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Pekiti Tersia Kali in CT


Pekiti Tersia Kali

Pekiti Tersia Kali is the branded name of the Kali system taught by Tuhon Leo T. Gaje Jr. With countless hours of private study and extensive stays in the filipines with Grand Tuhon, Guro Ron Kosakowski is a wealth of information on this traditional Kali system. Infused into the lessons are the strategy and unique training methodology made famous by Grand Tuhon. To learn more please read through the collection of writings.

Pekiti Tirsia Kali


As written by Grand Tuhon Leo t. Gaje, Jr.

Pekiti-Tirsia as a family system under my Grandfather’s technical management had brought a in-depth structure of discipline in the true indigenous traditional fighting system known to the Philippines. It was a secret system only dedicated to the Tortal family that originated from Tigbawan in the Island of Panay. Due to the transmigration movement of the people of Panay, the head of the family Segundo Tortal, the father of my Grandfather the late Supreme Grandmaster Conrado B. Tortal with his brothers Balbino, Teodorico and Francisco had settled in the town of Talisay, Negros Occidental, Philippines. It was those times that the domination of the rich families managed to occupy vast track of lands at the point of a finger. Negros agricultural flat lands and few valleys and mountains were and still are ideal for Sugar cane Plantation. The Tortal family had one common principle and that the unity of family must be strongly maintained and that since they were not the member of the rich icon of Negros, their mode of living was to occupy a family land of about 24 hectares (1 hectare is equal to 2.47 acres) in Conception; Talisay as a settlement for the family to expand in little farming and gardening to support the growing family. It was some dark days where the rich can point his finger and tell every one living in the territory close to his land, which as far as my eyes can see that is my land and all that lives within the site of my finger must vacate the land. Those who lived in these areas of about twenty families were told to vacate the area but not the Tortal family. My Grandfather together with his brothers with the Ginuntings stood on the corners of the land and told the Administrator to get out or else we will chop all of you to pieces. With a truck load of men, the Administrator left and reported to the rich Haciendero what it took place. For fear the Haciendero offered my Grandfather to be the Administrator in an area of hundred hectares and a contractor for roads and bridges going to all the haciendas. The only family left in that area is the Tortal family.

Pekiti-Tirsia is a unique system practicing most of the ancient practices in which kali became a traditional fighting art with philosophical equivalents in the application of its technology with blades applied in close quarter combat.

Pekiti-Tirsia means, “to close in so close with the purpose to quarter the enemy in an area he cannot get out with multiple combinations of all offensive attacks leaving no quarter for the enemy to get out and survive.” It is an artistic method of in-fighting technology that is considered the final chapter of the encounter.

Pekiti-Tirsia believes in the kali principles of survival indicated by the methodology applicable with the edged weapon and the intrinsic applications of knives as the most treacherous weapon used to surprise the enemy. Pekiti-Tirsia adheres to the old adage “that how effective it was, is how effective it is today.” Meaning the true elements of combat is embedded in every movement of the blades and every thrust, an impact of force meant a lot to be remembered.

The Pekiti-Tirsia school of Advanced Studies evolves in the principles of Geometrics which dominate the areas of control within the prescribed perimeters of offense and counter offense removing defense as the first line of approach. No avenues of entries allowing the enemies weapons to enter in a danger zones.

All for the learning process Pekiti-Tirsia remains educational and combative, It is an institution of the true Filipino fighting system and will stay pure and indigenous.

Pekiti-Tirsia School of Thoughts: The basic foundation of the system are the principles of footwork and body mechanics together for body coordination and synchronization with the weapon. Of course this applies for the empty hand offensive strategy in terms of striking and thrusting techniques as well. From the principles of Sinugdan, Abakada or basic alphabets of 12 attacks to the Apat na Panalgan or four walling, the Payong mechanics or umbrella, the thrust and parry, Buno Paiwas, the break in and the break out, Pagua Pasulod and Pasulod Pagua mechanics, the five attacks or Limang Sugod, the seven attacks or Pitong Sugod , the clock system or Orasan. These are the inner components of Doce Methods and other optional inserts as the Panastas, Pekiti-Pekiti. For secondary academics, the Contradas, Recontras, REcontradas,  ascending to Seguidas and the contra Tirsia Dubla Doz…other optional techniques are taught as an inserts but still within the Academe of the training methods of Pekiti-Tirsia.

But as the advancement to higher studies continues then the systems are accelerated into higher divisions,  referred to as the tri-V formula – Tatlong Sulundan, the Capsula methodica, cupa sang mga sulundan, the lema-lema or the five elements of energy, then the pekadum trigo which is the highest methodology.

