PTI Blog

  • BIG VS SMALL (BLADES) Does Size Really Matter?

    Here is an article I wrote for the July 1999 issue of Inside Kung Fu magazine on the subject of knives for self defense use. I was specifically writing about a pet peeve of mine in the 1990s. Some instructors back then were teaching techniques developed in the Philippines and designed for use with a large blade, but were teaching the same techniques to their students in the West, who are carrying much smaller knives. My problem with this was expecting the small knife to be able to do the work of a much larger blade. Like much else in life: SIZE DOES MATTER!
  • Five teaching methods for the martial arts instructor

    This essay will examine five methodologies of teaching techniques and principles for the martial arts instructor. The five methods we will discuss are:

    1.  AUDIO-VISUAL-KINESTHETIC
    2.  4 ACES
    3.  3 SUPERHEROS,
    4.  GO ASK SOCRATES
    5.  STRESS TRAINING
  • MY FINNISH KNIFE COLLECTION

    I’ve been traveling to Finland since the mid-1990s to teach Pekiti-Tirsia seminars hosted by my friend Sensei/Guro Kaj Westersund. Here are some of the knives he and his students have given me, along with a look at my 2009 trip to the shop of Finnish custom knife-maker Markku Vilppola; as well as a look at the Finnish military Ranger knife designed by J.P. Peltonen.
  • GURO DALAWA DAN TERRELL - MARTIAL ARTS BIO

    GURO DALAWA DAN TERRELL - MARTIAL ARTS BIO: Coach Danny Terrell began his training at 11 in boxing at the Iberia Boxing Club and 2 years of wrestl...
  • HOW TO MEASURE A KNIFE HANDLE TO FIT YOUR HAND

    The purpose of this essay is to help you find a knife handle that will fit your hand by filling in the information often missing on handle dimensions in the specifications on knife maker’s website. 
  • SMALL BLADES FOR BIG HANDS

    I often gets asked for recommendations of knives for self-defense use.This is usually easy to do, once I get the answers to these two questions:

    1. What is legal for you in your area?

    2. What will you be using the knife for when it is not put to self defense uses? (Which we can usually assume is the vast majority of the time.)

    The one parameter that would often make this choice difficult was when I was asked to recommend a fixed blade for self defense with a blade of less than 4 inches. The problem here is that most fixed blade knives with sub 4” blades have correspondingly small handles. When you have large hands, this can be a problem.

  • How to design a FMA based Self-Defense/Defensive Tactics Drill.

    The drills described in this article come from two sources. The first are the fighting principles found in the Pekiti-Tirsia system of Filipino martial arts. The second are the teaching methods I learned during my time as a defensive tactics instructor for my department.

    I began training in Pekiti-Tirsia in 1975 and began teaching defensive tactics for the NY State Court system in 1987. Both of these have contributed to my understanding of how to teach this material to a wide variety of people. I have tried to structure this article so it can be adapted to any martial arts or defensive tactics program.

  • QUESTIONS ON THE DOCE METHODOS

    During my research into the Tri-V formula, I was asked about the Doce Methodos (DM), as this material is often referred to as the older teaching system used for Pekiti-Tirsia when instructors are learning the Tri-V. I recall seeing two lists of the Doce Methodos from Grand Tuhon Gaje (GT), around 1976 or 77 during the days of his first organization, the Arnis America Organization. 
  • MY THOUGHTS ON THE TRI-V FORMULA

    Several people have asked for my thoughts on the PTK Tri-V Formula that Grand Tuhon Gaje has been teaching since the mid 90s. When I first saw the Tri-V material, I saw many things that were familiar and some things that were a bit surprising.

  • The “Thought Provoking Process.” Leo Stories Part 3: (AKA “Go ask Grandma.”)

    Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje used to tell us some interesting stories about his training under his grandfather, Conrado Tortal. Several of these were about Conrado’s teaching methods.

    One of these stories that I found the most interesting was about the “Thought Provoking Process.” This was a somewhat Socratic method of teaching, in that a student was asked a question about a subject, rather than being given the answer from the start. It began like this:

  • PEKITI-TIRSIA IN MARTIAL ARTS MAGS 1970s & 80s

    Here are some scans from old martial arts magazine articles. I believe all of these magazines are out of business, so there should be no copyright issues with my posting them here. In some pictures you will see a skinny kid with a mop of black hair on his head acting as a target for Grand Tuhon Gaje. Good times.
  • UNIFIED FIELD THEORY OF FMA FOOTWORK

    I’ve been playing around for many years trying to draw a diagram with all the footwork patterns of Pekiti-Tirsia on a single grid. This experiment started after seeing so many FMA teachers adding various triangles, diamonds and other patterns to the floors of their schools to help their students understand FMA footwork. I thought it was a great idea and wondered if it might be a fun mental exercise to try and have as many patterns as possible within a single framework. Call it my Unified Field Theory of FMA/PT footwork.