I had the distinct pleasure of spending this past Sunday with Tuhom Rommel Tortal of Pekiti Tirsia Kali Manila. A genuinely nice gentleman, Mr. Tortal is considered by many to be the heir apparent to the PTK crown under Leo Gaje who is Tortal's uncle. Though my budget lately has been nada, I am glad I scraped the bottom of the cookie jar to go to the six hour seminar in Federal Way.
Tortal had us moving the whole seminar banging out footwork drills, contrada drills, and fundamental manipulation of single stick, double stick, single blade, as well as empty hand. I believe he was a bit disappointed on the level of shape some folks were in so kept the pace clipping. Whenever Professor Tortal would have drill, he would also show us the application and where these movements would come into play. This is an important aspect considering many FMA teachers are drill happy to the point where they do not even know why they do certain drills!
This would be the first time I have ever trained in the Lukgood (the Malaysian's call it a Kerambit) and to be honest the training gave me a new found respect for the weapon. Though I think in an actual encounter I would much prefer a regular knife, the Lukgood(?) is certainly a formidable weapon in close.
We worked a number of basic single and double stick drills along with some applications, but the lesson always came back to two fundamental aspects: footwork and angles. If either of these two principles was askew, the technique would fail! That is what I like about Tortal... the emphasis on basic footwork and making sure we hit at the correct angle.
Towards the end of the day we worked a bit of empty hand. Again Tortal moves like a snake; fluid, fast, deadly. Limb destructions and dumog were the topic of this section, and while many of the movements would require a completely willing opponent, the principles were none the less solid. Get offline of the attack and counter!
I want to thank Prof Tortal, Art Samson, and especially my good friend and training partner Russ Segawa. Sorry I did not take more pics, we were busy training! If you ever get the chance to train with Rommel Tortal make sure you do it! He is one of the best Filipino martial artists I have ever had the luxury of training with! I look forward to his visit to the Pacific NW next. And if you are interested in training some Kali, then make sure to check us out this weekend where I have my teacher Meynard Ancheta coming in for our very own Pekiti Tirsia Kali seminar! Contact Jake ASAP for more info: 206-941-3232