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Historical and Progression of Puncah Silat Serah

Prelude to History
Pendekar Victor de Thouars Grandfather Jan Frederik Hendrik de Vries, Born in Batavia in the Dutch Indies on November 18, 1868.  Passed away on August 25, 1919.  Jan with a Nickname of Johan was married to Djamiah one of the daughters of the Jogja Court born on June 24, 1885 and passed away on November 29, 1949.

The Beginning
Jan’s father was Johannes, Ferdinandus Jacobus de Vries., born in Amsterdam, on September 25, 1840.  He was the main financial Officer for the Dutch Indies, and the Liaison with General van de Water in Batavia, and reported directly to King William 1 of the House of Orange-Nassau.
Before he served his assignment on Java, he married Mary, the daughter of a British Aristocrat; John Tofore who married into the wealthy American family of Devon.  Mary Tofore/Devon was born in New York on July 20, 1850.  

From that marriage Eight Children were born, and they were;

1. William, who never married and passed away in his early twenties, that devastated Johannes and Mary. Yet were elated when a second son was born (John).
2. John, who was married, and became a Lawyer himself following in his law practice in Amsterdam, yet was always at odds with his father, and not much information was recorded of John.
3. Harry was and became a very wealthy Boer (Farmer) he immigrated to South Africa and fought in the “Boer Wars” against the English. He stayed in South Africa after that war.
4. Enest, was born one year after Harry, and it was hoped by Johannes and Mary that he would follow in his footsteps but never did, he never wanted to have any worthwhile profession, only to live on the accomplishment of his father.
5. Jan Frederik Hendrik (Pendekar Victor’s Grandfather) did follow in his fathers footsteps, and became a lawyer, and practice law in the city of his birth Batavia.
6. Mien, Oldest Daughter who married General de Water, she lived to a right age of 99.
7. Nora, who married a professor of water works of the famed University of Delft.
8. Betsy, she married, she married Doctor van Proyen, who was the Speaker of the Dutch Parliament, and became the Governor of Sumatra, and a large Share Holder in Royal Dutch Shell.

After his assignment, Johan  purchased 4000 Acres, that was called “Passirwangi”, translated as Fragrance Sand, located high in the mountain region called “Oost-Preanger” The 4000 land acreage was settled in a Valley 12000 Foot high above sea level, that was surrounded by many of mountain streams with crystal clear water, hence the name of the valley.

When he purchase he acreage, the land was only reachable by a Jungle foot path, so Johan build a 20 meter wide road that led down the mountain, to the city of Garoet, were all the ranch workers lived.
On the ranch, Johan raised many of cattle and horses for the Dutch-Indo Army.  Besides the life stock, Johan also grew Coffee, Tea, Cocoa. Also wet rice and Potato that was destined for the Dutch Indo Armed Forces.  For his own family, he set aside acreage to grow Mountain Rice, Sugar and Vegetables. Many of Chickens, he raised for all the workers. As Pets, many of Dogs as well as Cats were found all over the ranch.  To check on daily activities he rode a large Frisian Horse, to accommodate the large acreage he owned.

One day he noticed, several plantation workers practicing of some kind of dance or sport, he ask the “Mandoer”(Foreman) Mandoer, orang orang main apa? (Foreman, what are those folks playing) the Mandoer re[lied that they were practicing a defense/attack guard system called “Serah”, and then he pointed out the main worker who was the leader of the group, his name was Mas Djoet.
So Johan, called to Mas Djoet, and he ask the man of he could teach his young son.  Mas Djoet agreed, and the following day, Johan introduced young Jan to Mas Djoet, he was twelve. Jan took well to the daily routine of learning what Mas Djoet taught, besides the Serah, Mas Djoet also instructed young Jan in many of philosophical attributes of man.  Mas Djoet used all the school books Johan gave him to instruct young Jan with.  Basically Mas Djoet, no longer had to work in the field, and his only position was to school young Jan with math skills and what a school age young man would learn in a regular school.  Besides Young Jan, the class grew to over 50 school age children ranging from 10 to 14 from all the plantation workers.
Every night on a daily basis, Mas Djoet taught the children the ins and outs of the System he learned from the Founder Elijah Haboen Hasin (Pak Serak)  Mas Djoet really took a liken to Jan, because of his seriousness he learned every evening.  Nine years later, Johan at the time assembled his remaining children that lived with him at that time and he allowed the children to choose what the would like once he would pass.  

