Is PTI Pekti anymore?

Discussion in 'Pekiti-Tirsia Kali' started by Gilla, Apr 20, 2007.

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  1. Gilla

    Gilla -== Banned ==-

    I just want to know, has PTI become a diffrent art . I think it has. Many things in it are much diffrent then The Kali i learned from Maginoo Tom Bisio and Grand Tuhon. Maybe it's time to call it something else . Like Atienza brothers have.
  2. Gilla

    Gilla -== Banned ==-

    Now we can talk about Tuhon Bill and PTI here.
  3. equilibrium

    equilibrium Member

    Evolution of both

    Interesting topic

    What has Tuhon changed/added/deleted/modified since the 70s(or 80s)?
    (not saying he has, I have no idea, way before my time)

    Has the Pekiti of Tuhon evolved or changed since then? Has what he taught changed since then? What did he teach or not teach Bill?

    Same with Bill....what did he change? How much of it did he receive and digest?
  4. wes tasker

    wes tasker New Member


    I'm not sure why you think this is so important, or what your ultimately trying to prove. From what I know of the current incarnation of Pekiti Tirsia as taught by Tuhon Leo - the pedagogy is different from PTI. That being said - I believe that teleologically and quintessentially there is far more commonality than difference.

    I think Steve Lamade put it best in his post to you in the "Roll Call" thread concerning this. Both Tom and Tuhon Bill learned the same thing coming up and even more to the point was when Steve said:

    More to the point, why is this so important to you? What, ultimately, are you getting out of this type of conversation?

  5. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

  6. Gilla

    Gilla -== Banned ==-

    Why are you guy's so mad ? What am i getting from this, nothing. This PTK thread is to talk about PTK what's going on how it's being taught. Also i am not insulting Tuhon Bills skill level i am just pointing out what he is teaching is diffrent . That's all I've ever said and i think i can make a case that it's diffrent enough to make the case that it is almost or is a diffrent art. But all the added on stuff is taken from his training in Pekiti, which makes it a special case. It's not like Lameco or Kali DeLeon which have other arts in the mix. Now i will take my time to make my point and also will have a answer for Dekiti history as well.
    You guy's need to chill .
  7. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Pekiti Tirsia

    Fair enough.

    I think that the reason Wes sounds irritated is that some of your comments are probably taken by him in context of a number of posts and statements make by some people in the past that have run Tuhon Bill down and have been, frankly, rude and insulting. Talk about orcs and monkeys didn’t help much in this respect.

    Everyone knows that Tuhon Bill and Grand Tuhon Gaje parted ways in 1996 and that their break was made because of business and personal reasons, but some eleven years later there are still some individuals who continue to make political hay out of the issue or use it for some kind of personal self-validation project.

    I am looking forward to a discussion about what has been "added on" to Tuhon Bill's PTI curriculum that makes it "different art" from the Pekiti Tirsia that he was teaching in 1996. You state however that it's a "special case" because "all the added on stuff is taken from his training in Pekiti." This begs the question of whether an authentic Pekiti Tirsia Kali is simply a cluster of specific techniques organized around a specific pedagogy and curriculum, at a certain place and time - or whether any technique qua Pekiti technique is simply, as our mutual friend is fond of saying, "a product of the (body) mechanic."

    I think that it is also true that the Pekiti Tirsia Kali that GT Gaje has been teaching since 1996 has evolved away from what he and Tuhon Bill were teaching back then and towards a martial art geared towards a military and LEO-oriented practitioner - and I think that this issue is far more interesting and closer to the crux of the matter than asking whether Tuhon Bill has adulterated the art through too many "add-ons." It's a little like asking whether adding tinted glass to a Jeep makes it different from the Jeep next to it - without noticing that the Jeep next to it is in fact a Humvee.


  8. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Pekiti Tirsia

    And I'm not mad.

    To prove it I'll tell a joke:

    A crusader returns from the crusades minus his arms and legs. Starving and penniless he convinces the local bishop to hire him as the bell ringer for the church. He does a marvelous job.

