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."