PTI Blog

  • 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.

  • 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:

  • PTI ADVANCED HAND VS KNIFE: Part 2

    The way I teach Pekiti-Tirsia advanced hand vs knife has evolved over the years.

    When I first learned the system from Grand Tuhon Gaje, hand vs knife was divided into two stages:

  • The Purpose of Timing Drills

    A few techniques from the Sagang Labo drill of Pekiti-Tirsia. There is much more to this drill than what you commonly see at seminars. Sagang-Labo translates to “Block” and “Hack or Slash” in the Hiligaynon version of Visayan from the island of Negros.
  • MODERN TRAINING TIME: HOW FAST VS HOW MUCH (Leo stories part 1)

    Grand Tuhon Gaje would often tell the story of how he began Pekiti-Tirsia training at the age of six, under his maternal grandfather Conrado Tortal. Conrado began young Leo’s training with three long years of footwork. Conrado started Leo on a rickety old table in the home, moving in forward and reverse triangles, while his grandfather tapped his leg with a stick at the apex of the movement to get him to move faster. After a few weeks of this Conrado moved his grandson to training on the halves of three coconut shells, while stepping with only one foot at a time on each shell.
  • HOW TO FIND YOUR PERSONAL FIGHTING STYLE

    While a fighter needs to know just a few good techniques that work for him and his own fighting style, a teacher needs to know many more techniques, since he can’t predict what type of fighter will come train with him.

    Here are a few ways to help your students refine their personal fighting style and which techniques, tactics and principles best fit that style.

  • HOW TO HIT HARD

    ( In this article I will discuss how to train using equipment such as the tire stack, heavy bag and focus mitts and which weapons are best trained on each training tool )
  • SURVIVAL DRILLS – BEYOND SPARRING

    Basic symmetrical sparring, with two evenly matched opponents, each using the same evenly matched weapon, is a great way to introduce students to many of the skills they need for combat. They can even stay in this symmetrical mode their whole martial arts careers, if the only place they will ever fight in are tournaments.

    Things are different in a real fight though.

  • LEARNING THROUGH COMPARISONS VS. RULES (and how to combine them)

        I read an interesting article several years ago on an experiment computer scientists did to test an artificial intelligence program. The scient...
  • PTI ADVANCED HAND VS KNIFE: Part 1

    Pekiti-Tirsia Empty Hand vs Knife technique is based on the following principles: Train as if your attacker has been trained in knife work: The Ph...
  • CONTROLLED HUMAN AGGRESSION FOR THE MARTIAL ARTIST PART 2

    CONTROLLED HUMAN AGGRESSION FDR THE MARTIAL ARTIST PART 2by Tuhon Bill McGrath How does an understanding of Controlled Human Aggression aid the mod...
  • CONTROLLED HUMAN AGGRESSION FOR THE MARTIAL ARTIST PART 1

    CONTROLLED HUMAN AGGRESSION FOR THE MARTIAL ARTIST Part 1by Tuhon Bill McGrathCopyright 1999 William R. McGrath Anthropologists tell us that mankin...