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Two Biggest Eating Mistakes of Bodybuilders

Two Biggest Eating Mistakes of Bodybuilders

Eating Too Much

We all know the biology. Excess calories are stored as bodyfat. For overeating to be at the top of the nutritional false move list is no mistake. Building muscle is the number one goal of bodybuilding and bodyfat is the bodybuilder’s number one enemy. What’s the sense of working an impressive set of muscles requiring much blood, sweat and tears, if it’s obscured by a layer of lard? May I suggest the obvious? If you are overweight, eat less. The simple act on consuming less food will cause you to lose weight. Be aware, however, that if you eat less but retain your current food profile, you will just construct a miniature version of your old self. Less of the same will shrink you, but your proportion of muscle to bodyfat will stay the same. The end result? You look like your old self, just pounds lighter. Truly sensational physical transformation lies in losing bodyfat while maintaining muscle. To achieve true nutritional nirvana, building muscle while simultaneously losing bodyfat, we need to practice nutrient based dieting.

To lose fat and retain muscle, besides doing aerobic exercise, you need to eat precise amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat. You need to become nutrient conscious. Read the labels on the food you eat. What is the consensus on achieving metabolic nirvana? To hang on to muscle, you need protein and lots of it. To maintain energy and fuel growth you need quality cards. To shed the fat blanket and keep the muscle, to effect the physical transformation you seek, you need lots of quality nutrients, but not in excess. You tread the razor’s edge between enough and too much. Everyone is different. Experiment and monitor.

2. Eating Too Little

Undereating is as bad as overeating. Physiologically, it’s impossible to build muscle if your diet lacks proper nutrients. Ample amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and yes, even fat are necessary to build muscle. The trick is balance, you need enough high quality food to grow muscle. Yet even the finest muscle fuel will be stored as fat if taken in excess. One key strategy is to confine your eating to ‘clean fuel’, nutritionally dense foods with little or no fat and sugar. And you need to eat plenty of them. A serious weight trainer who additionally performs regular cardiovascular work will need to the extra nutrients to cope with the additional metabolic demands.



This website is dedicated to all of my Pendekar Herman Suwanda
teachers,particularly Shaykh Taner Ansari and Pendekar Herman Suwanda (May God protect his Secret). The treasure you find in my teachings is here because of the love, guidance, and attention they have given to me. What is coarse and unfinished comes from this one. I dedicate myself to train harder so that, as they have taught me, my every movement brings praise to the Divine. Shaykh Taner Ansari
Thanks are also due to the students who have come to learn and in the process helped me grow as a teacher and as a lifelong student of the martial arts.
Rennie Saunders



Primary Studies & Teachers

Pencak Silat
Mande Muda (’81-97) Pendekar Herman Suwanda, Ibu Ike Suwanda, Maha Guru Rita Suwanda, Pak Tholib, Pak Dadang Gunawan

Agama Kuring (’84, ’87, ’92, ’97) Ibu Mimi Rukmini, Ibu Fatima, Ibu Mimi Hendra
Qadiri Rifai Sufism (’92-03) Shaykh Taner Ansari

Iyengar Yoga (’96-04) Mitra

Other studies

  • Special Forces combatives (’72-73) Budd Saunders
  • Nisei Goju Ryu (’77-80) Chaka Zulu (Sensei Earl Monroe)
  • Sil Lum Pai/Choi Li Fut (’81) Sifu Ron
  • Silat Batak (’94-95) Guru Josef Sirigar
  • Cimande DOMAS (’97) Bapak TS Hendra – Sumatra
  • Bahala Na Eskrima (’97-98) Guro David Hines
  • Silat Serak (’00-01) Guru Michael Roberto

