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  1. SonofSpiridonov is offline

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    Posted On:
    10/17/2008 1:48pm


     Style: Hybrid Martial Arts

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    i am currently in the midst of a violent fever and mistakely thought this thread said "Pokemon". Somehow i think that would have made a better MA school both conceptually and otherwise,
  2. poekoemon12 is offline

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    Posted On:
    11/22/2008 2:56pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Poekoelon

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    This has been a great thread thank you, especially JP for the honest insight. I practice Poekoelan, I did it a bit when I was younger and came back to it and have been at it a few years now. I noticed a lot of heebyjeeby stuff when I was training and to be honest just ignored it, kind of like how my parents sent me to Catholic school and I just ignored the religious aspects and focused on my studies. Sure there are some moral lessons there that are helpful, but the whole mystical stuff I think is ridiculous, but then again respect others to believe what they want to believe.

    I understand the effectivness question. Many fights end in grappling and we are told to break up and "that is not Poekoelan" which is really frustrating when you wonder what happens in a real fight. But, I also train for different reasons than some, to be honest I do it for fun and excercise. I am not planning on entering the UFC and don't want to kick anybody's ass, I am a middle aged father who works too much and simply practices Poekoelan for excercise and stress relief and to this end Poekoelan has been just right for me. I actually came back to it because I had put on a lot of weight and was looking for a fun way to excercise, I actually lost a lot of weight when I started training again and have kept it off as well as gaining some muscle and flexibility and more importantly have fun doing it.

    It seems there is this mystical element in a lot of martial arts, I just ignore it, but I worry about those who do take this too seriously, I see some people who have gone a little off the deep end with regards to training, but who am I to judge them. The instructors who run the school I train at are pretty laid back really with regards to the mystical aspects and down play it. Some of it I think is about overcoming fear and mental limitations, instincts etc. so is more psychological and I have benefited from it, but then again I don't take it too literally or seriously.

    I personally take issue with some of the cult of personality components and I think the schools need to realize that they really need to lay off this a bit. Even Willy Wetzel did not create this from scratch, it came from Indonesia where like Indonesian arts and culture are borrowed from a lot of other cultures in the area. Japan's occupation, China's influence etc all have an impact on the country. I would like to see the Poekoelan folk pay more homage to the culture and history their art came from and less on the two figure heads. That is just my opinion though. If you look at Indonesian culture the ability to borrow from other cultures would be a benefit to Poekoelan as it could take aspects from other arts and bring it into the mix. I think any art that says they have it all and there is no need to adapt or change...well that is called dogma and we all know where that leads.

    I met Guru Barbara once, she was very kind and I enjoyed the classes she taught. I don't know about the other aspects, but it does make me cautious. I have not done any of the seminars, gurus weekends etc, primarily because I don't want to pay the extra money, but then again I am a more casual student. That is one thing that does bug me is that there is pressure to go to these events and pay more and more money. I think they need to cut that out, it makes them look bad. Another is the "Tulen Foundation" they setup and then ask for donations so they can provide training to people who can't afford it, that seems odd to me, so you donate money and where does it go? It goes to the school right? Which is a for profit business. So a non-profit foundation is setup and the proceeds go to pay the tuiton for someone to take classes for business. They have raffle tickets that they try to get the students to sell to their friends and family, the proceeds go to this foundation. I think this is inappropriate when students already pay a monthly fee. You are either a non-profit or business, don't mix the two.

    Wi
  3. JP is offline
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    It's all about the clinch. The clinch, I said.

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    Posted On:
    11/22/2008 6:41pm

    supporting member
     Style: SAMBO, mma, jiujitsu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by poekoemon12
    I personally take issue with some of the cult of personality components and I think the schools need to realize that they really need to lay off this a bit. Even Willy Wetzel did not create this from scratch, it came from Indonesia where like Indonesian arts and culture are borrowed from a lot of other cultures in the area. Japan's occupation, China's influence etc all have an impact on the country. I would like to see the Poekoelan folk pay more homage to the culture and history their art came from and less on the two figure heads. That is just my opinion though. If you look at Indonesian culture the ability to borrow from other cultures would be a benefit to Poekoelan as it could take aspects from other arts and bring it into the mix. I think any art that says they have it all and there is no need to adapt or change...well that is called dogma and we all know where that leads.
    Chronologically and based on stories I've heard about Willy from Barbara personally I've come to the following conclusion:

    A) She was basically a child during her time with him. I think there's only so much history and culture one can soak up between the ages of 15 and 19. I'm probably wrong about those years, she might have been even younger. So you're looking for culture and what you're getting is somebody who's desperately trying to fill in the blanks between what they remember of somebody they clearly loved very much, and trying to use that to ad legitimacy to something that's really not very complicated.