Mastery in Pekiti-Tirsia is not the number of years but by the number of hours spent Training! Mastery is in the context of complete understanding and knowing the principles of geometrical equations and the blending actions to the use of physics for leveraging and combative take downs. To many people make claim to the amount of years without understanding these principles!

Pekiti-Tirsia higher advanced studies is the concentration of the metaphysical development where power from within and power from without is brought developed into electro-magnetic power generated from the body energy and explodes at the time of contact. The special power to the power of metaphysical is the hidden secret of Pekiti-Tirsia kali system.

Pekiti-Tirsia as taught at the Practical Self Defense Training Center is from Grand Tuhon Leo t. Gaje, Jr., the only heir in authority within the Tortal family. Any claimant of the Tortal’s system is bogus and without family blessings and will never work in reality. they are for commercial purposes selling certificates of instructorship even without having a formal training, affiliating organizations and schools outside the Filipino system for a fee with the promise to bring the mountain of techniques for one to master in a short period of time.

Pekiti-Tirsia is Para-military and more combative in its perspectives. It is dedicated to the reality of situations; it is system within the system of combat in all forms from weaponry to non-weaponry. The added  Dumog in combination with Pangkamut is one of the deadly materials taught under the Pekiti-Tirsia advanced studies.

Many facets of distinction that separates Pekiti-Tirsia Kali from other Filipino martial arts:

  1. Pekiti-Tirsia is a system of the ancient arts of the modern times that holds on to its roots, its ancient living past. The principles of training and its working mechanics is 100% indigenous and traditional.
  2. The training philosophy is of the highest forms of accepted principles for intelligent people who understand how real the Filipino culture is and how the past is revered with high respect.
  3. It is a family system where the system is pure and the teaching mechanics were designed as a fast learning curriculum applicable in forms of fighting, from edged weapon to impact weapons as well as firearms.
  4. Pekiti-Tirsia is a superior system since the methods are non-regimented, unorthodox, unconventional, non-telegraphic and unpredictable.
  5. Pekiti-Tirsia is worldwide with attachments to the marines, police and other military and law enforcement organizationsBlades used in 

The blades Pekiti Tirsia Kali come in many forms and style. They range from Kampilan, Ginunting, Talibong, Parang, Dahong Palay, Sibat, Baslay, Pana, Tugalpo, Pamana, as well as the Sumpit; were all design specifically for combat.Dumog,” Filipino to English Translation: Dumog is commonly thought of as the grappling aspects of the Kali warrior. To explain that better, it is the brutal entry to close in into the enemy by destroying all the segments of the arms, the face area, the throat, the carotids, the collar bones and the shoulders. The use of blade of the hand is used to attack the sensitive point to paralyze or put one inactive in split of seconds. In ancient times, poisons were used on the finger-tips…when used in the eyes or lips, the enemy would die within seconds.

Dumog represents power to destroy through breaking specially the arms and down to the legs. There two parts in the body that are targets…the first part is the upper section from the waistline and the lower section of the body that includes the hips line, the major arteries of the legs, and the complete breaking of the ankle, the toes, and the legs with the knees, all of which are attacked to dislocate and not to look for submission.

The open hand of Pekiti-Tirsia is deadlier than fist with far more opportunities than a fist for destruction. It is governed by the principles of energy delivered to the body in full force leaving no chance to recover and leaving no possibility to recounter. Pekiti-Tirsia’s technical progression is a situational concept. For every technique practiced, a recounter is of course well understood through resistance which by then, a non-counterability is perfected.

Dumog, the way it has been throughout history is done with and without weapons. As mentioned before, indigenous poisons and/or peppers are usually used on the fingertips and sometimes on hidden bladed weapons to ensure a quick ending. Dumog was never meant for sport fighting, though there are “sporting” like games to play in the art of Dumog to keep the warriors sharp and always ready to perform. When playing, the eyes, lips, hair grabbing and much of the other “dirty stuff is left out.

In self defense we have to realize, its not cheating if you win. Winning in self defense is you and/or your family members are living and hopefully harm free.

Pekiti Tirsia Kali History

Written By: Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje, Jr.