Personal History
Rennie began his martial arts training with his father Budd in the early ’70s. Budd noticed his son’s inclination toward the fighting arts through Rennie’s regular tussles at school and decided that the discipline of training would allow him to develop self control and perhaps settle him down. Or, at the least, to reduce the incidence of bloody noses. Thus began Rennie’s training in Judo and Special Forces knife combat.
In the late ’70s, while attending art school in NYC, Rennie had the fortune to study Karate under Sensei Chaka Zulu for several years. This time was critical in the formation of his personal martial philosophy.
Upon moving to California in 1981 Rennie joined the Jade Phoenix school under Sifu Ron where he studied southern styles of Kung Fu for a year. As fate would have it Sifu Ron moved, leaving Rennie in search of a teacher again.
Pak Herman moved to the U.S. in June of 1981 and set up classes in San Francisco, Berkeley and Santa Cruz. It was in October of that year that Guru Rennie joined Pak Herman in Santa Cruz and began his Pencak Silat training.
Rennie was part of the first trip to Indonesia led by Pak Herman in 1984. The group spent two months in intensive training that included meeting many masters, visiting Cimande village and performing at village ceremonies.
Rennie trained on a weekly basis until 1987 when Pak Herman moved to Los Angeles. It was also at this time that Rennie was awarded his Guru Muda certificate and instructed to open classes of his own.
During the next few years Rennie traveled to LA on a regular basis to continue his training. In 1987 he joined Pak Herman in Malaysia to participate in an international Silat competition. The American team placed 4th (behind only Indonesia and Malaysia. Surprise!)
In 1991 Rennie was awarded his Guru certificate at which time he opened the New River Academy in Santa Cruz.
Along with Pak Herman’s wife Shannon, he represented Mande Muda at the 1997 international championships in Terenganu, Malaysia; placing 3rd in the weapons form competition. Rennie actively studied with Pendekar Herman until 1998, which included participating in over 120 hours of seminars and the completion of Jagabaya Satu.
Guru Rennie began his training as a sufi dervish with Shaykh Taner in March of 1992 and has been his representative in Santa Cruz since 1994.
Rennie’s Iyengar Yoga training began in 1996 under Mitra. He is currently working on his yoga teacher certification.
Gerakan Suci grew out of a mandate from Shaykh Taner to present a fighting art to Westerners that incorporates spiritual chivalry as taught in Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Iran, and India. So, for the last several years Rennie has been working to condense the volumes of information he has been given into a cohesive system that integrates his understanding of the Indonesian fighting arts with the spiritual development practices of Sufism.
Gerakan Suci should be viewed as Guru Rennie’s expression of Mande Muda developed under the constant guidance and feedback of Shaykh Taner Ansari and with the permission of the Suwanda family.

Open Circle Academy, November 2002
From left, standing: Brent, Sally, Bill, Dustin, Ben, Charlene, Lauren, Elizabeth, Josh.
kneeling: Steffan, Rennie, Mike, Megan.
Chivalry 2

