"Styles" of Pekiti Tirsia

Discussion in 'Pekiti-Tirsia Kali' started by jwinch2, May 21, 2014.

  1. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    Hello everyone,

    When watching different groups of Pekiti Tirsia practitioners/instructors, I see some marked differences in what they do. Please understand, I am not trying to say what is good or bad, merely what I see. Here is what I am getting at:
    • When I watch T. McGrath and his students, I see a good deal of body rotation when striking, more so than I see from other groups. From what I have seen, the same thing can be said for others who studied with G.T. Gaje during this era (T. Ballarta, M. Salazar, T. Gelinas, Mr. Bisio, etc.).
    • When I see T. Waid and his students, I see very large distances between persons when performing drills, particularly when stick or long blade is involved. I also see less body rotation and more of a tendency to stay squared to the opponent.
    • When I see persons that currently train with G.T. Gaje and T. Rommel, I see movements that appear to have more of a silat influence, particularly in terms of takedowns and any ground work that is included.

    These differences often seem so pronounced that it seems that there are various styles of Pekiti Tirsia that have developed over the years, depending on when one might have trained with G.T. Gaje.

    Thoughts on this? I am not trying to start an argument, merely learn. I also have zero interest in the politics of various groups within Pekiti Tirsia.

    In addition, I recognize that there may be very good reasons for the differences which exist. For example, I know that T. Waid spent much of his time working with the Marines in the PI, and that one necessarily moves differently when carrying a rucksack and other gear, and in a military situation. This may serve to explain the desire to cover larger distances when moving, and the ability to do less in terms of torsion (rotating around the long axis of the body) when striking. Furthermore, in recent years there has been an obvious increase in the emphasis we see on ground fighting, which may serve to explain the influence of silat-like movements I noted above.

    So, with that in mind, and my disclaimers in place, I will hopefully learn from those who are more knowledgeable than I on the topic at hand.


    Last edited: May 21, 2014
  2. jspeedy

    jspeedy Member

    I can't comment on ptk specifically but i think it's only natural for a practitioner to evolve over the course of his training. I don't mean evolve in the sense that gee out she is getting better (of course one would hope that skill would continue to grow) but overtime a practitioner may emphasize new or different aspects if his "game". Alo you have to look at the individual based on his specific attributes. Take boxing as an example, a shorter guy and a lanky guy would be wise to take different approaches to fight. I would think fma should be no different.
  3. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    I definitely agree. It is only natural for persons to express things a bit differently and, as I noted above, there are also legitimate reasons that things can evolve, etc. over time.
  4. LRC

    LRC New Member

    I have trained with a fiew of the Tuhons and other instructors, and seen several more on videos and have also noticed how they move and express their ptk diffrently. My thoughts have been very much in the same lines as yours with at what time and how much did they train with GT Gaje and what were their focus is at.

    I sometimes do some of my training with a weigthwest and have noticed discomfort particulary in the knees when rotating to much with the added weight, so this I would think this is right on mark.
  5. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member


    I have seen people give Tuhon Waid some grief in the past for appearing in a tactical vest, etc. in many of his videos. In his defense, the simple truth is that those things make it harder to move, and if he is going to teach people who have to wear them daily, he has an obligation in my view to work the system in the same sort of gear, particularly when teaching those specific students.
  6. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Hey Jwinch2 this is pretty natural. If you train with someone they have what I call a "teaching window". During the course of their time teaching they also will be in different stages of their own development. I am intimately familiar with Modern Arnis and how practitioner's in different era's of the Professors training/teaching move differently. It is no different in Pekiti Tirsia or with many long teaching instructors around the world.

