I’ve never studied any martial art. Will I be able to study Pekiti Tirsia? You don’t need to have prior experience studying another martial art. What we do require is the willingness to learn and seriously train, and the good moral foundation to guide the skills that will be learned. What do I have to wear when I start training? Do I need to buy a uniform? We don’t use uniforms in Pekiti Tirsia. We don’t even have belts or any indicator of rank or seniority. We train in regular exercise clothing such as t-shirts, shorts, trainers, etc. We do have a club shirt that most of our members use in class, which is as close as we have to a “uniform”. What do I need to bring for my first day of training? Nothing much, just bring enough drinking water for strenuous training. We can provide the training weapons for beginners. Are classes conducted in English or Filipino? If the class has foreign students, English is used throughout the class. If the class does not have any foreign students, Filipino and English is used. Do you have knife fighting classes, or sessions specifically for training with knives? We do knife training as part of regular classes. Stick practice – and the body movement and the understanding of angles of attack that it teaches the student – is the basis of all weapon and even non-weapon training in Pekiti Tirsia. So in a sense we are always doing knife training. When we do conduct knife-specific training, it is limited to only intermediate and advanced students. What’s the point of training to use a weapon? I don’t have a stick with me all the time. Having a weapon – matched with the skills to utilize it to the fullest – always gives the defender a crucial advantage over an empty-handed attacker. Against an armed attack, having a weapon will improve the odds for the otherwise empty-handed defender. In Pekiti Tirsia, the stick represents a long bladed weapon like a bolo or machete. The stick can easily be replaced by anything at hand, regardless of its length or shape. So you don’t just train to just use a stick or a knife; you train to use anything at hand as an improvised weapon. We are almost always surrounded by potential weapons or you already have one on you. Ashtrays, cellphones, pens, books and just about anything you can grab and use can be a weapon. Pekiti Tirsia weapons training is directly applicable to anything you can pick up and use as a potential weapon. The mentality of seeing everything as having the characteristics of a potential weapon, and yet having skills to defend yourself empty-handed if needed, is a major advantage in a self-defense situation. Unlike other martial arts systems where empty-handed skills are taught before weapons, the Filipino Martial Arts trains with weapons first and uses movement, speed, reflexes, instincts and other attributes to lead to empty-handed skills. We believe that the most important component in a self-defense situation is the individual and his or her determination to survive. This is why we often say that the Pekiti Tirsia student is training to BE a weapon, rather than be completely dependent on having one at hand. So Pekiti Tirsia is not only about weapons? Yes. The system has its own empty hand subsystem, based on the same body movement developed with weapons training. Do you accept requests for classes focusing on knife training only? No. Why should I train to use knives? I have no intention of carrying one anyway. A vast majority of armed robberies and assaults in the Philippines involve the use of an edged weapon. Knife training is meant to give the student a realistic, instinctive and thorough understanding of how a knife is used. The chance of surviving empty-handed against a knife attack is already very slim; knowledge and experience with how the weapon is used is essential if one even hopes to survive such an attack. You cannot defend against a weapon or type of attack if you haven’t experienced using it yourself. The Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) are well known for teaching realistic and practical weapon skills and Pekiti Tirsia’s particular emphasis is on edged weapons. I’ve never heard of Filipino Martial Arts. Why is that? Arnis, Escrima and Kali aka Filipino Martial Arts (FMA) have always had an excellent reputation for being realistic and practical, making them a staple of police and military training abroad. Compared with most other martial arts, FMA in general remains very closely linked to realistic combat. Ironically, the effectiveness of FMA has been largely ignored or unappreciated by Filipinos over the years in favor of foreign martial arts. Nowadays foreigners are more aware and appreciative of FMA than Filipinos. The reality that FMA are well rounded fighting systems – beyond being simply stick fighting systems – is even less understood by Filipinos. However, the popularity of FMA is picking up, due to its use in movies like the Bourne Identity and its sequels. Elements of FMA have been used in movies for years, from Bruce Lee’s Enter The Dragon to the Blade series. Filipino Martial Arts was also used in “The Book Of Eli” and “300″. The internet provides valuable information on local FMA groups and systems and they have become easier to find.

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