Pekiti Tirsia International National Directors
International Director Tuhon Guro Bill McGrath
P.O. Box 72
Fishkill, NY 12524
Tuhon William McGrath began his training in the Pekiti-Tirsia system under Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje in 1975 at the age of 14; and received his 1st Level Instructorship (Guro) at the age of 20. In 1982 Grand Master Gaje moved his family to Texas and invited Guro McGrath to operate the National Headquarters School of Pekiti-Tirsia with him. Guro McGrath operated the National Headquarters School from 1982 to 1985. In 1985 he returned to New York and was offered a position as a New York State Court Officer. In 1987 he became the first impact weapons instructor for the New York State Court Officers Academy and authored the impact weapons section of the Academy’s defensive tactics manual.
In 1987 Guro McGrath was promoted by Grand Tuhon Gaje to the rank of Maginõo (Elder). In 1994 Grand Tuhon Leo Tortal Gaje promoted William McGrath to the rank of Tuhon (Chief Instructor), the first person outside the Tortal family to attain such rank in the Pekiti-Tirsia System. In 1994 Grand Tuhon Gaje and Tuhon McGrath formed Pekiti-Tirsia International, the governing body for practitioners of the Pekiti-Tirsia International System worldwide.
Today Tuhon McGrath is President of Pekiti-Tirsia International. He is certified by the F.B.I. as a Police Defense Tactics Instructor and by the State of New York as a Police Firearms Instructor (pistol) and is a Life member of the NRA.
Law Enforcement Director Tuhon Guro Erwin Ballarta – Austin, TX
Website: Texas Kali Association
Tuhon Guro Erwin Ballarta began his training in 1974 under Fred Tolentino in Manila in a family style of Arnis. In 1975 he met Tuhon Gaje and began training during frequent trips to New York City. Erwin fought in the first full contact Arnis tournament in the U.S. the Palarong Pilipino Pekiti-Tirsia tournament in 1977 and won First Place as the “First Filipino American Full Contact Arnis Champion” at the Philippine Embassy, New York, N.Y. During these early years of Pekiti-Tirsia in the U.S. it was he and Tom Bisio who traded the champions’ trophy back and forth each year at the Pekiti-Tirsia National Tournament. Erwin’s titles also include; 1980 Grand Champion (Great Gorge, N.J.) and the 1981 U.S. Midwest Champion .
In 1982 Erwin moved to Big Spring, TX. to continue his training with Tuhon Gaje and was Tuhon McGrath’s roommate for the first 6 months they were there. Soon after arriving in Texas, Erwin accepted a position as a police officer with the Big Spring Police Dept. quickly being promoted to the rank of Sergeant of the Patrol Division, then Crime Prevention and finally Criminal Investigation Divisions.
From 1987 to the present Erwin has worked as a State Trooper with the Texas Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) in positions that have included Staff Sergeant Governor’s Protective Detail, Staff Sergeant DPS Training Academy, and rising to his present position of Staff Lieutenant Defensive Tactics Coordinator at the DPS Training Academy.
Among his many certifications are Emergency Medical Technician certification and an Instructor’s Certification with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Office of Standards and Education. He is an ASP Tactical Baton Instructor and a Chemical Aerosol Projector Instructor.
He has taught at these specialized schools on the following subjects: Edged Weapon Defense. Philippine National Police, FBI Defensive Tactics Instructors Course (at Quantico, VA.) DEA Recruit School (also at Quantico), DPS SWAT Team, DPS Narcotics Agents, DPS Criminal Law Enforcement Agents, Mexico Federal Police. Improvised Survival Weaponry. DPS Narcotics Agents (TNCP). Hand Gun Retention. DPS Recruit Schools, DPS Narcotics, Officer Survival Schools, DPS SWAT. Baton Tactics. DPS Recruit School, Midland Sheriff’s Office, Sul Ross University. Women’s Self Protection. DPS employees, Big Spring, TX. Midland, TX. He has also conducted numerous OC (Oleoresin Capsicum Spray) training classes as well as Survival Ground Tactics classes.
He has been recognized by the FBI Training Academy, Quantico, VA. for his efforts and contribution in the field of Defensive Tactics and developed and instructed the Arnis Baton Tactics class for the Texas DPS Troopers Officer Survival Course (implemented statewide). Before joining the State Police Erwin was the Head Instructor for Safety Baton Tactics, Permian Basin Law Enforcement Academy.
Erwin Ballarta is the President of the Austin Filipino American Association and the Executive Director for the Arnis Texas Association.[/framed_box]
North American Director: Tuhon Dan Inosanto – Marina Del Ray, CA
North American Director: Tuhon Dan Inosanto
Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts
13348-13352 Beach Ave.
