Discussion in 'Pekiti-Tirsia Kali' started by selfcritical, Apr 22, 2008.
Just out of curiosity, what styles influenced PTK? Any?
The pivoting on the balls thing is definately there in sayoc, but not the highly elevated heels(which the heels get progressively lower in pekiti as i'm doing in-close knifework anyway). I attribute this to the slightly different weapon focus(ie, focus on the knife versus focus on a machete-length weapon). When I started sayoc, aaron told me that my footwork was "right, but with adjustments for the range". By contrast when I did inosanto kali with larry st clair. (who is highly competent), we never once were told to side-step while tapping. Ditto when my pekiti group did a seminar with master babao. Perhaps this is present in most filipino short-blade styles? I don't have a wide enough sampling to know
I am not about to discredit any family, family member or their art in SE Asia that was wiped out during WWII. They all fought fierely agaist the Japanese. With blades against bullets and some succeeded.
Unfortunately not all of the Tortal's did make it through WWII alive. GT Balbino lost his life after disarming a Japanese officer and killing several Japanese soldiers with a daito before being shot. In a crucial attempt to save the Tortal family in which he succeeded. GT Balbino Tortal was a major player in the "Crusader's Army" during the war. GT Nene was as well, no one suspected a tiny little boy to be an intelligece member informing US and Philippine forces about Japanese poitions.
Not trying to change the subject, but I did not feel that was a fair comparison to other FMA's or other lost arts from around the world that died out to technological advancements. The FMA's survived because of their focus on short blades techniques that are still needed today. Giving us the opportuntiy to learn the other techniques that go with them, baston, Dumog, swordsmanship, etc.
It may not be fair but it is true. I will give you this though, when guns became prevalent, MA's all over the world nearly died out in general. Its not just guns but arrows and blow guns also ruined people looking to fight up close and personal.
I was referring to the more hand to hand or weapon to weapon aspects. That story about Grand Tuhon Balbino Tortel was an amazing stroy and STILL shows not only skill in the style but the heart in the person utilizing the style. He died killing 3. In the way of the weapon, you can only expect just so much if it is not a one on one.
Just being a melting pot of cultures was the influence, if you get my picture here!
In reference to the various comments about Atienza looking the same as other systems…
Techniques and footwork are just variables that can be moved inside the larger “equation.” The equation is mostly comprised of the major concepts that the brothers have come to, as I have already listed above, however techniques are included within that equation. The Atienza system focuses on the equation as a whole and makes sure all variables are adjusted according to what outcome we want. If it seems like its formulaic, it’s probably because one of the Atienza brothers, Tuhon Carl was a Physics Major along with a minor in Mathematics and applied this type of thinking to all the experience from the street
Techniques are the last variable that the Atienza system concentrates on inside of the equation as it is the easiest variable to adjust. However, it seems like most people seem to focus on similarities between techniques only (movement here, pivot’s there, deflection here…). It would be obvious from an outside perspective that a thrust looks like the same thrust as the one they learned in their system…because it is the same technique. However, I bet the person receiving the thrust is wondering how the hell that thrust got in there to begin with…it’s not because one had a better technique for thrusting than the other person. It’s not about the “thrust” but how to get it there efficiently, effectively and without “double-killing"
These concepts are constantly being FIELD TESTED by all the Tuhons and the instructors within the system on a daily basis.
In reference to Ron’s comments, “How to develop the reflex to be there before the opponents weapon is there.”
Do you know what concepts PTK utilizes to develop this one fighter type (“Interceptors”) you are describing? Does PTK have other fighter types that it can track inside the engagement? The Atienza system is always on the lookout for additional fighter types outside of the 12 classified ones we have.
I'd like to thank you for being so specific and technical in that reply. I don't have much time(nor I fear, sufficient expertise in pekiti!) to give a full replay right now, as I'm at work reading this between calls..
All I keep reading is, how the Sayoc and the Atienza camps want to distance themselves from Tuhon Gaje, and PKT.
Being that we have reps from both camps, I would really like to learn where the roots of both Sayoc, and Atienza kali stem from?
I went on both of their sites, but found very little about their history.
I don't mean any disrespect in this question, or want to start any fights.
I'm just looking for a little history into these systems.
After all that's why I joined this forum, to learn, not fight, I get enough of that while training.
Okay. Thank you. I don't really understand, but I'm guess it's not worth distracting from this thread.
Feel free to start a new one!
