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Thread: Poekoelan

  1. #171

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Portland, OR
    Personal Training
    [COLOR=#cccccc]killer_one[/COLO"]killer_one - Member Profile - Bullshido, I'm going to share some experience with you. I trained PTT for just as long as you have. After I quit I went to the Straight Blast Gym with a friend of mine. I didn't have a cocky attitude or anything, but I was going to try to keep up with the guys in my class on the mats. I got rolled, hardcore rolled. I think the only thing that kept me from being pinned the entire time was that I picked up on some of the techniques pretty quickly. After some training there I can now easily defeat my brother who is a green sash in PTT. Never underestimate your opponents.

  2. #172

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    [quote=tellner;1664184]To quote the Great Sages of my Tribe:

    A few notes here...

    First, language is a minefield in the Malay fighting arts. There are lots and lots of languages in the area. Bahasa Indonesia is kind of like Swahili - a constructed language originally used mostly for trade with simplified grammar and syntax. It's related to a lot of local languages and is the language of official business and instruction, but there's still a lot of room for ambiguity and misunderstanding.

    That said, "Poekoelan" or "Pukulan" is a Dutch-Indonesian word meaning (basically) hitting. If it's in the name of a martial art odds are there was a Dutch Indo involved. What I do is called Pukulan Pencak Silat Sera. My teacher is a Dutch Indo, the last of the breed since he left Java as an embryo :)

    Cuntao or Kuntao or Kun Tao is a Chineses (Hokkien?) word that means the same thing as Chuan Fa or Ken Po or similar - Chinese boxing. In the context of Indonesian martial arts it generally means the Chinese martial arts as they evolved in the Malay world. There are styles of Silat with acknowledged Chinese influence. There is also Kuntao which is considered to be a different thing. Willem de Thouars has done a lot of Silat and a lot of Kuntao and calls his personal blend "Kuntao Silat". As far as I know the Wetzel clan is the only group for whom Cuntao means "A bunch of specific self defense techniques that mostly look like military combatives from sixty years ago".

    Second, people out of the various Wetzel lineages are usually pretty clear about calling it "Tjiminde". That is because they do not do the Cimande style of Silat. Bill Sanders has learned some Cimande. Good on him for making the trip to Indonesia and looking for competent instruction. The rest of them do not. No way. No how. Not even a little bit like. I know that Janessa says they do. And I have been told that Barbara says so. It is absolutely not true. I would be surprised if either of them had ever trained with a real Cimande stylist. Janessa has met at least one but didn't know it.

    With all do respect Uncle Bill ( Wiiliam DeThours) Learn REAL Cimande from REAL Indonesians and is one the few that can even go as far as explaining to you the similarities in Jurus and Lahkas and the difference from the Indo-Dutch to the Dutch-American movements.

    I know there is a huge amount of politics and **** talk between camps.

    And have seen what Uncle Bill can do and what he has said in the past, he is one that commends William Sanders for his achievements and the battle field is usually with Paul and Victor when it comes down to Sanders.

    You can go to some Silat forums and see for yourself this is true and I don't know the specific Uncle that he learn Cimande from, but with the research and communication from other Pendekars in Indonesian the movements and fluid and similar in there expression.

  3. #173

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Delaware OH
    tai chi chuan, poekoelan
    I just sort of glanced over the 18 pages of this (old) thread and wanted to add a few comments. I apologize in advance if I repeat anything that has already been said. Also, I want to say outright that I don't want to offend or insult anyone in the poekoelan community. There is a lot of effort going into trying to heal old wounds and reunite the various segments, and at the risk of overestimating my own importance, I don't want to say anything to disrupt that effort. I'm going to try to be diplomatic in my comments, something I'm not usually all that good at.

    To start, this is a partial repost from another web site which could be considered the ultimate online authority on Willy Wetzel's tjimandie. Credit to the original poster.
    Willy's Poekoelan Chuan Fa was a blended system of the best parts of many Indonesian and Chinese systems. Willy did not teach to impress anyone; he knew of his undisputed mastery.
    "Harimu," or however you want to spell it, was not taught as a system. Elements of Tigerfighting was incorporated into Willy's system. Harimu is essentially a Sumatran system on a different island.
    "Silat" was never used as a name or any technique in Willy's style. Willy's poekoelans were upper caste, not average everyday common silat. However silat practitioners stole from poekoelan, and called it as its own, and some of his former students have mistakenly incorporated common silat.
    Willy never taught the word tulen. Nor did he ever state that his heartless killing system is compassionate. He did not teach nor tolerate dishonor.
    We never wore sarongs, nor bandana hats in Willy's school. This was added by down rivers and others.
    Willy called his system tjimindie, which does not mean beautiful flowing water; tji indicates river.
    Chinese astrology was not taught by Willy. This was added by some of his former students.
    Jurus and Sapus were not taught by Willy Wetzel. This was added by some of his former students.
    Willy did not appreciate the silatizing of his pure methods. He did not name it bukalon as mistated in Black Belt.
    Willy did not teach common karate in his school.