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Website: Inosanto Academy of Martial Arts
Born Daniel Arca Inosanto in Stockton Ca. July 24th 1936
1959 Master of Arts Degree in Education
MILITARY SERVICE: Sept. 1959 TO Sept. 1961
HQ & HQ CO 1ST Airborn BG 506TH INF, 101ST Airborn DIV, FT CAMBELL KY.
Mr. Inosanto holds the rank of Tuhon Guro (Chief Instructor) in the Pekiti-Tirsia System (given this rank by Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje). Guro Dan (as he prefers to be known) also holds full instructor rank given by Master Juan La Coste in KALI-KUNTAW-SILAT-ESKRIMA-PANGAMUT-BERSILAT.
He is certified as full instructor in Eskrima, Arnis and Kali by:
Grandmaster Angel Cabales
Tuhan Ben Largusa
Master Jack Santos
Grandmaster Leo Giron
Master Regino Illustrismo
Master Sam Tendencia
Master Pasual Ovalles
Master Pedro Ovalles
Master Pedro Ramos
Master Ted Lucay Lucay
Master Max Sermento
Master Gilbert Tenio
Grandmaster Cacoy Canete
Master Teleporo Subing-Subing
Master Edgar Sulite
Dan also holds instructors rank in, Sikaran, Pangamut, Kuntao, and Pandiakan issued by the Masters previously mentioned. He is one of only two men alive appointed to instructors rank(Sifu) by the late Bruce Lee in the three systems that Lee taught (JKD, Jun Fan, and Lee’s Tao of Gung Fu). Dan was made heir to these systems by Lee before he died).
He is also certified as an instructor in:
KENPO KARATE (under Mr. Ed Parker)
MUAY THAI (under Master Chai )
KENPO JU JITSU
WESTERN BOXING/ WRESTLING/ GRAPPLING.
Dan has also studied: TAI CHI CHUAN, NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN KUNG FU SYSTEMS, BURMESE BOXING, BURMESE BANDO, ( he is an Associate member of the Bando Association). MALAYSIAN BERSILAT KUNTAO, MALAYSIAN SILAT,RCS MACHADO BRAZILIAN JU JITSU.
AWARDS AND HONORS:
1997 PEKITI-TIRSIA INTERNATIONAL – NORTH AMERICAN DIRECTOR
1996 BLACK BELT MAGAZINE’S “MAN OF THE YEAR”
1987 INSIDE KUNG-FU MAGAZINE’S “MAN OF THE YEAR”
1987 BLACK BELT MAGAZINE’S “INSTRUCTOR OF THE YEAR”
1977 BLACK BELT “HALL OF FAME”
1975 “WHO’S WHO IN THE MARTIAL ARTS”
“THE TAO OF JEET KUNE DO” (collaborated with principle author Bruce Lee)
“JEET JUNE DO, THE ART AND PHILOSOPHY OF BRUCE LEE”
“THE FILIPINO MARTIAL ARTS AS TAUGHT BY DAN INOSANTO”
“A GUIDE TO MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING EQUIPMENT”
“ABSORB WHAT IS USEFUL”
Contributing editor “Inside Kung-Fu Magazine”
“Bruce Lee’s Nunchaku Meathod”
“Surviving Edged Weapons”
“GAME OF DEATH”
“OUT FOR JUSTICE”
“BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA”
“ESCAPE FROM L.A.”
Guro Dan and his wife Paula operate the Inosanto Academy in Marina Del Ray CA. and is one of the most popular martial arts instructors worldwide. Contact Information is included above.
* A message from Guru Dan (March 20th, 1998):
Greetings To All: I first met Bill McGrath in 1979. We both received the rank of Magino’o (7th level) from Tuhon Leo T. Gaje Jr. in February of 1988. In 1994 Bill McGrath became the first American and the first non-Filipino to reach the rank of Tuhon in the system of Pekiti-Tirsia.
Throughout the last nineteen years, Bill has always conveyed to me that he cherishes the skill and knowledge that Tuhon Gaje gave to him. We both agree that you can not put a “price tag” on such skill and knowledge. For many years, I have seen Bill’s enthusiasm and energy in promoting the Filipino Martial Arts, specifically the Pekiti-Tirsia system. I have always found Bill to be a respectful, loyal student and the staunchest supporter of Tuhon Gaje.
In my personal dealings with Bill McGrath throughout the years, he has always acted with integrity and honesty. Tuhon Bill McGrath has run the PTI organization with efficiency and integrity. I am happy to serve under him as the North American Director for Pekiti-Tirsia International.
Guro Dan Inosanto
Northeast U.S. Director: Guro David Everett – West Harford, CT
Website: White Lotus Martial Arts
European Director: Sifu Manfred Steiner – Hannover, Germany
AM Ortfelde 22A
D-30916 Isernhagen N.B., Germany
Mr. Steiner began his martial arts training at the age of 12 with western boxing. At 16 he started Judo training and Karate at 19 (he received a 3rd Dan in Judo and a 2nd Dan in Karate). He served in the German military from 1970 to ’76 and is now a Captain in the Airborne Reserves. Mr. Steiner began training in Kung Fu in 1970 (various styles) and began training under Chris Casey in 1979 studying Wing Chun, Hsing I, Tai Chi, Fuklen White Crane and Pakua Chang. On one of his many trips to teach in the U.S. he met Pekiti-Tirsia Guro David Everett of Hartford CT. who exposed him to the art. He has sponsored Pekiti-Tirsia seminars in Germany since 1995.
