PTI Blog

  • 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:

  • 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.
  • ALPHABITO, NUMERADO, OFFENSA-DEFENSA IN THE PEKITI-TIRSIA SYSTEM (Leo stories part 2)

    This video contains samples from the Alphabito, Numerado and Offensa-Defensa sets; one of the last techniques I learned in the Pekiti-Tirsia syst...
  • 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.
  • 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 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...