Kali Center is not a martial art alone. It is a martial art to the regular people who are not knowledgable of what the true nature of our study is. The study of Kali Center is The True Skill of the Blade at its Fullest potential and extraordinary standards.
To fully grasp the potential of Kali and the blade you must take a journey through the path of the blade's history. How far does this knowledge really go? Was it founded in the Philippines? Did the Spaniards bring this technology or is it even older than this?
Yes, there are documents of the Spaniards mentioning the islander natives fighting fiercely with fire-hardened sticks but, we're not talking about that here, I am talking about the blade education, the sword/bolo.
Even at the Battle of Mactan when Lapu-Lapu's warriors felled Magellan we must admit that for 49-60 Spaniards to engage offensively with no battle strategy in play with a siege that lasted for hours against hundreds, how few moved from beach to village, there must have been a tremendous amount of skill by the Spanish. Even though victory was the Chieftain's that day, upon the return of the Spanish with Juan Sebastián Elcano the Spanish proved victorious for 333 years over the Natives. The Spanish also fought many encounters with the invading Chinese from the North, the Japanese, the Moro Moros, etc. When we travel back in history this is no coincidence.
During the Greek rule over Iberia, the Turdetani tribes people of that land were educated by the Greeks in math, science and technologies. The Iberian people of the Turdetani and Bastetani tribes were referred as the most skilled and fierce fighters in all of Western Europe by the Greeks and the Romans, even by Julius Caesar himself. The Iberians eventually became what is known today as Spanish.
Iberia was a land of war for hundreds upon hundreds of years during the Roman Empire and fight for rule. The history of these people didn't just fight tribal wars, they fought against militaries. It is likely that over the hundreds of years after the Roman wars leading up to the Spanish global conquest that these fighting tactics and skills where not only preserved but perfected even further.
During the 333 years of Spanish occupation of the Philippines we know of high class Filipinos who trained in the strategy, tactics and techniques of Spanish warfare. Many even sailed to New Spain (Mexico) who trained to fight with the Spanish with some returning to the Philippines afterwards. Near the end of the Spanish Colonial Period there were high class Filipino men who traveled to Europe learning fencing arts by the Italians, Germans, French, Polish, Belgians, Bulgarians and Spanish and returning home.
When we see strategy, tactics and techniques today in Kali that reflect the clear influence of the Spanish and other European fencing arts in well known styles and systems such as Kalis Ilustrisimo and Pekiti Tirsia Kali, (Two of the most effective blade fighting Filipino Systems that influenced many of today's formed FMA) even down to the geometry and mathematics that are used, one cannot help but see the direct pattern in lineage of education.
This isn't to take anything away from Kali. In fact quite the contrary. If it wasn't for the Filipinos and living in a strong blade culture of today, then perhaps this knowledge would have been lost forever due to the invention of firearms and modern warfare.
Just as the Iberians preserved much of the fighting science of the Greeks, the Filipino's I believe have done so with the Iberians/Spanish.
We know that the Iberian Falcata (Short Sword pictured above in the Top Right) had influence over the short swords of both the Greeks and the Romans and have a remarkable resemblance to the blades being used today by the Philippine Force Recon Marines, the Talibung (Pinute) and Ginunting.
Coming back to Kali Center...
The basic training operations of Kali Center isn't necessarily to preserve this knowledge as a Filipino Martial Art but as a global human martial science of blade fighting, the true identification of Close-Quarters Combat.
We hold onto the term Kali simply because as the Iberians preserved the Greeks knowledge, and the Filipinos preserved the Iberian/Spanish knowledge, we believe we are now preserving the knowledge and with the term Kali (to Dig) we are continuing to dig deeper into this science of system and intelligence. Just as it is possible the Spanish had done with the Greek roots.
Since it was Kali that first brought me to this research, I feel the term Kali is only fitting to pay my respects to the roots of my path but, in all honesty, the correct term that seems to be most fitting is, Kali Destreza Alítheia, loosely translating to... "To Dig Deeper into the Skill of Truth."
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is, what exactly is Kali Center's Kali?
Is it Pekiti-Tirsia, is it a blend of two or three different styles and if so which ones?
The answer is here...
The style of Kali we train, study and practice at Kali Center is simply called, "KALI." I'm not interested in getting too caught up in a name.
Over the last twenty years of training and research in different FMA styles, systems and instructors I've come to see and believe that KALI is an in depth expression of the secret universal laws and variables, mathematics and physics.
