Speaking of Endorsements...

Discussion in 'Pekiti-Tirsia Kali' started by DM03, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. DM03

    DM03 New Member

    Bill McGrath:

    Be careful...Latorre cracks the whip on spelling; can't be sure how he responds to syntax.

    First, we are going to differ right off the bat. The conviction of many, myself included, is that PTK is not a Martial Art but a Combat System. The view of PTK as the plaything for artisans is what is fast destroying its efficacy, legacy and chances of ever seeing the future. I have interfaced with enough of your ex-students to know that your claims of fidelity to the "exact" teachings of Tuhon and his material are overstated and far from accurate. The PTI curriculum is chock-full of your own manufacturings, constructed as you see fit. Which, granted, is your prerogative, since its yours. But that cannot legitimately carry the same name and title as the actual system you have altered.

    What Tuhon Gaje did not teach and has never taught:
    526 plus techniques for single stick
    48 techniques for double stick
    144 techniques for sword and dagger work
    144 plus variations in knife
    144 disarms
    5 attack sub-system
    a 3rd set of Espada y Daga Seguidas in Pakal Grip
    Progressions in which each technique has 7, 8 or 9 variations and derivatives.
    This is contrary not only to the manner in which Tuhon Gaje has traditionally taught, it flies in the face of any real Filipino Martial Art systemology.

    As to your YouTube video of endorsement by Grand Tuhon Gaje, it surprises me that you would think to post evidence of an endorsement that was retracted almost as quickly as it was received. If you are reaching for that evidence, consider this...

    Lionheart Tournament. Fax from GT dated July 18th, 1997, wherein it states "...what happened to the tournament? Why PTK lost? You have deviated from my teaching...stop using blocks, stances and take out that kickboxing thing..."

    Or yours, dated July 28th, 1997, wherein it states "...it will be best if [we] divest all former ties..."

    Or the one from February 1, 1998 wherein it is stated "...I, Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje, Jr., Sovereign Grandmaster of the Pekiti-Tirsia Kali System do hereby withdraw the title and rank of Master and "Tuhon" Sa Mataas Na Hakbang (Master Instructor) from William R. McGrath."

    It is assuredly more comfortable to close our eyes to an unpleasant truth, hold hands and throw around words like brothers this-and-that, but the idea of what is "authentic" regarding this system is absolutely vital to its perpetuation and continued effectiveness in the field of battle, wherever that may be.
  2. Jack Latorre

    Jack Latorre Siyam


    You seem to be quite the authority on the system with five years put into it. Which is strange, as it seems you speak as if you were there...vital to the relationship between Mr. McGrath and Mr. Gaje, as the "information-seeking" intermediary that they needed...or not...

    You are becoming less an emissary for Pekiti-Tirsia with each and every post, despite you efforts at carrying its banner. You hurt and tarnish the thing you claim to teach and practice.

    Good luck in your endeavors.

    Jack A. Latorre
  3. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    This is a standard operating policy for a lot of systems within the FMA community.. It seems that whenever the targeted individual gets into the hierarcy of their particular style, the broader the target gets painted on their back.. I have a video where GT Gaje gives support to a couple of the senior instructors within the PTK group from the earlier days.. Mr. McGrath and a couple of other people were publically acknowledged as senior instructors of PTK.. After a while, a lot of controversy started within the group and a few of the senior people were cast aside and "stripped" of rank.. My point is, you can be stripped of rank as a rank indicator such as a certificate is just a piece of paper.. The thing that counts is the ability to teach the program and keep it evolving as much as it can be by the individual instructor.. Rank Certs are just paper as I said before, the practice and knowledge cannot be pulled or tossed out by the individual who documents and acknowledges the efforts and dedication of the individual practitioner who has the target painted on them due to personal differences.

    All I can say is, Tuhon McGrath, Keep up the good work and keep plugging along.. This little disagreement will be over before you know it and don't sweat the small stuff because in our profession, words are meaningless.. It's the actions and professionalism that bring the individual to be the best that we can portray in what we teach..
  4. DM03

    DM03 New Member

    By now it should be entirely clear that you and I have vastly different ideas regarding what actually tarnishes the system of Pekiti-Tirsia.