I'd just like to add, some maestros took their knowledge to their graves because of many reasons. One common reason is that they would refuse to teach their skills, for they believed the people who want to be their students do not have the right temperament (e.g. hot-headed bullies). Another common reason is that their own family (sons, grandsons, nephews) are not interested at all in their "family" art, so the teachings get passed off to an outsider or not at all. In old times, the different styles usually did not have a name (it was simply called arnis or eskrima) or if it did have a name, it was associated with the name of the maestro teaching it (e.g. Ballesteros arnis). So if your art gets passed off to an outsider and he's the only one who knows your system, it will seem like your "family" art would have died out because it's not your name anymore that is associated with the system.
FMA history is as myriad as it is complex, so it's really hard to make a "one size fits all" statement encompassing the whole FMA. After all, these guys had their owns things going scattered across more than 7,000 islands, in an era before the telephone and the Internet. What the trend would be in one island, is not necessarily the case in another.
Thank you for your polite and detailed answer to my question, above, with respect to Atienza influences.
Your answer encourages me to make the following observations with respect to how one might compare two martial arts: (1) a system (aside from a political organization, club, association, etc.) is the curriculum of body mechanics, footwork, techniques, and strategies taught within a set of standardized training methods. (2) A style connotes a quality of movement that one develops on the basis of training within a system.
Based upon quickly looking over some clips from the three Atienza Kali DVD’s that I have, I can see that, although there are recognizable elements of the Pekiti Tirsia Kali system (taught to the three brothers by their father?), each of the brothers has moved on to create a unique style of fighting that is his own.
Any fighter who develops a unique style may, legitimately, decide to teach a new system in which there may be recognizable glimpses of an original system, to a greater or lesser extent, but also new elements that reflect a different curriculum of body mechanics, footwork, techniques and strategies taught within a standardized set of training methods designed to develop attributes that he or she considers important.
Of course, this is done all the time, BUT… proponents of an original system are often apt to insist upon the extent to which the original body mechanics, footwork, techniques, strategies, and training methods are still recognizable, whereas proponents of the new system are going to tout the ways in which they are different, original and innovative.
A rereading of Eliot’s Tradition and the Individual Talent is probably the best way to resolve any “Black Spy/White Spy” debates in the future – particularly if we choose to admit that questions about “family resemblances” between different styles are much more interesting than questions about which systems are more “original” than others. As Eliot might have said, every innovation is valuable for making an original statement, but it is just as valuable for re-contextualizing the existing tradition. Here’s what I wrote a few years ago in an introduction to Dan Anderson’s Espada y Daga book:
What I am talking about is essentially the way that something may contain a hint, or gist, or something else to which it is distantly related. For example, you glance over several aisles during a wedding ceremony and notice something that looks a lot like your maternal grandfather when he was in his thirties. Later you find out that it was your second cousin but that the family moved out of state before you were born. It’s not that Doce Pares, San Miguel Eskrima, Balintawak, and Modern Arnis share the same techniques, strategies, and training methods to get to where they want to go, but that, almost ineluctably, they share common root movements that are probably related to the methods of “tapi tapi” originally taught by the Saavedras at the Labangon Fencing Club.
I said above that there are “recognizable elements” of Pekiti Tirsia in the three Atienza Kali DVD’s that I’ve been watching: the number of instances of these is actually quite small if you want to compare systems, but rather interesting if you want to compare styles. I’m sorry to just dangle this in front of you; it’s 5:50 a.m. and I’ve been up since 4:00 and have to go to work! But I’d be happy to continue this conversation later tonight. (a discussion of anchors and forced anchors and the “Pekiti Seguidas jab” might be a good start).
I thought in addition that a preamble might be good to show that I don’t have any axes to grind: I think that Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Atienza Kali are fascinating and worthwhile systems that can stand on their own without anyone propping them up…
Yes, that is true. I know because I came across that in my Filipino Kuntao research. It took convincing to get what I have in Kuntao now. This is the reason I try to get to the Philippines so often. I want to find any missing pieces that I can grasp onto in FMA's. Its not easy but some day I will wake up and find I have some good answers. One thing I am thankful for is having Grand Tuhon Leo to get a lot of these answers. He seems to be a controversial figure in these forums but the man knows his culture and educates those of us that are interested in learning it.
Sandugo...I am saying that the Philippines is a melting pot of cultures. Its location alone along with its resources got people from all over the world to visit and to do battle there. So the fighting methods seemed to evolve through getting the best from a few 1000 years of other cultures sharing with the Filipino people. FMA's are very sophisticated. Not that others are not but the Filipino people, between fighting amoung themselves and fighting whoever tried to take from them created a very sneaky fighting method that we all seem to take to. There is the reason we take to it...I guess we all noticed that logic in their fighting system!