    Let me start by saying that I'm very new to tjimandie, having only been in training for about a year. I did however attend a tjimandie poekoelan conference just this past weekend which gave me some insight into some of the conflict and politics surrounding the art. I also learned a great deal about what is happening with many of the schools and teachers.

    I'm going to avoid making any commentary about Barb, who it seems has been the focus of this thread, and just say that I don't think that she and her school (and her metaphysical philosophies) necessarily are indicative of Willy's teachings (as indicated in the above quoted text). I suspect that much of the "softness" and caution surrounding the testing and sparring are due largely to liability issues. She has done a great job of building an enterprise. It's a lot to risk. I'm sure everyone here is a big boy, and knows the risks of hard contact sparring. But not everyone is like us. We live in an extremely litigious society, and all it takes is for one student to blow out a knee, break their nose, or dislocate a shoulder and, well, it's a lot to risk. So what's the alternative? You modify your methodologies in order to reduce the risk. Light contact, lots of protective gear, etc. And, when you do those things, no doubt some stuff gets lost in the translation. I will add that comments regarding her teaching style were largely positive at our conference. We all wished she would have attended by the way.

    Based on the discussions of this past weekend, the most typical tjimandie school is not a large business with hundreds of students and numerous franchises. Try to keep in mind, the biggest and most visible isn't always the standard. As a result of liability concerns, most schools have become much less "formal". Business insurance costs are high enough for a fighting school, and when you tell an insurance agent that you spar, the costs get even higher. And in order to even get the coverage you have to agree to use extensive protective gear, and the gym has to meet absurd safety standards. The cost involved is enormous. So what's happened it seems is that most teachers have chosen to teach out of their basements or garage, many for free just to keep the art alive. This way, they can avoid the crushing insurance costs and just do what they love. My own teacher had a school for just over a year and lost his ass in the process, the expense just overwhelming. He did however develop a core group of about five of us, who will continue in the same manner described above.

    With regard to the art itself, the information on the kun tao is essentially correct, so I won't rehash that. I will say that my experience with the sparring was quite different. We started sparring almost immediately. It might be generous for me to call what we were doing "sparring". We liked to call it that, but in truth, it was just more "getting out of our head" as someone said earlier. We moved around at about half speed, and practiced some of the basic moves that make up the kun tao as well as some of the basic strikes and parrys. And we NEVER wore (wear) any safety gear, not even gloves or mouth protection. Within the first six months I had taken a knee to the head, and another just inches from my nose. I landed an elbow strike to an opponent's head. (I think he was more upset that I knocked his hat off than he was that I popped him in his dome.)

    Also, I saw where someone made a comment with regard to the claims that the art is "too dangerous for tournaments". I did overhear a number of discussions about that this weekend as well. What I heard was generally a couple of things. The main one being that much of what we do isn't allowed in tournaments. So maybe to say that tjimandie is too lethal for tournaments isn't the right way to put it. We simply don't TRAIN for tournaments. We don't learn how and where to strike for points. We COULD practice for that, but then, we wouldn't really be doing Willy's tjimandie, but something else, because tjimandie was never intended to win tournaments. I don't say that in any disparaging way, and I'm not implying that training for a tournament is a bad thing, or that it even makes an art ineffective. I know a lady who is a black belt in karate, and has participated in a number of tournaments. She threw her abusive husband into a brick fireplace when he tried to attack her in a drunken rage. Obviously her skill in competition paid off.

    Anyway, I doubt that I did much to influence anyone's opinion of what might be a generally misunderstood (or a poorly represented) martial art, but I wanted to try. Ultimately, the point I was hoping to make is that there is very little online that accurately represents what tjimande really is. The most outspoken and visible indicators of tjimandie aren't really what I would consider to be the most accurate representatives in my experience. It's kind of a shame, because those who seem to be most true to Willy's teachings, are the ones who aren't speaking up, don't have youtube videos, and aren't running the highly successful schools. Maybe that in and of itself says more than anything else.

  4. #174

    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.

  5. #175
    Rock Ape's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Cull :

    Infractions start from this point if people continue post rhetoric bullshit and fail to provide supporting evidence.
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler

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