Mr. Steiner has taught several different survival and martial arts courses for police departments as well as civilians. He is an associate instructor at the Kenpokan Dojo of Hanover Germany (www.kenpokan.de) where he teaches Wing Chun along side Kenpokan’s head instructors PTI’s Directors for Germany Oliver Nickel and Raif Beckman who also teach Pekiti-Tirsia, JKD, Muai Tha and Savate at the school.
Mr. Steiner is a certified Chiropractor and Osteopath and is a licensed specialist in “Natural Path” medicine.
His hobbies are shooting, sky diving and, in his own words, “different kinds of crazy stuff.”
Director for Germany: Ralf Beckmann Hannover, Germany
From left to right: Davide Puzzolo, Adrea Citarelli, Bill McGrath, Attilio Acquistapace
Directors for Italy
Guros Attilio Acquistapace and Andrea Citarelli
Guro Attilio Acquistapace
Via Dei Cedri 10
27022 Casorate Primo (Pavia)
Telephone: 0039+(02) 9051018
He has been in Martial Arts since 1972, training in Karate Shotokan, Kick-Boxing, Arnis de Mano, Pentjak-Silat, Judo, Grappling.
1973 – starts with Shotokan Karate
1977 – black belt in Karate Shotokan
1986 – 2° degree (black belt) and instructor of Kickboxing WAKO
1994 – 4° DAN in Karate SANKUKAI
He has been for several years on Italian national Team for C.I.A.M.
In 1991 he was one of the founders of Akea (Arnis-Kali-Escrima Association), the first national association to promote South-East Martial Arts and Jun-Fan Gung-Fu/Jkd in Italy. Attilio can be considered a pioneer of these arts in his Country: “It was in the early Nineties that in Italy people finally started to see what until that time was only possible to watch on the American Martial Arts magazines”. Since the beginning of Filipino Martial Arts he has always been the Italy Country Associate for the Wekaf (World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation) and the Stick-Fighting Team of his Association is still taking part and winning medals at every Championship. Today Attilio Acquistapace, together with his partner Roberto Bonomelli, is still managing the Akea association based in Milano, but with members throughout Italy.
He got his instructorship in Arnis de Mano (Matagay System) in 1990, then in 1993 he was certified instructor under Guro Bob Breen president of Bkea (British Kali Eskrima Association) and, always in London, in 1994 he became instructor under the Eakef (European Arnis Kali Eskrima Federation).
In 2006 his Association organized the first seminar of Tuhon William McGrath in Italy.
He has joined seminars all around Europe and was the first to bring Sifu Dan Inosanto for seminars in Italy and has brought him back several times. Today he is one of the most well respected Martial Arts teachers in his Country.
Guro Andrea Citarelli
Phone: (+39) 347.6711800
Web: www.pspscudo.it – www.akea.it
Andrea Citarelli is Martial arts and defensive tactics full time instructor since 1995.
He started his martial arts training in 1988 with Karate Shotokan, that he has studied and taught for about 20 years (he is certificate Instructor Black Belt 4th Dan by the official Italian Karate organization, FIJLKAM-CONI).
1999 he started to study JKD-KALI-SILAT with Sifu Roberto Bonomelli (first Italian student under Guro Inosanto) and Sifu Attilio Acquistapace, both founders of AKEA in the 1991, the first organization in Italy for Jeet Kune Do and South-Asian Martial Arts.
He was promoted to Full Instructor rank in 2010 and today he is AKEA Technical Director together with Guro Acquistapace.
He collaborates with the University of Rome for the safety program for women (Difesa Donna) and also with military groups as defensive tactics instructor. He was been in 2008 the first Italian Instructor certificated in USA by Thomas G. Sipin in his defensive tactics program “Hardened Target” and operative tactics program “Training Solutions”. Several times he was been guest in national television programs on self defence.
Citarelli is constantly engaged in the promotion the martial arts in his Country, with seminars and tournaments: he was been the promoter of the first W.E.K.A.F. European Stick-Fighting Championship in the 2007 and the first G.S.B.A. World Championship Stick-Fighting Championship in 2014, both events as Italy Director; he won in 2006 in the Orlando the WEKAF World Stick-Fighting Championship and since 2012 he is the Italy Stick-Fighting Team Coach.
He follows the Pekiti Tirsia International program under Tuhon Bill McGrath since 2006.
Director for Hungary: Guro Zoltan Juhasz