Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I never dreamed I would end up as a Kadua Guro, leading the Japan KM Group with students of my own. The KG test in July last year, in front of a seminar of fellow martial artists and my students, with MG Ben as my partner, was an unforgettable weekend that marked a proud milestone in my martial arts history and an important step in my career as a KM teacher. I was pushed to the breaking point, but ended up standing in front, true to the teachings that have brought me this far and made me who I am.
I am grateful for everyone who has been a part of this remarkable journey.
I am still new to Kali Majapahit after only 6 years (despite being a Kadua Guro), having only just gotten a reasonable understanding of the basics, and facing a lifetime of study ahead of me that I am very much looking forward to. A key part of this learning has been having my own group to be responsible for. This has caused me to think carefully about every aspect of our curriculum and how to best bring it to my students, who never fail to challenge me with their dedication and curiosity. I am truly blessed to have such a group in Japan.
When I left Singapore to return to Japan I asked for permission to use the Kali Majapahit logo for a tattoo I got done. It was special to me because it represented my anchor to a system and a family that has defined my martial arts evolution and brought me so much joy, happiness and development. I chose to have this tattoo done over an old scar (surgery to remove a benign tumor), which was my own symbolic way of turning something bad into something good; healing old wounds; and giving my a visual cue to look at to remind myself where I came from, and to focus on where I am going.
Since then, Kali Majapahit has grown and evolved, a new team of instructors has been groomed and stepped up to lead the next generation of change - they are skilled, energetic and as dedicated to KM as any of us were in those early days. New elements have been added to KM such as Parkour/ADD, Tahitian Dance Fitness, and a specialized Western boxing class. It is very exciting indeed.
The best part of Kali Majapahit is that it grows and evolves, just as we all personally grow and evolve. Guro Fred has continued to add to his impressive body of knowledge and push ahead into new directions, which has led to the first ever Instructor Training Academy course in Singapore last year, which I was proud to attend. This year, additional ITA courses are planned for Singapore and Paris.
The Bali Camp has become a gathering of some of the best instructors in the world, sharing training and fellowship during a jam packed week of team teaching, personal development, health/nutrition and overall POSITIVE ENERGY. Every year it gets better and better, and this will be my 3rd time to attend this incredible event.
Kali Majapahit remains at the heart of how I digest any new body of material I encounter. Our broad curriculum and Guro Fred's unique way of synthesizing it, has given me "eyes to see" other arts and capture what makes them special and worthwhile. This is one of the many things I try to give my students as well.
I have attended seminars by other famous martial artists since then, including SSBD and PTK, to name a few. I always go as a representative of Kali Majapahit, and if they think I am any good as a martial artist or as a human being, they will know that a major contributor has been my training with Guro Fred, Guro Lila, and my other teachers, brothers, and sisters in KM. I carry my rank as a badge of honor everywhere I go.
We never know where life will take us, but for me Kali Majapahit remains the best way to express everything I have learned. It is not just a comprehensive, effective Southeast Asian martial arts system, it is a symbol of my break from the traditional barriers to growth and evolution in classical martial arts and in my own life; and it frees me to carry on my martial arts "adventure" learning, growing, expressing throughout the rest of my life. I am deeply humbled and honored to be able to share it with those close to me.
Never forget where you come from, since it helps point the way to where you are going.