of the US Justice System Association,
said: The Safety-Baton System is " without question
the most dynamic, the most innovative and certainly the most effective
system that in almost 20 years of police training it has been my
pleasure to review."
Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje is certified and acknowledged by the US
Criminal Justice System Training Association and the United States
Police Defensive Tactics Training Association. Since Grand Tuhon
Gaje is now living in the Philippines he is training the Philippine
National Police in the use of the Safety Baton.
Pekiti-Tirsia as a Tournament Sport
During the last decades out of the Filipino Martial
Arts several sports versions for tournaments have been developed.
Despite the fact that Pekiti-Tirsia Kali has not been designed
to specialize in tournament sports, it proved to be effective in
the sports arena too. Pekiti-Tirsia Kali has produced several national
and international Champions in full contact stick fighting, as
for example the Grand Champion of the First (1st) National Arnis
(Kali, Eskrima) Tournament held on the Philippines in 1979.
Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje was a pioneer in the propagation
of the Filipino Martial Art as a tournament sport. As NARAPHIL
Commissioner for North and South America he promoted the Filipino
Martial Arts as Cultural Sports and a Martial Art all over the
In the field of Real Contact Stickfighting - Stickfighting
with minimum or without protection - the Pekiti-Tirsia system is
highly respected. Grand Tuhon Gaje's student Eric Knaus was the
founder of the now worldwide respected Dog Brothers, and he is
still respected as 'Top Dog' of this group. In the year 1998 Pekiti-Tirsia
Philippines, Inc. organized the Battle of Grandmasters.
A tournament following the Total Submission Policy - fighting without
any protection gear (no glove no helmet!) with unpadded sticks,
no referee, no time limit, no rules. Fighting was done on challenges
(Master and Grandmaster division) and as a challenge tournament
(advanced students). The tournament was open to all styles, and
Masters and Grandmasters from more than 15 styles have been personally
invited - but only Pekiti-Tirsia fighters were willing to fight
under the said conditions.