Who is Zach Whitson?

DSC_0139Zach Whitson is a life time martial arts professional with over forty years of extensive martial arts training and teaching experience. He has a personal focus on real world; close quarter survival training and skill set development. Currently, Zach travels extensively both nationally and internationally to present master level training with an emphasis on bladed and impact weapon deployment, tactics, and retention.


Starting informally in 1973 and then beginning his formal martial arts training in 1975; Zach has cross trained in more than a dozen systems achieving senior rank in multiple systems. Zach’s rank achievements include 9th Grade Black Belt “Grandmaster” rank in Eskrima/ Eskrido; 8th Grade Black Belt “Master” rank in Pangamot; Mataas Na Guro “Master Instructor” rank in the close quarter knife system of Pekiti Tirsia Kali; and a 7th Degree Black Belt “Senior Professor” rank in Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. Currently Zach actively trains in Great Master Wang Peisheng’s Wu Style Tajiquan and Yin Style Baguazhang with Master Zhang Yun.

Zach is a first generation student and sparring partner of Senior Grand Master Ciriaco “Cacoy” Canete; who is the Founder of Eskrido, the world famous close quarter stick fighting style of the Doce Pares Eskrima System. In 2008 Zach was inducted into the Cacoy Doce Pares Hall of Fame in Cebu City, Philippines.

Understanding the philosophical differences that shaped the techniques and training methods of the various systems of Zach’s experience, he began to study those obvious differences asking why they existed. Through this study, Zach began to develop the methods and models that best fit his own conceptual understanding of tactical counter offense training and curriculum design. In 1993 Zach began creative development of “Kenpo Counterpoint” the innovative training model designed to develop spontaneity using the integration of Kenpo technique and the conditioning attributes of Filipino Martial Arts. Later in 2006, after many years of formulation, Zach founded the Counterpoint Tactical System. In 2010 Zach founded Counterpoint Tactical International, the governing body that oversees curriculum, testing, and rank requirements for the Counterpoint Tactical System.

On December 8, 2007 in Buena Park, California at the annual Winter Gathering of the Whipping Willow Association, a diverse group of senior martial artists presented a notarized declaration recognizing Master Zach Whitson as the Founder of a complete martial art called the Counterpoint Tactical System. The declaration was witnessed and signed by Whipping Willow Association President Sigung Antwione Alferos, also signing were Sibok Thomas Georgian, Sifu Sandy Amason, Great Grand Master Ming Lum, Sijo Steve Muhammad, Sijo Carl Totton, Grand Master Douglas L. Wong, Maha Guru Cliff Stuart, Master Bob Liles, Master Bob White and Grand Master Bill Owens.

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