It is a simple description of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali, but at the same time a vital and fundamental one – PTK is a complete system of blade fighting strategy and tactics. Vital in that it goes to straight to the core of what the system is and fundamental in that it prescribes the fertile ground from which any useful understanding can flourish. I am compelled to write that for the simple fact that I have come across so many people that are searching for an answer to the question: What is Pekiti? What seems most puzzling about how individuals seem to answer this question is that they almost always look to reduce it down to some specific thing or another. It depends on whom you ask. Some for example would swear it is a body mechanic, or a certain mentality or the footwork. Others would assert PTK is an accumulation of certain knife and stick techniques, or combat drills, a certain process of thinking or a super advanced formula. To be sure, PTK is all of these things and can be fairly represented in any “one” of these things. But what is most fundamental to an understanding of PTK and one I rarely hear championed is the notion that at its core PTK is the system of strategy and accompanying tactics in dealing with blade fighting. Let me follow that statement up with this one: it is a specifically FILIPINO system in that it was formulated, tested, and organized into a complete working composition by a particular family within that country. Why the notion of strategy and tactics is so key to answering the question of what is Pekiti-Tirsia is due to the fact that the central strategy of the system is found right in its name. “Small-thirds” or “Close –thirds” or “Close-quarter” all of these are fair estimations of the name of the system but, taking it just one logical step beyond, what we are really talking about is the notion of quartering an opponent within an operational triangle, allowing no room at all for counter and finishing the engagement up close and quickly. In terms of combat with a blade, close-quarter combat cannot be defined as simple infighting in what is commonly called the “corto” range. To have a functional definition (that is to say one that accurately describes what is necessary) of close-quarter blade combat you must refer to the notion that one fighter is seeking to flank, or quarter, his opponent and attack from a strategic position of advantage, where he is afforded the most protected position and at the same time positioned at his enemies weakest. This is the notion held within the name of the system and must be understood from the beginning. A series of blade or stick or empty-hand techniques will not suffice if you have not moved strategically into a position to deliver them with the utmost intended effect. You can easily see who understands this notion by simply looking at how they move in the fight. Having established that PTK is fundamentally a system of strategy and tactics, where do we look to find the specific strategies, tactics and techniques prescribed by the system? They are found in the Doce Methodos and the advanced systems of the Contradas and Contra-Tirsia Dubla Dos. As Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje’s official organization, The Pekiti-Tirsia Global Organization is at the forefront of disseminating instruction on the aforementioned systems and methods, detailing for all the developmental steps in edged/impact weapon combatancy and making the necessary training and guidance available for anyone that seeks a comprehensive and complete understanding of this Fighting System. The curriculum and methodology put forth by the PTGO and its chief instructors, on behalf of the Grand Tuhon, offers perhaps the finest resolution into how the system operates in real-time combat and also how it functions in developing not only fighters, but intelligent fighters. What is meant by “resolution” is that the genius of Tuhon Gaje simply cannot be replicated, it cannot be passed down, and it cannot be mimicked nor copied. That is why he, in so many ways, IS the finest product of the system. His understanding of it is at the level of genius, and I say that not as hyperbole but literally. He can produce excellence in nearly anyone based on his ability to pull from the system the exact combination of tactics, drills or methods to develop a particular student - point fighter, LEO, elite force recon, private citizen, seminar aficionado, young, old, blind, three-toed, you name it. He is untouchable in this regard. What PTGO has managed to do is manifest the key instructional method along with the complete strategies/tactics for success in close-quarter combat. In this way, the organization goes beyond overseeing the development of fundamental mechanics for the system, but instructs in the exact necessary combat strategies and accompanying tactics without which a practitioner is simply not executing the system of Pekiti-Tirsia. The strategies/tactics of the Doce Methodos, the Contradas system and the Contra-Tirsia Dubla Dos underlie every other description of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali. Refer back to the second paragraph of this essay and you will see that each and any description of PTK is either a particular strategy within the system, a particular tactic based on a strategy, or a particular attribute that enables the correct and successful execution of a combat tactic. In this way, understanding and appreciating Pekiti-Tirsia begins with grasping the tenet that it is, fundamentally, a complete system of blade fighting strategy and tactics.