Kapatiran Suntukan Martial Arts


Saturday, December 01, 2007


be ready

I tend to be rather low-key about things, but have slowly started to be more vocal about issues that concern me and my friends and family. Everyone needs to take a hard look at the society that we have developed and assess where it is headed.
Listen to Naomi and research things for yourself. Nothing should be taken as gospel until you understand it to be true. However, once you establish it as such, actions may need to be taken that others may see as intense but they will be needed.
Good luck.

Thanks to Mushtaq for sharing this one.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Guess who's coming to dinner

If you would like a printable PDF version of the flier, please contact me.
This will be a very good weekend.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Rest In Peace Sifu

I will carry the knowledge you shared with me and give it to others.
Thank you so very much Sifu.

Larry Benjamin Hartsell
August 15, 1942 - August 20, 2007

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Masukan Dagu?

The weekend of August 3-5 I hosted Guru Sean Stark for the Pencak Silat Pertempuran Keluarga. This was the fourth year for the gathering and the first here in Des Moines.
The first day was spent looking closely at levels one through seven in the system.
To warm up on the dewy grass, Guru Stark introduced us to Power Ales-ales. By applying an exaggerated slowed version of the evasions and continuously flowing through the movements, one gets a great stretch and focused breathing, not unlike some of the more fluid versions of yoga. This is in line with something Guru Stark has been incorporating and I experienced at the first Keluarga I attended in Kansas City two years ago.
We then worked a drill starting with sliwa and going through a set of positions leading to the ground and back. We then looked the applications of those movements.
We then started to run through the PSP curriculum from the top. This was great because no matter where you are in the curriculum you can really look at the movements and refine them.

I am learning the level three material at the moment so it was good for me to look at that as well as review what I have under my belt and to look forward to the next few levels as a subliminal planting.

I will not rehash the entire day, but it was by far the longest day of nearly continuous working out that I have ever experienced. It was awesome.
A few of us met up for dinner and the staff fed us and brought us beverages past closing.
Rain met us in the morning so we worked on garak with Pelatih Bill Dwyer who it was a pleasure to finally meet. He is a great guy and presented the material very well.
Then we started going through the juru-jurus for each of the levels with Monyet aspects added for the benefit of Bill and those who wanted to try them out. We looked at the juru-jurus as a complete form and then looked at buah and pechuhan. I am an echo here when I say that this was good for anyone (myself included) to really look at the movements, how they flow together and what you can do with them. Even though I am focusing on jurus-jurus tiga and empat, it was great to get a feel for other jurus-jurus coming up in the near future as well as fix a couple of minor issues from satu and dua. Another long day from roughly 8:30 to 7:30 and we were all pretty sore and upset that the local junkies had broken into one of the cars and made off with cash and various items. sorry christine!
Dinner was a good time with lots of great stories (which is how the title of this entry came to be).

Day three began by looking at a couple of jurus-jurus with weapons such as golok or stick and how the jurus-jurus alter to fit the tool without deviating too far from the base movements. Surprisingly the energy level was still pretty high considering everything we had done thus far, but the humidity was pretty high and that slowed us done a bit. There was definitely some seminar fatigue happening.

After lunch we worked on some breathing aspects and explosive entries as well as using the ikat (bandana). That essentially round out the day and we broke sometime around 6:30 or so.
All in all I think we were training for about 30 hours or more. I am looking forward to the next time we can all get together and am hopeful that more people will join us. This event has proven to better each year and I am excited to see how it evolves.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Innovative Martial Arts Spring Gathering 2007 (at last)

I have been visiting Chuck Pippin Sensei at Innovative Martial Arts for several years and always come away with memories of good times and new friends. After some sort of crew shortage at Midwest Connect, I arrived around 9:30 pm missing the bulk of the “Meet-n-Greet” I was wanting to attend. Way to go Midwest….
Anyway, the primary focus of this gathering was to evaluate Chuck Pippin and Don Young for their 4th Dan Black Belts.

Hetero Life Partners Chuck and Don

Chuck had requested this torture a few years ago. However, a bout with cancer sidelined that until now. Don only got a clue he was testing near the end of the event, but that was part of his test.
Guru Mushtaq Ali Shah led the formal aspects of the testing but was assisted by myself, Guru Bobbe Edmonds, Guru Brian ‘Buzz’ Smith and Terry Trahan directly. One cool aspect of the test was input and questioning by visitors and students of Innovative Martial Arts. The test was a very insightful look into the teaching styles of Chuck and Don as well as a good chance to run them through the paces.

