1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Delaware OH
    tai chi chuan, poekoelan

    Good read: "In Self Defense"

    Recently a book came out that goes into detail about the controversy in the case of Willy and Roy Wetzel. There are those that dispute much of the embellishment the author threw in for creative flavor, but there is a good deal of fact that was gleaned from court records and family interviews. Many who are loyal to Willy have taken exception to the portrayal of him as an abusive mean asshole. He may well have been, I never met the guy. I did have an opportunity to meet with a few people who trained with him "back in the day", and there seemed to be a general consensus that he wasn't really represented fairly. Either way, if you can take the fiction with a grain of salt, then the book does shine some light on what happened. The description of the fight between Willy and Roy is pretty detailed, and is apparently from court documents, ME reports and Roy's interview with the cops. Copies can be purchased through the poekoelan tjimindie website, and Amazon has it for Kindle for 9 bucks.
    For those who may not know, Willy brought poekoelan tjiminde (NOT poekoelan tjiminde tulen or silat) to the U.S. He was for all practical purposes an assassin for the Dutch, going after rebels during WWII. He ended up here in the U.S. as a refugee and opened his school in Beaver Falls PA.
    In 1975, he was killed by his son Roy. There's speculation that it had to do with a tax return (Roy did his accounting and Willy fiercely resented paying taxes) but the book paints a somewhat different picture. That's one detail we may never know the truth about.
    Willy died without ever proclaiming an heir to his position. By jungle law, it would have naturally passed on to Roy who won the battle. But there were others who thought that Roy murdered his father and wasn't deserving of the role. They decided that they were somehow entitled, and claimed the position of "master" of their own accord. That's where much of the controversy within the art originated, and still continues today. The conflict is furthered by the argument over whether Willy let Roy win because he couldn't bring himself to kill his own son, or did Roy actually win in a fight to the death with his father. Many say Willy could have won easily, others say he was outmatched by the strength and agility of his son.
    Anyway, the writing isn't the best, but the book may still be worth a read if one has any interest in this particular art and its history.

  2. #2
    Rivington's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    East Bay, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by taijidude View Post
    Anyway, the writing isn't the best
    No kidding.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I disagree that the writing is poor, I actually think the writing is pretty darn good, it is the editing that is poor, too many misspelled words. Having trained under Roy for 20 years and knowing most of the family members, I clearly come down on the side of the veracity of the stories in this book. I think the author embellishments are fairly limited, but understandable to make the book more readable.

  4. #4
    It is Fake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    too many misspelled words.
    You are kidding right? That means his writing is poor and the editing was terrible. No embellishments are not necessary to make something more readable.


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