Learn More About Pentjak Silat USA
Dr Andre KnustGraichen has written about his history in the martial Art. He shared this on our members Group. I am going to share it with our public group as well hope this answers any questions you may have had. Enjoy
As many of you know the International Pencak Silat Federation, Pentjak Silat USA was originally founded by Bapak Guru Besars James Ingram, Rudy Ter Linden, Willem DeThouars and myself, Guru Andre KnustGraichen in 1990, Incorporated in California in 1993. The primary style which connected all of these practitioners was Pentjak Silat Serak as a "foundation system". Each had their respective styles. The Connecting link was myself as each of these gifted teachers had bestowed upon me the rank and title of "guru". In writing witnessed by each other. I found myself as their ambassador and was privileged and honored to represent and assist them at their schools and seminars. The foundation system of Serak foremost in my mind and actions then, as it is now.
Part 2.....I began my formal training in Pentjak Silat in 1967 under the late Bapak Guru Besar Rudy Ter Linden. He and the late GB Paul deThouars were best of friends and I consider them as the pioneers of Pentjak Silat in the USA.
The foundation system, again being Pentjak Silat Serak. I was awarded guru rank and title by GB Ter Linden in 1975. (8 solid years of training). I went off to college and in 1978 was lonely for martial art company. That same year I was happy to make the acquaintance of Guro Dan Inosanto, and that afternoon he, guro Ron Hellman and I went to meet with Kali Grandmaster Ben Largusa. I trained diligently with this exemplary group until 1990, when I received rank and title as pangulo by Professor Ron Hellman. (12 solid years of training). GM Largusa often commented on how similar Villabrille Kali and the Serak system are.
Part 3...So in 1990 when we embarked on the formation of a national Pentjak Silat
organization, there were two other regions already functioning to promote the sport of Pencak Silat. The Indonesian IPSI, founded and gaining momentum in the 1960s and 70s. The European Pencak Silat Union (guild or bond) in the 1970s and 80s. And our newly formed federation, described earlier, for the United States of America in 1990 until the present.
As with all fledgling organizations we stumbled around and decided in the late 90s to seek help from the European group. It was then that GB James Ingram, myself and some of our students made a pilgrimage to the Netherlands, the founding seat of the European Pencak Silat Part
4...When we arrived in the Netherlands it felt like home to me as I had lived there as a youngster, until we immigrated to the United States. We were greeted by the "founding father" of both the Netherlands and European Pencak Silat organizations, Bapak Guru Besar Sir Don Kessing, a Knight of the House of Orange, Kingdom of the Netherlands, and founder of Pencak Silat Manyang. He treated us as visiting royalty. I will never forget his kindness and hospitality which continues to this day. Truly the embodiment of Adat and Hormat. He swiftly introduced us to the "Pesilat or Pentjakers, A.D. Nelson, A. D. deVries, Flor, Boheme, and others who made up the Dewan SeSepuh (Council of Elders) of the Pencak Silat community.
I had another motive as well for our visit. I wanted to train with (who everyone I respected, even uncle Dolf deVries, told me ), the living source of Pentjak Silat Serak...Maurice DeThouars.
PART 5... An Alliance is Formed. The Netherlands / European and US Pencak Silat organizations form an alliance for the mutual benefit of both organizations with the stated purpose of promoting the History, Art, and Culture of Pencak Silat.
GB Sir Don Kessing plays host to us over the next 8 years and we build the two organizations. During this time I am trained by GB Maurice on my visits to Europe as well as bringing him to the US to train our American students. Bapak Dolf attended and advised me during our many teaching session in the Netherlands as well.
During one of our sessions in Holland, the late Pak Margono ( head of the Wasit Juri , the International Pencak Silat Competition's Referees and Judges ) is present and is thrilled to witness Bapak Maurice reveal Serak movement and techniques to me to which he commented:
"These are the secrets of Pencak Silat".
In 2004 GB Maurice had me design a simplified version of Serak for public consumption, and "AnakSerak" is born. Under his critical eye, refinement took another 3 years. Years back I also consulted heavily with GM Largusa about how best to teach a blend of our Serak Silat and Kali in a systematic manner and with his blessing I blended the format of his Kali system into it as well. Bapak Maurice was also pleased with the results. About this same window of time, here in the US, I was invited to teach with GB James Ingram, Sigung Willem, and Guru Dan at Pak Victor DeThouars' annual "Ring of Fire" seminars. Those were busy but fun years.
In the period of 2006 and 2008 for my continued training and study,
I was given the honor and rank of:
Guru Besar 6th degree Black Sash in Pencak Silat Manyang under K.A. Sir Don Kessing,
Guru Besar 7th degree Black Sash in the Tjabang of Pukulan Serak under K.A. Dolf deVries,
Guru Besar / Successor in Pentjak Silat Serak under K.A. Maurice A. F. DeThouars.
These ranks and titles are in writing with Sir Don Kessing and Olivier Blancquaert, Director of the Netherlands Pencak Silat Federation, as witnesses.
International Pencak Silat Federation Pentjak Silat USA
Copy Write #86549832
The International Pencak Silat Federation, Pentjak Silat USA was established in the United States of America in 1990 for the purpose of unifying and preserving the system, fundamentals as well as the various expressions of the Indonesian martial arts and incorporated as a non-profit corporation (501)(3c) in the state of California in 1993. We welcome you to our Federation and assure you we will do everything we can to provide you with an in-depth education in Pentjak Silat, a system considered by many to be a cultural treasure house for the martial artist. It is our hope that you commit yourself to this study and complete the entire course. We will endeavor to assist you in any way we can, but you must realize that you, are ultimately responsible for yourself. We look forward to a great and rewarding relationship and are excited you have placed your trust in us.
The Pentjak Silat USA program was developed to give a practitioner Pentjak Silat’s core concepts, theories, principles, training methods, and applications. It looks at what are the fundamentals of Pentjak Silat and presents that to the practitioner. This allows each practitioner to integrate their own body awareness and movement to the circumstances presented without employing a specific style of movement. We are not a new system or style, but rather a basic platform from which many of the Silat styles operate.
We have at our core a cross section of styles, each one also a cross section or composite of other styles and so on. The advantage to this kind of curriculum is that there are no restrictions to one method, therefore leaving room for exploration.
Pentjak Silat USA’s curriculum
Ter Linden Style – As taught by the late Grandmaster Bapak Guru Besar Rudy ter Linden
Pentjak Silat Pukulan Pak Serak- As taught by Bapak Maurice de Thouars
Mustika Kweetang- As taught by Guru Besar James Ingram
Kun Tao Silat- As taught by Sigung Guru Besar Willem de Thouars
Villabrille-Largusa Kali system as taught to Professor Ron Hellman to Dr Andre. From Grand Master Ben T. Largusa