Ann Arbor Kali

Ann Arbor Kali

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Kali is a Filipino Martial Art (FMA) and weapon-based combat system, which includes striking, kicking, joint locks, and grappling.

Our goal is to develop well-rounded martial artists who have a solid understanding of all ranges of combat. We emphasize skill development in both armed and unarmed fighting as we seek to obtain every possible edge in conflict. Our training approach is pragmatic, efficient, and explicit. We work toward developing the attributes needed to be functional fighters, good friends, and responsible citizens.

We welcome everyone to come train with us, regardless of ability or experience.


Ann Arbor Kali is an official Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Dog Brothers Martial Arts training group. We are also an official PTK Stick Fighting Olympiads Training Center.


Pekiti-Tirsia is system and technology of close quarter combat fighting with edge and impact weapons against multiple attackers. It encompasses all traditional weapon categories and is based on (1) principles of geometry and physics; (2) the study of human body, anatomy and movement; and (3) analysis of human behavior, perception and intent. The curriculum and teaching methodology emphasizes learning how to creatively adapt and apply these principles such that one is functional across all categories of weapons, ranges and environments.

Founded in 1897 by Grand Master Conrado B. Tortal, Pekiti Tirsia Kali was reserved as a family system to defend the Tortal land until the art was brought to the United States in 1972 by Grand Tuhon Leo Tortal Gaje Jr., the grandson of Conrado Tortal and heir of the system. Since then, PTK has expanded worldwide and influenced many other systems, including Dog Brothers Martial Arts (DBMA).

Pekiti Tirsia Kali is currently taught to the US Marines, US law-enforcement nationwide, Filipino Force Recon Marines, and various security, law enforcement, and military agencies internationally. It is one of the few remaining authentic and complete Filipino combat systems in existence today.


Justin Shaffner is ranked Lakan Guro in Pekiti Tirsia Kali under Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje, Jr. He is also an official Dog Brothers Martial Arts group leader under Punong Guro Marc “Crafty Dog” Denny, and a brown belt in Judo. Justin is the PTK Michigan state representative for GT Leo Gaje.

Chris Mattern trains Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Dog Brothers Martial Arts, and is a brown belt (ikkyu) in Judo. Chris is also middle school mathematics teacher.


Sunday Tuesday Thursday
11am-12:30pm 6:00pm-7:30pm 6:00pm-7:30pm

Please see our Facebook page for updates.


We currently train at 2 Medford Circle, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.