    A few years later the bishop and a priest were walking into the church when the crusader plummets to his death from the bell tower and lands in the court yard next to them.

    Priest: "Mother of God! Do you know who that is?"

    Bishop: "His face rings a bell."
  9. Beungood

    Beungood New Member

    I took the question as Tuhon Bill's art maybe evolving into a different art through his experiences with law enforcment the same as some of the notables who have trained under the various famous escrima Masters and then went on to form there own. Maybe he meant is the art that much different in it's evoloution that it is now a different art than the pekiti it draws it's genesis from?

    hope this makes sense..

  10. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member


    This is the crux of the matter. In my opinion, no. What Tuhon Bill is teaching today is really no different from what he learned from GT Gaje starting in the '70's and for which received his Tuhon rank in 1996.

    But I'm curious to hear Eddie's take on the matter.


    Steve Lamade
  11. Gilla

    Gilla -== Banned ==-

    O.K. lets start with what does not exist at all in
    Grand Tuhon's Pekiti system only in Bill's.
    144 strikes of Abecedario, there's only 36. 12 forward , 12 reverse ,
    12 two hand. The other 108 are Bill's.
    The 5 attack sub-system all Billy's. Grand Tuhon has the 5
    attacks and the drills are very easy to learn and use.
    The sub system is too complicated and ineffective.
    Abecedario de Mano is all Bill's completely made up.
    Grand Tuhon shows 1 set of slapping off of the 12 strikes.
    knife tapping sets are Bill’s again, all made up from foundation
    knife system. For example it is incorrect that
    each attack has inside and outside tapping on each thrust.
    Segidas the forms are correct but application is wrong,
    the set's are not designed to counter each other.
    Bill's Espada y Daga Contradas and Recontras are from the
    64 attacks and are not the one's taught by Grand Tuhon Gaje.
    Contradas are direct attacks to the hand and should
    have no stick to stick contact 1 to 1 , 2 to 2 etc.
    The most important point is as you advance there should be less technique
    not more. Also in the Recontras Bill teaches attacks to the third hand which is ridiculous.
    All of this leads me to believe that he either did not
    learn the whole system or has purposely changed the
    system for his own reason's. This is why I think that
    a name change is in order. 25% is made up by Billy
    25% is incorrect . Not to mention combat systems
    should be streamlined not top heavy with extra
    8, 10, or 12 count techniques. So I think McGrath kali is a good
    p.s. as my banjo master say's if it talk's like a duck
    and walks like a duck it's a duck
  12. wes tasker

    wes tasker New Member


    I would addend that with what exists in Grand Tuhon's Pekiti system currently...

    The other 108 are just different striking methods on the same foundational lines. Still Pekiti Tirsia... Besides, if Tuhon Gaje showed them to Tuhon Bill at some time as an example of how to use the Abecedario with different striking methods, and Tuhon Bill kept them in the curriculum - I would think that would make them authentic expressions of Pekiti Tirsia. Regardless if other people were exposed to them.

    First of all, the Five Attack Sub-System isn't part of the PTI curriculum anymore. Secondly, it came about as a general intro to Single Stick material. Tuhon Bill has never claimed anything about it other than that he put it together from other parts of the system. As for it being too complicated to use - that may be your experience. If it was put together from other parts of Pekiti than it would seem to make it Pekiti....

    See response to the Single Stick Abecedario...

    I'm not sure what you mean by knife-tapping sets, I'd need more clarification on what you're trying to refere to here before I responded. What I can say is that we do not have an outside tapping for each thrust. I've never heard of that within PTI before, and if it refers to what I think you mean - Tuhon Bill teaches that that is incorrect.

    I was never taught that the Seguidas sets were meant to counter each other. So again, what you claim about PTI's teachings is incorrect.

    OK, so they Espada y Daga Contradas and Recontras are different... If they are from the 64 attacks, and the 64 attacks are Pekiti - then the EyD Contradas and Recontras are still Pekiti Tirsia. The transitive property is a wonderful thing...

