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What is Kali
Kali is the Indigenous fighting art of the Philippines. It’s a close quarter combat fighting system designed to be used against multiple opponents, based on the use of the BLADE. Kali in its truest form is a systematic art of combat fighting based on the science of strategic and tactical applications of counter-offensive techniques. When offense, counter offense and re-counter offense (OCR) are employed properly there is no need for defense. Within this system is a complete set of strategies and tactics which utilize all natural weapons of the body through natural movement against close quarters weaponry. Characteristic for Kali is the use of one or two arm-length sticks, swords and knives which are used for practice and/or fighting.
Kali is not a traditional martial art, it’s a combat system designed to destroy your opponent. Since the nature of combat is weaponry and not fighting with empty hands, Kali uses the principle that weaponry is taught first and then you progress into the final stage of any combat situation: empty hand training.
Pekiti-Tirsia Kali (PTK) is one of the oldest Kali-Systems in the Philippines. It originated in the central region of the Philippines, in the province of Negros Occidental. Pekiti-Tirsia is the only system that is recognized by the Philippine government. It’s used to train Force-Recon Marine Battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Special Action Force (SAF) contingent of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
With its cultural and philosophical values Pekiti-Tirsia’s history traces back more than 1500 to 2000 years. The Pekiti-Tirsia system of Kali is the family system of the Tortal Family and was founded in 1897. Leo T. Gaje Jr. is the grandson and heir to Conrado B. Tortal and is the present Keeper of the Pekiti-Tirsia Kali System.
Pekiti-Tirsia’s movements are based on the traditional blade art of the Philippines. These movements involve broken, fluid and circular motions. It incorporates triangular movements, which combined with footwork allow one to move very quickly around and destroy their opponent.
Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is a compact and comprehensive fighting system. It encompasses all phases of self-protection:
- Understanding concepts rather than memorizing techniques.
- Repetitious training to gain muscle memory. “Learning to forget”
- Awareness to: surroundings and environment.
- Learning how to fight in different ranges: long to medium range, medium to close range and even into ground fighting.
- Fighting out of different angles and positions.
- Counter offensive striking as defense when your unarmed. Counter striking against an attacker armed with sticks, blades, or firearms.
- Counter offense as a means of defense against single or multiple opponents.
Economy of motion is particularly important and necessary in any combat situation. You never want to waste time or energy. When you’re training in a martial art and particularly a combat art, you must perform thousands of repetitions of that movement for it to become reflexive or a habit. The PTK system is designed so that once you learn how to fight with and against someone armed with a blade, you can also apply those same training methodologies against an attacker when you are unarmed. This training process requires you learn one set of fighting principles and movements and allows for time management. Using the same motion against an attacker whether they have a weapon or not is itself economy of motion.
While PTK is an extremely effective and deadly combat art, killing is not the only philosophy. PTK is a brotherhood, a sisterhood, PTK is a family with a personal value system:
“We believe in Life, in Good Health, and we believe in Success”