Chivalry 2

Some suggestions

  • Bow to the school when you enter and when you leave. Leave your shoes at the door.
  • Perform ablutions (ritual washing) before beginning class. Maintain good personal hygiene as a courtesy to your teachers and training partners. This includes keeping your fingernails and toenails trimmed, your breath fresh, and managing any body odor you may have.
  • Bow to your workout partner before you hit each other. Keep contact intense but peaceful.
  • When listening to an instructor or when waiting for instructions, stand in pasan santai (feet shoulder width, right hand over left).
  • The perguruan is a house of discipline, peace & safety. Nurture these attitudes in class and take them with you when you leave.
  • Treat the perguruan as a sacred place of learning where you have come to grow and become the person you envision in your secret heart.
  • Maintaining a clean school is of paramount importance and is the responsibility of the students, not the teachers. Take the initiative to get things done. This is your school so treat it as such.
  • Bring fruit, snacks, and flowers to share with your classmates. Check with the Chai Baba (Tea Master).
  • Consider the study of martial arts as a path to self-healing, confidence, discipline and spiritual unfoldment.
  • Treat your teachers and fellow students with respect and dignity.
  • Treat yourself with patience and gentleness.
  • Be always sincere but never serious.
  • Be lighthearted but not frivolous.
  • The head: Refrain from patting people on the head, even children, as this is considered the seat of the soul in some cultures.
  • The left hand: In many countries it is considered impolite to do certain things with your left hand. This is because in many parts of the world the left hand is used to clean oneself after going to the bathroom. Therefore:
  • Reach for people with your right hand and try not to touch them with your left hand. Obviously this doesn’t count when working out.
  • Do not put your left hand on an eating surface or handle food with it. Eat with your right hand.
  • When moving through a group of people, it is polite to put your right hand in front of you and your left hand behind your back and bend over slightly.
  • Give and receive objects, money, etc. with your right hand. This can be difficult for lefties at first, but becomes easier with practice.
  • Feet: It is impolite to point your feet at another person or to touch them with your feet, other than when doing Silat. Therefore do not point your feet at another person when sitting. Do not rest your feet on another person. Do not step over another person.
  • Weapons and musical instruments: Do not step over them as these items are assumed to be imbued with spirit and spiritual properties. Always treat them with the utmost care and respect.
  • Pointing: It is better to point with the thumb than with your finger.
  • Eating: Politeness when eating becomes very important in poorer countries. We observe several practices here and recommend several when eating in Indonesia. General politeness is always important.
  • Always serve others first, serve yourself last. Usually guests are first, then elders then others in descending age order.
  • When offered food or drink, thank your host and accept, then continue conversing. Wait for several offers to begin before you actually do. This shows that you are not visiting because you need to eat, even if you do. It is most polite to wait for the elder male to begin eating first.
  • When you become full, leave a very small amount of food on your plate. If you clear your plate it will be filled again for you.
  • Addressing instructors:The Perguruan, like Indonesia, is casual but polite in personal interactions. The head instructor, Rennie Saunders, is addressed as Pak (sir or father) or Guru (teacher).
  • In class: It is polite to bow before beginning a drill with another student or guru. This is a reminder that this is only practice and that your opponent is your friend helping you to learn.
  • Leaving class: Always ask permission to leave a class in progress, even if just getting a drink of water. Remember to bow when leaving and returning.
  • Arriving late: Always bow to the instructor when entering a class in progress. Do a quick stretch and then enter the group as quickly as possible.
  • Entering the perguruan: Always bow, as indicated above, when entering or leaving the perguruan. This is a sign of humility and a willingness to learn as well as respect for the perguruan, the gurus, the art and all past masters.
  • Give salaams to the gurus and then to your classmates.
  • Hand gestures and body language: In most cultures hand gestures and movements are considered powerful forms of communication. Certain gestures that are common in the US are considered impolite in Indonesia.
    These include:
  • Motioning with your index finger to ask someone to come to you. This is very rude. If you wish someone to come over to you, scoop the air with your palm facing down. Always approach a guru or elder rather than motioning them to come to you.
  • Do not stand with your hands on your hips while listening to a guru. This is effectively saying “you don’t know what you’re talking about.” Standing in pasan santai with your right hand over left in front of your body as mentioned above is preferred.
  • Correcting an instructor: It is very bad form to correct an instructor while they are teaching. If something seems wrong, assume that the misunderstanding is because of your incomplete knowledge. Ask politely for clarification. It may be a variation and it will probably be covered by the FAQ (page 36 of the Student Manual). You should find over time that this humility will speed your learning.
Chivalry 1

Chivalry 1

Chivalry and Adab
Adab (good manners) are the foundation of chivalry and are essential qualities on the path to peace and self development. Adab means to treat people with courtesy and politeness, to be refined in your actions and humble in your speech and also to be respectful of your elders and teachers. It means to be helpful to others beyond your own needs.
If you have good manners you greatly lessen your chances of getting into fights. Good manners are contagious and help foster politeness and ease in your everyday life. Some of the good manners we encourage are common sense and some are aspects of the Indo-Malay culture from which Pencak Silat came.
As an adjunct to your physical training we encourage all students to use good manners when at the school or at school events and to let these habits spread to your daily life. In this way students of Gerakan Suci will be known not only as proficient martial artists, but as polite and humble citizens.

