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.

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