You say pekiti I say dekiti

Discussion in 'General' started by billc, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. billc

    billc New Member

    Last weekend, Sept. 11 2010 I went to a Katipunan in Illinois where several instructors taught various FMA. I had trained with the host of the event and knew he had taught a blend of several arts, including Pekiti tirsia. My current instructor teaches Dekiti Tirsia as taught to him by Jerson "Nene" Tortal, Leo Gaje's uncle. At one point my former instructor was going to do some seguidas from PTK and looked at my current instructor and said, "I don't mean to step on your toes but we are going to do some seguidas..." From my experience DTS does not do seguidas, although my instructor is familiar with them, they just aren't a part of the DTS main curriculum.
    About couple of weeks before the Katipunan, I met several practitioners of FMA near my home, it was really a chance encounter, and we started discussing the arts we each studied. I mentioned that I was currently training in Dekiti Tirsia Sirada, and one of the guys was a little confused. The guy next to him said, " Its Pekiti Tirsia, but the P is changed into a D." At least it was something like that that he said. I am curious. I have trained a little in PTK with the host of the Katipunan, and now I have trained in DTS for over a year. These styled are far more different than just a one letter change. I am not looking to start a controversy between Tortal family members or supporters, nor am I saying which style is better. I am just curious, how many PTK practitioners out there realize how different these two arts are from each other after decades of divergent experience and choices by their teaching heads? I would be interested because I really like DTS and PTK and hope that everyone has a chance to see the differences and gain knowledge from the differences.

  2. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Nice landmine field you've wandered into...

    One way to look at Pekiti Tirsia is that it is comprised of 5 strikes (all thrusts count the same, as one of the five), plus footwork, plus the torsional body mechanics best exemplified by the side-step, plus the attitude. Power, distancing, and timing are all the result of the fundamentals listed above.

    To the best of my knowledge GT Gaje incorporated the Seguidas into the curriculum somewhere in the early to mid eighties; the tri-V formula probably reflects a similar evolution of thinking on his part during the '90's and '00's.

    I haven't seen any Dekiti Tirsia and my only experience watching Nene is the old Lionheart video from the early '80's. I'd be curious to hear from Dekiti players how and why the style has developed the way that it has since then.


  3. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    I agree that this could be a landmine but it could also be quite informative. I echo Steve's comments that it would be very interesting to hear about the development of DTS vs. PTK since the heads of the two respective systems (Tortal and Gaje) went their separate ways. A discussion of what led them to make the alterations that may have taken place would be very interesting particularly if they could be compared with PTK as taught in the PTI organization. Additionally, a discussion about how the various "unaffiliated" groups teaching PTK such as the Pitbull groups may or may not have kept the same path as the major organizations have done would be enlightening.

    Unfortunately considering past threads that is likely to be quite difficult to achieve without someone getting bent out of shape.
  4. billc

    billc New Member

    I guess I would suggest that PTK people take a closer look at DTS. It really is a completely different looking art than Pekiti Tirsia. The heavy emphasis on sword work and the differences in knife training are pretty cool. If you can, do both, I know I would. I would also do Kali illustrisimo, Baha Za'bud, Lameco you name it. My main point I guess was to just point out that Dekiti Tirsia Sirada, as taught to my teacher by Jerson Tortal, is a different art than Pekiti Tirsia as taught by Leo Gaje. In this way people may not just think it is just a letter change between the two.
  5. It's "Bahad Zu'bu" Bill, heh heh.

    Anyway, I take your point. A couple of years ago I was practicing the "Retirada" drill. Present was Gm Yuli Romo, GM Tony Diego and Master Pedring Romo (founder of an offshoot of K.I). GM Tony moved be back a bit, Master Pedring moved me forward and GM Yuli moved me to the side!

    So it was very confusing. Differences in strikes / hand-motion are one thing. When your base / footwork and core body-motion has to change as well it's a big ask. Of course, it is not impossible and I have met some people (Master level though) who can transition between different arts.

    For me, I am interested in the mindset of different arts. Why they do somethings a certain way and to relate it back to the way I am currently doing it and examine the differences. This is just like the last sentence of your OP. My focus is to get a really good base and understanding in one art before I even think about branching out so I am not currently there.

    You might think K.I, Bakbakan and Lameco are similar but to me they are completely different arts to Bahad Zu'bu. For example, my training partner was a Bakbakan senior and it has taken 1 year for him to adapt his footwork and body-motion to Bahad Zu'bu. No doubt it would be the same if I went the other way.

    Anyway, just some thoughts....I wish this thread the best of luck as I don my metal helmet and duck behind the

  6. jwinch2

    jwinch2 Member

    Interesting comments and observations about your time training in various branches of a common tree. I would imagine that someone trying to look at relationships between DTS and the various branches of the family PTK would have similar issues. It would be fascinating to be sure, but very difficult.