By: Tom Zachwieja
From training Kali the past 10 years in many different terrains you will challenge mind and body more than you could ever imagine.
A plan for active recovery and injury prevention is critical when training Martial Arts.
I started training yoga for really one purpose, become more flexible in my body to increase my martial arts performance !
In Kali we use the rattan sticks to grow immense skill in coordination, agility, and flexibility. Why would that be any different for your active recovery strategy? It’s not .
Using the sticks to bring the ground closer to you allows you to focus more on:
I get asked most often,
How do I get good at Kali?
How long will it take me to get good at Kali?
The truth is I have no idea. It all comes down to what you as a student and practitioner is willing to give to the training. What I do know is that if you follow the three (3) tips I'm going to give you right now you will make tremendous progress and at a speed above average.
I've observed and learned these three tips over my lifetime of training as a student and teaching hundreds of people from all different backgrounds in person and now tens of thousands of people globally through our revolutionized long distance/online training and support methods. Meaning, I've seen what works, what doesn't and what is currently achieving the best results.
I've been getting a lot of questions regarding the Kali Center Inner Triangle. Like what exactly is included in the membership? How is this different from anything else out there in the world of Filipino Martial Arts?
Some of you have been a bit "sticker shocked" but...
Well, let me tell you everything you'll be getting!
The Inner Triangle membership is loaded with training and I'm giving A LOT!
Speed of implementation and acceleration of skill development.
One of the most common questions I get is, "How long will it take me to get good at Kali?"
It's a tricky questions to answer for a teacher but, I'm going to tackle it right now with the bare bone truth.
I DON'T KNOW!
Your skill development is 100% completely dependent on what you're willing to put into it but, here are a few things you can do that will speed up the process, A LOT!
I find it quite fascinating how many people actually think solo training is pointless and that no skill could be developed in this way. These people couldn't be further wrong.
It makes sense why so many people would think this. The vast majority of martial arts and even Kali enthusiasts don't solo train nor do they know how.
Let's face it, most instructors don't know how to solo train in the manner to grow and develop skill. Most people's solo training is to maintain a particular level of memory retention.
Ignorance is bliss. -Thomas Gray
Take a look at this comment...
It doesn't hurt my feelings however, there is a lesson to be learned here.
Before I decided to write this post, I did some research and checked out this man's channel and watched many of his videos. Why? Maybe there's something I can learn? Perhaps he's doing something much, much better than I?
Training in Kali, especially with Kali Center is a challenging and demanding experience. The dynamic athletic performance, mental expansion and emotional frustrations are battles all students must overcome time and time again as they continue to advance in skill. The more advanced one becomes the simpler Kali become but, doesn't get easier.
There are basically two ways to go about when training in Kali. This is both the teachers and the students decisions. There is the pure Kali way and like all martial arts, there is the comfort way, or watered down way. At first, it's up to the teacher to choose which he or she will represent and share with their students. Unfortunately for the students, they don't always know the difference. This trickle effect pasted on for generations of teachers make it so that even many of today's teacher don't know the difference between pure and comfort.
What's happening at Kali Center beginning January 2019? I'm getting a lot of questions about where all the training is going and here I'm going to answer everything.
2019 is the start of a new era for Kali Center. The team and I have put a lot of thought into the direction I want to take Kali Center (which we are calling the "Kali Center Evolution"). The new year will bring many new great experiences to our students all over the world.
In 2019 a lot of changes for the better are occurring. We are yet again raising the bar and changing the standard of Kali training and the teaching of martial arts. There's NO holding back.
Let's begin where most find Kali Center, YouTube, and I'll build progression from there...
New video format coming to YouTube in 2019. I'll still be uploading instructional and motivational videos along with new videos we are calling the TEST series, Weapon and Training Gear Reviews, and more Team Vlogs with behind the scenes footage. We want to give you the BEST Kali experience on YouTube.
TEST Series: We're going to be putting everything to the test from weapons, to techniques. No more guessing what works and what doesn't.
REVIEW Series: I'll be personally reviewing knives, bolos, and training gear and giving you my personal opinion on everything. Let me know if there is something specific you'd like for me to review.
TEAM VLOGS Series: Get to know the KC Team at a more personal level. Travel with us to classes, seminars, staff retreats and more with behind the scenes you never get to see normally.