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I’ve never studied any martial art. Will I be able to study Pekiti Tirsia?

You don’t need to have prior experience studying another martial art. What we do require is the willingness to learn and seriously train, and the good moral foundation to guide the skills that will be learned.

We don’t use uniforms in Pekiti Tirsia. We don't even have belts or any indicator of rank or seniority. We train in regular exercise clothing such as t-shirts, shorts, trainers, etc. We do have a club shirt that most of our members use in class, which is as close as we have to a “uniform”.

What do I need to bring for my first day of training?

Nothing much, just bring enough drinking water for strenuous training. We can provide the training weapons for beginners.

Do you have knife fighting classes, or sessions specifically for training with knives?

We do knife training as part of regular classes. Stick practice - and the body movement and the understanding of angles of attack that it teaches the student - is the basis of all weapon and even non-weapon training in Pekiti Tirsia. So in a sense we are always doing knife training. When we do conduct knife-specific training, it is limited to only intermediate and advanced students.

What’s the point of training to use a weapon? I don’t have a stick with me all the time.

Having a weapon - matched with the skills to utilize it to the fullest - always gives the defender a crucial advantage over an empty-handed attacker. Against an armed attack, having a weapon will improve the odds for the otherwise empty-handed defender.

In Pekiti Tirsia, the stick represents a long bladed weapon like a bolo or machete. The stick can easily be replaced by anything at hand, regardless of its length or shape. So you don't just train to just use a stick or a knife; you train to use anything at hand as an improvised weapon.

We are almost always surrounded by potential weapons or you already have one on you. Ashtrays, cellphones, pens, books and just about anything you can grab and use can be a weapon. Pekiti Tirsia weapons training is directly applicable to anything you can pick up and use as a potential weapon. The mentality of seeing everything as having the characteristics of a potential weapon, and yet having skills to defend yourself empty-handed if needed, is a major advantage in a combative situation.

Unlike other martial arts systems where empty-handed skills are taught before weapons, the Filipino Martial Arts trains with weapons first and uses movement, speed, reflexes, instincts and other attributes to lead to empty-handed skills.

We believe that the most important component in a combative situation is the individual and his or her determination to survive. This is why we often say that the Pekiti Tirsia student is training to BE a weapon, rather than be completely dependent on having one at hand.

So Pekiti Tirsia is not only about weapons?

Yes. The system has its own empty hand subsystem, based on the same body movement developed with weapons training.

Do you accept requests for classes focusing on knife training only?


Why should I train to use knives? I have no intention of carrying one anyway.

A vast majority of armed robberies and assaults involve the use of an edged weapon. Knife training is meant to give the student a realistic, instinctive and thorough understanding of how a knife is used.

The chance of surviving empty-handed against a knife attack is already very slim; knowledge and experience with how the weapon is used is essential if one even hopes to survive such an attack. You cannot defend against a weapon or type of attack if you haven't experienced using it yourself. The Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) are well known for teaching realistic and practical weapon skills and Pekiti Tirsia’s particular emphasis is on edged weapons.

I’ve never heard of Filipino Martial Arts. Why is that?

Arnis, Escrima and Kali aka Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) have always had an excellent reputation for being realistic and practical, making them a staple of police and military training here and abroad. Compared with most other martial arts, FMA in general remains very closely linked to realistic combat.

Ironically, the effectiveness of FMA has been largely ignored or unappreciated by Filipinos over the years in favor of foreign martial arts. Nowadays foreigners are more aware and appreciative of FMA than most Filipinos. The fact that FMA are well rounded fighting systems – beyond being simply about stick fighting - is even less understood by Filipinos.

However, the popularity of FMA is picking up, due to its use in numerous movies. Elements of FMA have been used in films for years, from Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon to the Bourne series. Filipino Martial Arts was also used in "Repo Men", “Blade II”, “Book of Eli”, “300” (as the fighting style of the Spartans), "Ultraviolet", “Daredevil”, “Chronicles of Riddick", “Equilibrium” and ”Matrix: Reloaded”.

