Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Last weekend I was fortunate to get an invite from Shin Kali to attend a workshop on contradas (countering) led by Agalon Kit Acenas from PTK Manila. It was a great seminar and Agalon Kit is extremely talented.
PTK is the family system of the Tortal family, now headed by Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje. PTK has a lot of overlap with what we do in Kali Majapahit, and a lot of the movements looked familiar to me and were easy to pick up. They do some things that we don't, however, and the emphasis is a bit different.
The seminar included a lot of work on solo baston, daga/doble daga (pakal/saksak), knife tapping, espada y daga, and some empty hand applications of the contradas principles. The curriculum was well thought-out and showcased the contradas theme continually. In addition to Agalon Kit, Shihan Eain, Sensei Satoshi, Sensei RahD, and several of the Japanese instructors (Funaba-san, Kitagawa-san, Kitamori-san) were there to work with everyone and make sure we understood correctly.
PTK's main bladed weapon is the ginunting, a type of single-edged downward-curved sword originating in the Visayas region which is carried by the Philippine Marines. The size and shape of this weapon make a close overlap to the solo baston work, similar to the way we would use the barong for slashing and stabbing attacks either single-handed or reinforced.
It was interesting to see the overlap for commonly used triangle footwork, guntings, sinawali, punio sombrada, elbow strikes, and the like. Some of their movements differ, for example the "arm shuffle", but all are easily and quickly integrated if one's FMA foundation is solid.
PTK includes kata, which is uncommon is many FMA systems. In particular, they use the 64 attacks form to develop basic movements which appear later in subsequent drills and applications. To this are added various "inserts" which expand the fighting vocabulary and highlight options for additional techniques inside the basic flow.
In summary, PTK has some outstanding instructors and is worth a look if you can find it near you. Better still to go and see them next time you are in Manila.
The shinkali group are extremely friendly and open, and have been organizing visits to Japan from some very high-level instructors. They are a great group of people to know!

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