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Interview with Mandala Uli Weidle

Round about the knife: Training Methods and Weapons of the Pekiti-Tirsia System

European Pekiti–Tirsia Festival has Video!

Good news from Sweden has Video!

Philippines Travel 12/2003-02/2004

To Teach & To Fight

Open Hands of Pekiti-Tirsia

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Pekiti-Tirsia Stick- and Knife-Challenge 2006

The first international "Stick- and Knife-Challenge" organised by the Pekiti-Tirsia Europe and open to all fighters no matter what background in style or organisations happened at the long pentecost weekend from June 3rd to June 5th 2006. Themed as "All day headgear and glove" it provided three days opportunity to train stick fighting with reduced protection under the supervision and tutelage of Maginoo Mandala Uli Weidle and to test oneself matching up with other stick fighters.

The call for the challenge was responded by more then 20 male and female fighters from Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Sweden. Having multiple fights simultaneously the training area of the hosting Fechtgesellschaft e.V. was used to maximum capacity. Most participants stayed the full three days and welcomed the opportunity for cost free hosting in the training gym. The event was open to everybody – no matter what system or organisation he came from. For fighters participation in training and fights was free of costs.

Train And Fight Together...

The challenge was neither a conventional seminar nor a typical tournament. The concept of the Challenge was a combination of training together and Fight Day. This kind of combination allowed interested martial artists of all styles first to get a taste of Pekiti-Tirsia fighting conditions and then to decide on the spot whether participation as a fighter is reasonable or not. The combination of training and fighting together was chosen by the organiser for reasons of legal liability and in equal measure for reason of human responsibility. The joined practical training with headgear and glove allowed to evaluate which experience a fighter has in handling the weapon and thus provided a base to decide which fighters would match each other and pair up reasonably.

The Training

All training during the three days was under All Headgear Conditions. The three days were an immense physical and mental challenge. Even those with well developed physical stamina had to "fight" to last the three days.

During training breaks and at the short introduction at the beginning of the event Mandala Uli Weidle explained the purpose of the Challenge-Event for the training individual and the Pekiti-Tirsia system. In this lectures he addressed specifically the following topics:

  • Function and purpose of fight with headgear in the Pekiti-Tirsia System and structure of the European Pekiti-Tirsia Fighter League

  • Structure and analysis of the Pekiti-Tirsia training system comparing results of fight and training methods with headgear and without headgear

  • Future of the European Fighter League

For the first time the seminar offered a translation service. That way Uli Weidle could use English language throughout the seminar while for those without sufficient practise in English language there was a simultaneous translation. That way there was no need for repetitions in other languages, what supported the flow and the packaging density of the seminar. At this opportunity may we express our heartily thank you to the translator Ann-Katrin, who worked not only as translator but after a hand injury also took charge as a photographer documenting the event.

Practical Training, Workout, Tactics, Fight methods

Through the practical training conducted by Mandala Uli Weidle all fighters were prepared for the fights ahead. Using the Pekiti-Tirsia typical methods of sparring (particularly Distance Sparring, Blow By Blow Sparring and Technical Sparring) the fighters have systematically been guided towards free fighting with headgear. Mandala Uli combined the exercises and increased intensity so skilfully, that all Challenge participants were engaging in free fights at the end of first day – without ever noticing crossing a particular threshold between training and free fighting. That way every of the participants fought approximately about ten fights per day.

For the first two days the topic of the training were fighting with single stick and double stick. The first day focused on fighting in long range (Largo), second day focused on applying pressure and use of secondary weapon (hand) in medium distance (Medio). All training was with headgear and glove and all exercises aimed on gaining effective hits.

Though the third day was scheduled as a knife day, the interest in stick strategies was so immense, that Uli complied and showed advanced tactics for blitz attacks based on positioning fakes against technical versed opponents. Of course every day had plenty of sparring and fights.

Impressed by the concentration and dedication of the participants and by the good balance between intensity and camaraderie, Mandala Uli gave the participants a deep insight into his personal bag of tricks. Particularly on the last day the experienced stick fighter detailed some of his personal favourite tricks and special footwork tactics, that he used to keep for his own personal use. In the concluding fights and technical sparring with headgear everybody could test and explore the new tips at own discretion.

Formidable Skill And Few Injuries

Fights were consistently fair and mostly of high level, in fact some fights impressed with an awe-inspiring technical standard. Despite use of headgear and partly heavily padded gloves (everybody was free to choose his preferred equipment) there were knockouts and some dropouts due to injury. Aside from the expected smaller injuries, the event was altogether enjoyably free of severe injuries, which can be granted to the good attitude of the fighters and for sure to starting with joined training and particularly to the good oversight of Mandala Uli Weidle, who supervised the fights.


An outstanding event, that throughout the three days of fights, joined training and shared spare time offered awesome experience for everybody. Once again an excellent example for good Pekiti-Tirsia spirit: geniality, sincerity and dedication.

The headgear newcomers among the participants had a sound introduction in real contact fighting and surely will return in future fight days of the Pekiti-Tirsia Europe. During the event they were able to experience how they would feel and respond when confronted with fighting strangers and how the training hours spend can be transferred into skill and success.

The more experienced participants had good opportunities to match up with seasoned fighters from other countries. Further they could get practical tips from an experienced fighter and improve on their understanding in the connection between Pekiti-Tirsia training methods and fighting in the European Fighters League.

Despite the black and blues, abrasions, lacerations and bruises there were no unnecessary hardships and for all participants the event was a valuable experience; a meaningful challenge towards the individual training. Most want to return again to the next similar event.

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Further readings:
→  Grand Tuhon writes about the Challenge: "Ancestral Legacy" (June 2006)
→  Grand Tuhon writes about: "The Battle Of Kali" (Dec 2003)
→  To Teach and To Fight – Pekiti-Tirsia Trainers Training
→  European Pekiti-Tirsia Festival No. 5
→  Pekiti-Tirsia Kali Training Guideline
→  Round about the knife: Training methods and weapons of the Pekiti-Tirsia system
→  Videos und photo series in the Pekiti-Tirsia Action-Book
→  Coming seminars and events

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