That is understandable.
The public videos online are basically that - for public consumption.
If you take a closer look at the pendulum crossbody tapping in Sayoc, it is shown as a movement to teach the knife wielder how to defeat it, and to show the Receiver the vulnerabilities of the movement. So if you look at the videos from this perspective you will see the guy with the knife is dictating the tapping not the other way around.
So therefore when you see a different nuance in the sidestep it is because the Receiver has already moved on beyond that "safe" time and has adjusted to the Feeder's followup. Otherwise the drill ends because they are now too far behind the Feeder's attack progression to try to stay in that structure.
The main difference in the tapping is that after the crossbody tap and a few hand checks... what is the next progression? What are the vulnerabilities?
Ron mentioned timing and and being able to anticipate the attack.
That makes sense as long as you understand there is no such thing as soon as the Feeder is within your reactionary gap, so any tap's integrity is jeopardized if they do not understand why they being taught a progression beyond the basic crossbody tap.
For example, the percussion tapping has many vulnerabilities even within the loop of the single movement. Now if Ron knows where they are then that is an evolution in PTK that Tuhon Sayoc was not around to witness and arrived to those answers on his own, and are most likely not even on the same page on most of it.
That's a fact.
Out of numerous PTK students and instructors that have trained with us, they have not seen the progression that Sayoc does in PTK. They had a lot of "aha" moments once they were shown. In fact, many would say they saw what you saw at first... root PTK movement then realized much later that they were focusing on the wrong guy's movement.
The guy with the knife is the essence of Sayoc Kali's training. The guy knife tapping is not doing the wrong thing, he's just doing what he can to keep up with the Feeder.
Now that does NOT mean what PTK currently teaches is invaluable. No one is saying that. It is just not the same curriculum or concept. They may have a totally cool and practical means of doing things their way.
So if a beginner is taught how to bypass the basic taps right away, you don't waste time deprogramming them from naturally trying to triple tap a single movement(for example).
In Sayoc we call that time traveling. If the Receiver is being taught to move twice as fast as the Feeder, or being installed those movements - that's material they will have to lose as they get better.
So in the demos or dvds, you'll see a crossbody tap, but the lesson is not on the tap.. the guy tapping is the victim. Only on a few occasions have we publicly shown the guy tapping losing in the drill, because we know FMA and other MAs are taught to focus on the Receiver not the guy with the knife.
We can plainly see that is evident by the comments from various posters both PTK and non PTK recorded in this thread.
They see the link to their system from the Receiver's POV, yes, because there's similarities in the moves getting attacked.
Tuhon Sayoc's knifework is based on his experiences and the experiences of all the Sayoc higher ranks. Note also that Tuhon Sayoc's father retired as a corrections officer, his experiences were real life lessons with the scars to prove it.
Since Tuhon Sayoc studied Pekiti-Tirsia ARNIS(what it was called when he trained it) back in the day... once a week his first year and even less the following three years. By his third year, he was already training with other FMA mentors and maybe saw GT Gaje once every month IF that.
99 percent of the Pekiti- Tirsia Arnis training was done with sticks. He did some machete demos with GT Gaje, a flashy four angle demo in which he was a Receiver and GT Gaje was the one Feeding the live blade (5-8-9 plus horizontal slashes), plus ONE knife work drill that was taught to him before he tested. It was shown once.
There was never any progression.
If there was it would be on video because it would be very advanced, and would prove that Sayoc knifework came from PTK.
That would be simple yes?
But if you look at ANY PTK videos or footage that exists with Tuhon Sayoc and GT Gaje, you will see break in and break out, stick work and those four angles (if that).
He did not do any knife specific based drills like you see in Sayoc.
That is all Sayoc innovation and hard -earned evolution.
So when it gets attention worldwide and others flock to it, it is to Tuhon Sayoc's credit and his hard work. Tuhon Sayoc did not say he never studied with GT Gaje, but the Sayoc system is not PTK if you really consider what it is all about so it is only logical not to say it is PTK.
In fact, if we look at it in perspective it would be insulting to GT Gaje to state that one were direct lineage with the limited time spent in the system.
As has been stated in the past, the Sayocs have been silent about details in their PT(Arnis)K training with GT Gaje's out of a sign of respect.
I bet more PTK posters in this forum have had longer PTK training than Tuhon Sayoc.
Most Tuhons in Sayoc have never trained with GT Gaje or even met him til recently.