When Jan turned Twenty One, only himself and his older brother Ernest were living with Johan their Father, to the sadness of Johan and Mary.  Grief stricken Mary passed
away before her time.   So Johan was alone and never married again, before he passed away in his will he had two options, the first was a large sum of money, equal to several millions in Today’s Money, with the conditions once a choice was made, not to interfere with the second choice.

No. 2 (Two) the 4000 acre ranch called “Passirwangi”, to stay in the Vries name and had to be worked, so the next generation of the Family de Vries could enjoy what the ranch had to offer.
True to his nature Ernest had first choice, he choose the money of the Ranch, and never shared the money with any of the other siblings.  Jan was now left what his father actually wanted, for Jan to inherit the Ranch, although he trusted to many folks, and they took advantage of his giving nature.

Jan had great ambitions to follow with his fathers wishes, Johan did not mind the work that would be involved with running should a large ranch.  Because of his nature to create, Jan developed many of projects with owning a ranch he inherited.

Jan also turned the Passirwangi Ranch into a Vacation center for many of Europeans who lived on many of coastal cities, and took their vacations in Passirwangi to escape the heat.   Jan also constructed a Race-Horse Arena and Culture Center for many of Equine Shows and many of Thoroughbred horse races..  Besides his Ranch business also dealt in precious metals and Antiques.  When Johan was Twelve, his father introduced him to one of the Ranch Workers, his name was Mas Djoet, and Jan Martial Skills became to him as a second nature, and he developed a greater friendship with Mas Djoet who became an integral part in the growth of the system of Puncah Silate Serah from then on with Johan.

It is often said that uncontrolled love of money is the root of all evil. In the case of Ernest it was not any difference.  Unfortunately, after he squandered his Inheritance he now came after the Inheritance of his Younger brother.  Jan because of his giving nature allowed his older brother Ernest shamefully basically spend the Earning of the Ranch and totally depleted the earned fortune from Jan Fredrik Hedrick (Pendekar Victor’s Grandfather) earnings. After his passing, and the Ranch now actually sold by Ernest claiming that he was the owner, left no monies to Jan Javanese wife Djamiah.

She was left with no money and with Nine raised European Children:

1.Terresa, 2 Vondel, 3. Jan, Jr., 4. Susanna (Pendekar Vic Mother), 5. Mies, 6. Augusta.,
7. Lucie. 8. Julie, and 9. Youngest Son Fortuin.
Important Notation: Before the outbreak of WWII in Europe, Fortuin Immigrated to England, learned Piloting Skills, and flew the Spitfire in the Battle of Britain against the Germany. Later he served as Navigator on the Lancaster British Bomber.
Before his passing, with the help of Mas Djoet, he instructed Vondel, Suzanna and Fortuin in the system of Puncah Silate Serah.  All three became accomplished Serah practitioners and earned the Full Guru level in the system.  On the next pages, the historical transition of the System, with Pendekar Victor de Thouars.

Puncah Silate Serah - Historical reason of the feared Serak Silat

Pukulan Pencak Silat Serak-Sera-Serah is an ancient martial art, that has its origins in the “Mojopahit/Majapahit (Dynasty rise bitter Fruit) culture, Because of its nature and hardened by centuries of real combat, both armed and unarmed.  
The Roman legions in India felt the over powering battle tactics and never defeated Majapahit under the Guidance of “Gadja Mada” who bound many of warring tribes into one powerful force. Even Kublai Khan, understudy of Genghis Khan with his 10,000 war ships and Soldiers were defeated in less than seven days in an open land battle.

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Encoded the system and careful analysis from a great expert in the martial arts, Pendekar Victor De Thouars, who is the Master-Teacher of Ustad Guru Dan Inosanto in Puncah Serah Silat, also applied his knowledge and skilled of an Aero-Space engineer to optimize every aspect of Combative Science techniques.
Because of its great efficiency, the Indonesian Martial arts since the early eighties, and has become popular in the international world of martial arts,
It has been rapidly adopted or absorbed in whole or in part in the systems of many Armies and Special Forces, under the generic term of SILAT.  As of today we can find hundreds of styles from the Indonesian martial arts.  But determined that the oldest Cimande, Serah, Cickalong, and Harimau in Sumatra. These styles of Silat, during their evolution, have influenced each other in some part.

