Mike Austin – Pekiti-Tirsia System of Kali
Pekiti Tirsia System of Kali
- Rank: Lakan Guro (3rd Hagdan)
- 25+ years training and teaching
- Under Guro Jorgenson
Mike Austin is an assistant instructor of the Pekiti-Tirsia System of Kali with 20+ years of training and teaching. Mike has explored kali and a wide variety of other arts throughout SE Asia.
Mike lives in Valemont, BC and is available for training for anyone who can snowshoe to his cabin fast enough to not be eaten by wolves.
Milestones in Pekiti-Tirsia System of Kali
2002 Lakan Guro (3rd Hagdan)
Moroi Sensei – Nito Ryu
Guro Louie Lindo – Ikatan kali
Guro Loki Jorgenson – Pekiti Tirsia Kali, Dog Brothers full contact
My interest in weapon based combat began after watching a Sinbad movie at the age of 10. I devoted much of the next day to designing swords, much the to the consternation of my math teacher who felt that a long division quiz took precedence over sword design and reinforced that concept with a rap on the knuckles with a yardstick. I didn’t realize at the time, but that rap on the knuckles would be the first of many to come.
Later, at university I met like minded Asian international students who introduced me to Karate and Kendo – where the martial knuckle rapping began. So began a decade long fascination with Japanese martial arts that ended up in a move to Japan in the mid 80’s to live in the land of martial truth. I was fortunate to be taken under the wing of Moroi Sensei, a Japanese culture expert and a lineage holder in Musashi’s two sword style, Nito Ryu. Here was a Kenjutsu expert who also practiced the martial applications of the tea ceremony. I felt I had reached the pinnacle of martial arts practice until a random meeting with two escrimadors in a gym. I had heard of Kali but never really seen it. Experiencing Kali changed my outlook on all things martial. It was like a critical gap had finally been filled with concepts like planes of motion, zero pressure and triangular geometry.
Upon returning the Canada in the early 1990’s I began training Kali/Silat with Louie Lindo and along the way met a guy who invited me to “train in the park.” The guy was Loki Jorgenson who would later form the Mano y Baston Kali Club that would evolve into Maelstrom. Training in the park was code for Dog Brothers sparring.
Here were some guys who had a special term for knuckle rapping – defanging the snake. Different name – same pain. For the next decade we would train in parks, on tennis courts, in backyards and eventually move indoors to get out of the winter rain. It was a time to learn Pekiti Tirsia Kali and test it using the Dog Brothers platform. Along the way, I would move to the Philippines, then back to Japan and spend time in Indonesia and Thailand always looking for training partners and running various combat systems through my “Kali filter.” I went on to live in Mexico for two years exchanging ideas and techniques with Boxers, Tai Chi players, Bagua practitioners and a second generation Bruce Lee student.
Now, over 50 years after Sinbad and 30 years after my introduction to Kali, I still practice most days. Whenever I see an interesting technique or train with someone new, I run everything through my Kali filter.
My elementary math teacher would be disappointed to learn that I have been letting various apps do my long division for decades, but I am still swinging sword shaped objects pretty much daily. It turns out running around on triangles swinging sticks would give me pleasure for decades – long division not so much. Strange, I have a 1960’s Sinbad movie to thank for all this.