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Chief Instructor: TUHON Mike Popolizio

Tuhon Mike's Bio

Dear PTI Members,

After two decades of study and service to the Pekiti-Tirsia system I have promoted Michael Popolizio to the rank of Tuhon. Mike is one of the most skilled instructors I have ever met, a man with the rare combination of both fighting ability and communication skills at a master level. If you ever get the chance to train with him, I highly recommend you do so.

Regards to all,
Tuhon Bill McGrath

I grew up in The Bronx, N.Y. and began training in boxing in 1964. I entered the New York City Police Academy in 1965. I have worked street patrol during assignments throughout N.Y.C. and was assigned to the Brooklyn North Task Force.

I began training in Senso Aiki Jutsu under Master Richard Beherns in 1974 and found that it worked very well with my previous boxing training, marrying stand-up and ground fighting, for an effective empty hand system. Jujutsu training continued in Oshiki-uchi under Miyochi Sensei. In 1984 I began a Jujutsu school in New York.

I was introduced to the Filipino Martial Arts in 1989 by Scott Carpenter, later training in Arnis with Scott Walter (Kobe System). I trained in Kuntao Silat under Tuhon Roberto Torres which included training with Ba Pak Willem De Thouars in Pentjak Silat.

I had the good fortune to train with Tuhon William McGrath in N.Y.C. where he taught classes beginning in 1992. A few of us were invited to train at Tuhon McGrath's home, where the training was intense, with the main focus on material contained in the "Blue Book" (PTI test book). We learned the forms, worked them into effective applications, used sparring as a tool to see what worked with full contact. He drove us hard, demanded excellence, and accepted nothing less. His standards on testing and promotions always remained high. We paid with sweat, bruises, blood, sprains and calluses ... the rewards were new technique.

Tuhon Bill McGrath was always giving in both technique and encouragement, never holding back as we went from page through page in the "Blue Book", and for this he has my utmost admiration and respect.

I now teach Pekiti Tirsia six days a week on Long Island, N.Y., and am very proud of my students, who through dedication and hard work, have risen through the ranks to become Guro's and Mataas Na Guro's, finishing the entire system, and are now in turn, teaching Pekiti Tirsia and helping others to become Certified Instructors, Guro's, and Mataas Na Guro's.

I admire and respect Tuhon Bill McGrath for all the years of dedication he has given to Pekiti Tirsia, seeing to its continuance and growth. I hope I can show him that respect by passing on the Pekiti Tirsia system to my students, and have them pass it on to their students.

Tuhon Michael Popolizio

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