Philip Gelinas was born in 1952 and began his journey in martial arts at the age of fourteen, training in Chito Ryu Karate. Since then, he has trained in many martial arts to this day, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Kempo, Kajukenbo, Filipino Martial Arts, Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do, Silat and Capoeira. He has earned his black belt in Kempo (1973) and in Kajukenbo (1975). He also received a muay thai instructor credential under Tom Harinck in 1985.
Philip Gelinas began his training in the art of Pekiti Tirsia Kali under Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje in NYC in 1981. He would make frequent trips from Montreal to New York to train with Grand Tuhon and his top student Tom Bisio. There, he met Eric Knaus (who later will become Top Dog) reconnecting later in Los Angeles at the Inosanto Academy and taking part in the “After Midnight” group sessions to futher developping his stick fighting skills.
Later on, he would be asked by Marc Denny and Eric Knaus to take part in the video shooting of the “Real Contact Stick Fighting” series. The first video was recorded at San Clemente’s Ramblas Park. Though many were invited, few actually showed up, Philip being among them. The attendees there became the Original Dog Brothers. And Philip chose the name “Sled Dog” as it alludes to his Canadian roots. After several events, Philip Gelinas went on to win the Kali International Grand Championship of Nashville in 1989.