“STRIKE, STRIKE, KILL!!!”Pekiti Tirsia Master Instructors have been conducting this intensive six (6) week training and certification program for the Philippine Army since 2008, first at Philippine Army Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio and now permanently located at the First Scout Ranger Regimental Headquarters at Camp Tecson, San Miguel, Bulacan. The Philippine Army General Headquarters-G8 sponsors the program that includes soldiers from other Army units deployed across the country including Infantry, Special Forces, and the elite Light Reaction Battalion - the Philippines top Counter-Terrorist unit.
Tactical Firearms CQCThe program also teaches the use of field expedient weaponry with anything that can be found on the battlefield and concludes with tactical scenario training in both jungle and urban environments. All student soldiers are veterans that bring decades of combined combat experience to the course and frequently discuss incidents of close quarters combat and their use of tactics and techniques. The Philippine Army General Headquarters-G8 is now conducting after-action reviews of graduates of the Pekiti-Tirsia CQC course to document the use of these CQC skills and the effectiveness of training. All students, usually a team of two (2) soldiers from a particular unit, arrive at Camp Tecson with full combat gear and firearms and are then issued their training equipment which includes an aluminum training Ginunting, an indigenous sword of the central Philippines and the primary Pekiti-Tirsia system combat blade, aluminum training Knife, additional rattan training sticks and knives, and Pekiti-Tirsia gear bag and training uniform/t-shirts.
The formal course begins with an introduction to the Pekiti-Tirsia Kali system and its history as a martial art and as official combat doctrine of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
This landmark six (6) month course. At the conclusion of this course the Commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps, then Major General Ponciano Millena, recognized Pekiti-Tirsia Kali as the official martial art of the Force Reconnaissance Battalion, and later in year 2000, as the official martial arts system of the Philippine Marine Corps.
This was the first time in history that any Filipino Martial Art has been recognized as Official Warfighting Doctrine of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The success of this program continued by the Marine Corps Force Recon Instructors led to an overwhelming demand to teach these skills to all branches of Philippine Special Operations Forces (SOF) and Philippine National Police (PNP) special operations units. These skills now have been masterfully demonstrated and instructed to US and other allied forces by Philippine Marines and Soldiers during joint training and operations and has firmly established their professional reputation as military Masters of the Blade.In addition to the Philippine Army,Pekiti Tirsia Master Instructors also conducts training for units of the Philippine National Police and other government agencies, and conducts annual special instructional periods during joint US and other ASEAN military exercises such as Vector Balance Piston and the Balikatan, the largest annual joint military exercise held in the Philippines. The training day begins with instructors leading the class in physical training sessions and then continues with an intensive aerobic tactical footwork training session. Footwork is also trained every day at the beginning of the afternoon training block to shake off any drowsiness from lunch. The students then begin a lengthy power striking and conditioning program beginning with the training Ginunting for accuracy and precision, and then move to the rattan sticks to strike a special target, a more than two (2) foot wide airplane tire from a 747 aircraft. This training develops muscular stamina for continuous, effective, and penetrating striking power. Training then moves back to the tactical use of the Ginunting against the entire range of weapons, including indigenous edged weapons, encountered by the AFP as they have historically engaged the enemy forces of the Philippine government, be they communist NPA rebels, the Moro MNLF and MILF separatists, or the Al Qaeda linked terrorists of the Abu Sayyaf. Soldiers in the Pekiti-Tirsia CQC course quickly realize that the Combat Bolo is the superior weapon for combat survival in the many tactical situations that are possible on the battlefield such as when firearms become inoperable or when forced to escape and evade the enemy.
Combat Knife training includes close quarters use of the knife against weapon disarming attacks, counter-grappling, and sentry neutralization. Students then learn that the same attacks with the Combat Knife directly transfer to empty-hand techniques, which end with a takedown and control of the enemy, as in a POW snatch, or the termination of the enemy with a neck break or strangle. The key attribute of the training course is the effective training methodology of the Pekiti-Tirsia system. The Pekiti-Tirsia Kali system accelerates the development of the soldier into a complete and effective fighting man that can use any weapon, including rifle and pistol, as an effective close quarters combat tool to engage and terminate any enemy combatant. The result is a keen and superior physical and psychological advantage for the Philippine Soldier over any enemy combatant ever to be encountered.
Earlier in year, Grand Tuhon Gaje conducted special instructional periods for the course which included close-quarters use of the Combat Knife and Sentry Neutralization taught by Tuhon Gaje, and, advanced Tactical Firearms CQC. Grand Tuhon Gaje lectured on the unique mental training of the warrior achieved through training in the Pekiti-Tirsia system and the historical application of the Filipino fighting arts throughout history. Grand Tuhon Gaje then taught the use of the knife in extreme close-quarters engagements and termination techniques.
As most Philippine Army and Marine units operate in remote jungle terrain, he emphasized the direct parallel between the strategy and execution of infantry/small unit combat tactics and edged-impact weaponry tactics. He explained and demonstrated that the critical skill of maneuvering and closing with the enemy are the same regardless if one is bounding as a team, using fire and movement as a individual team member, or striking and bridging through contact distance with an edged-impact weapon. Speed of movement (team assaulting or using individual angular footwork in close quarters), combined with accurate rifle fire and precise edged weapon striking are the keys to killing the enemy.
He continued with instruction on the use of the rifle as an edged-impact weapon, with or without the Bayonet, close-quarter handgun employment, and retention and disarming techniques with both tactical firearms.