Edited and Provided By: Ron Kosakowski

Kali is the true Filipino culture and discipline expressed in the principles of respect, concern and care represented by the carrying of the Kalis as the status symbol of every Kayumanggi living in the Island. “Kayumanggi,” is the original name of the now called Filipino nationality, long before they were referred to as Filipinos.” Kali was originally a Hindu influence brought to the Islands over 800 years before the Majapahit Empire that ended back around 1500 AD. The influence of Kali as a culture was deeply rooted among the inhabitants of the 7,100 Islands. It was a culture because it expresses the Philosophy of life with the elements of belief that only life no death, success no failure and good health no sickness. Its not that every human being doesn’t feel this way, it is a strong mentality and belief in this philosophy what keeps the Philippine warrior alive and very healthy. That is because Kali, as a belief, is also a metaphysical energy. If and when you will further your study with Pekiti Tirsia you will then understand the effect of Kali in the area of metaphysics.

Kali, the word can be authenticated in the use of the Filipino language. A Filipino alphabet includes the word Ka as the first letter words of Tagalog is expressed in A-BA-KA-DA-E-GA-LA-MA-NA-SA-TA-U-WA-YA. There is no C in Filipino replacing the letter K with significantly meaningful to the culture of the true discipline, the Kali culture. The word Ka is a prefix meaning Sir, Your Highness, Your Majesty, Your Excellency. Then the word “KALI” is also a prefix to words that describe as adjectives like KALIPAY MEANS HAPPINESS, KALIBUTAN THE WORLD, KALISUD MEANS SADNESS and KALIRUNGAN MEANS KNOWLEDGE AND MORE. Not meaning that KALI, the martial art, is the prefix to these words…this just shows that KALI as a word, is in the language and a part of the culture. And in Negros Occidental in the mountainous town of Salvador Benidicto, the yearly celebration of Kalikalihan is held every February, every year and this has been done for the past 15 years.

A Kali landmark is found in the Island of Panay called KALIBO, capital city of Aklan province and KALINGA-APAYAO, the province in the north of Luzon representing the indigenous artifacts and tribes that till today still practices Kali under the system called Peka-Peka and in the Island close to Mindoro Island to Manila where the inhabitants still practice the system called ALIMASAG KALI.

Kali as a fighting system was kept secret when the Governor Disilio of Manila back in 1776 threatened the Filipino people, “all citizens should not mentioned the word Kali, and carrying of the Kalis was forbidden or else they will be arrested and brought to prison.” So the inhabitants kept it and under the pretext of a cane with pointed blade inside the cane. The Filipinos encountered the Spanish soldiers with these weapons which in turn, a lot of Spanish soldiers died. That was a major factor that ignited the Filipino/Spanish revolution in the Philippines which lasted till 1889. This is when Spainlost the revolution and then saved the face of King Philip and Queen Isabella by selling the Filipinos to the Americans in the Treaty of Paris of 1889.

Kali was and still is to this day, considered to be a sacred art by the Filipino people. Every drop of blood that falls to the ground from the Kali warrior was dedicated to the Gods with the utmost promise to revenge and to avenge the death of the Kali warrior. It is well known today that the Kali warriors didn’t stop fighting even when a bullet was piercing through their bodies. This is the real proof of the Kali warriors, deep in the provinces of the Philippines, who were true to their beliefs in their philosophy, continued to kill the Spanish soldiers until they won. That is because of that strong belief in life and success made them invincible warriors. Kali was so sacred that due to the many different metaphysical practices. The power to disappear in front of the enemy. The power to hack with the Kalis and cut a body in half. This did not exclude the cutting right into a Spanish helmet as well as cutting into the Spanish Toledo blades in half. If the Filipino warrior was injured there was and still is, the use of special oil to stop the bleeding that would occur during the close quarter encounters. It is well known by many Filipinos about the use of the metaphysical power by killing the enemy at a distance.

Kali warriors of today carry the spirit of the forefathers who watch the activities of every person that teaches or professes the Kali as their own fighting system. It is strongly believed they watch with care and concern that nobody abuses or commercializes the system with the intention of forgetting the Philippines and by remembering the duty to help the children, the poor families and the indigents whose life is miserable because of extreme poverty. Few have met their destiny in the USA as well as in the Philippines because of the wrongful use of Kali. The few had their destiny died in a premature death because they rejected the responsibilities and ignored the power of Kali. Not to mention those people without sense of gratitude and/or the recognition to the old men who taught the true warriors of the Philippines.