    That is exactly what I was taught by Tuhon Bill.

    I agree, and Tuhon Bill has talked about this on numerous occasions.

    Unsubstantiated statements will get us nowhere within a debate.

    Have you ever stood in front of Tuhon Bill like a man and just questioned him yourself? Last time I checked Tuhon Bill was not only promoted to Tuhon by Tuhon Gaje, but also given a certificate that states that he learened the entire system and taught it unchanged and pure.

    PTI curriculum is not "top heavy" and does streamline if you actually study it and go by the methodology that Tuhon Bill espouses. Speaking of top heavy - what are the different concepts/teachings that keep appearing like Capsula Methodica, Lemma Lemma, and the others whose name's are escaping me right now???

    No offense intended, but your reasoning to get to your conclusion is rather spurious and myopic.

    -wes tasker
  13. Jack Latorre

    Jack Latorre Siyam

    Hello Ed--

    I try not to get mixed in with the silliness I see on the internet and discussion groups is particular. At times, I see them useful to help others who could use another perspective. You offered yours. Here is my kindly response.

    With the advent of PTI back in 1993 or 1994, I remember you at some of the camps being rather enthusiatic. With the various reasons for the split bewteen Mr. McGrath and Mr. Gaje, came people choosing camps...PTI and PTGO, which is of course what happens unfortunately to many martial arts. Although some of the methods differ, I would not subscribe to the argument that the two are unrelated or worse...that one IS Pekiti-Tirsia and the other is not.

    The first point is that no one ever contended Mr. McGrath' skill, knowledge (both breadth and depth) and training pedagogy when Mr. McGrath and Mr. Gaje were in "happier times". No one had to, as he had the stamp of approval from Mr. Gaje himself and, more importantly, his understanding of Pekiti-Tirsia technique is superb (to say the least). The case and point comes from the written and signed statement Mr. Gaje himself wrote, visible on the PTI website, that gives Mr. McGrath the faith and authority to carry on the Pekiti-Tirsia system. With the PTI/PTGO split, did Mr. McGrath's knowledge, ability and pedagogical skill magically disappear? There is no doubt that PTI and PTGO are different entities, but do not kid yourself or others...the art is still Pekiti-Tirsia, as you were all too happy to be part of at one point. If YOU are not happy with the way it is done in PTI, fine...but please refrain from denegrating the conversation further by making misleading or false accusations.

    Secondly...perhaps one of the several reasons why, on paper, the PTI/PTGO curriculum structures appear so different is that Mr. Gaje charged Mr. McGrath with both preserving and organzing the Pekiti-Tirsia system. With that kind of responsibility, it was not enough to merely make fighters pass on, the art may pass on as well. Consider the PTI curriculum as a "gallery" of sorts that preserve the techniques and concepts taught and approved by Mr. Gaje. This "gallery" includes the drills needed to hone the desired result, but that is up the practitioner, of course. If there are things in the PTI curriculum you didn't see or understand, perhaps you didn't stay long enough. Some do say that anything worth having is worth working for. recollection is that Mr. McGrath gave a number of practitioners (you and I included) quite a bit of hospitality with his training, time and knowledge. I also recall your sense of humor...even at the expense of losing some of your training reps. I've seen you train, Ed. Perhaps less banjo playing and more training would be of more benefit to all.

    All in all, there are any number of dumb things circulating about any number of martial arts. And while I admire a person's search for the truth, the method for that search makes all the difference. It's often good to be more than tangentially familiar with both sides of an issue before touting what is labeled "truth".

    Warmest Regards,

    Jack A. Latorre
  14. Tim Waid

    Tim Waid -== Banned ==-

    Let me preface this discussion that it is not a personal attack on Bill McGrath. However, all instructors must be responsible for what they teach, and if they have deviated from the system (in this case Pekiti-Tirsia) by addition or omission, they are responsible for that as well. Including Bill McGrath.

    My questions and comments to Mr. Tasker….

