The Pekiti-Tirsia system is best known for its Daga, or knife…not just in the realm of Filipino martial arts but all martial arts. The teaching methodology behind the tactical use of and defense against the knife is what puts Pekiti-Tirsia apart from the rest. It approaches all training as if a blade is involved. If the opponent is not wielding a knife in his hand, the practitoner assumes that it hasn’t been pulled out yet.
The knife is among the oldest weapons and tools used by mankind, and it is still widely used today…even after the advent of firearms. Some of the enduring legacy of the knife comes from its availability, its simplicity. A knife never has to be reloaded and does not jam. All that is needed is a willing individual. Tactical folders and field-grade knives are commonplace, but even more so are everyday items such as pens, pencils, utility knives, and the like. The real danger to the law-abding citizen is intent. A pen is not normally a threat to anyone, but in the hands of an individual who is intent on hurting someone, that same pen is now a weapon of opportunity. That very same danger is amplified if a knife is involved. Pekiti-Tirsia aims to heighten edged-weapon awareness through responsible training in tried and true methodologies.
Pekiti-Tirsia knife theory is generally based on the assumption that the practitioner is wielding a small knife…with blade lengths of three to four and half inches, which are the sizes for the most common pocket knives. Larger knives tend to fall into Solo Baston-techniques which rely on hacking, due to the added power from the additional weight and length of the blade. Larger knives are not as common a carry item as small knives, thus practitioners practice with the size knife that they may probably carry. Small knives tend not to be able to do the kind of damage that larger knives can do, thus not having the “stopping power” required to defend against determined attackers. With this in mind, the Pekiti-Tirsia system tends to teach the practitioner as if the practitioner is at some sort of disadvantage: if the opponent has a sword, the practitoner has a knife; if the opponent has a large knife, the practitioner has a smaller knife; if the opponent has two knives (or more), the practitioner has one; if the opponent has only one knife, then the practitioner has nothing.
Although there are many ways to hold and deploy a knife, there are two basic grips in Pekiti-Tirsia: sak-sak (or hammer-grip) and pakal (ice-pick grip).
Adecedario De Sak-Sak:
This set teaches the basic body mechanics and footwork to use the particularities of knife in hammer grip against specific targets.
Abecedario De Pakal:
This set teaches the basic body mechanics and footwork to use the particularities of knife in ice-pick grip against specific targets.