Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Be Advised!

Dearborn, Michigan 04/2004

That man with the training knife facing Tuhon Gaje is a certified Bad Ass!


Monday, November 21, 2005

Got Keris?

Martin with Empu Jeno

Mas Martin Notohardjo is the President/Curator of Pojok Keris Singobarong (Singobarong Keris Corner) in Central Java. It was by Mas Martin’s kind invitation that I was able to learn about the keris and other Indonesian Pusaka in Central Java in September, 2000.

Martin has an extensive network of contacts all over Indonesia. He can locate and acquire virtually any Indonesian weapon (or variations thereof) in any condition, of any era you can think of - with 100% authentication. In some cases, he can even do keris appraisals via digital photograph. If there is anything at all you need to know about the keris, then this is your man.

If you would like information on purchasing keris, keris appraisal, or even locating reputable Silat teachers in Indonesia, email me and I will be happy to forward your request to Mas Martin.

Just to clear up some mis-understanding that I have seen in print, Pojok Keris Singobarong does NOT sell or give keris/pusaka from any Kraton in Java. I say this because some clown has been known to foist faux Kraton items to other clowns, sourcing it back to PKS. Well, it’s not so.

There’s no Easter Bunny either.


Several interested folks have asked me for more information on Ode Remo (see a few postings back) Well, there is a new book called: Orisa - Yoruba Gods and Spiritual Identity in Africa and the Diaspora (isbn 1-59221-374-x) which contains a paper by Kevin Noel Amherd entitled Ifa Texts: Diversity and Discourse - this is positively the best exposition on the history of Ode Remo that I have seen anywhere in print. One of Kevin's informants is John Abiodun Ogunleye, the martial artist I had the friendly match with as detailed in my "Challenge in West Africa" post.

I met Kevin a few years back in Oakland, Ca. While we may have had slightly differing opinions on martial arts, I applaud him for undertaking such a serious, scholarly examination of Ode Remo from a unique perspective.


Sunday, November 20, 2005


Hey Everyone!

The emminent Silat scholar/resercher/practitioner Mohd Nadzrin Wahab has published two issues of a brand new Silat e-zine appropriately called SILAT MELAYU. I cannot recommend this work highly enough. It just so happens that the second issue features an outstanding article about a certian Silat Kuntau Tekpi group in the Midwestern United States.

Subscriptions may be ordered by emailing:

I command you all to subscribe (its free)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Senaman Tua

In response to numerous requests from my students for more information on Senaman Tua, I offer the following brief explanation from our friend Saiful Azraq. As anyone who has been put into at least one full-body lock from Cekak or Silat Kuntau Tekpi can attest, it is murder on the joints. I liken Senaman Tua to 'yoga' for the joints. We have been doing it for 7 months, and I have seen remarkable results in my students strength and flexibility.

By way of a personal testimony, in the summer of 2004 I tore the ACL in my right knee during a dumog match. After 3 months of physical therapy I decided not to have surgery, but the knee was obviously not fully functional. I learned Senaman Tua from Omar Hakim in April of 2005, and after a rigorous program of x2 per week for an hour my knee was stronger than it was before the tear - by July!

I recommend either 15 minutes a day, or 1 hour twice per week. Maintain each exercise from 1 to 99 seconds, and remember Nafas Melayu...

Now from Brother Saiful:

SENAMAN TUA literally means Old Exercise but to do it justice, I
prefer to translate it as Sagely Exercise. The word TUA in Malay
commonly means old in English. However, the difference between our
cultures makes miscommunicates the term. TUA comes from the Archaic
Malay/ Sanskrit word TUHA which means Prime. From this word comes
TUHAN (God), TUA (Old), colours like BIRU TUA (Dark Blue), KETUA
(Leader), PENGETUA (Principal) and many others. In the Malay culture,
the old are revered for their wisdom and surpassive knowledge.
Therefore, SENAMAN TUA means the knowledge of human exercises that
have arisen out of hundreds of years of research and development,
experimentation and testing. Each of them bear a deep amount of wisdom
within them.