    What do you know exists in Grand Tuhon’s Pekiti-Tirsia system now? You have not trained with him personally so what is your basis for comparison? Are you comparing what you have read?

    Grand Tuhon’s Pekiti-Tirsia system has never changed, only his presentation method (which is based upon the skill of an individual and just how much knowledge he wants to impart to a particular individual or group), which is the mark of a true master instructor, something you seem to know nothing about based upon your statements and obvious lack of first person experience.

    Why people state that it has changed is because of (1) their lack of knowledge of the system and (2) their lack of discipline (and humility in many cases) to obtain that knowledge, which is followed by their lack of experience in teaching the system.

    For example; the Tri-V formula is not a new “system” but the advanced application of the diagonal attacks system (5 Attacks from the Tirsia Corto method). The principle striking pattern of [1, 4, 2] is based upon the number 1 attack destroying the weapon and or weapon hand (GT Gaje teaches several power blows and deflections with the side/back of the blade for this strike), the number 4 (upward diagonal) attack cutting the body in half which also counters any kicking and third hand attacks, and the number 2 attack taking the head. The first two strikes, 1 and 4, is also a striking combination used in the Florete form after the initial 4 diagonal attacks (1,2,3,4) are executed. This pattern from Florete is used for multiple attackers, which the Tri-V striking pattern is used for as well. The Tri-V is progressive in application. Enter and destroy the first opponents weapon (and weapon arm if you have the range) turn and either bridge to the next opponent or strike the next opponent with the number 4 attack, then finish with the number 2 attack or bridge to the next attacker.

    A different presentation of the diagonal attacks system that Grand Tuhon Gaje teaches is diagonal 1 and 2, then adding the 8 and 9 thrusts. The system is the same, just the presentation different. Filipino instructional methodology does not follow the linear discipline that the majority of other Asian cultures practice in their fighting systems. The Filipinos define a combat method, the tactics and techniques that comprise the method, and the rules of application. The rules define ranges, attacks, and manipulation of the weapon. One can combine and flow from method to method provided they do not break the rules of a particular method. Example; slashing at Pekiti-Pekiti range, can be done, but is not efficient (not enough space if you are at true Pekiti-Pekiti range) and powerful as the diagonal and vertical Punyo attacks, and witiks of the Pekiti-Pekiti method.

    Let’s visit some more of your comments……

    First of all, the Five Attack Sub-System isn't part of the PTI curriculum anymore. Secondly, it came about as a general intro to Single Stick material. Tuhon Bill has never claimed anything about it other than that he put it together from other parts of the system. As for it being too complicated to use - that may be your experience. If it was put together from other parts of Pekiti than it would seem to make it Pekiti....
    Your statement above displays your narrow understanding of Pekiti-Tirsia in particular, together with your lack of understanding (don’t feel bad – you are not alone) of the structure of authentic Filipino Martial Arts, and the unique instructional methods the system allows – if one has that understanding. You cannot put together random parts of the system and expect it to work tactically as your last sentence (If it was put together from other parts of Pekiti than it would seem to make it Pekiti....) implies. The five Attacks subsystem was not taken from other parts of the system; it was only sold that way. Examples; the reverse 3 and 4 strikes manipulations were made up, as well as all of the combinations (you don’t strike that way ever in a fight against another weapon), and worst of all there was simply no effective tactical application, including the X factor where you randomly added a witik, thrust, etc. I know because I trained that Bull**** (can I say that here?), trusting the senior student of Grand Tuhon Gaje at the time to teach the system as he was taught. That was not the case with this “made up system” and other instruction as well. Furthermore, there is no need whatsoever for a “general intro to single stick material”. The Pekiti-Tirsia system, as taught to Grand Tuhon Gaje by his Grandfather, accomplishes this perfectly.

    Let’s continue…..

