Ethan in Indo!
The Kids of Java: A Trip to the “Homeland”
by Pendekkar Ethan
During my recent trip to Indonesia, I had the opportunity to train four different styles of martial arts, each one amazing in its own way. There were many similarities between Poekoelan and the styles I saw, everything from tiger movements to stances and types of strikes and blocks. I’ve been training for 14 years so experiencing these arts and Indonesian culture felt like a pilgrimage.
“Tjimindie” in Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen means “beautiful flowing water” and is the name of a river in Java where our founder once studied so I made a point to train in a village now called “Cimande” near the same river. I trained with both kids and adults, and the kids’ talent and focus truly blew my mind. I watched them do forms, and prepare choreographed fights for an upcoming festival – the intent and ferocity with which they attacked each other during these “fights” was only matched by their control. Seeing the impressive display made me think about what their training must be like to get them so far so young. I thought about this a lot after my visit to Cimande and in short, I think the answer is the kids and the families’ attitudes towards their training.
Cimande is a small village in which the martial arts school and teacher play an important role in the community. The teacher works with other community members, they pray together at the mosque, and for many, training together in the past. I believe that because of this culture, the parents have respect for the art and an understanding of it’s positive influence on their kids’ lives. The parents’ attitude and respect for the art and teacher extends to their kids’ training. I could see it in the dedication and and reverence the kids had in their training.
At Studio Naga, we strive to create a community that fosters growth for both kids and adults. I began training when I was 11 and coming up through the ranks, I was blessed to have a mother who supported my training and did her best to give me every opportunity to be involved in the Studio Naga community.
It’s my hope that the wonderful parents of Studio Naga’s kids realize that their home environment and the support they provide for their kids has a direct effect on their child’s success in Poekoelan. In Indonesia, martial arts are viewed not as another after school activity, but as an important way to teach young people compassion, control, confidence, how to defend themselves, how to work with others, how to be in a community, and so many other things.
On this trip I visited Java and Sumatra – that leaves a few thousand other islands for future travels!
2017 Summer Camp Dates!
Camp Courage in Tilden Park: June 19th-23rd
Studio Camp: July 10th-14th
Save the date: Sunday, December 4th is our annual auction, demonstration, Indonesian dinner and holiday party! All funds raised go to the non-profit Tulen Foundation which assists families in need to participate in our programs. We also award black belts attending college $500 annually. Help us build a better future! YOU can help by …
Attending the event! Soliciting auction items! Selling dinner tickets to family and friends! Please speak with MGALouise or Bantoe Cid to get involved. (Tickets are on sale now!)