However, another interpretation of SENAMAN TUA as explained by its
founder guru Azlan Ghanie is that it is a shortening of PETUA which
comes from the Arabic word Fatwa. A fatwa is a conclusive decision or
result of detailed research and development by a master in a
particular field. For example, e=mc2 is a fatwa of Einstein who
reduced the relationship of energy and matter into five symbols.
Therefore, the SENAMAN TUA is bound by a minimum of four PETUA, Nafas
Melayu, Lam Alif, Mata Angin and Jantan Betina. There are more but are
merely extrapolations of the four.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

NY Seminar

"It's All Fun Until Someone Loses An Eye!"
(Jeff & Doug doing some "Knife-Clowning")

Hosting a public seminar is never an easy task. Co-ordinating 3 seminars in two countries on the same weekend is a feat that most sensible people would not even want to attempt. I am proud to say that my friend, teacher, and mentor Guro Doug Marcaida of Rochester, New York did just that - and flawlessly - this past weekend.

The event began on Thursday afternoon with Guro Doug and Tuhon Gaje presenting a Pekiti Tirsia knife and gun seminar to SWAT groups from all over New York, including Homeland Security. Friday evening featured another well-attended civilian seminar in Rochester by Tuhon Gaje covering double knife and dumog.

On Saturday we were able to spend some quality time training with Guro Doug, literally picking up where we left off almost a year ago since our last Detroit/Rochester group training. Later in the day, it was off to Toronto where we were joined by the incomparable Guro Jun DeLeon in preparation for the final day of instruction on Sunday.

Pekiti Tirsia is experiencing a rebirth of sorts in the United States. Guro Doug is at the forefront of this movement, as it were. He has studied with the greatest of Tuhon's 1st generation students, and his high level of understanding and refinement allows him to distill the very finest wine from the grapes of Tuhon's extensive knowledge.

It was an honor and a privilege for my students and I to share some Silat Kuntau Tekpi with Guro Doug, as well as just to be a part of this outstanding event.

Maraming Salamat

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Players

Maphilindo Demo Squad 11/04/2005

From left: Bassam Hammoud, Dean Hadin, Jamal Hakim Abdullah, Guro Davidson, Jeff Danuloff
Back: Damon Mitchell Darryl Mundrick


Another Great Demo

Guro Davidson with Hamisi and the Rah African Drumming Ensemble

Our most recent demo took place at the Southfield Civic Center pavillion, and was sponsored by Aloha Tropics. This festival featured a multi-cultural lineup of Indian, Hawaiian , Filipino, and Spanish folkdancing, as well as African Drumming and Filipino martial arts.

The Detroit Maphilindos are grateful to our new friends, The Rah African Drumming Ensemble from Mt. Clemens for providing outstanding live percussion during our set. Now, most drummers in Detroit are so heavily influenced by Cuban modes that even when they try to play traditional African rythmns, it still sound like Salsa. This group was different, however. Their playing was so inspirational and "in the pocket" I literally could not stop moving! Even after our part of the demo had concluded, Hamisi and his group played on, so that I had no choice but to take up a sword and dagger and go where the Spirit led me.

Hamisi is a practitioner of Filipino martial arts himself, and we discovered that we have several friends in common in both the martial arts and percussion scene in Detroit. Small

Gentlemen, I say to you "A dupe pupo!" I hope we have the pleasure of performing together again soon.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

French Cimande Par Excellence

Guru Gorka Echarri with Cimande Masters

My good friend of many years Guru Gorka Echarri of Biarretz, France is the French Director of the Cimande system of Pencak Silat under the auspices of Persatuan Pendekar Persilatan Seni Budaya Banten in West Java.

The Cimande system is one of most prolific, yet misunderstood systems of Pencak Silat from Java. Wild misconceptions about this art abound, especially in the United States. I admire Guru Echarri for taking the initiative to go directly to the source in Indonesia for the Truth. I invite all French speakers to visit his impressive website at

Gorka is very fluent in English, and I'm sure he would be happy to answer any questions from those seeking knowledge of authentic Cimande and Terumbu as practiced in Indonesia. For the record, let me just say that there is NO "Leader" or "Guru Besar" of all Cimande styles - especially not in the United States. There are various lineages of Cimande from the late Pak Herman Suwanda and others. There is also no single "Superior" or "Legitimate" Cimande style even in Indonesia. Just like any other martial art, there are different interpretations, each with its own merit.

As they say in France, "Vive la diference!"