    OK, so the Espada y Dage Contradas and Recontras are different….if they are from the 64 attacks, and the 64 attacks are from Pekiti – then the EyD Contradas and Recontras are still Pekiti Tirsia. The transitive property is a wonderful thing…..
    Not quite. Although (The transitive property is a wonderful thing…..) thisis a common mantra espoused by many “guros” of FMA, it does not universally apply from one weapon category to the others. For example; Dakup y Punyo from Solo Baston/Kalis is not applied in Espada y Daga. If you apply the tactics of that method and drill with Espada y Daga you give your kidney as a target for the daga thrust (not good), you cannot counter the punyo attacks with the Four-wall and and Daga Dakup - it is too close a manipulation with the daga and you can’t lock the opponents Espada hand in that manner during combat execution speed, and, if you have progressed properly in the skills that Espada y daga requires, you will never use lower Payong/umbrella to counter the centerline thrust. And that is a direct quote from GT Gaje “Once you master the footwork, you will never need to use the Four-wall or Umbrella”.

    I could continue and write a book. But I have more important things to do like train, teach, and continue to learn and validate the system – the product of the first two efforts. On another thread, I will describe the training methods that provide this understanding of the system and development of true combat bladefighting skill.

    Bottom line. Bill chose to over intellectualize the system, adding and creating overcomplicated algorithms, diagrams, and accompanying techniques in an effort to master the system, when the advanced processes and result of training is simplification. It has to be if the combative engagement must be terminated in 3 seconds and strikes or less. I don’t think it was a malicious effort on his part, just the product of his technical thinking. But it is wrong. This is a common fault of westerners, and Filipinos today I might add (just look at the list of modern, improved, evolved, combined, developed, etc. FMA’s) with limited exposure to Filipino culture and authentic systems.

    For Pekiti-Tirsia, the original systems are the Doce Methodos (foundation system and source of the 64 attacks), the Contradas (advanced system composed of the Contradas, Recontras, and other methods), and the Contra-Tirsia Doble Dos, which is the result of mastering the foundation and advanced systems – one now has the ability to counter (Contra) the quartering attacks (Tirsia) in two strikes-beats or less (Doble-Dos). Tri-V, Capsula Methodica, and Lima-Lima are advanced combat methods that support the original systems (refer back to the Tri-V explanation above).

    The Doce Methodos was taught in its entirety to Maginoo Tom Bisio. I am currently the only instructor certified in all three systems above.

    Lastly, as your public biography states, you began your training in January 2001, and were promoted to Mataas na Guro in June 2003. This is impossible. You may have memorized the physical movements, but you have not mastered the system, and mastered the teaching of the system at the same time. Mataas na Guro literally means highest level teacher and Master Teacher specifically within the Pekiti-Tirsia system. And your previous training would be of no help.

    The sincere invitation remains. Grand Tuhon welcomes everyone to his training and this is also where we put our training to the test. We invite you, and any others to continue to learn and experience his instruction first hand, as it should be for all those practicing Pekiti-Tirsia. Continue in the Mastery Process…Grand Tuhon Gaje leads us by example every day.
  15. Gilla

    Gilla -== Banned ==-

    Oww any way TIM SAID IT ALL. As for how lazy i am or what i say at a seminar at the Texas P.T.K summer camps we spar and you can see what i know. All i said was it is not what i think Pekiti is about , and i agree with Tim.
  16. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member



    But it is a personal attack on Tuhon McGrath. And quite unfair.

    I look forward to reading your discussion of the innovations that Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje, Jr. has made to the Pekiti Tirsia Kali.


    Steve Lamade
  17. wes tasker

    wes tasker New Member

    Mr. Waid-

    I appreciate you stating that your post is not a personal attack on Tuhon Bill McGrath, although it does turn into one with both explicit and implicit potshots (against myself as well). Instead of responding point by point to your post I will just state the obvious in so much as we are both headed towards an impasse.

    You stated that I know nothing about a true master-instructor and that I have a narrow knowledge of Pekiti Tirsia. This is, of course, all based on the premise that you are the sole authority (in this discussion at least...) about what determines "true" knowledge. You base this on your instructor, as I base my beliefs, practices, etc. on my instructor. So the impasse is that this will eventually degenerate into calling into question the skills / honesty of our respective teachers. I don't want to go there (although you already have), as it only cheapens the view of Pekiti Tirsia specifically and the Filipino Martial Arts as a whole.

