Pekiti Tirsia Kali

Pekiti Tirsia Kali

Pekiti Tirsia Kali


The Pekiti-Tirsia system of Kali originates from the province of Negros Occidental in the Philippines and was formulated by the Tortal family of Negros and Panay islands in the late 1800’s. The family patriarch, Conrado B. Tortal, passed this system and its attributes onto his only grandson, the sole heir and its present guardian, Grand Tuhon Leo Tortal Gaje, Jr.

Pekiti-Tirsia is a traditional family system of Filipino martial art that traces its existence back to a time and era when the carrying and use of the bladed weapon was common and required among most men. Oral history of the Tortal family testifies to four generations practicing the family system of Pekiti-Tirsia.

Norberto Tortal taught the system to his son Segundino Tortal.Segundino taught his five sons; Balbino, Tedoricio, Francisco, Quirino, and Conrado. Of the five brothers, Conrado was chosen as inheritor of the system with Balbino as one of his principal training partners.


Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is a close-quarters in-fighting combat system used against multiple opponents based on the use of the Blade. Pekiti-Tirsia is a system of strategies and tactics utilizing all close quarters weapons at all ranges. The essence of close quarters combat is manifested in the flow – the continual combative process of offense, counter offense and re-counter offense.

Footwork is extremely important in Pekiti Tirsia and is based on the principle of the Triangle. The triangle serves as the basis for footwork, striking, and the tactical principles of close quarter combatives.

A unique aspect of PTK that you don’t find in most systems is the use of the open hand. Pekiti Tirsia fighters don’t punch, but rather use the open palm for striking.  A lot of training is involved to condition the hands and to learn to put power into the strike.

It is also a very comprehensive system, for example, under the sixty-four (64) attacks system of Pekiti-Tirsia, seven (7) subsystems or methods and eight (8) combative drills are presented.

Each method addresses a specific strategy and then provides different tactics and techniques that simultaneously incorporate footwork, offensive and counter-offensive combative application and attribute development. Each of these components can be isolated and trained individually to perfect each particular movement and can be magnified through the analytical and study processes.

Within this structure each method complements and builds upon previous methods as instruction progresses.  As each method and technique is analyzed and explored in depth, new questions and answers are provided. Principles and systems already thought to be understood become clearer.  This enlightenment is accomplished by the thought provoking process of learning verses the rote memorization process of a particular style.

The advanced system of the Contradas is composed of the Contradas, Recontras, Recontradas, and other advanced combat methods. This is not a series of numerous multiple techniques, but it is a system of continually counters and recounters any angular attack from your opponent.

The philosophy of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is:

We believe in life, not in death.

We believe in health, not in sickness.

We believe in success, not in failure.

Click on the picture below to see a short video clip of the art.

Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje

And one more video clip showing the Knife and Empty Hand

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