    Here is blog post on The Instinctive Edge regarding this teaching window: http://brianvancise.com/2013/07/24/the-teaching-window/
  7. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    Excellent article Brian. Thanks for that. Per this conversation, I would presume you are referring to the "teaching window" of GT Gaje, and its influence on those who are now at the senior rank levels within the various PTK organizations. If I am wrong, please correct me on that.
  8. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Absolutely, when GT Gaje was starting out like most martial practitioner's he might not have been the best teacher. As he developed his skills and teaching abilities he turned out some really good practitioner's then the next generation came along and they were probably even better and so on until obviously at some point either now or down the line people will either get really refined movement from him or his teaching window will close. What I always recommend for anyone training with a long standing instructor is to obviously train with them but also their senior students from several generations. That way you potentially can get the whole picture of the system. Though, obviously this is not always possible.
  9. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    Thanks for that.
  10. I think that it has less to do with the teaching window and more to do with the access to GT Gaje.

    In the 70's and early 80's he lived in NYC and those students there had complete access to him. After that point access by anything other than seminar instruction was rare. Complete pieces of information transferral was limited.

    Tough call.
  11. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    Thanks for your insight on that, I appreciate you taking the time.

    Since you are an expert on this topic, perhaps you have some insight. Let's take three men as an example. Tuhons McGrath, Waid, and Tortal. To my knowledge, they all had a large amount of personal access to GT Gaje, yet I see definite differences in the way they move and articulate the system. Am I wrong on that, or do you notice differences as well?

    Thanks again!
  12. During the time of Bill McGrath's training with GT Gaje the emphasis was on the training of the Doce Methodos. Since he left the organization in the later part of the 90's, before GT Gaje returned to North America, that is the only PTK training he ever received (this is not a qualitative or quantitive fact, just an affirmation). Tim Waid actually bridged the two eras. I have seen a video tape with Tim assisting Bill in an Espada y Daga seminar in Texas, which was before Tim went to the Philippines. So he had PTK training before he went to the Philippines in the early 90's. I met him at the Centennial Camp in 1998 and the Doce Methodos techniques were practiced there. I even taught classes in it when I was there. GT was starting to disseminate his updated progressions at that time. That is what Tim seemed to be working on. I met Rommel at that camp too (1998) but his training in the Doce Methodos was limited as GT Gaje was drilling him in the new stuff (exclusively?).

    I have had more conversations with Bill McGrath regarding his training with GT than with either Tim or Rommel. Probably because my training more closely resembled that of Bill's than that of Tim or Rommel.

    Personally, I have never seen it as a big difference in articulating the system, just the differences in the way we were first trained in it.

    I see some similarities in the way I move to the way others of that era move. It might just be because I am of their age group (older).

    I still like the training and feel that I am doing it "right" (for me), but I see gaps that I need to work on and am realizing that I will never be satisfied with myself.

    I am starting to feel that there is a "right" way to do Pekiti Tirsia. I am not sure if I know what it is yet.
  13. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    Interesting. Thanks for your insights. If you ever get around to being able to express your "right" way, I would be interested in hearing what you have to say.

    Best regards,
  14. odalisay

    odalisay Member

    Thank you Tuhon Gelinas for your insight on PTK training past and present. I totally see the difference you talk about. I have received training in PTK from the 1st Gen by way of Tuhon Michael Franciotti and 2nd Gen instructor (he will remain anonymous) who was a student of GT in the mid to late 90's in PI.

    It is interesting to see differences in movement and teaching. I appreciate & cherish every minute I have spent training with both gentleman. I hope to one day learn from GT one day and I know his knowledge will help to bring everything I have learned make sense. I hope to meet you Tuhon Gelinas & Tuhon McGrath one day.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    Tuhon Gelinas,

    I would be interested in reading your throughts on the "Tri-V Formula" and how it differs from the manner in which PTK was taught previously by GT Gaje. My instructors do not teach in this manner, so I am curious to learn what the differences are. My understanding from reading about it here and elsewhere in the past, is that it is designed to introduce some things earlier in the teaching progression. However, even that might be incorrect. Since I know you have been with GT Gaje through this change in structure, I would be interested in any thoughts you might have.

    Best regards,

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