I could say I started my martial arts career at the age of 8 in a karate dojo in Wheat Ridge. However, I did not study the martial arts in earnest until 1998 when I enrolled in a Tae Kwon Do course for P.E. credit at the Colorado School of Mines. While I was originally interested in performing high flying kicks and displaying flashy moves, over time this interest has shifted into a general interest about all aspects of the moving arts. These days I get excited about pretty much anything related to martial arts whether it be learning practical applications, discussing the history of an art, or developing fitness routines from my martial training.
After graduating from college, I began studying kung fu with various instructors, and I eventually began studying Wudang-style Tai Chi under Ken Nichols. Knowing he was leaving the country, Ken introduced me to Guru Daniel Prasetya in 2004.
After my first class with Guru Daniel I came away both impressed and confused. I had never had so much information conveyed to me in such a short period of time. I now realize that I was just starting to bring together all of my fragmented knowledge. To draw an analog to my academic life, I view silat as my martial arts graduate school where I learned to develop a critical and curious eye about the skills as opposed to learning them by rote.
In 2006, my wife Sara and I left our jobs to spend a year volunteering abroad in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. I used this opportunity to study the Pusaka Sakti Mataram Lakutama style of silat with Guru Daniel’s brother Ki Poleng Sudahmala. In addition to learning this fighting style used by the royal guard of the Mataram Kingdom, I was trained in healing (pengobatan), massage (pijat), and meditation (daya batin).
While Guru Daniel and Ki Poleng and the senior members of Inti Ombak have honored me with the designation of Guru Madya, I know there is still a lifetime of learning ahead of me, and I hope to share the experience with anyone who is interested.