Three longtime Pekiti-Tirsia instructors have been promoted to the rank of Tuhon by Tuhon Mike Popolizio.

Read their martial arts biographies below:


Roy Bocina ... Tuhon

 I was born and raised in New York. From 1988 to 1991, I served In the United States Army and after commission and Infantry, Airborne and Ranger training I was assigned to the 82nd Airborne 1/1504 PIR. Led a 38 man Airborne Infantry Platoon during Operation Desert Shield/Deseret Storm in Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.

I worked for N.Y. State from 1992 to 1996, as an investigator, and have conducted investigations resulting in arrests, and prosecutions in cooperation with the Attorney General’s office, for the Department of Motor Vehicles, Excise Tax, and State Workers Compensation.

In 1996 entered the NYC Police Department. I have worked street patrol, during assignments throughout N.Y.C. I was promoted to Sergeant, assigned to Brooklyn North Narcotics, and in 2013 retired from the NYPD Emergency Service Unit.

I began my martial arts training in jiu Jitisu, and after years of training, attained a 3rd. degree Black Belt.  Although Jiu Jitisu proved to be a great empty hand system, it did not include effective defense against weapons, and/or multiple attackers. I looked to Scientific Fighting Congress (Knife/Stick), Inosanto Academy, and then had the good fortune to meet Tuhon Mike Popolizio. I started training in Pekiti Tirsia and found that it covered everything I was looking for. Pekiti Tirsia had tactical applications for empty hand, weapons, and multiple attacker training.

During training I would ask the what if’s. What if I came at you for real empty handed, what if I attacked you with a weapon, Mike’s answer would always be, don’t ask me, just come on, full contact, full resistance, let’s go. That’s how I know it works. Tuhon Mike has my admiration and thanks for the intense training, and his Applied Practical Application Controls, APAC, to any combative scenario.


Thomas Fressle ... Tuhon

I have been training in the Martial Arts for over 37 years, beginning in 1982. 

My training has taken me to Japan, Europe, and the Continental United States.

In 1982 I began training in Kempo Karate and attained Black Belt rank in 1987, 

Instructed American Olympic Karate thru 1989. 

Training continued in Goshin Budo Jujutsu under Shihan Robert Hansen.

Head Instructor at Silent Flute Self-Defense thru 1991. Training continued with Grandmaster Shoto Tanemura.

Instructor for Department of Homeland Security.

Have taught self defense courses for the Nassau County PD, Pasadena Academy of Self Defense, Arcadia Police Department (Arcadia, CA),the Los Angeles County 

Sheriff’s Department, and Instructor for Department of Homeland Security. 

Current Ranks and Certification include;

Tuhon Pekiti Tirsia International,

APAC  Nidan (2nd degree Black Belt) Hakko Denshin Ryu Jujutsu Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) Yoshitsune Jujutsu

Level One Certification in Koho Igaku Shiatsu

Purple Belt in Brazilian Jujutsu Niden Liscense (2nd degree instructor level) Asayama Ichiden Jujutsu 

Niden Liscense (2nd degree instructor level) Hanbojutsu

Sandan (3rd degree Black Belt) Goshin Budo Jujutsu

Instructors Liscense in Goshin Budo Jujutsu

Shodan (1st degree Black Belt) Kenpo Karate

In 1993 I started training in Pekiti Tirsia with Tuhon Bill McGrath.       

In 2005  I opened a Martial Arts School in Nassau County, N.Y, Head Instructor, REAL Self-Defense, Syosset, NY (thru present).

I presently teach, and continue training in Pekiti Tirsia with Tuhon Mike Popolizio, APAC System.


Joseph Nasta ... Tuhon

I grew up on Long Island, NY and I am a Correction Officer for the Suffolk County Sheriff at the Maximum Security Facility in Riverhead, NY. I began martial arts training in 1980 in Shorin-Ryu Karate under 5Th dan Al Irizary and 2nd dan Steven Bevel. Over the four years I was there, Sensei Al instilled in me a training attitude of inner strength and discipline that I still draw on today.

I began training Senso Aiki Jutsu under Sensei Frank Perso. I trained for the next 12 years where I attained the rank of 2nd degree black belt. At about the ten year mark in my training I began a two year blitz of training, going to any and all schools in the area and all seminars to see what else was out there. Traveling as far as Rivervale NJ for Soke Michael Depasquale Jr’s third Sunday of the month JuJutsu classes. At this point it became clear to my instructor that I was looking for more than he had to offer so he introduced me to Tuhon Mike Popolizio.

I began training in Pekiti-Tirsia in June 2000 under then Mataas Na Guru Mike Popolizio and was hooked immediately. After three weeks I decided to dedicate all my available time to training in Pekiti-Tirsia. Mike was straight to the point with a no nonsense approach to training. He gave all the tools necessary , and made the entire system available for you to earn. He is a stickler for detail and only values technique that can be done in real time fighting. He opened my eyes to the idea of attack, counter, re-counter, re-re-counter, eliminating the pit falls of being a one trick pony. He has also instilled in me a discipline for study and testing that given the size of this system I could not have completed without.

I have tremendous respect and admiration for Tuhon Mike Popolizio and can only hope I can do him the honor of properly maintaining and passing on the Pekiti Tirsia system to my students as he has to me.