“Pekiti-Tirsia Kali is a life philosophy”, Tuhon Jared Wihongi explains to the ten young participants from Taunusstein and Frankfurt, who are about to take their first Pekiti-Tirsia Kali graduation on Saturday, September 2, 2017. Now they are standing in a line in front of the Grand Master from America and follow his words attentively.
One of the three pillars of this philosophy is “life”. “We believe in life and we train Pekiti-Tirsia Kali to be able to protect life”, Jared Wihongi continues. The second and third pillars are the “health” we take care for by training regularly and the “success”, the desire to learn and the belief that we can achieve everything, Jared says.
“I don't just want to test you in an exam, but I want you to learn something”, concludes Jared in his introduction to the philosophy and history of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali. 120 years ago, it was only trained within the family circle of the" Tortal "family and was just slowly made accessible to the public in the following years.
The examination for the first grade of the youth curriculum, the so-called "Yakan Isa 1st Hagdan", begins with the basics of the important foot work. It is followed by single stick techniques, which represent a playful preliminary exercise for the actual fighting with a stick.
Double stick techniques are also part of the test, which are then transferred to empty hands. Here the youngsters can show the power and speed behind the blows with their open hands.
As at the end of each grading, the learned material is put to use in a casual sparring with the single stick as well as with empty hands and all participants seem to have a lot of fun. The examinees, some of whom are still quite young, are able to impress their parents and the other guests. They show in empty hand sparring that they can defend against a punch in different ways, take the opponent down and control him or her with a joint look on the ground.
Immediately following the successful grading, the certificates are awarded, which the young people are visibly proud to receive.
The grading for the second Yakan Isa level follows after a short break. Here, six Kalistas of the "Bushido Wüstems" youth group led by Agalon Johannes Renninghoff, line up.
After a short review of some techniques from the first grading, the foot work again plays a big role. A significant progression is already noticeable here, as the simple pattern from the first grading are joined together to form new patterns and put directly into application. The examinees show, for example, how to avoid or dodge an attack with a stick by applying the "X" pattern of the foot work.
The single and double stick techniques are also becoming more complex. In addition to the so-called “drills” with one stick, various strike patterns with two sticks are also part of the curriculum. In a subsequent exercise, these are transferred to empty hands. Here, the examinees parry a strike with a stick and directly deliver a counterattack.
Then it gets loud again in the dojo in Taunusstein: The youngsters, who had already taken the first exam last year, hit the focus mitts with impressive power and dynamics.
This grading also ends with two rounds of sparring. After fighting with the single stick, the participants show a lot of creativity in the different possibilities to defend against a punch delivered by their fellow examinees and take them down to the ground in a controlled way.
After this very good performance, Tuhon Jared Wihongi hands over the certificates to the candidates of the youth group "Bushido Wüstems" under the applause of the attendees.
Both gradings are once again a milestone in the youth work of our association, which started only two years ago. It is impressive to see how quickly beginners in particular can apply the individual techniques and principles based on the excellent didactically concept and what great progress the young Kalistas have already made after two years. A big thank you to the trainers for their commitment!
We congratulate all participants from Taunusstein, Frankfurt and Wüstems on their impressive achievements and the graduations they have earned and look forward to the grading next year!
We are also facing a special event on 11 November 2017 in Göttingen. We will have Agalon Johannes Renninghoff as a guest for a four-hour seminar and will hold a grading for our youth group "Kali4YOUth" in Göttingen for the first time.
If you are interested in our seminar with Johannes Renninghoff and our training program for young people, you will find further information here: www.arnis-goettingen.de
(Text: Steffen Blickle, Translation: Marcel Bremerich - "Pekiti-Tirsia Göttingen")