The Pekiti-Tirsia Kali system is one of the few remaining authentic and complete Filipino combat systems in existence today. Pekiti-Tirsia is system and technology of combat fighting with the Blade. It encompasses all traditional weapon categories and is formulated on the strategic principle of the Triangle. The triangle serves as the basis for footwork, striking, and the tactical principles of close quarters combat.
The Pekiti-Tirsia system of Kali originates from the provinces of Panay and Negros Occidental in the Philippines and was formulated and perfected by the Tortal family. The family patriarch and Grandmaster of Pekiti-Tirsia, Grand Tuhon Conrado B. Tortal, passed this system and its attributes onto his only grandson, the sole heir and its present guardian, Grand Tuhon Leo Tortal Gaje, Jr.
Pekiti-Tirsia is a traditional family system of Filipino martial art that traces its existence back to a time and era when carry and use of the bladed weapon was common and required among most men. Oral history of the Tortal family testifies to four generations practicing the family system of Pekiti-Tirsia. Norberto Tortal taught the system to his son Segundino Tortal. Segundino taught his five sons; Balbino, Tedoricio, Francisco, Quirino, and Conrado. Of the five brothers, Conrado was chosen as inheritor of the system with Balbino as one of his principal training partners. Balbino was later shot and killed by Japanese soldiers in the area of Barangay Conception, Talisay, Negros Occidental, in 1945 after disarming a Japanese officer of his samurai sword and killing two soldiers who attempted to bayonet him.
These generations of Tortal family leaders utilized the laboratory method of research and testing of combat Bladefighting tactics and techniques. Through friendly instructional exchanges, sparring duels with other recognized family and system leaders, and direct combat resulting in the death of the enemy, the system of Pekiti-Tirsia was continually trained, executed, and validated.