As you can see, Kali is a very powerful martial art compared to many of the other Asian martial arts from the physical and to the metaphysical elements of combat. In modern times, this is proven fact because, for the past six years, the Force Recon Marines training under the Pekiti-Tirsia Kali System in the Philippines, there has been no casualties against the many encounters in Mindanao Islamic rebel wars. It is important to understand that once the purity of the practices are followed religiously then there are the feelings of security and confidence within the atmosphere of training and in the execution of Kali techniques. But if Kali is practiced with the mixture of the word Arnis and Eskrima, which are Spanish words, then the wisdom of the martial art will never find the ancient Filipino purity in a person’s heart.

Kali, as well as Kun Tao has a long history as successful fighting methods and as a lifestyle  in the Philippines. It was the Kali warriors that killed Ferdinand Magellan; as a matter of fact, the research done by the oldest University in the Philippines, UST-University of SantoThomas recently found evidence that the name of the Datu that killed Ferdinand Magellan is Kalikulapu. So it is evident that the KALI word was significant long before the changes that were made back in 1521. These latest findings by the Arts and Museum of the Philippines, the Laguna copperplate  in the beach shore of Lagunade Bay close to Manila, explains the engraved writings in Babayin, the original Filipino language.

Now, after hearing how Kali is a very common word in the Filipino language and present in the true Filipino culture, you can see how Kali is also a Filipino sense of courage within  the culture. It is well known that the Filipinos cannot be united religiously, politically or socially. But if there is war to fight, all Filipinos can be easily united together in force to fight against any nation of the world if need be.

MORE HISTORY, as told by Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje: 

The amazing story of Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje’s Grandfather and what the Japanese put him through during WW2 is amazing. You will see by this is his heroic story he was a true Pekiti Tirsia warrior!

Pekiti-Tirsia system is one of the systems that had its personal experiences of encounter during the heyday of development when my grandfather was the first chief of police of the town of Victorias, a town of 50 kilometers away from the city of Bacolod, Negros occidental. It was those days that the sugar mills were constructed in a town where people of different environment start to find works in the sugar mill. Working in the sugar mill during those times is a privilege and for one to be accepted, he must possess not only to work but must the guts to protect your job. People from different towns come to Victorias to grab the work from the residence depriving the Victorias resident to get the job. So every now and then there are riots and people fought with bolos and knives. My grandfather’s job was to settle the warring factions and made them understand that there is a law to follow and to be civilized and obey the laws. It was a rough mission for my grandfather but with his police men, he drove the invading Sacadas back to their town’s ands barrios with the use of horse whips and Kaboratas. He also whipped his policemen if he caught them sleeping on the job. He was a notorious police chief giving no quarters for the bad elements to stay in the town of Victorias. 

The year was 1936 to 1939 when the Japanese invasion of the country expanded to the island of Negros and in each town, there is an organization by the civilians called “Guardia Civil.” It was an intelligence network of local resident to report the activities of the Japanese. My grandfather was the head of the civil guard in the Sitio of Isio, the far southern portion of Negros Island. And during this time he was responsible in building a strong civil guard against the Japanese patrol and on many occasions, the encounter was more of a secret for other people not to know since the Japanese had their own Kempitai – meaning an appointed civilian acting as the spy of the Japanese against the Filipino guerillas. In one of the accounts, the brother of my grandfather Balbino Tortal was caught by the Japanese including three friends. Their hands were tied and told to walk many kilometers without food and at the end of the journey, the Japanese wanted to execute each one of them, the brother Balbino was able to parry his body from the incoming bayonet thrust and got his arms caught where the ropes are tightening his wrist and that time the timing was he able to insert the bayonet into the rope and cut the rope , he took the bayonet and fought the Japanese bayonet to bayonet and killed three Japanese but he had not eaten anything he felt so weak and the Japanese soldier hit the head with the rifle bat and he fell and died. But never the less, he still took three Japanese with him!. His brother was his best sparring partner under the Pekiti-Tirsia Kali system.


Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje Tells us what he had to go through to learn his family system of Pekiti Tirsia Kali:

Even as a young boy, training Pekiti Tirsia Kali was as hard as it was painful. From the age of six years old, standing on a table performing Pekiti Tirsia triangle based footwork on a daily basis from 5:00 am to 7:30. And if my grandfather is not in a good mood, it was to be repeated again in the afternoon. This routine continued until I was nine years old. It was at that time when I took the first stick for the first time and start to swing under my grandfather’s guidance.

It was beginning with no ending even up to the time on his death bed his words of wisdom was, “never neglect your training and be prepared at all times.”  A friend is your enemy in the future, an enemy is pretentious he can be a traitor, before any fight with anyone he is your enemy but if there is a fight then you will know if he a true enemy or just nobody.