School Etiquette
A martial arts school must have a well-developed etiquette and sense of ethics in order to provide a safe and supportive training environment. We have developed the Open Circle Academy as a family environment. We encourage our students to treat the teachers as your father and mother and each other as though they were brothers and sisters, or as if they were all living in the same small village. We especially want the Academy to be a safe and supportive place for women to train, as this is not stressed enough in the martial arts.

It is essential that new students be treated with the same courtesy as long-time members, if not more, as we wish for them to find the Academy to be a safe place to learn. It is considered the height of disrespect for Academy members to intimidate, harass, make sexual advances, or victimize other students. This includes using excessive force in exercises or unwanted flirtation. Those who haze others will be expelled from the school with prejudice, and will forfeit all dues and fees.

Dating among students is discouraged in the strongest possible terms. We have seen over the years that dating between students can often produce unpleasant stresses for the entire school. While we will never stand in the way of true love and know that it is possible to meet your “soul-mate” here, we respectfully suggest that it is more likely that you meet him or her at a dance class or your preferred religious gathering. It should go without saying that dating between teachers and students is also discouraged as it is a violation of the basic level of trust for all concerned.

Self Defense 2

Self Defense 2

Gerakan Suci uses the concept of fighting distances to measure an opponents strengths and then move to a distance of relative weakness or discomfort. We refer to these as Interview, Fighting, and 2nd Interview.
Interview is the minimum distance at which conversation, harassment, or “sizing up” occurs but beyond which weapons are not effective. Each weapon has a different minimum distance and you must familiarize yourself with these and internalize this minimum safety range for each type. Minimum interview distances for example weapons are five feet for empty-hand; 6 feet for knife; 8 feet for stick or short sword; 11 feet for staff or long sword; projectile weapons such as bow, pistol, or rifle have no minimum distance! Only intervening hard cover allow proper interview distancing.
Interview distance also refers to being able to freely communicate with the opponent so that any attempt at talking down a situation, Defuse, can be clearly heard.
Fighting distance can be subdivided, for convenience, into kicking, punching, trapping, and grappling. Punching and kicking are somewhat vague distinctions because most modern martial arts have a mix of techniques. But people have a tendency to concentrate and have expertise in one form of fighting or another.
Examples would be such as boxing which is a hand art and Tae Kwon Do which relies heavily on kicking.
Trapping is the “comfort zone” for Gerakan Suci fighters because this is the distance that crowds an opponent without yet going to the ground. Trapping is defined as limiting the movement and immobilising the weapons of your opponent without making yourself vulnerable to your environment. Besides the obvious checks and traps to the arms and head, trapping also includes leg sweeps, throws, and takedowns.
Grappling is defined as groundwork where opponents are focused exclusively on each other and at least one of them is on the ground. Techniques include control, pain compliance, and submission. Gerakan Suci does everything possible to not join an opponent on the ground when applying a submission because this leaves us vulnerable to our environment, specifically the opponent’s buddies who are likely to kick you in the back of the head while you are engaged.
Either trapping or grappling leads us to 2nd Interview which is the position of control or pain compliance that induces an attacker to reconsider their aggressive stance in light of their subordinate physical position.
The Gerakan Suci practitioner will use the Three Leaves at Interview distance. Once aggression is unavoidable the practitioner will move to a Fighting Distance of relative weakness or disadvantage for the attacker based on a quick analysis of the situation. The Gerakan Suci practitioner will evade the initial attack, reply with a shocking counterattack to stun the attacker, off-balance the attacker through colliding or trapping, apply pain to one or more joints, throw the opponent to the ground in a controlled but decisive manner, and while keeping an eye on the surroundings, begin the 2nd Interview by revisiting Defuse.

Self Defense 1

Self Defense 1

Self Defense – Tactics of Safety
Bela diri is the Indonesian term for the body of knowledge that deals with self defense and the strategy and tactics of avoiding or controlling a confrontation. Here I will introduce the general concepts that are applicable in all situations. The specific application of different tactics is covered in class practices and discussions.

