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Pentjak Silat Serak®


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The Gift and Inheritance of an Art;
"Pukulan Pentjak Silat Serak®"
By Maha Guru “Pak Vic” Victor de Thouars

From my early years after WWII, and traveling from Java to the then known country of Siam (Thailand) to meet my father. Actually the whole family was there, with the exception of our oldest brother Henry. He was still serving the military, and every effort was made to unite him with the rest of the family. But sadly that never happened, and he succumbed to an unfortunate accident

In the short years in Siam, our Uncle Ernest (Ventje) de Vries was there, and my two older brothers trained with him for period two to four weeks according to Maurice de Thouars. At the end of 1946 from Siam the family moved for several months to the Netherlands and then back to Java. My dad worked in the sugar plantation called “Seragi”. Because of The year to follow in Bandung were for a time we lived in Kemoening Laan. From there Maurice and Paul had already the adventure spirit and soon left for New Guinea

Not too long after that, we moved to the East Coast and lived on the Sugar Plantation of Pradjekan. It was there where I grew up with my brother Willem, where he was a brother to me in the early years, for Paul and Maurice were in New Guinea and did not follow us to East Java. During the time period of the early part of 1948 rather the March of 1947 as previously written down, till June of 1954 we resided in Pradjekan, and saw many of Madurean Silat blade fighters show their skills. On many of occasions the hot-tempered Madurean would cross blades with each other. Especially during festival times, when water buffalo races were held, and the whip tournaments. Many an argument would result from the so-called unjust judging, and blade encounters were common. Although I noticed that in the early year of 1953, the tone of the festivals was really kept under control to avoid. " Close Encounters of the Steel Blades".

Pretty neat really, the participant with the least whip marks on their body had the right to climb a grease pole. The winner would receive either cloth or clothing or a sack of twenty-five kilo of rice. It was great to see the many arts from the villagers, and on many of occasions Sudanese people would come to the East, bringing their arts from West Java with them. My own personal Sera training did start in the late summer of 1948 wit Pak Tisari Mardjoeki. To me then I was at awe at much what the seniors did at the time, learning to scribe with a stick different platforms in the dirt for them to practice. Doing the movements were more as to copy the seniors and Pak Tisari really had the patience. Understanding what I was doing came in much later about three years later. My father and Pak Tisari urged me to take lots of notes, and boy I am sure I am glad I did, for without those notes, much of the recorded knowledge would not even exist. His son and my friend Dhaka Mardjoeki, as of this writing teaches Silat Serak, and as a side note lives next door to my cousin Jan de Vries in Surabaya, Jan is the son of the oldest brother from my mother.

It was good to see arts like Tjimande and also Sera displayed by the various travelers that possessed the West Java arts. As a young boy and growing up I absorbed many of the Idealistic systems that I had seen during the time period I lived on Pradjekan, but really increased my Serak insight in the summer of 1954 with many of visits to my Uncle John de Vries. Finally in June of 1956 Paul started to go to our Uncle John. It was a great joy to see Paul and Ernst Termeulen practice with our Uncle, for a certainty seeing Paul and Ernst being thrown by my Uncle John from One end of the Kendang (workout place) to the other end.

When we moved to the Village of Wormer (Holland), and lived on Fortuin Straat No.9, Paul worked out with me in Sera, and increased my own understanding by research in Silat Serak. The years I enjoyed training with my brother Paul and he showed his way of doing things but very difficult in understanding or his point across, a definite learning experience. In those years I also started to teach Kees Boering the system of Sera till January of 1960. In the first days of May our family immigrated to the United States, and on May 11, 1960 at 10am in the morning I placed my right foot on American soil.












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