Why I No Longer Study Poekoelan
I studied Poekoelan Timindie Tulen for nearly five years and earned my black belt. I thought it would be helpful to others to post why I left the school and stopped training the art. I am actually hoping this also helps the school to identify some very serious issues.
When I started training it was great, I loved my instructors, I was getting into shape and having a lot of fun with it. I moved up the ranks, had great teammates and overall it was helping me lead a more healthy lifestyle.
Things started getting weird a few years ago, as the owners of our school started putting more pressure on students to attend camps, Mas Goeroe Agoeng's weekend, and the Golden Bingatang Ampat seminars. Also after classes we started to have to do a "Poekoelan History" review where we asked students questions about the art, which included a lot of the myths about the arts origins etc. We were supposed to believe this blindly.
I attended a few camps and met "Mas Goeroe Barbara Niggel" several times, she seems nice, but there was a weird entourage that followed her and a really weird devotion that people had to her. Something about it did not feel right.
Then I started getting emails from the head of our schools were messages were passed down from Barbara to join her teleclasses one was this seminar where she partnered with Belinda Womack a "spiritual messenger" the title being "Its All About Vibration ". For these special telecourses you pay extra, they get even weirder where the goal is to make "Tulen" part of your life. She still sells these telecourses for $20 a month the most recent was titled "Love is Love Joy" where Barbara invites everyone to extend the invitation to family, friends, co-workers and others who might need the Golden Principles of Tulen in their life...for the low low price of $20 a month.
This was the last straw for me, from being pressured to do the Bingatang Ampat seminars which cost thousands of dollars to this ridiculous spiritual mumbo jumbo I could not ignore it anymore.
I saw a lot of people gravitate to Poekoelan who were broken, a lot of them get really into it I think because of the group mentality, it is like a family. This I think is abused by the school owners and Barbara to take advantage of people for money. It is unfortunate, but true and now that I am outside it is even more clear. The art is great, I loved the fitness aspect and learning to defend myself, but they have taken this and turned it into a way to control and manipulate people for money. I really hope this helps people and the school to realize they need to change. I wish I could keep training Poekoelan, but until this crap is removed from the equation I will not feel comfortable training or teaching it.