Tom Sotis is an edged-weapons instructor. Sotis has had an active martial career spanning three decades. Between 1970 and 1984, Sotis trained mainly in Kenpo, Tae Kwon Do, Jiu Jitsu, Boxing, and Kickboxing. In July of 1980, Sotis was coached to win the World Professional Karate Organization's Light Middleweight Kickboxing Championship.
During his only break from formal training, Sotis gained extensive streetwise experience working as a criminal investigator
, bounty hunter
, and bodyguard
in Los Angeles, California
. After more than 100 encounters, the reality of edged-weapons convinced him to research both blunt and edged-weapon methodologies. After returning to New England
, and while pursuing martial arts, he continued with law enforcement activities for another 15 years.
Returning to the East Coast in 1983
, he continued Kenpo-Kobudo
training under the tutelage of Soke
Eugene Coutu and was introduced to Kuntao by Frank Masiello. In 1996
, Sotis was invited to train exclusively, in indigenous Filipino bladework by the legendary Leo T Gaje Jnr
in Philippine mountain camps.
He became the first person to ever learn all three of Gaje's knife systems: Pekiti Tirsia
, and Qol Demama
. Present at the graduation was Lt Col Ecarma III of the Philippine Presidential Security Command, who presented Professor Sotis with the Order of Sikatuna
, the highest award ever given to a martial artist by the Philippine Armed Forces.