    I point out that you are diminishing the system by teaching an aspect of the art incorrectly.

    You come back with the retort that I am diminishing the system by pointing out that you are diminishing the system.

    There we have it then.

    I will continue to advocate for a combat system whose correct methodology is so self-evident as to be, actually, above any political orientation/affiliation.

    I take it you will continue to advocate for the individual who heads up PTI.
  5. DM03

    DM03 New Member

    Bill of Guam,

    Understand something here. Another reality also exists - one in which the more a dissenting voice continues to stand forth to speak a truth that is unsettling, uncomfortable and potentially disruptive to the malaise of the status quo, the more attempts are made to dismiss or undermine the voice itself so as not to engage the actual content of its message. So far, I am a troll with no experience and spelling issues. I imagine next I will be called a Kenyan-born Muslim Socialist who wants to kill your granny.

    Far from trolling, I have been posting on this forum for a couple of years now and my name and location have always been available. Regarding the issue here at hand, I have supported all my positions with lines of reasoning, explanations of technical points and documented evidence. So no troll.

    Tuhon Gaje asked McGrath to stop deviating from his teachings. McGrath made a choice at that point to split. Tuhon pulled rank. Simple. You would do well to put your personal feelings for Mr. McGrath aside and place your attention instead to the "deviating from the teachings part" or the many other alterations or false productions. Beginning-level or not, if this does not give a Pekiti practitioner even the slightest reason for second-thought, well, you can lead a horse to water and all that jazz. PTK at its core does not continue to evolve. Certainly, a true understanding of its complete principles, strategies and tactics can lead to an almost boundless magnification of the system, and without exaggeration or hyperbole, Grand Tuhon Gaje is the personification of this ability. Like it or not, an authentic system of Pekiti-Tirsia does exist - Bisio knew a great deal of it, and look at what he accomplished in 31/2 years. Why did he receive this from Tuhon? He was (and most likely still is) a superior martial artist with the necessary intellect. Imagine if he had stayed around to complete the system.

    Actions and professionalism, you say? What does it say of a person who publicly posts an endorsement from a GM when said person knows full well that the endorsement is not valid. What continues to baffle me (not really) is why you and your cohorts here continue to make excuses for Mr. McGrath. There are appeasers, colluders and sycophants in nearly every conflict, so I suppose this shouldn't be any different.
  6. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    First off, Let's get one thing straight..
    I am not a practitioner or follower of Tuhon McGrath's PTI or Tuhon Gaje's PTK. I have several friends who are in both organizations, but I don't take sides with either group.. I at one time was heavily interested in the study of PTK when it was first introduced in the states.. Before this was done, I had already been involved with the FMA for several years and teaching it since the mid 70's. I watched the bickering of the PTK group against other factions of the FMA since the early 80's, yet didn't speak my mind.. I have seen and was personally involved with the family quarrel between Tuhon Gaje and Tuhon Jerson "Nene" Tortal over the years but when Tuhon Tortal asked us to stand down and not pursue the situation as it was pushing the line as to what he emphasis in his teaching and beliefs.. I have also seen several people get fed up with the bickering and leave both systems due to this particular reason.. I know that challenges were issued between the PTK group and the DTS group last year, I was involved with that, even as an outsider..

    My point is just this. Comments were made and released in public by certain individuals, These have been documented via recorded and video means for all to see over the years.. There is one tape that was put out and featured Tuhon Gaje and Tortal where it was recorded that certain individuals were acknowledged as being the senior instructors of PTK at the time and that one of the Tuhons were more versed into the traditional and technical aspects of the PTK system at the time. This was put on one of the tapes which Lionheart put out back in the day when this company was still operational, Look at it and you will see the commentary made.. Well, times changes, people have changed their minds for reasons which are their own and should not be anyone's concern other than that of the individuals involved.. Not the newbies with their toes just getting wet by trying to ride the coat tails of those who have been in the system or systems for more than some of the people who argue mute points about who is recognized by who and what time of day..

