HOW TO DISTINGUISH THE GOOD OR BAD TECHNIQUES OF FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS
By: Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje, Jr. (Originally published on 01-27-2007)
Suddenly some of the Instructors of Filipino Martial Arts that came out in the 80’s and 90’s were so impressive like they know everything about Filipino Martial Arts. After they studied two to three years from somebody in the Philippines, they think they are already Masters. Showing some fancy techniques in disarming, blocking, stances, katas with the stick. They came to the United States and started to do some publicity in the Inside Kung Fu and Blackbelt magazines and took some students and started to show techniques like the numbering systems, and the history about the Philippines which a copy of the history books can be bought in any bookstore. They buy some video tapes produced by Dan Inosanto, Doce Pares, Modern Arnis and some half-baked Instructors who can talk a lot and can convinced that their technique can work. My first time in New York City in the early 70's nobody ever heard of Arnis, Eskrima or Kali as a Filipino Martial Arts, until I boldly came out and introduced the Filipino art to a veteran Martial Artist.
The first Martial Artist that I had a big respect was Ron Duncan of the Ninjitsu which he was conversant about Japanese weaponry and part of his training was the Judo Stick. We had good friendly sessions and from then I was introduced to the Official Karate because of my first presentation of the art to the New York Police Department which made possible the inclusion of the Filipino Art titled ARNIS THE NEW CRIME FIGHTER which I was on the cover page. There was a Filipino by the name of Mat Marinas, teaching the Arnis Lanada. He had his own students and I had my own students. We separated pathways when I moved to Texas and I started to travel to different States conducting series of seminars. And the first Filipino Kali Summer Camp held at Big Spring, Texas had an attendance of at least 70 people. It was an elegant event because those who graduated in a week long summer training, the Philippine Ambassador, Rodolfo Severino of the Philippine Consulate in Houston, Texas was the guest speaker accompanied by General Kanapi, a military attache from Washington D.C. Philippine Embassy. The years of hard work and patience of travelling from one State to another State conducting seminars, sometimes by car and most of the time by plane every weekend was a tedious process. I conducted several seminars in Los Angeles at Dan Inosanto’s Academy, in Chicago at Degeberg Martial Arts Academy and many more States and counties all over the United States to include Canada. I was in the cover page of the Inside Kung Fu in 1982 and in 1987 I was one of the awardees of the Martial Arts Hall of Fame and 1988 the Karate Hall of Fame. In all those years there were only few Filipino Instructors that were conducting seminars and like Remy Presas of the Modern Arnis, the Doce Pares, Dan Inosanto, and Mat Marinas. The United States was then a virgin territory for the new art which made every martial artist thrilled with curiosity because of the uniqueness of the art applicable to weapon against weapon and empty hands against empty hands. The first exposure of the Filipino Kali full contact tournament was held at the Playboy International Great George, New Jersey sponsored by Alex Steinberg of the Jewish Karate Federation for two consecutive years with an attendance of more than 10,000.
The summer camp training at the Four Seasons at Pennsylvania with Dan Inosanto, Eddie Jafre of the Pentjak Silat was quite a memorable event with an attendance of more or less forty people. The last summer training I conducted was at Nashville, Tennessee in 1988 with the graduation ceremony held at the Opra Hotel, home of the famous country music singers. And in my years of experience and actual exposure to different martial arts more so to the Filipino Art, I noticed the apparent changes of instructions from the original Filipino Art. For example, the Modern Arnis was teaching stances, blocks, grabbing the sticks, using the belting system, wearing similar karate uniforms. The same with Doce Pares, blocking, katas with the use of the sticks integrating Aikido, Jujitsu, and Judo in the process of disarming while Mat Marinas of the Arnis Lanada was more traditional applying ranging techniques with the use of the knife and the stick which to my observation his knowledge was not adulterated, however in his throws he used the Aikido throw because he was a blackbelt in Aikido. Dan Inosanto’s background coming from Serrada and the Villabrille Kali were more fluid with less impact in disarming but with the interpretation to the empty hands technique. The Pangamut PEKITI-TIRSIA empty hands is based on the blade, and the stick is just a training aid, even in the delivery of the attack the emphasis is the position of the blade. The principle of foot work, the close quarter foot work and the ranging foot work, which combines the close and ranging principle, body mechanics, mobility, agility and versatility, foot, hand, etc are the essential elements of the system. The techniques require that movements must go with the speed of the stick or blade. Speed, timing and power is emphasized and more stress on the ability to deliver a lot of faking attacks which in the process the stick moves into different geometric angular directions. Pekiti-Tirsia emphasize the bridging system, that for every delivery there is recovery and the principle of every thrust there is a slash, for every slash there is a thrust. We do not believe in disarming. Although we teach how to counter disarming, but I discourage my students to dedicate in disarming because that motivates the person to be static, immobile and that will kill him for sure.
PEKITI-TIRSIA, hard, serious, kill do training is a must and the training eliminates the boys from the men.. Those who stayed were benefited in learning the true original techniques. This is proven in the first Arnis tournament in the Philippines in 1979 held in Cebu City sponsored by The National Arnis Association of the Philippines. The PEKITI-TIRSIA Fighter in the name of Tom Bisio, a three year and a half student fought against Bonifacio Uy of Doce Pares, an instructor and a blackbelt in short Tom Bisio of the Pekiti-Tirsia defeated Bonifacio Uy of Doce Pares and the grand champion was Tom Bisio. For the first time in several years since 1930, Doce Pares was defeated. Several tournaments the PEKITI-TIRSIA wipe out other styles/system in the United States and in the Philippines. PEKITI-TIRSIA will fight any rules with headgear or no headgear, with live blades or live knife, with rules or no rules. Question, how then you can distinguish your training which some of people are asking in the internet whether they are learning the good or bad arnis, eskrima or Kali? It's not for me to answer but if you guys had experienced training with me or you want to trained under me you will have the right answer. We don’t play around or show techniques that don’t work. We teach techniques that will completely devastate your enemy and kill him for good. So if you want to be a real Kali man and a true thorough breed martial artist you come to the Pekiti-Tirsia. But if you want to play around with blocks or disarming you can go to other styles. Never so few, only the learned will survive. In the Philippines, we put the technique into a real test. It costs lots of efforts to perfect one technique, so if you have any doubt about Filipino Art COME TO WHERE THE FLAVOR IS. COME TO NEGROS, HOME OF THE DOGEATERS!