Tuhon Sayoc's primary influence out of all these mentors is GM Cacoy Canete, not from technique, but the essence of what an FMA master is all about. Once he met GM Cacoy, he witnessed firsthand the pure warrior mentality.
It is to Tuhon Sayoc's and the Atienza's credit that PTK students view them as if they were of the identical cloth. If we look at the descriptions so far, all we have are basic movements and if those basic movements are actually understood in their proper context, it will be easier to let go of trying to attach a system that has not interacted with the head of that system for thirty years.
As per sayaw and carenza, if you look at the old footage and if you ever ask Manong Dan Inosanto who the best sayaw guy was, he's said publicly it was Tuhon Felix Cortes of Sayoc Kali. That's who we aspire to. You can see as much Doce Pares in there as well.
I'd hate to break it to anyone but no one sayaws like Tuhon Felix... don't even embarass yourself.
This topic is continued in this thread.
This is interesting because if you take the essence of what Ron is stating it actually lends itself to the argument some have had that FMA is directly from Spanish influence.
On other forums and threads, I have debunked this theory in the same way using actual historical sources.
But in essence it is the same argument, "your FMA blade work looks similar to ours, therefore we taught it to you."
Sure if one totally discounts all the other influences and are only looking at what is similar, which are probably root movements that many cultures have.
Follow the logic pattern?
"I would really like to learn where the roots of both Sayoc, and Atienza kali stem from?”
This a good question…how was the Atienza system born?
How is any system created? Doesn’t it usually start with one individual or group of individuals? People that have solutions that work for their immediate problems, created within the environment they were living. At some point, due to their prowess people would seek their knowledge out in an effort to solve their own environmentally induced situations. Word gets around and things grow. Eventually, organization is added (perhaps for protection or maybe for other reasons) and teaching methodologies become solidified.
The Atienza’s father “Butch” grew up in a very poor barrio in PI, giving him a certain level of experience. He later trained and sought out many FMA practitioners after coming to the states. He did this with the idea in mind that FMA had some of the solutions he was looking for (some did and some didn’t). With his life experiences and the FMA background (Some of the people he trained with are listed above) he raised his boys.
The Atienza brothers now were growing up in a bad neighborhood (different urban setting from the father, different technology, and different types of gangs). Their solutions that they needed to develop and hone to survive were based on the training their father gave them and their own ability to adapt to new circumstances. Eventually they started organizing and formulating concepts that seemed universal as their experiences broadened. Friends died along the way and were especially hard lessons…but these too were not left out.
They were planning on keeping this information within the family, passing it along to their kids, however after their father passed they decided to bring it out as a tribute to him, to pay their respect. Thus a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into this system.
The Atienza system is always evolving as new technology presents itself. We are always eager to Field Test our concepts and do so across multiple disciplines all the time (other FMA’s, grappling, MMA, fencing, various Japanese arts, law enforcement protocols, military tactics…etc) and all over the world. Anytime we have an opportunity to cross blades with someone it’s an opportunity for learning.
The short answer to where the roots of Atienza Kali stem from… “They are living their roots right now."
For the most part, it looks pretty good Steve…nice summary of many topics we have covered.
“Any fighter who develops a unique style may, legitimately, decide to teach a new system in which there may be recognizable glimpses of an original system, to a greater or lesser extent, but also new elements that reflect a different curriculum of body mechanics, footwork, techniques and strategies taught within a standardized set of training methods designed to develop attributes that he or she considers important."
If the reference here is; original system = “various methodologies taught by the father based on what he learned throughout his life,” then this would be correct. However, if it is implied that PKT was the original system mentioned then this would not be accurate. Just wanted to clarify and validate, thanks Steve.
“the number of instances of these is actually quite small if you want to compare systems, but rather interesting if you want to compare styles.”
This is a good distinction, “System vs. Style.” The system, in Atienza, we believe is a dynamic evolving organism, however one that is easily recognizable as Atienza. The personalities inside of the system help create the style. Each personality adds to the system with their own flavor. If looked at individually, styles are recognizable, however looked at collectively we all move as one.
“(a discussion of anchors and forced anchors and the “Pekiti Seguidas jab” might be a good start).”
I would be interested in knowing about the “Pekiti Seguidas jab,” and how it would relate to Force Anchor Tracking (FAT) and Anchor points. What is the purpose of the jab and how is it trained?
The sequidas don't get taught as much anymore, but I believe that it's a backhand jab or horizontal number 2 prefaced by uppercutting or umbrella motions. The material shows up a lot in the Dog Bros "Attacking Blocks" stuff.
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