    I have never claimed to be a "master" practitioner at anything and I'm constantly trying to learn as much as I can. I also have never claimed to practice "the one and only true" Pekiti Tirsia. In fact, every new student at my school gets the same speech about visiting Guro William Schultz (a student of yours I believe...) who teaches near me so that they can see the different approaches - and choose as they see fit. No harm no foul.

    I know several people (both first generation students of Tuhon Leo and current students) who do not have this zeal to argue this foolishness about the authenticity of what Tuhon Bill teaches - and in fact respect him and what he teaches (as Pekiti Tirsia no less).

    I am not sure of why the sudden crusade against PTI / Tuhon Bill and other fellow current students of Tuhon Leo. What I am sure of is that this conversation has exponentially diminishing returns. You are obviously very confident in what you are learning, and I am very obviously confident in what I am learning from Tuhon Bill. So from here, as I stated in the beginning, it can only degenerate into arguing about teachers or the smallest minutiae of what makes something "real" Pekiti Tirsia - which of course leads back to teachers......... So on and so forth. I believe you stated on another thread that your time is better served actually practicing and teaching the art. On that I completely agree, as that is where my time is best served as well. This "debate" has degnerated as it is, and I am beginning to see more and more the wisdom of my own teacher in not getting involved in these things.

    Mr. Waid, you will of course view my response through whatever lens you choose to see it with, but I for one see no need for this foolish bickering. No matter how much evidence one may have (be they films, documents, anecdotes), no matter how old or well documented - no good can come from carrying on like this. Take care.

    -wes tasker
  18. equilibrium

    equilibrium Member

    Well, all this was WAY before my involvement in pekiti tirsia, even probably before my involvement with hard liquor and women, but there are MANY online videos with Tuhon Gaje and him giving seminars... From what I have seen of him in the 2000s and way back in the early 80s... he is teaching the same material and even talking the same way with the same words and accents... so I don't think the Pekiti Tirsia of Tuhon Gaje has changed. In the videos I certainly see alot of people trying to learn it wrong.. but he is doing the same thing minus a goatee of youth.

    I think that is a good thing. If it works, don't fix it. I am not slamming Bill, I don't know him and haven't seen anymore than a video or two on the web. I am just talking about Tuhon Gaje.(nobody does it better...)

    Just remember, the older the wine, the sweeter it is....
  19. Dustin

    Dustin New Member

    Reply to Mr. Lamade and Mr. Tasker,

    First, you claim that Tim has committed the fallacy of ad hominem, which is defined as an attack on the character of a person rather than the position they maintain. This is not the case. Tim's statement's are about the correct and incorrect practice/knowledge of Pekiti-Tirsia and not a direct attack on Bill McGrath. It is an entirely different matter if the position one does or does not maintain furthermore suggests something about his or her character. They may be connected or not connected at all.

    Mr. Tasker only,

    Second, there IS only one true Pekiti-Tirsia and it is the Pekiti-Tirsia that Grand Tuhon Gaje has taught, teaches, and will teach. Those of us who are instructors have the responsibility to teach it according to Grand Tuhon Gaje's instruction and wishes. We have the responsibility to do this to the best of our ability. As Tim and Jason state, the system has not changed. If it comes to any one instructor's attention that they are not or no longer teaching/practicing according to the way it ought to be taught/practiced, then they also have the responsibility to evaluate what may be improper training, knowledge, and/or teaching. Grand Tuhon Gaje is the source.

    Finally, as for Tim's knowledge and authority about Pekiti-Tirsia, I believe his credentials, skills, experience, and position speak for themselves.

    Dustin B. Denson
  20. trainer9731

    trainer9731 New Member

    In my opinion you are not lazy at all, I seem to remember that you were a skilled, hard worker at all the seminars/ training camps that both you and I were in attendance.
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