Using the cane

Chuck and Don also had to present a curriculum based on a cane. I found this challenging, but they had delved into various aspects of it with a strong emphasis on using the cane when you really need to use a cane. They also were asked to break down the aspects of their first form and show practical application.
Aside from the formal aspect of the test, Don and Chuck were watched throughout the day while they interacted with guests and guest instructors. We were looking for various things such as adaptation to material and the ability to assist those trying to learn it.
It may not sound like a grueling test, but it was quite demanding, mentally as well as physically.
The test was not the only thing going on.

Saturday morning was started off with Cody Fielding doing some RMAX material from Scott Sonnon. That was a great thing to get the joints lubed up and I took away some good stuff to help with staying loose. I would love to explore more of this as I usually only pick it up here.

After that was Guru Mushtaq Ali Shah with Silat Zulfikari, and we went over the idea of bringing a friend along by using the rear hand wisely using a dasar from Silat Zulfikari called the “dragon’s tail.”

Guru Mushtaq discussing the dragon's tail dasar

This was tied in with the ability to flow with not only the technique, but the opponent. The morning showed the flexibility of Silat Zulfikari as well its effectiveness. Guru Mushtaq is always a pleasure to work out with.

Following a short break, Guru Brian "Buzz" Smith picked up on the idea of bringing a friend along, but not letting the other guy know your friend’s name is Treachery. Buzz had anecdotes about how thieves and thugs would use deception to relieve you of your valuables or life and translated that into ideas within Maharlika Kuntaw.

Guru Buzz introducing his friend Treachery to Bill Bednarick

(Bill has some good products by the way)
Once again, Guro Buzz conveyed his art with a combination of skill and humor that is greatly appreciated by me. If Buzz comes within 200 miles of your town, go, it’s a no-brainer. You will come away with great information and life lessons. I look forward to seeing Buzz in the future, you should too. Did I mention you should train with Buzz?
Don and Chuck shared some Scientific Fighting Congress knife aspects to round out the morning.

Lunch break

With bellies full from lunch we were treated with a last-minute addition to the gathering, Grand Master Bobby Taboada of Balintawak Arnis Cuentada with Guro Robert Klampfer. They presented some of the basics of the system and I had not met them or seen the art before this weekend, but was impressed with it and the way it was presented. Grand Master Taboada is a genial man with a great sense of humor. I would recommend the system to anyone with access to it.
We rounded out the day with the aforementioned cane curriculum and testing of Chuck and Don.

After this was the Pot Luck and it was a good time as usual. The only downer was it was raining so we were unable to have a bonfire. It is a tradition that will have to wait until next time. We were up until 2 AM and that’s pretty normal too!
Chillin' on the porch listening to the rain

Sunday began (late: that’s usual as well. Hey we were up until 2!) with a more in depth warm up from Cody. Everything I have seen from RMAX has been good information. We did some interesting squatting things and some breathing things. Look, they are difficult to explain. I suggest you buy the DVDs or hook up with someone who may be a qualified instructor near you. Your body will appreciate it. If you are in the Bay Area, look up Cody. We also looked at some thresholds of pain and rolling with a hit in order to be a better trainer as well as one who trains.

Following Cody, was Guru Bobbe Edmonds whom I have been wanting hang out with for a while and this once finally the opportunity. His teaching approach may stun the average seminar attendee, but I was digging it. I highly recommend you tap his brain at some point too.

I took away a better understanding of silat in general and will be hosting Guru Edmonds at some point in Des Moines once we agree on a date and can arrange for a keg of Guinness to be drop shipped from the factory. Did you know it takes 119.5 seconds to pour the perfect pint? (That’s a double pour Bobbe, not the heavenly three pour version.)
Time was slipping by us now and Terry Trahan presented an abridged version of WeaselCraft.

Take the time and get a hold of him. He has a lot of real world experience and I am looking forward to seeing him again. For more information on him check out the following: TPI Forum, he is a moderator.

Lunch was brief and followed by another round with Grand Master Taboada. He focused on some empty hand drills that worked up a good lather. They were quick and gave a heightened awareness to both parties. They reinforced the trainer/trainee relationship as touch on by Cody Fielding earlier in the day.
The main aspects of the seminar rapped up at that time, so I showered and sat down with Sterling Heibeck to record a Podcast for his site. That was an interesting experience. I used my best “radio voice” for that one. He also interviewed Grand Master Taboada and Guro Robert Klampfer, Cody Fielding and Guro Buzz.
After a quick lively dinner with Guru Edmonds and Terry Trahan, it was time for me to return home. To read what went on after I left see Guru Mushtaq’s blog and Guru Edmonds blog.
Overall, I am impressed more and more with the caliber of instructors and participants that come to this gathering each time. The Fall Gathering is just around the corner, so as soon as I have a date I will post it here.
And he bought me dinner

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

1001 Malaysian Night

The other night I attended an event at Drake University celebrating the Malay culture. It was put on by the Malay Student Association at the University. What intrigued me was the advert I saw said that, amongst the other activities, a Silat demonstration would be presented.
The evening was emceed by three students from DU and their banter was fun and it reminded me what college was!
The description in the program of Silat describes it as a martial art of the region with similar styles throughout the surrounding countries. It even said that most aliran were based on the movement of animals.
The demonstration of Silat was done by Wei Hao Tan “Frederick” and was described as being Harimau. The audience was very into it and enjoyed what they saw. What they witnessed was some interesting stances followed by one-steps and then a grand melee of multiple attackers setup as a robbery scene. There were some interesting moves in that scenario.

