By the words of Pendekar Paul de Thouars
Over the years, there have been many statements made by people who have used my name, false titles and false statements about Lineage and history of "Serak".
Unfortunately, all the news that today have spread in this regard have been manipulated for gain, or for someone’s personal ego, and for a long time and various reasons I preferred to remain silent without rising my voice in this matter.
For too long time I have heard stories about Indonesian Badui tribe and Pak Serak (described in various ways, ranging from Persian horse trader, shaman, Sumatran immigrant), stories that with the emergence of Internet have gradually enriched of even more imaginative details.
But I would now like to bring to light the truth about MY personal story, that of the Serak and my teacher Oom John de Vries.
Oom John De Vries worked at the Dutch railway in Indonesia as a supervisor, coming into contact with Mas Djut, at that time foreman in railway, and famous as a teacher and ferocious fighter. Some time after, the two fought, and Mas Djut prevailed, and happened that Oom John begun to study and practice Serak, a practice that lasted for 12 years (even Oom Ernest -Ventje- De Vries trained with Mas Djut for 9 years, and also was lucky enough to even practice with Mas Rhun). Oom John rarely spoke of Pak Serak, citing instead his teacher, Mas Djut, which unlike the legends flourishing about him, he never had any connection with Badui tribes.
Also according to my teacher Oom John, my grandfather, the late Johann, trained in a totally different martial art, without relation with Badui or the Serak, and he never taught this to his nephews John and Ernest de Vries.
Oom John de Vries
Kepala Aliran Pukulan Pentjak Silat Sera(k)
Mas Djut was famous as a teacher and ferocious fighter, and he was also serving as a bodyguard for the Sultan of Pontianak.
He was skilled in different Indonesian fighting Arts where he earned the opportunity to learn Pak Serak Pukulan system, and His contributions to Serak system have a great importance.
His creativity help him to take the original Pak Serak method and chang it into a gradual "curriculum", to ensure learning in a perfect way, adding a unique method of using both hands cooperatively to protect the practitioner by an opponent attack, while providing an unstoppable method to ensnare, control and hit the opponent.
In my time, training and practice were simple, hard and direct.
Each lesson began with the study of the positions, punch combinations in a static position and in progress, hands & feet trapping, techniques and counter-techniques. Then, slowly my teacher (Nom John) showed the Jurus and their applications.
The Jurus were considered to be the Heart and "Treasure" of the Art, to be practiced continuously, vigorously, without any conscious thought and in a fluid, instinctive and perfect way, entering the sphere of the unconscious and changing one’s way to move from the inside.
There were no shortcuts, and no one was looking for them. We were just practicing for the love of Arrt and Knowledge.
TODAY LIKE YESTERDAY
Today, following in the footsteps of our beloved Master nothing has changed. The tradition, like an inexhaustible river, keeps flowing.
The practice takes place in a calm atmosphere, where ego and exaltation have no place, where every aspect of Art is shared with students, no secrets of any kind, showing techniques and principles in a simple, direct and understandable manner.
Jurus (forms) are alternates with Sambuts (2 man positioning exercises) and Langkas (study of the steps).
Basic percussion, aggressive entry techniques, sweeps and structural conditioning exercises are repeated hundreds of times in every workout, t the endless pursuit of perfection.
Sitting in circle, the stories and anecdotes about the Art and its birth, about the meaning of the Formal Salutation and hidden gestures, were handed down to students ...
The Art is handed down in its complete form, not only fighting and survival techniques but Health, Knowledge and Respect, as our beloved Master did, his Master before him, and as we do today in their name.