European Pekiti-Tirsia Festival Vol. 5
Weekend 6. and 7. of December 2003 was the date of the fifth instalment of the European Pekiti-Tirsia Kali Festival. The event was hosted by the European Pekiti-Tirsia Headquarters in Reutlingen, Germany.
As the previous European Pekiti-Tirsia Festivals, this event too was a two days event. The first day was for Fights and Fighters only. The second day was a public Fiesta with a variety of demonstrations, full contact fights and plenty of food and drinks.
The event was in every way a success. Active participants came from five European Countries. The longest travel distance had the fighters that came all the way from Sweden.
1st Day: European Fighters League – Fights and Fighters only
With 30 fighters from different countries attending the Fighters Day of the Fiesta, and most fighters going for several matches, each match in turn having several rounds of three or five minutes, the day was fully packed with exciting fights. The fun was great, the spirit and bravado of the fighters awesome.
This days fights were in fighter league levels A to D. The preparation of the fighters was very good, so that the fights were tough and skill level was high. Everybody of the first timers who started fighting in fighters league level A (full protection with body protection for Abecedarians) immediately had the courage to progress to fighters league level B (Beginners without body protection) the second round.
The majority of the fights were in C(ombat) and D(estroyer) level. Fights were stick fights, empty hands (body weapons) and simulated knife fights.
Each of the fighters showed courage and good judgement and the techniques included throws and stick work, that was truly amazing to watch. Though the fights were tough, it was all in good spirit – this could be seen in situations, in which previous fights combatants supported the former opponent as second man in later fights.
A special mention should be given to the boys and girl teenagers who fought level A fights and proved that Kali is a living art and that the next generation is ready to follow us and build the future of the art.
Uli Weidle commented on the fighters league day: "This Festival is the fifth of it's kind. Each is getting better and the atmosphere of friendship and support during the fight days shows that the Pekiti-Tirsia philosophy of life, success and good health is practised in good balance. I honestly admit that I am proud of our fighters showing courage, good technique and good judgement. Fighting fierce, but showing friendship and respect the same time. This is the way to go."
2nd day: Demonstrations, more Fights and Fiesta
While the first day was exclusive for active fighters, the second day of the European Pekiti-Tirsia Festival was open for everybody interested. The day had party, martial arts exhibitions, fiesta, full contact fights, plenty of food and drinks and of course good time for everybody to talk and have fun.
The fiestas warm and cold buffet was arranged by the members of the hosting Pekiti-Tirsia group (Fechtgesellschaft e.V.). It was enriched by international delicacies contributed by the international Pekiti-Tirsia groups that attended the festival.
Of course everybody was looking forward to this days highlight: the various martial arts demonstrations of the attending Pekiti-Tirsia groups. Pekiti-Tirsia encourages the individual to work as part of a team and at same time to use creativity and freedom of expression to successfully produce creative solutions for situations of any kind. This ability was recognizable in the demonstrations: each was a unique presentation and they varied from powerful combat demonstrations to fireworks of flow and from technical exhibitions to humour and caveman themed theatre plays with lots of action, action, action.
Each of the exhibitions was extraordinary and in its entirety it was just a real awesome day. The spirit of the fiesta was outstanding, everybody had good fun and the crowd kept on cheering for minutes and responded with the laola-wave! Between the demonstrations the audience had opportunity to observe life stick and empty hands fights from the fighters league.
Even after the days program ended, the party continued until late in the night. There was a lot of good talks and fun. Performer and audience, everybody agreed that this was a most memorable event and all wished that an event like this should be repeated soon.
Uli Weidles personal statement after the two-days festival: "A special thank you for everybody supporting this years Pekiti-Tirsia-Festival. I might be biased but these two days made me really proud. There was lots of good energy. Everybody could sense, that the Pekiti-Tirsia philosophy was alive at this event. It is moments like this, that makes it worth all the hardship and efforts. My congratulations to everybody who participated!"