The Three Leaves
The three leaves from the tree of conflict are Avoid, Defuse, Neutralize. When confronted with the possibility of a physical conflict you must take the moral high ground. Self defense begins before you ever come into contact with an assailant. You must measure your response to the threat and determine the difference between a fight and combat. A fight is usually about egos and pride. Combat is about personal and familial safety.
Principle #1: Avoid conflict by not being there. Hone, develop and then trust your instincts. If it seems like a bad situation, take your loved ones, your pride and your toys and LEAVE.
Principle #2: If you cannot avoid a conflict, do everything in your power to Defuse the situation. Take control by using your words and offering possibilities other than violence.
Principle #3: If you have truly done everything in your power to Avoid and Defuse then you have the responsibility to Neutralize the confrontation NOW. If you are in fear for your life then all bets are off, but if a bloody nose will end the aggression, then let that suffice. Apply just enough force to stop the attack and protect yourself. No more and no less.

Maxims of Principle #3

  • You not only have the right to think at all times, but the responsibility to do so.
  • Know and understand the consequences of violence. As a trained Silat practitioner, it is your duty to defuse conflict situations without unduly opening yourself to injury.
  • Don’t get hit.
  • When you hit, do so with intention, precision and commitment.
  • An assailant asks questions with their intentions and movements, Gerakan Suci provides answers:
  • “I am so dangerous that I can afford to be polite, reasonable and mellow.”
  • “How badly I hurt you depends on how much of a physical threat you offer me.”
  • “If it gets physical, I will be the one who walks away.”
  • “Gravity is my friend; however, it doesn’t like you very much.”
  • The only question we ask an assailant, with our intention, attention and presence is this: “Is what you hope to gain from attacking me worth the risk of injury or death?”

Worst Case Scenario
Being surrounded by a group of people that wish you bodily harm is what we describe as a worst case scenario. Do what ever you can to not find yourself in this type of situation.
If, however, you have been caught unawares then do whatever is necessary to remove yourself now! Your safety and perhaps your very life depend upon it.
All of the buah and maenpo of Gerakan Suci work toward facility with this situation so that it becomes ingrained in your psyche and reflexes.

Fight vs. Combat
The primary difference between a fight and a combat is whether you are in fear for your life or the lives of those under your protection.
A fight is when someone’s pride, ego or confusion gets them into a bad state and they want to take it out on someone else. If this can’t be Avoided or Defused, a few punches can usually Neutralize the situation.
A combat is when you are grossly outnumbered, someone attacks you with a weapon, or you are ambushed. This must usually be Neutralized with greater force and there is the very real danger of someone being greviously injured.

Assault and Reasonable Force
Assume for all practical purposes that self defense is illegal in the United States. Someone can assault you, you can defend yourself with reasonable force and there is a very real chance that you will end up being prosecuted for hurting your attacker. Sad, but true. This is why a large part of Gerakan Suci training is centered around the concept of Avoid, Diffuse, Neutralize.

Introduction 3

Introduction 3

The Nomenclature of Combat
As you delve into the study of Gerakan Suci, you may be overwhelmed by learning strange movements and a whole new language to explain them. There are several reasons for this.
Every science has a nomenclature of its own. Whether you are learning astronomy, wine making or machining, the techniques of that discipline demand a specialized language. Gerakan Suci chooses to use the Indonesian language for the names of it’s practices. The first reason is to tie the art philosophically to the culture which developed it.
The second reason is one of practicality. If the art only had six punches, two kicks and one method of stepping we could use numbers. However, Gerakan Suci has 14 stances, 10 stepping patterns, 26 punches, and 18 kicks. We have found that it is more efficient to teach the jurus and kimbangan if we use the names of the movements rather than a series of numbers.
At first this may seem to double the work necessary to learn the art, but as you progress you will find that learning becomes easier because you have a specialized language to explain your movements.