    Hell, I've been involved with the same incidents with some of my instructors and still am.. I have been stripped of rank, slandered by senior people and instructors who have less time in the system than I do, been called everything from a renegade to not having recognized rank.. I have been promoted to a rank higher than I held before I was stripped of my former rank and then the next day, the rank that was awarded to me pulled off the listing from the "official website" of my former organization.. Do I give a ****??? NO.. Rank certificates are just a piece of paper which most people in the states put up on their "I Love me" wall for every one of their new students to kowtow to and people use to impress inquiring individuals who just so happen to walk in the school..

    In the earlier days of the FMA, we were not given certificates for adornment on our "I Love Me' Wall. Rank was most of the time given orally and registered with the family log of people who were promoted to their specific rank.. Skill is earned by practicing the material which we are shown, that can not be taken away... No Human being can take away something that was shown and taught to another individual, the individual keeps practicing what he was taught and developing his own skills by evolving with what he was shown to suit his own needs.. If he decides to teach it, who is to say that he isn't qualified to teach, just because he doesn't have a piece of paper or someone has said that he is stripped of his former rank.. It doesn't mean a rat's ass to people who spent the time and effort by training what they were taught at the time..

    As I stated earlier, I have friends and acquaintances within both organizations, the situation that is being discussed now should be left to those involved, everyone else should mind their own business and keep their noses out of areas that don't concern them..

    Nuff said and this is all I am going to say about this situation..
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  7. DM03

    DM03 New Member

    Much as you wish it were so, you can't write it off that easy. I, unlike you did, suffer no idol worship whatsoever. Likewise while PTK is one of the most outstanding combat systems available today, it is certainly true there are others. While its techniques are informative and effective, its principles and methodology are what have advanced my development in this system, and they continue to do so. Keep in mind that I came to this system as a 28 year old man whereas you came to it as a boy. I've taught the system for the last 5 years, trained it for 3 before that, was with Vunak before that, the Inosanto system before that, boxing since I was 14, born and raised in NYC. I've been around the block, buddy. For cripes sake, your only 13 years older than me, so please stow the self-righteous wisdom. I am well-informed on the personalities, history and political agendas of ALL parties relevant to this discussion and many more beyond it. It is astounding what one can do with a little determined effort and persistence.

    Tuhon has never even come close to uttering those words to me. I train with him 2-3 times a year but otherwise have very limited access. I think he's pretty funny. He's got interesting taste in accessories. He also happens to be one of the great martial practitioners of our time. I pay attention and I study him. And every time, he validates the systems of the Doce Methodos, Contradas and Contra-Tirsia Dubla-Dos. I look to what Tom Bisio was doing, and I look to Tim Waid. Waid who has spent the last 20 years in continual training with Tuhon, 5 of which were spent in the PI. Waid has the full complement of the system and has endured all that's necessary to accomplish that. I've got 8 years under his instruction, he's got over two decades under the instruction of Tuhon Leo Gaje. In Pekiti-Tirsia, I've had no bad habits to unlearn and the benefits of the proper training methodology. This cannot however be said of former PTI students who experience nothing short of an epiphany when they are exposed to what the true system has to offer. I know - I've seen it.

    And I have no more dogmatism in this than I would in pointing out to someone that they are firing an M-16 incorrectly, or that their attempts to dismantle it and rearrange the pieces will surely not make it fire better. There is no more dogmatism in this that there is in BUD/S training for Seals. The Naval Special Warfare Training Center has a system in place to extract the finest candidates for their particular purposes. Their methodology works exceeding well and they know it.

    In the end, your attempts to portray my pyschology as something "you understand" only belie your inability to contest the facts at hand. Political agenda troll my arse. Red herrings are all you and yours can offer. By all means, continue the discussion of this technique or that, I for one will continue to push for the integrity of this system which I presume you once cared about.
  8. DM03

    DM03 New Member

    Never said he wasn't qualified to teach his own stuff. If its evolved to suit his own needs, its his style and the name should simply be changed. For better or worse, quite a few others have done just that over the years.

    Sounds like you had a crap experience, as I don't know any of the reasons behind your cycle of ranking-then-stripping I cannot really comment on whether or not any of that is relevant to this discussion. The stripping of junior or senior ranks is sometimes justified, sometimes not. Does it change the skills acquired? No, Bill, of course not. But we are not talking about that here, are we. The rank of Tuhon is not only one of skill but of great responsibility to the system. If the one bestowing that responsibility challenges your deviations on what you were entrusted with, its gut check time. McGrath's answer was to split and take the name with him. The title representing that responsibilty was taken back. So is he a victim here? C'mon.