    B) I don't think Willy gave much of a **** about all that cultural preservation horse-**** that so many anglos who get involved with the martial arts (myself included at one point) get attracted to. The richness of other cultures vs our own, which is, not that rich. Willy was a martial arts teacher and a human. He had faults. He was not perfect. And I don't think he ever pretended to be. Who gives a ****? People trying to raise him to a christ-like status.


    Quote Originally Posted by poekoemon12
    I met Guru Barbara once, she was very kind and I enjoyed the classes she taught. I don't know about the other aspects, but it does make me cautious. I have not done any of the seminars, gurus weekends etc, primarily because I don't want to pay the extra money, but then again I am a more casual student. That is one thing that does bug me is that there is pressure to go to these events and pay more and more money. I think they need to cut that out, it makes them look bad. Another is the "Tulen Foundation" they setup and then ask for donations so they can provide training to people who can't afford it, that seems odd to me, so you donate money and where does it go? It goes to the school right? Which is a for profit business. So a non-profit foundation is setup and the proceeds go to pay the tuiton for someone to take classes for business. They have raffle tickets that they try to get the students to sell to their friends and family, the proceeds go to this foundation. I think this is inappropriate when students already pay a monthly fee. You are either a non-profit or business, don't mix the two.

    Wi
    The Tulen Foundation is a tax shelter. Pure and simple. I was around when they formulated it. It's bullshit. It never in the time I was around actually served it's intended purpose. Barbara's business and schools, with the exception of maybe Janesa's school, are hemoraging money. There is no room or non-profit anything.
    Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
    and remember what peace there may be in silence.
    As far as possible, without surrender,
    be on good terms with all persons.
    Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
    and listen to others,
    even to the dull and ignorant;
    they too have their story.

    -excerpt of the poem called "Desiderata," by Max Ehrman, 1927.
  4. mr_bandit is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/08/2009 5:42am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: arnis

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    --- start quote:

    Iíve heard stories about the portland school thatís called One With Heart now used to be titled Women With Heart and was a female only martial arts school.

    --- end quote

    I was a student at Women With Heart from about 1983 to 1986 - one of the first males there, except for a male kid who started PTT at age 12 && was about 16 when I met him in 1985. I studied Modern Arnis (even had the honor of a belt test with Professor Presas) under Mas Janesa Kruse. What I can tell you is from that period:

    1. I saw Mas Janesa do PTT, and the kid I mentioned. At that time, sparring was full contact. The kid was greased lightning - if you came within reach, you were down && glommed all over.

    It was real enough that I *knew* I would hate to meet her or a senior student while pissed-off in a dark alley.

    2. Mas Janesa is a lesbian, as well as most of the senior students at the time. The interesting thing to me was: it made no difference I was male, other than getting the crappy changing room. It struck me at a party given at the home of a senior female student that myself and another other male student went to (no connection with the dojo other than the students were invited). It became pretty obvious to the other guy and me that it was not the social group for us. Nothing explicit, but like a couple of gamers at a wine/cheese yuppy party. We hung out for about 30 minutes, then left for a beer.

    3. Mas Janesa taught self-defense to women at local colleges. I was a "target" for the semester finals (a fairly big male). She setup realistic settings on paths && in bathrooms. She taught simple, effective techniques to strike && run. She had the students yell the targets (head, throat, groin), because she had a hard time getting them to kiup (sp). It is a bit intimidating to have a 100 lb 18 yo female yell "groin" as she punches at your groin.

    In short, I had no real problem with the school or instruction, til she dropped the arnis for PTT, and I just did not like he style - it is awkward for me to do the stances - I have one hand && three-points while kicking are not easy with a hand && elbow. Besides, I was a wrestler in high school && like grappling.

    I later studied Hwa Rang Do && it was always sparring && grappling for real - full contact, effective techniques (plus some fancy stuff, I must admit). The stick stuff is mostly like Arnis.
  5. Ing_Un_Podong is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/08/2009 5:41pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Muay Thai

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by AFS
    I'm curious to hear more about the girl.
    I thought the text was about him spanking the hottie, i wouldn't have read it otherwise.
    :qleft1:
  6. tellner is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/08/2009 6:01pm


     Style: Silat

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bandit
    I was a student at Women With Heart from about 1983 to 1986 - one of the first males there,
    Hey Bandit! This is Todd also an Arnis student from that era. I left not long after you. Glad you're living somewhere sunny.

    1. I saw Mas Janesa do PTT, and the kid I mentioned. At that time, sparring was full contact. The kid was greased lightning - if you came within reach, you were down && glommed all over.
    The last time I talked to students there it had changed a lot. Details by PM or email if you're interested.

    3. Mas Janesa taught self-defense to women at local colleges. I was a "target" for the semester finals (a fairly big male).
    She eventually left that gig under a bit of a cloud. Some time later my wife and I picked it up until an unexpected cancer changed our priorities.