I spoke with Frederick afterward and he said that he mostly studies Tae Kwon Do and he was only ever shown a small amount of Harimau. I suggested he try to get involved with the annual CelebrAsian event to tell more about Malaysian culture. At the time I didn’t know the deadline was April 1st! Bummer.
Since Malaysia is a hodgepodge of cultures, they highlighted the majority of them at this event. We watched a cool performance of Dikir Barat led by Frederick initially. From the program: Dikir Barat is a form of singing that came from Kelantan, as state of Malaysia. It is a ritual of celebration for various occasions such as rice harvest season. Traditionally the Dikir Barat is performed by an all male group, but modern arrangements include women.

Another presentation was a Malay dance which was mostly women. Two guys were in and out throughout the performance as well. It was reminiscent of Hindi style dancing. Very entertaining.
Following that was a Bamboo dance where the participants step in and out of and across a pair of bamboo sticks that are being bounced and slapped together. It’s all about the timing.

There was also a Chinese Lion Dance to open the ceremony. Those guys are certainly in shape! The local performers are Iowa State students and they do a lot of shows for various Asian celebrations around town.

The organizers also had a fashion show highlighting the various clothing types of the country. These ranged from the always comfortable sarong to lush silk outfits of Chinese and Indian design.
After a meal of a variety of foods representing the cultures of Malaysia, I had to leave early for another commitment. We missed the other main cultures represented in Malaysia: Chinese and Indian. There was gung fu and Indian dancing.
I hope they do this again as there was a good turn out and would like to be able to see the whole show as well as hang out with the people.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Spring Gathering in Michigan

The Annual Spring Gathering of the Tribes

Brought to you by
The League of Non-Aligned Martial Artists
Hosted by
Innovative Martial Arts

When: Weekend of May 25 - 28th
(Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday)

Where: Innovative Martial Arts
2400 Grand River NE
Grand Rapids, Mi 49525
Contact: Chuck Pippin
Phone: 616-364-0019
email: Chuck Pippin Sensei
website: Innovative Martial Arts

Cost: $50 Per Person (RSVP as soon as you can please, Space is LIMITED)

Friday: Evening “get to know ya”
Saturday: Work out 9am - 5pm...Pot Luck Feast to follow
Sunday: Martial Arts and Healing , Silat Zulfikari Workshop, etc.
Monday: Holiday! Stay and get more training...or just hang out!

What will the weekend consist of?A variety of empty hand, blade, and stick/staff work as expressed through Pencak Silat, San Yun Do, Scientific Fighting Congress, Maharlika Kuntaw (Tausug version taught by Guru Buzz Smith), and other martial arts.
Instructors include Guru Mushtaq Ali, Sensei’s Chuck Pippin and Don Young, Guru Buzz Smith, and other Guests...

(Please Note:
These events are more fun that is legally allow in some States, so please check you local regulations)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

An Echo from the Net

Keluarga 2007

Theme: No. I don't play nice!
Location: Des Moines, IA
Length: 3 Days of training
Cost for Training: $180
Hotel: Heartland Inns
Room Rate: $67.50 per room, per night, plus tax for a traditional room with one king size bed or two queen size beds.
10 Rooms set aside (8 Doubles, 2 Singles)
Group name: Keluarga (ask for Keluarga Rate when you book a room to get the special rate. Also, please let Jay know if you book a room so if we need more we can add some AND you must book them at least 2 weeks before the event to get the special rate. You can't wait until the last minute.)
Complimentary Breakfast Daily 4:30-10am (hot and cold items)
Wireless Internet
Pillowtop Mattresses in Every Room
Indoor Swimming Pool and Fitness Center
Complimentary Evening Snacks
24 Hour Airport Shuttle Service

Midwest Connect,
US Airways
Car Rental:

Recommended by Jay - Enterprise Rent-A-Car(type in DSM for the airport location)
Event Information:
Plan on tuning up your pencak silat. We will work on:
PSP fundamentals
applications - bela diri,
understanding and doing pencak silat movement,
connectivity of fundamentals to create techniques,
training methods,
weapons work,
Explosive Entries,
Level Testing,
various adhoc discussions on strategy, psp, philosophy, spirituality, pencak silat, leadership, teaching, and growth.
bonfire at Jay's
It's going to be a great three days of training to introduce people to PSP and help those who are midway and nearing the end of the general curriculum. As always, it's a great time to test. Don't wait for Keluarga, but if you can push a little to test in person is a great opportunity.

