PTI Blog

  • 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

    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.
  • CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT GRIP

    Back in the 1970s, when I first started learning Pekiti-Tirsia knife work, Tuhon Gaje had us do many exercises to strengthen our grip. Things like doing push ups while holding our rattan sticks with the butt end braced on the floor, as well as striking and thrusting our sticks full power into a stack of car tires.
  • 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 )
  • HOW TO AVOID BECOMING A “KNIFE CULT”

    Knife work is inherently "dark" and it is all too easy for your students to go over to "The Dark Side" while training in it. While I want my students to take their training seriously (and the consequences of their actions VERY seriously), I don't want them to take themselves or even me too seriously. Here is the danger I am trying to avoid. What should be a defensive tactics class that simply focuses on one practical defensive tool, can easily be turned into "The Cult of the Knife.”
  • 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 m...
  • 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 scienti...
  • PEKITI-TIRSIA INTERNATIONAL KNIFE OUTLINE

    PEKITI-TIRSIA INTERNATIONAL KNIFE OUTLINEBy Tuhon Bill McGrath (originally published in the 1998 PTI newsletter) The following structure closely f...
  • WHY RATTAN?

    Why use Rattan? Most blade based martial arts have included wooden swords as part of their training.The samurai had oak training swords called “bok...
  • ISSUES REGARDING SELF-DEFENSE & THE LAW

    The following is adapted from the lecture I often gave as part of my job as a firearms instructor for the New York State Court system. I am not a l...
  • PTI ADVANCED HAND VS KNIFE

    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...