    In short, I had no real problem with the school or instruction, til she dropped the arnis for PTT, and I just did not like he style - it is awkward for me to do the stances - I have one hand && three-points while kicking are not easy with a hand && elbow. Besides, I was a wrestler in high school && like grappling.
    Again, there was some serious evolution over the years. Her teaching style changed as did the students. It was commercially successful; the operation has been franchised with three of four locations in the PDX area plus Seattle, Amsterdam and the Bay Area.

    Over the years it became insular - no more open sparring days, very little contact with other schools, more suspicious of outsiders and the usual internecine warfare with every other branch in the Wetzel family tree.
  7. mr_bandit is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2009 7:49am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: arnis

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    <quote> Hey Bandit! This is Todd also an Arnis student from that era. I left not long after you. Glad you're living somewhere sunny. </quote>

    It's been long enough I would need to see your picture, but I remember you. I ended up in Santa Cruz, working for Seagate, && did a few months of Aikido. Good school and style, just too mellow for my taste.

    BTW, for any Aikido player, check out "The Glass Helm" by Steven Gould:
    Amazon.com: Helm: Steven Gould: Books
    http://www.epiphyte.net/SF/helm.html

    Then started Hwa Rang Do thru a girlfriend, got married, 1.5 years in Olympia, 1.5 years in San Francisco, then Santa Cruz to about 6 years ago, when moved to Abq.

    BTW - what was the name of the kid? I cannot remember his name, but I knew his parents - they let me use their shop to build a couple of things and were great folks. What happened to the kid?

    <quote> The last time I talked to students there it had changed a lot. Details by PM or email if you're interested. </quote>

    bandit [at] cruzio [dot] com

    <quote> She eventually left that gig under a bit of a cloud. Some time later my wife and I picked it up until an unexpected cancer changed our priorities. </quote>

    What happened? Sorry to hear about the cancer - but that is rarely expected. I assume it hit your wife. email is probably the best for details, if you want to share.

    <quote> Again, there was some serious evolution over the years. Her teaching style changed as did the students. It was commercially successful; the operation has been franchised with three of four locations in the PDX area plus Seattle, Amsterdam and the Bay Area.

    Over the years it became insular - no more open sparring days, very little contact with other schools, more suspicious of outsiders and the usual internecine warfare with every other branch in the Wetzel family tree. </quote>

    This matches the little I saw the one time I was able to drop in && visit, and what I heard via other means, including this forum.

    I am sad it has turned out this way, but people make their own decisions && see the consequences from them. From what I can see, Mas Janesa seems happy with the results. Time will tell.

    What I do know is while I was there, I was treated with respect "despite" being male, and from what I saw, so was every other male.
  8. justheretolearn is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2009 11:49am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: tkd, judo, muay thai

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I know nothing about silat, but Indonesian is my first language, so one thing that made me wonder was: that this Barbara person put "Mas" in front of goeroe (teacher) as a title... in Indonesia the title "Mas" is being used when you refer to a male (roughly equivalent of Mister in English)
  9. tellner is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2009 2:58pm


     Style: Silat

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by justheretolearn
    I know nothing about silat, but Indonesian is my first language, so one thing that made me wonder was: that this Barbara person put "Mas" in front of goeroe (teacher) as a title... in Indonesia the title "Mas" is being used when you refer to a male (roughly equivalent of Mister in English)
    I believe that Willie Wetzel started this, and many of his students have continued the practice. Why did he start it? I've got no idea.
  10. armence is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/15/2009 10:44am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Poekoelan

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Hey JP, thanks for giving your opinion... I train Poekoelan in Portland and quite enjoy it for the most part actually. I always realized there were some odd parts which I wasn't fond of. But well, I found that there is a cultish aspect to many things in life if you look hard enough so it doesn't bother me too much. I mean, whether you call it "ilmu", "setting your intention" or whatever, I consider it to be something like self-hypnosis or the placebo effect which still does something. I am not mystical at all and so if people start asking me to set things on fire with my mind, I'm gonna ask for a demo and feel cheated.

    It doesn't make much sense for me to take your word on faith any more sense than it makes sense for me to take anyone's word on faith. For now, I'm just going to assume that there were some legitimate disagreements between you guys and the rest of Tulen which did not go well which causes both sides to look at this through a tainted glass. If anything, I'm having tons of fun which is something people pay much more than $100 a month for.
    I mean, going to ask any question off Scott or Janesa is somewhat silly since if your story is true, they will say that you are misguided. If you are misguided, they will also say so... Not a very productive line of questioning if you ask me... I always intended to also go give Krav Maga a shot which if anything will give me something to compare Cun Tao to.

    What I was interested in, is where you thought there is value in Poekoelan. I mean, your school broke off, you didn't just close down which implies to me that you probably believe that there is something good in Poekoelan. That could help me make myself an opinion by sort of comparing it to the rest of what I am taught.

    PS: Something that leads me to believe that maybe there is more to it that just what either side is saying, (or that change is coming or both) there actually is a kick boxing class now offered at Janesa's school which we are all encouraged to take.

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