Saturday, August 06, 2005
Mailbag Pt. 2
Tuhon Gaje Torturing Me With Dumog (Indiana, 2003)
Here is the next batch of questions I keep getting via email:
What if any Pekiti Tirsia Organization(s) do you belong to?
I know there’s a few - and a few variations on curriculum. I’ll answer by saying that my students and I train directly with Grand Tuhon Gaje. We practice what he has taught us, the way he has taught us. We continue to refine our skills with other seniors in the Art from various parts of the United States who also are directly connected to Tuhon.
Can you explain more about the Batangas style of knife fighting? How does it compare to Pekiti knife fighting?
I do not have permission to say anything more than I already have regarding the Bantangas style. As for comparisons, how does a hand-forged ginunting compare to a sharpened kamagong stick? Both are weapons; both are extremely dangerous; however each is created in a different way. More concretely, Batangas is a “style” while Pekiti is a “system.” A Batangueno who has grown up in the culture learns knife fighting by living and applying it. Pekiti is a methodology by which someone who did not grow up with it can be made into a competent blade fighter.
What blade styles do you prefer in your art(s)?
For Pekiti, the ginunting is king. As far as a back-up knife, or daga, we use a custom made scaled down version of the ginunting. For Silat Kuntau Tekpi, we of course use the tekpi (aka cabang; trisula) and my personal favorite is the badik. The badik is a rather wicked knife...
Is there any grappling in your curriculum?
We have two grappling Arts: Dumog and Cambod. Dumog is an indigenous Filipino wrestling style popular in the mountainous region of Panay. People always ask two questions about dumog:
1) Is it practical against larger opponents?
Well, the farmers in Panay wrestle Carabao. Chances are you won’t face an opponent bigger than that...
2) Is it practical against multiple opponents?
I made the mistake of allowing one of my senior instructors, Sam Hammoud, to coax me into asking that question during one of Tuhon’s seminars last year. Tuhon had one of the students in a typical dumog control - meaning he had both of the guy’s legs painfully locked and was simultaneously applying a choke - when I raised the issue of multiple attackers. Tuhon invited me to attack, and very nearly broke my right leg in two - but for his excellent control. If he had followed through on that kick, I would have sustained a broken leg for sure, and probably a broken neck from the whiplash. In the video, I am knocked clear out of camera range. And he never released the first student from the choke or leg locks in the process.
Cambod is slightly different than dumog, although the result ( ie. a crippled opponent) is essentially the same. If you look at a standard dumog combination from entry-to-lock-to-takedown-to-control, and then repeat the sequence moving in almost exactly the opposite direction on the opponents limbs, that’s Cambod. To my knowledge we are the only group in the United States that has learned Cambod from Tuhon Gaje.