Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen

Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen is a martial art fusing Indonesian Silat and Chinese Kung Fu. It was brought from Indonesia to the United States of America in 1956 by the Dutch-Indonesian man William John Christopher Wetzel (known as Mas Goeroe Agoeng Willy Wetzel to his students) in the form of Poekoelan Tjimindie. This article's subject is "Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen" as taught by one of Willy Wetzel's former students Barbara Niggel.
Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen
The meaning of Poekoelan as taught in Barbara Niggel's schools is "A series of blows with returning hands and feet". Tjimindie is the name of a river in the Indonesian Islands and is taught as meaning "Beautiful flowing water". Tulen is taught as "Original"; meant to describe Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen as being original to its founder Willy Wetzel. Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen's (commonly shortened Poekoelan, or Tulen) strikes are said to be whip like, striking fast and ideally only tense at the exact moment of impact. The movements within it are meant to be fluid, hence "Tjimindie". The art "Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen" is also known as a broken mirror style because each of its practitioners reflect it in a unique way.
Cun Tao
Cun Tao is the "beginners class" . It is meant to slowly bring the new student into the art. It teaches the student basic strikes, kicks, and animal movements, but mainly focuses on self defense. The self defense portion of Cun Tao (also called "holds") is largely a series of over 100 quick reactions and defenses to common attacks, such as if someone is choking you or if someone attempts to shove you to the ground. Completion of Cun Tao involves performing to a degree of accuracy all of the "holds" in a rehearsed manner in under six minutes. Cun Tao is usually thought of as separate from the rest of the art (known as "Third Phase"); there is also a separate rank of black belt (known as a Cun Tao black belt) for those who are extremely proficient with their holds and have not already achieved their Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen black belt.
Third Phase
Once a student has completed Cun Tao they are inducted into Third Phase. Third Phase more focuses on the animal movements as well as forms, weapons, and building one's stamina. A large chunk of Third Phase includes forms known as Lunkas, Sets, and personal forms called Kumbongs. Lunkas are generally done to the beat of a drum and emphasized precision timing as well as core strength. Sets, on the other hand, are usually done at one's own pace, and test one's endurance every time the Set is performed. Sets, in comparison, are longer and more complicated than Lunkas. There are a total of five Lunkas and three Sets taught before the rank of black belt. Kumbongs are personal forms made by the individual fighter and are meant to reflect each person's unique fighting style. They are as long or as short as their creator feels they need to be with the only rules regarding them being the inclusion of a few "core components". Each time a person presents a Kumbong when they are testing for their next rank they must include a physical "interpretation" of it by showing (with attackers) what each movement is meant to do. All three, however, are deeply immersed in the four animals.
Animal forms
Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen is based on the movement of four animals: the crane, the monkey, the snake, and the tiger. The crane form (blekok in Indonesian) is mostly based on aerial movements and kicks. The blekok fighter is usually on one or no feet and is throwing deadly accurate kicks. The snake (oeler) form has more fluid, almost spineless attacks and defenses as well as fast accurate strikes. Oeler strikes are usually seemingly twisted yet are very powerful. The monkey (monjet) form is playful yet fierce, and is always rolling, jumping, and climbing all over in a seemingly never-ending stream of movement. The monjet fighter has another option with ape style, which is more power-oriented and less playful than the average monjet. The tiger (matjanan) form is where Tulen develops its unique ground movements. The biggest concept of matjanan is "anything you can do standing, you can do on the ground". There is also the Naga, or Indonesian dragon, which is more of an internal element than an external force.
Barbara Niggel's schools have a total of nine ranks for adults, not including the different degrees of black belt. The ranks are from lowest to highest as follows: white belt, white belt first stripe, white belt second stripe, white sash, gold sash, blue sash, green sash, brown sash, and black belt first degree and on (also known as red sash). The obtaining of a white sash marks a students entry into Third Phase. There are also three highly advanced ranks and one special rank of black belt. The special rank of black belt is known as "Cun Tao black belt" and is reserved for those proficient in their Cun Tao holds but do not hold a first degree black belt. White Dragon, Silver Dragon, and Golden Dragon are the three advanced ranks, and each of the "sash" ranks are broken up into three stripes for children.
There are a total of four different titles a student may carry. These are all tested for just like new ranks (with the exception of the first). The titles a student may have are, "Mas" - which in Indonesia is a male title only, in the Poekoelan system the title means Mr. or Ms. and is held by all students at one time or another, "Bantoe"-meaning substitute (they are recognized by their teachers as a suitable substitute for higher ranked people) is only achievable after someone has become a third degree black belt, "Pendekkar"-meaning professional or protector is achievable at fourth degree black belt, and "Goeroe"-meaning teacher and is only achievable at fifth degree black belt. Currently there are only six people in the entirety of Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen who hold the title "Goeroe". There were also two titles reserved for the former and current heads of the art, "Mas Goeroe Pendekkar"-reserved for Barbara Niggel, and "Mas Goeroe Agoeng"-reserved for the late William John Christopher Wetzel. Recently, Barbara Niggel changed her title to be "Mas Goeroe Agoeng" as well, thus breaking this last tradition.
Due to the sudden and unexpected nature of Willy Wetzel's death, he was not able to officially declare an heir. There are at least two other people who claim this title, one being Roy Wetzel, Willy's son.
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