Spirituality and Internal Practice
When many people think of the spiritual dimension of martial arts, Pencak Silat in particular, any number of miraculous feats come to mind; for example, breaking iron bars and pushing an attacker over without touching him. All of these things may be possible, but this is not the goal of Gerakan Suci.
There is contained within the movements and practices of Pencak Silat volumes of knowledge important to the advancement of the student as a warrior and as a peaceful member of the community that go far beyond simple parlor tricks or feats of super human skill. It is this knowledge, wisdom and understanding that we seek. This is why we call ourselves Gerakan Suci; Sacred Movement.
Our teachers state that before any significant personal spiritual growth can take place, one must raise his or her energy beyond a certain threshold. While it is not neccesary for this energy to be generated through physical activity, we have found it to be one of the more effective methods.
Our aim is to be better people, to evolve and enlighten ourselves and to develop a personal relationship to the Divine. Our method of accomplishing this goal
is as handed down to us by the Qadiri Rifai Sufi Order. As travelers on the path of Sufism we open our doors to all who love God and invite people to a personal relationship with the Divine, by whatever you call Him/Her/It and however your practices bring you together.
This paradigm of martial practice happens to fit very tightly with the tenets of Sufism, but we encourage people to participate regardless of which spiritual path they choose to follow. We only draw a distinction between Believer and non-Believer. If you attempt to love the Divine more than you love yourself, then in our eyes you are a Believer, no matter what principles you work with.
God is One, the distinctions are ours.

Ilmu is an Indonesian word which means “to know” and refers to any body of organized knowledge. Ilmu in Indonesia usually refers to practices to promote super human abilities such as not being cut by a knife, eating razor blades, bending an iron bar with your throat, etc. Gerakan Suci eschews such associations in that we teach nothing that is forbidden or questionable under sufi spiritual law. The most important knowledge we can learn is to trust our intuition and focus on our relationship with God. Anything else we recieve is a gift and a blessing. That said, we do teach such skills as proper breathing, and yoga. These are known as kebatinan.

Introduction 2

Introduction 2

The curriculum is patterned on a university model. There are classes in the basics, core classes, focus subjects such as a particular weapon, electives and fitness regimen including cardio, weight training, and yoga.
The core curriculum is divided into four Satria (warrior/knight) levels. This should take 4-8 years of concentrated study. At the completion of these you will have the equivalent of a third or fourth-degree black belt. There will still be a lifetime of study ahead, but this equivalence will enable you to reasonably be able to protect yourself and your loved ones in most adverse situations.

Aggressive Defense
Gerakan Suci’s tactical technique is based on a philosophy called aggressive defense. As citizens of this country we can not openly brandish weapons or kill indiscriminately. It is therefore counter-productive to teach a martial art that emphasizes brutal tactics or maiming. Students of Gerakan Suci learn how to kill and maim so that they can understand how to defend themselves against this behavior.
Gerakan Suci teaches that it is more important to show proficiency at defending yourself than at killing others. This is why our philosophy centers around defense. We call it aggressive defense because we respond to danger, but we don’t wait to get hit. Being aggressive, or proactive means that you actively work to avoid or neutralize dangerous situations; it does not mean that in any situation where you feel threatened, your first impulse is to aggress the threat. The difference between aggression and violence is having a purpose or a clear goal other than victimization. The goal of a Gerakan Suci student in such a situation is to neutralize the danger as soon as possible.

Potentially dangerous situations should be handled in three stages: avoidance, diffusion and neutralization. You can be aggressive in all three of these stages by proactively avoiding hazardous situations, taking the first step to calm or defuse the situation and if need be provide the first physical action to neutralize the danger as soon as possible. We would much rather remove the threat than have to forcibly defense against it. Within the act of neutralization we are morally obligated to disable first. If disabling fails, using anything from pain compliance to submission to control, we can then justify maiming. Gerakan Suci teaches defense in these steps so that when faced with a threat we use just enough force to get out of danger. We cannot ethically kill someone if we haven’t established whether or not they can be stopped in any other way. Aggressive defense is about training students to respond to their environment by acting first rather than reacting after someone else has.