We will probably work/play harder this year than in past years.

Equipment to bring:

MMA style training gloves,
Full face headgear,
kicking shields,
focus mitts,
training and "sharps" (pisau - knives),
Looped sarong
Pay for the event by sending payment to via paypal to reserve your spot. We are looking to have around 20 people this year so get in before it's full.

If you have questions about ammenities, training location, car rentals, or event resources, contact Jay Carstensen.

Event particulars, equipment, and questions related around participation in the event should be sent to Guru Stark.

Friday, January 19, 2007

My Turn

Every once in a while one of these fun quizes pops up and I get pulled into trying it out.

Drink Me

The Monk
You scored 33% Closed Fist, 50% Open Hand, and 80% Honor!
And so, like all things, it ends. Let's see where you fit... Your score is predominantly Open Hand, thus you tend to think before you act, and view each situation from all angles, before taking action. You tend to meet force with avoiding action, rather than retaliation. While this may seem more "RIGHT" than the Closed Fist, it is no more, and no less correct, it is merely a different point of view. But that's only half the story... Coupled with a high Honor score, you tend to be a caring, giving person, more than willing to take the hardships of others as your own. You see the downtrodden as those who need the most attention, and you will go out of your way to help if you can. Though rarely one to force your viewpoint on someone else, your opinions are strong, and you will defend them, often zealously, however violence is always the LAST option. While this view is more "socially acceptable", bear in mind that it is easy to lose ones self in selflessness to others. Seak an emotional center, and work from there. You would most likely find yourself drawn to the "softer" martial arts, as well as those which seek physical and emotional harmony equally. The various forms of Shaolin Temple, Kung Fu, as well as Aikido, which has no strikes at all, may appeal to you. Well, that's it. Thanks for taking my test. Remember, these are only suggestions, nothing is set in stone. This test is NOT meant to pass judgement in ANY way, nor is it designed to tell you EXACTLY which Martial Art to study.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Shameless Plug for a Friend

New PSP Book
I intend to get this book and so should you. It has everything from jurus-jurus to gun stuff. The first volume is an excellent source for PSP and goes well with the DVDs available here: Buy Me

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Keluarga 2007

I will be hosting the 2007 Keluarga here in Des Moines, IA on August 3-5, 2007.
For more information on the art of Pencak Silat Pertempuran visit the PSP website at
I look forward to seeing some friends and making more.
I will have balur on hand for the bruised.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

the future

Just over one year ago I was handed the reigns to Kapatiran Suntukan Martial Arts. In that time I have looked at the group, discussed ideas with active members and we move forward. All things evolve to meet the needs of the community at large. I hope that some of the ideas that have come out of this thinking cause either thought or understanding.
To me, the overriding aspect of KSMA has been and is the community it forms. Regardless of system, style, or creed we come together to discuss this thing we do.
I am not an overtly wordy guy and tend to go with the flow. My purpose is to train and share the information I have had the good fortune to have access to, yet I am also the glue binding together this organization so I have to speak out every once in a while. Right?
KSMA was never about a style. One thing I think that may have been misinterpreted is the idea that we are a Southeast Asian martial arts group. Granted the name tends to lend itself to that, as it is in Tagalog and what most people consider a martial art is Asian in origin. It is what it is and we'll keep it for a while longer. In essence, this Boxing Brotherhood will always be there regardless of what you call it anyway. When one looks past the name and sees the group, the true meaning of the group is there.
When I started training more fervently, I came to understand that one should explore any avenue presented to reach a better understanding of what you have; perhaps even learn a little more. Thus, I have been exposed to gung fu, kempo, western boxing, bowie knife, grappling arts and various Filipino arts. Eventually my paths crossed a few that I wanted to stay on. For me, Pencak Silat has been the most rewarding art to study. That is not in any way detracting or belying any other arts I have studied or not, it is just what I have gravitated toward. There are still aspects I really enjoy about all the arts I have participated in and may continue to do so off and on.
I love training. I love meeting new and interesting people and maintaining the relationships I have made over time. KSMA may not be a huge corporate entity (please don’t let that happen), but what it is has meaning to direct members and their students or families.

An aside: When KSMA was formed, online forums were in their toddler years, now they are a full-grown aspect of society. Most of the time they are used as a tool for discussion free of egos, however, the occasional flame does erupt on them. Arguments are cyclical in nature as they lead participants back to their own starting point without gaining an understanding of the subject at hand. Too bad. The unfortunate truth is that we need to live on this planet together and that takes a little compassion and patience.

I wish you Happy New Year and good luck.

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