    One of the things I really enjoy about FMA is that, in general, it seems to be more about making the art work for you rather than adapting your body to the art. I have heard more than one grand-poobah of various FMA systems when watching someone perform their art say something to the effect of "it ain't pretty, but he makes it work" and at the end of the day, that's what it is all about to me. Now, if there are technique issues which are preventing the development of combat effectiveness or which can create other problems down the road (e.g. leaving you open for counters, etc.) then I am 100% in support of fixing it so don't get me wrong. But, I do enjoy the focus on results which seems to be prevalent in FMA.
  7. Thanks. I have no experience of Pekiti / Dekiti but thought I'd broaden the discussion slightly as it's a general topic.

    "It seems to be more about making the art work for you rather than adapting your body to the art"

    I think I get where you're coming from here - and agree in general.

    My belief is that a certain style should work for all shapes and sizes.

    However, I can think of examples where you need to adapt your body in order to make the art work. An example would be going from say a hard style (like Shaolin for example) to a soft-style (Ba Gua).

    Those maybe extreme examples but if we were to define "hard" as "Force against force" I have seen the same divide in FMA.

    What I am also seeing is people do not take the time to fully explore the possibilities of a system. Instead, they paper over the cracks in their understanding by "Bolting-on" parts of other styles (including terminology). In doing this it is of utmost importance that you quote Bruce Lee to add substance to the "halo-halo" created.

    IMHO they do this for a quick-fix and everybody else is doing it so why not? It's easier and you don't have to go back to the beginning (the answer is always in the basics, eh?!) and admit to being a "beginner" again. This leaves you free to award yourself some rank to attach to your PR materials and hopefully bag some seminars.

    To the untrained eye it works so why not?

    (As you can tell this is a current pet peev of mine...:()

    Going back to the OP; sometimes arts that are very similar are not as easy to train in combination as ones that are vastly different (say BJJ and boxing).

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  8. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    One thing about fundamentals like footwork and body mechanics is that, no matter the dissimilarities between styles, if the fundamentals are sound then the attributes that they develop are sound. One avenue that you could explore , for example, is whether the Pekiti Tirsia Kali sidestep/takeoff is utilized in the same manner in Dekiti Tirsia. Does it, for example, promote the same "evade, then crash and destroy" attitude? What about footwork off of the sidestep? Does Dekiti utilize the same triangle and diamond patterns? Have the Contradas developed past what GT Gaje and Tortal were showing in the Lionheart tape from the early '80'q? In what instances to both arts eschew the sidestep in favor of a more straight-on approach? I don't know Dekiti Tirsia, but I would imagine that there is a strong set of similar approaches to footwork and some dissimilarities.


  9. NAGA

    NAGA Member

    Politics stink!

    Hello All,
    Ok I am compeled too post on this one. Instead of saying what is different between the two Tortal Kali systems, let us instead examine what is the same. Terms in Ilongo and Tagalog and local idiosyncratic terms are really meaningless. Simply put in any fma you can get two family members using the same term for something different.
    Yet there are seguidas in DTS but they are not similar too the PTK versions. Nevertheless, The common points between both arts are heavy emphisis upon footwork (different in application though), overwhelming power and sword orientation. Left lead orientation and knife blade in a reverse position. I hope this helps.....

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  10. billc

    billc New Member

    In mentioning Kali illustrisimo, lameco and Baha Zu'bud, I wasn't making a comparison only trying to say that if I had the time and resources I would try to train in all of them and several others,as long as I had one art that was my base.
  11. Ah, o.k - I didn't read it as being subjective anyway. I was just trying to illustrate how cross-training could be problematic.

    All three are equally great arts though!
  12. arnisador

    arnisador Active Member

    One thing I can say about DTS from my limited experience with it is that the footwork is big--it reminds me of aikido! When it works you're very well positioned, but it can be a while getting there. I mean that in a positive way. I like DTS, and Mr. Tortal, a lot!
  13. NAGA

    NAGA Member

    Educational not Politics!

    Hello Arnisador,
    I think this thread could serve as an educational tool about both arts discussing the similarities and the divergent aspects. I would hope it could evolve without the politics, mudslinging and myth building nonsense. Nevertheless, I too enjoy GT "Nene" Tortals art in that aspect of footwork and power striking. Even though as I and a friend joked about recently my rank in DTS is like the character that ages in reverse, for some odd reason my rank gets lower over time instead of higher (Heh-heh)....

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  14. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Senior Member Supporting Member

    Personally I really like and enjoy both. My experience with DTS was fantastic meeting with John and the Grand Tuhon. I like the DTS style of footwork and it fit's very, very well with what I do in Instinctive Response Training. I also have friends in Pekiti Trisia and have enjoyed training with them as well! Both have exceptional thigns to offer! There are of course differences but they both have like John mentioned good footwork and movement, blade orientation, etc. I think it is pretty normal when someone branches off or goes on their own path that they would introduce things that they enjoy working with. The differences are in each man's interpretation and experiences. If someone is looking for a combative martial system then Dekiti Tirsia Sirada or Pekiti Trisia Kali are both excellent systems!

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