The founder of Sera Silat (known in the Western World as Serak Silat and Puncah Serah as the highest level), was Pa Sera - Ileah Haboen Hasin (1783-1885), a little Baduy man, who apparently had his left arm and his right leg malformed. Despite his handycap, he established a style that quickly became famous for the effectiveness and power of the techniques, combined with a very fine strategy and with a careful study of the geometries in combat.  

Pa Sera had 6 main students but only 3 were ever named, Mas Djoet 1840-1930), Mas Rhoen (1865-1938) and Mas Mustafa (1868-1938) but he had prematurely stopped his trials with Pa Sera).

The students found their teacher extremely knowledgably of anything know to educated men of the time, so they named him “Bapak Serah” or Pak Serah. However different as “Berserak”, The word itself can be translated as very messy , many of times mistaken  named after the Owl, of Burung Serak.   The three students Mas Djoet, Mas Roen and Mas Mustafa used the last to honor their teacher.

Mas Roen (Pa Sera direct student) taught Serah to Pak Tisari Mardjoeki 1902-1976, also founder of Penciak Silat Soempat) and he was the first “official” Pendekar Victor De Thouars Serak teacher,

There are many of Photos, with similar contents, above a survivor and also the Soempat Striking flower. A training tool to adopt striking patterns.

Grand Father of Pendekar Victor de Thouars introduced his nephew John de Vries to Mas Djoet

John de Vries was born in Batavia, now Jakarta Capital of the Indonesian Archipelago.
In the fifties there was a publication that was publicized, and when Pendekar Victor was still living on the sugar plantation Pradjekan, several issues were printed in Dutch.  In that same publication, John told his In detailed martial arts story in greater detail, and how the Dutch-Indo dialects became more prevalent with the Dutch Indo during the early years at the Turn of the Century.

Historical Review

The man who first popularized SILAT in the Western World, that started May 11, 1960, giving ample time coding the style, was Pendekar Victor De Thouars, along with his older Brother Paul de Thouars who passed away in September of 2013.  
In 1982 Pendekar Paul de Thouars declared with the authority he earned from his teacher John de Vries, student of Mas Djoet, made a hand drawn certificate and final document, stating; when he pass that the system and leadership of Serak will be transferred to Victor De Thouars.  Pendekar Victor De Thouars codified both techniques and methods of teaching.

The System has four sectors divided in 10 Phases.
1. Serak, Beginner Student Level, Phase One (1) through Phase Three (3)
2. Sera, Intermediate Student Level, Phase Four (4) through Five (5).
3. Serah, Advance Study Level, Phase Six (6) through Seven (7).
4. Puncah Silate Serah Guru Level, Phase Eight (8) through Ten (10)

Puncah Silate Serah is the highest level and expression of the amazing Pa Sera Fighting Art.

For more and very detailed historical information’s we suggest you to read the book: “Threshold of Serak the Tsunami” by Victor I.C. de Thouars

Important Notation: It is believed by many people on our Home Planet, that Silat is mainly a Muslim Martial Arts.  That may be the case on the Island chain in the Asian Archipelago.
Especially with Pendekar Victor De Thouars and the International VDT Academy, each person worship to their own belief, as it should be.  Pendekar Victor De Thouars and his wife Ibu Jane F, de Thouars are Catholic, and the Pendekar believes that every person has the Right to worship the way he or she sees fit.
In the early years of the Baduis Nation, the offspring of the Pajajaran Dynasty were not connected to the Islam Religion.  It was not until the late sixties that the Baduis people adopted the Islam Faith.  The Baduis nation are divided in two sects, the Inner of White/Yellow Baduis and the Outer Blue Baduis.  Regardless of faith, the Baduis are respected throughout Indonesia.
To note, that the Founder, Pa Sera, and his two main students Mas Djoet and Mas Roen, did not embrace Islam, only Mas Mustafa followed the Islam Faith.  Pa Sera himself showed no-matter what you embrace, religion and the fighting arts should never be mixed as one.
Pak Tisarie Mardjoeki did not embrace Islam, he was a Christian, although his wife embraced the Islam Faith, showed that Pak Tisarie followed the teachings from the Founder.

The International VDT Academy
1. Main USA Continent
2. Hawaii and the Pacific Rim
3. Canada
4. Asian Continent
5. India
6. Great Britain
7. Europe (Netherlands - Spain – France – Italy)

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