What is iKali...?

iKali is the result of Tuhon Apolo’s tireless journey in learning the martial art of his culture.

Tuhon Apolo is our mentor in the Filipino Kali Academy. He is a direct student of Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje, Jr., heir and guardian to the Pekiti Tirsia style of Kali,

  • He holds an ATA 6th-degree black belt
  • 7th-degree WTF black belt
  • Rank of Master at the Ernie Reyes’s West Coast Tae Kwon Do Association.
  • Founder of Kali-4-Kids, Kali Combat, and Kali Fitness

With his curricula practiced by thousands of students worldwide, his goal is to share the “Learn to Teach, Teach to Learn” philosophy.

The Pekiti-Tirsia system of Kali originates from the province of Negros Occidental in the Philippines and was formulated by the Tortal family of Negros and Panay islands. The family patriarch, 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 Kali is close-quarter in-fighting combat system against multiple opponents based on the use of the Blade. Pekiti-Tirsia is a system of complete strategies and tactics utilizing all close quarters weaponry, at all ranges, that provide protection from strikes and attacks, destruction of opponents weaponry, and domination of any combat situation. The essence of close quarters combat is manifested in the flow – the continual combative process of offense, counter-offense and recounter-offense.

“Kali is a systematic art of combat fighting based on the science of strategy and tactics. The fighting methods are ancient from its historical and cultural developments, yet the techniques are forever ultra advanced that its fighting values always remain new.” – Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje, Jr. This definitive description of Kali by Grand Tuhon Gaje, Jr. provides perspective insight from its founding principles to its present application.

Unlike other interpretations of martial arts concepts where the fighting methodology is restricted and confined by the principles of animals, elements or mythology, Kali addresses combat and warfare through the analysis of true, tangible and functionally correct human characteristics and capabilities beginning with weaponry – edged and impact – used by every documented civilization since creation.

The combative strategies and tactics within Kali are developed within motion and the mechanics of the flow and are structured according to the characteristics of the weaponry employed – weather it be edged, impact or empty hands – combined with the principles of human anatomy, physiology and kinesiology as the foundation and basis for tactical manipulation and application. The art of Kali formulated from this perspective reflects and defines life itself. In the words of Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje, Jr. -Supreme Grandmaster of the Pekiti-Tirsia Kali system, “In Kali there is only Life, therefore it is a live art containing the understanding of the center of all arts.”