Saturday, February 12, 2005

Pekiti-Tirsia Kali and Military CQC.

This is an article that appears on my web site and is available from Pekiti-Tirsia Kali has been adopted by the Philippine Force Recon Marines, The Philippine national Police, and just recently has been adopted as the official CQC system of the entire Philippine Military. Tuhon Gaje has also conducted joint military training in Pekiti-Tirsia with US. and Philippine Marines.
According to Tuhon when I trained with him a few weeks ago, he has also been approached by US. military officials about training troops stationed in Korea & Okinawa. (I will edit if I got the location wrong)


Warriors train in the skills of
This material was printed from on 01/29/2004 09:56:51 PM

Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler
Story Identification Number: 2003318185415
Story by Lance Cpl. Shawn J. Vincent

TERNATE, Philippines -- "Thrust! Slash! Ready, hit!" The warriors reply with a violent grunt to commands barked out by intense instructors.

Members of the Marine Air Ground Task Force-38 at the Philippine Interoperability Exchange Exercise here have recently absorbed new fighting techniques of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali, which involves the use of knives, blades, swords, daggers, and anything which can be used in close-combat fighting.

Because a skilled knife-fighter does not rely on brute muscle strength, but on speed, timing and coordination, Pekiti-Tirsia Kali offers convenient and logical methods against strong opponents, whether knife or empty hands are the enemy.

"This fighting is strategic and tactical because we use a lot of angular movements to get out of the line of attack," said Grand Master Leo T. Gaje Jr., the sole surviving heir to the fighting art.

In the last big wars in Europe, battles were longer and many times decided by close-quarter combat tactics rather than modern day weaponry, which allows impact at long distances to be uncomplicated. In recent times, the modern armed forces are confronted with different situations and have to meet different requirements.

"We are in a situation where the terrorist is training more and more every day. We must show them other forms of attack. It is a necessity for the Marines to enhance their training in edged weapon fighting," Gaje said.

The opponent in modern warfare often uses Guerilla tactics, and can only be defeated by grasping an understanding of the warfare and by application of suitable methods.

"In guerilla tactics, the most common weapon used is the edged weapon. Not many people have training in that art," Gaje said.

"This is all offensive fighting. We do not defend, just attack and counterattack. The enemy has no mercy, neither should we," said the Grand Tuhon, which means "Grand Master."

Outside the curriculum of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, participants have found the training realistic, practical and fun.

"We can incorporate some of the knife training into (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program), some of which is already there," said Sgt. Troy Gans, rifleman, 2nd Platoon, I Company.

Grand Tuhon Gaje is certified and acknowledged by the U.S. Criminal Justice System Training Association and the U.S. Police Defensive Tactics Training Association in his expertise.

"Approximately 80 percent of all U.S. law enforcement agencies have incorporated Pekiti-Tersia Kali into their systems," said Master Instructor Rommel Tortal, Gaje's nephew.

"It is growing more and more popular in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and in several other parts of the world," Tortal said.

Highly trained instructors, many Pekiti-Tirsia Kali masters have been inducted in the Hall of Fame for their hard work and dedication to the martial arts.

"I have trained since I was six years old. Now I am 64, but I'm still young," Gaje said.

With 10 instructors teaching the U.S. Marines during the PIX exercise, practice fighting between instructors was a sight to see.

"When I watched the instructors teaching us, all I could do was look at them and think, `Wow, these guys are training with sharp knives in their hands, going at it with full force,'" said Lance Cpl. David Philipps, rifleman, 1st Platoon, I Company.

Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is a compact and comprehensive fighting system, which encompasses all phases of self-protection: awareness in close and medium quarters, ground fighting, fighting in different angles, counter offense, and fighting against multiple enemies.

On the learning side, students have grasped understanding of knife fighting quickly, along with developing an interest to continue the training.

"I loved the knife training because there is so much you can do with it, so fast," Philipps said.

"The training showed me the enemy's perspective and how he would react. I learned how to counter it, and learned that with the counter attack versus a defensive stance, I win in all situations," he explained.