Training philosophy
The Gerakan Suci curriculum seeks to develop the student as a complete martial artist. The art covers all aspects of combat from avoidance and tactics to engagement and aftermath of physical contact.
Developing a level-headed response to multiple, well-armed attackers is central to the training. This includes punching and kicking, take downs, grapples, and ground fighting, night fighting, and uneven and wet terrain.
A Gerakan Suci practitioner seeks an unparalleled adaptability to any situation. As such, any empty-hand technique can be adapted with no modification to weapons such as stick, dagger, long knife or staff. Along with these considerations, Gerakan Suci strives to maintain the highest possible level of artistic expression. Pencak Silat is truly a system that is both martial and an art.



This information is the focus of our studies and is reviewed on a regular basis as a student progresses. This enables the student to understand the concepts behind the curriculum as they learn the skills and techniques.

Flower Dance

Pencak Silat is a method of practical self defense and personal self development refined during the last 1000 years in the Indonesian archipelago and Malaysia. Pencak Silat is a living, evolving martial art used to this day for the protection of family and village. It is a well rounded martial art that includes performance and sport elements that are actively promoted in the international Silat community. The art is also an excellent method of developing physical fitness and health. Spiritual discipline is inherent in the training and essential to attain the higher levels of the art.

Gerakan Suci is a school of Pencak Silat based on the Suwanda Family art of Mande Muda from West Java, Indonesia combined with the practices of Sufi Chivalry from the Qadiri Rifai Sufi Order.
Of the 25 styles of Pencak Silat that make up Mande Muda, Gerakan Suci chooses 10 as the core of its curriculum: Cikalong, Cimande, Pamonyet, Harimau, Pamacan, Rikhisan, Sabandar, Nampun, Ulin Nafas, and Banjung. Another five were chosen as adjuncts to the core techniques: Kari, Madi, Timbangan, Totok, and Sabetan.
Gerakan Suci translates from Bahasa Indonesia as Sacred Movement. This refers to the concept of lankah riusuke or stepping with the blessing. Outwardly, this means to be on time with your attention and your techniques. Internally, it means to move in sync with the physical and spiritual laws of the Universe. By practicing the drills and techniques of Gerakan Suci with diligence you can internalize these principles into every action. This will become evident over time with persistent practice, regular study, and proper guidance.

What distinguishes a practitioner of Gerakan Suci?
A practitioner of Gerakan Suci seeks to develop the cultured attributes of chivalry and service. I, personally, do not practice pencak silat in order to bully or hurt other people and I do not teach it for that purpose. In accordance with the traditions of my teachers, and their teachers before them, I teach Gerakan Suci as a set of tools for you to use to be a better person. This betterment begins with physical health but expands to encompass emotional stability, mental acuity, and spiritual purity.
Bandung, West Java, 1984 From a tactical viewpoint, one important thing that distinguishes Pencak Silat is that at its core it is a knife fighting art. There are a multitude of regional variations from village to village but several common elements can be found in most Pencak Silat styles. First is that because of the equatorial heat in Indonesia and Malaysia personal armor—even for soldiers or knights—is unheard of. Second is that large portions of the population traditionally carried blades, from work knives and farming machetes to ritual weapons such as keris and kujang. This lead to the development of arts that are quick, evasive, deceptive, and punishing.
Gerakan Suci is an art that, if treated with the proper respect, will lead you into many levels of self-discovery. Even though Pencak Silat is relatively new to the West, there are many fine masters and teachers throughout the United States seeking to spread a true understanding of this deep art. If you can commit the time and attention to learning the concepts as presented, you will develop the ability to enter any situation, whether a fight or a seminar, and have an understanding of what is happening and how to respond appropriately.<

What makes the Open Circle Academy unique?
The Open Circle Academy encourages an atmosphere of relaxed discipline. Training is both intense and fun. We believe that a student of the martial arts must be sincere and work hard. At the same time we also attempt to avoid the pitfall of taking ourselves too seriously. The Open Circle Academy is a safe and supportive environment for men and women of all ages to train and excel.