Despite FMA's increasing use in movies, it is often mistaken for other martial arts styles by the the general public. A good example is the the common misconception that KravMaga was used in the fight scenes of the Bourne movies. Actually, FMA was used as the fighting system used by the Jason Bourne character in all three of the movies. Matt Damon describes his FMA training in the DVD special features of one of the movies. Jeff Imada, a well known FMA teacher and student of Dan Inosanto, was the fight choreographer of the Bourne series.

What is the training purpose of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali?

Kali aims at the healthy development of the individual. We train self-defence in order to be able to protect our freedom, our physical health and our integrity. The training of self-defence also faces us with questions like for example: Who am I? How do I define myself and what is important for me? In a self-defense situation you will be forced to decide within seconds. What will be your answer?

What does Pekiti-Tirsia Kali offer?

Pekiti-Tirsia Kali offers a complete, compact and reality-tested system for real life self-defence. Practicing Kali improves physical fitness and mental awareness as well as it builds self-confidence and power of decision. Kali teaches reliable empty hand methods (application and counters to boxing, combat wrestling and kicking type of attacks) as well as sophisticated weapon skills (application and counters to stick-, sword-, knife attacks or any kind of improvised weapon). Thus it removes fear and insecurity and replaces it with skill and knowledge.

In each technique the possibility of counter is pre-calculated, and the re-counter is prepared from the beginning. Besides excellent fighting skills the training of the counter and re-counter-flow also known as sensitivity-drills or energy exercise develop an attentive-meditative mind-set of relaxed situational awareness. When the practitioner is able to keep this mind-set even when in an exchange of combat techniques, then he or she will easily keep this relaxed and focused mental state - the foundation for good judgment - whenever it is needed in normal life.

What is the difference between Pekiti-Tirsia Kali and other Martial Arts?

What distinguishes Pekiti-Tirsia Kali from most other martial arts is that the Filipino Martial Art Kali trains the reality of weapons from the beginning up to the most advanced techniques.

One of the unique features of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is that the applied fighting methods are based on only one set of movement and fighting principles, which prove to be effective, no matter what type of weaponry is involved. It's a simple truth: A method sufficient to parry a knife attack is also sufficient to parry the same attack without knife.

Another feature of Kali is that most of the motions are offence and counter-offence at the same time. There are no blocks in Pekiti-Tirsia Kali, only diffusive counter-offence as defence. Nevertheless, Kali allows adapting the intensity of defence to certain situations, from secure control movements in less critical situations up to quick terminal actions as might be necessary in a multiple opponent full combat scenario.

Is training Kali physically exhausting?

If you are not in exceptionally good shape, you definitely will feel your muscles after a Kali-workout. However the Kali-Training should not exhaust but build up new energy. In our courses everybody can decide for himself, how far he wants to go into the exercises. After some time of Kali-Training your Physical fitness will improve.

Which prerequisites do I need?

Most men or women can benefit from practicing Kali. For fitness and for self-defence Kali offers a practical training system, suitable for every man and every woman with average health, strength and mobility. As a self-protection system with Blade Awareness Kali is not based on pure muscle power, but on intelligent control and avoiding direct collision of force. Because Kali is a blade oriented Martial Art, the development of body-coordination, timing, speed, power of decision and intelligent use of force is emphasized.

I have trained martial arts before and when I experienced a serious situation I was petrified by fear. Can Kali training help with this?

Persons inexperienced in extreme situations are usually taken by surprise from the body’s natural alarm reaction to possibly life threatening situations. The Adrenalin rush they experience in these situations has physical consequences. Everybody experiences this little different, but typically everybody when taken by the Adrenalin rush loses at least partly the ability to fine-tuned movements. Sometimes the result of that is the inability to move ('being terrified by fear').This phenomenon is taken into account by the Pekiti-Tirsia training by focusing on natural power moves or in other words stress proven movements that are realized by open hand strikes (power slaps) developed from stick strikes. With this technique the beginner quickly develops tremendous knock down power and builds on this his confidence. Because of the natural body mechanics these moves have the tendency to become more powerful when applied under pressure. So when it is really needed, the practitioner can rely on his training and the tremendous knock down power. This method has repeatedly proven to be successful for our practitioners.

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