    In actuality, there is no "Tuhon McGrath's PTI or Tuhon Gaje's PTK". Therein lies the false divide Jack mentioned the other day. There isn't even "Tuhon Gaje's PTK". Pekiti-Tirsia does not belong to Grand Tuhon Gaje. Quite the opposite. Grand Tuhon Gaje belongs to the system of Pekiti-Tirsia, the system on his forefathers and their ancestors. In a very real way, he is the system. And that is a fact that is undeniable.
  9. tim_stl

    tim_stl Junior Member

    what is the difference between a martial art and a combat system?

    can you elaborate on what about it flies in the face of any real filipino martial art systemology?

  10. ptksocal

    ptksocal New Member

    Martial arts is what dilletantes do.

    The original purpose of the Filipino combat system is the development of practical and efficient fighting skills, not the development of social clubs based on the romantic notions of playing weekend warriors.
  11. Datu Tim Hartman

    Datu Tim Hartman FMA Talk Founder Supporting Member

    Martial arts are suppose to build character. Martial art forums reveal it.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2010
  12. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

  13. equilibrium

    equilibrium Member


    I think the issue of differences in technique or teaching methodology have been sidetracked.

    Maybe this discussion should focus back in on the differences and why they might exist and why.

    I think there are some differences in what is being taught, so I think a discussion of the differences and why they might be different might be interesting.

    I don't see any reason why a discussion about differences in technique or teaching can't be held without deviating into all of this political and personal stuff.
  14. still lurking

    still lurking New Member

    Who's holding up the :lurk:
  15. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    Exactly right. You could easily handle this situation but saying the following: "I noticed that you teach that differently than I was taught. Why is that?"
  16. ptksocal

    ptksocal New Member


    Inevitably, people will comment on how they learned the true way and others did not.

    They will make claims by proof of endorsements, titles and ranks, but the only way to prove that one has learned and propagated the true way is trial by combat.

    We all know that this kind of "proof" is frowned upon in modern society. However, that wasn't the case when these fighting systems were developed. As such, teachers can get away making claims left and right without ever having to provide any proof that their methods work as advertised. By virtue of their rank, title, age, or received endorsements people automatically give them the benefit of a doubt.

    It's amazing that people do not apply their critical consciousness towards learning something that could possibly get them killed.
  17. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    You can easily disagree on a topic without attacking the person.
  18. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B Oso Grande

    It's 2010 last I checked...


    I hope all who delve into this supposed trial by combat continuum understand that this is what to expect and all the ramifacations that accompany it... (see above) ....unless of course one still lingers in the past waiting for their sword fight or knife fight (sadly oh so many do)

    It makes sense doesnt it? If some one comes to test your skills is one thing but when someone says A TEST OF COMBAT ( A test of combat means someone is going to die, hence combat) then all bets are off, are they not? Guns, Knives, Bats, Bricks, Explosives, Chevy Tahoes etc....all this then counts..at least in my book...but like I say..many are enamored with the supposed martial art duel.

    Trial by combat indeed...LOL... all the above methods of operandi are live and on the table....most hold human life so precious that they will crap their pampers at the first sign of ugly, cruel, premeditated murder..and a test of combat will lead to murder!

    Seems most are full of gut wind when it comes right down to getting bloody.

    Caveat Emptor!
  19. ptksocal

    ptksocal New Member

    And some just have big gut.

    Combat just means a fight, basically, people are going to have to put up or shut up.

    Perhaps, the truth is not many so called martial artist are actually fighters, but instead a bunch of dancers and performers, like circus monkeys.

    Therein lies the difference between those who train in a combat system as oppossed to those who train a martial arts. Guys who train for combat actually fight and test their skills by fighting, martial artist dance around the subject of fighting.
  20. DM03

    DM03 New Member

    Define: platitude

    When its all said and done, what these forums actually reveal all depends on who's doing the reading, doesn't it.

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