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FMA Pulse had the opportunity to visit and interview Grandmaster Jerson Tortal Jr. of the Dekiti Tirsia Siradas System. We met on location at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos Campus, Laguna, which is also the home for the Dekiti Tirsia-Siradas training and seminar camp.
The 600 hectare campus of U.P. Los Banos is nestled at the base of Mount Mikiling. Aside from the beautiful scenery, the area is an ideal location for outdoor and survival training.
Students interested in attending one of his seminars is recommended to stay at the SEARCA hotel, conveniently located within the university grounds.
Along with teaching the UP campus police and security, GM Tortal Jr. and his advanced instructors, teach class and facilitate seminars on a weekly basis.
Grandmaster Jerson Tortal Jr. got his start in the Filipino Martial Arts from his father Grandmaster Jerson “Nene” Tortal Sr. GM Tortal Sr. is the official head of Dekiti Tirsia-Siradas and is the son of Balbino Tortal, who was killed by the Japanese during World War II.
As told by Tortal Jr., his grandfather, after being taken prisoner, was ordered to be executed. As the Japanese officer went to stab him with his bayonet, Balbino side stepped and evaded the thrust.
The officer then pulled out his Katana and attacked him but was disarmed. Balbino then used the Katana and killed many Japanese soldiers before getting trapped among coconut trunks and shot.
It was left to Tortal Sr. to carry on the family’s fighting art. Not to confuse the two, Tortal Jr. is now currently second to his father, and is his father’s only son.
He was kind enough to share with us in Tagalog, “I am my father’s only son and I have no child of my own so the burden is on me and my students to continue the propagation of Dekiti Tirsia-Siradas”.
Spending the entire day with GM Tortal Jr., gave us the chance to get an in-depth look at the system and the history of Dekiti Tirsia-Siradas. The name of the system pays homage to the fighting style and core essence of the art. The name of the system comes from the Ilonggo dialect.
“Dekit” translated means very close which is a direct relation to the close quarter fighting style. It can also mean tightly close or sticking to your opponent. “Tirsia” means to push or corner your opponent into a triangular area to prevent escape. “Siradas” means to control the opponent, limiting the ability of the opponent’s counter attack.
Like many FMA systems, Dekiti Tirsia-Siradas originated from a family fighting style whose lineage stems far back in origin. It was not until GM Tortal Sr. systemized the family art into what it is today.
Dekiti Tirsia-Siradas is often characterized as unadulterated and very combative with a very strong emphasis on impact and bladed weapons. Students of the art eventually graduate to the use of empty hands, as well as defense against firearms.
According to Tortal Jr. this art has been battle tested and is still being taught to and used by various armed forces and law enforcement agencies. In other words, “the blood is still wet” in Dekiti Tirsia-Siradas.
Grandmaster Tortal Jr., with the help of his students and peers is consistently refining the art and propagating the system not only in the Philippines, but worldwide.
In our conversation with him, he said “Dekiti Tirsia-Siradas, like all other FMA systems is like food, don’t judge until you have tasted it”.
He also said, “if you are from a different system, that’s ok, use the good things that I can share with you and add it to your skills”. It was a great learning experience spending the day with GM Tortal Jr.
Grandmaster Tortal Jr. is truly an expert in his respected art as well as a very humble man. He can teach you the effectiveness of Dekit-Tirsia-Siradas through his classes and seminars or by the tip of his blade. We choose the former!
An instructional DVD of Dekiti Tirsia Siradas is also available for USD $35.00 plus USD $10 for shipping. You can email Guro Janfel “Genfil” Villahermosa or GM Jerson Tortal Jr. to get more information on ordering the DVD.
You can also order the DVD at Dynamic Fighting arts under the leadership of Sifu David Seiwert who is the authorized distributor of GM Jerson E. Tortal Jr. of Dekiti-Tirsia-Siradas for the tape B DVD’s in the USA.
For more information on how to purchase the DVD, kindly click: www.dynamicfightingarts.com
Please see pictures for validation of these training tapes: