Adventures and Sports

Filipino Martial Arts Goes Global

Jan Dizon
Jan Dizon | Oct 17, 2013

Law enforcement organizations and fight specialists around the globe know that the Philippines' very own martial art, Kali, is the most sophisticated weapons-based fighting system in the world. Special forces at home, and even in the US and Russia, train in Filipino Martial Arts because of its effectiveness in real life combat situations. From the indigenous tribes of the Philippines, to Hollywood movies like 300, Book of Eli, and the upcoming I, Frankenstein -- Kali has been making its mark outside of our islands in a very big way. Guro Dan Inosanto, who was not only a student of the legendary Bruce Lee, but also trains and teaches Kali and escrima, has said that Kali is not only a martial art, it is a lifestyle.

Grandmaster Leo Gaje, Jr. is the pioneer who brought his family's system of Pekiti Tirsia Kali to the United States in the 1970's. Through him, the Filipino Martial Arts started to gain recognition outside our country and now ranks high with other fighting systems like Krav Maga and Muay Thai, as being the most effective martial arts to use outside the ring.

Training in Pekiti Tirsia Kali focuses on speed, timing, power, accuracy, and precision. Flowing movements that combine strikes with footwork patterns are first learned with sticks to represent bladed weapons, and can then be translated to knives and even empty hands. The beauty of Pekiti Tirsia Kali that makes it appeal to so many martial arts enthusiasts is it simplifies complex techniques into concepts that can easily be applied to any weapon and combat situation.

In the Philippines, one Filipino Martial Arts group bears the distinction of being headed by, not a Filipino, but a Frenchman! Guro Christophe Verdot, who leads Pekiti Tirsia Kali Global City, has spent years and countless hours of training under Grandmaster Leo Gaje Jr. himself, as well as the system's second-in-command, Tuhon Rommel Tortal. He teaches in Bonifacio Global City every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and he teaches Kali seminars in France and other European countries as well.

Through the efforts of Filipino Martial Artists like Guro Chris, whether they are Pinoy by blood or not, Kali continues to be admired and gain worldwide recognition not only in the Philippines, but around the world.


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