Holland Workshop 2002

      Guru Jim Ingram arranged to teach a seminar and host guest instructors from the Netherlands Pentjak Silat Union's Council of Elders - the pioneers of Silat in the Netherlands. The workshop was in Dordrecht and it was excellent.   Many thanks go out to Raymond Ingram and his wife Helena for all their work and to Oom Jim and Tante Connie. Guest instructors included Maurice de Thouars, A. D. Nelson, Verdi Phefferkorn and Dolf de Vries. An unedited write up follows below!

Holland Summit 2002

Holland Summit 2002


N.B., I forgot which night the instructor from Mande Muda taught and what his name is.  Also, I did not mention and think it should be mentioned that if it was not for the constant learning and sharing of Oom Ingram, that this Summit never would have happened.  I also think it should be mentioned that the woman in charge of the training place rearranged her personal schedule to facilitate this workshop.  I just do not know where in the document to place that information and again I believe you know more of these details than I do, thus I did not mention it anywhere else except here.  I also wrote with a perhaps wider objective than what is maybe needed to fulfill the requirement of a summary.  This way, I believe you can better chose which details to include, how much, and hopefully can help to spur other details/facts/information not mentioned here.  Above all, I hope this helps.  It was a good exercise for me and wished I had more time to have devoted to this.  Gary.


I.          Experience at Holland

II.         Coming Home



I.          Experience at Holland


[The following paragraph maybe should not be here, but I thought it to be important and should be mentioned first.]

            Overall, the trip to Holland was well organized.  One could tell a lot of planning had gone into the realization of Holland Summit 2002.  Visitors from the USA were picked up from the airport with no hassle with finding our host, whom some of us had never met, nor did we know what he looked like!  The accommodations were a pleasant introduction European living - toilets separate from the bathroom, pots and pans were not coated with Teflon, the light switches are wide, majority of the floor space was tile, the buildings were made out of concrete.  Our host, Raymond Ingram and his family, were nice enough to include first day food and beverage items for each unit, until workshop participants were able to purchase desired food and beverage items on Saturday, August 3, 2002.   The objectives of mini-vacation/tour and of martial-arts seminar were fulfilled completely.  Routes for the daily sight-seeing trips were already planned out and events and places to visit were already arranged, and in some cases already reserved as well.  A job well done by our host Raymond Ingram and a very big Thank You as well; your hard work and time spent planning and arranging trips and events was a great investment, which produced great returns of satisfied guests and participants.


            Waiting for us at Amsterdam airport, was Raymond Ingram, the Host of Holland Summit 2002.  Immediately outside of baggage claim, standing right in front and against the roped corridor, was Raymond holding a beautifully made sign stating Amerindo, and containing the associated animals that are part of Amerindo.  It was approximately 11:30PM (Holland time), and this was the third trip of the day Raymond had made to Amsterdam from Zeeland, which is approximately 2 hours drive time in one direction.  Raymond was tired, yet he gave us a great welcome: smiled, asked how our trip was, if we were tired, told us where we were going, what he had experienced during the day, etc.

            During the van ride to Zeeland from Amsterdam, we were excited and tired and excited at the same time.  Even though it was night time, Raymond had already begun wearing the tour guide cap.  In the midst of sharing a story or talking about music or any conversation we had, he was sure not to miss any area/land mark of interest during the drive to Zeeland.  We arrived at the condominium in Villapark Livingston and quietly went to one of five units rented for the week.  Raymond quickly gave us a tour of the condominium where we stayed for the week.  During this quick tour at 1:30AM (Holland time), we met up with our other member from Team USA - Rhode Island, Andrew, and we quickly met Brian from Washington State.  After some initial discussion of the 13 hour travel day, we (Travis, Tanya, and Gary) got ready and went to sleep.

            Each unit housed a different team, each with a different team name.  Our unit, was known as Omega Team #54, but by the end of the week, we were being addressed by geographic origin: Team Rhode Island, etc.  The condominium comfortably housed six adults and seemed small from the outside, yet there were three bedrooms, and some units even had a sun tanning booth and a sauna.  Sleep was of the essence and gotten at any moment possible, especially during the corresponding daily van excursions.  The weather overall was nice, it was not too cold or hot during the daylight hours.  Although each day, there was some rain for either just a few minutes or at most a couple of hours.  It was also interesting to find out that most of Holland is below sea level, and this is possible by a series of dams, pumps, and gates.

            On Saturday, August 3, 2002, workshop participants went to the next town of Haamsteede to do grocery shopping, go to the ATM, and do a little sight seeing.  There was a festival in town and it was nice to be in a foreign country in the middle of a lively festival.  The food shopping experience was interesting, especially since most of the workshop participants from the USA could not read or speak Dutch.  We looked from similar items and watched what the locals bought.  It was really nice to purchase good French and Italian wines for under $6.00 US, and one could purchase a case of Heineken for approximately $10.00 US!  Also on this day, people from different teams were able to meet each other and intermingle in a relaxed atmosphere.  Later that night, we were taken to Renesse for drinks at a restaurant/pub followed by dancing or other bars, if one so desired.

            On Sunday, August 4, 2002, fortunately there were no activities scheduled for this morning, and a number of us still suffered from jet lag.  Although now that I mention this, I really do not know if any of us actually were able to overcome jet lag.  In the early afternoon, we travelled to the six-hour workshop.  At the workshop, Oom Ingram opened and conducted the first half of the seminar.  Approximately halfway through the seminar, Oom Ingram brought in his “surprise” guest instructor, Oom Maurice DeThouras.  Oom Maurice DeThouras is 75 years young.  It was a pleasure to see this man and watch him move.  He shared with the workshop participants, as did other guest instructors, a small portion of his art.  He would share a sequence with the group as a whole and then would observe a section of the group at a time to make sure the participants understood what he had shown.  At the end of his portion of the workshop, he sat with Team USA for a question and answer session.

            On Monday, August 5, 2002, we were taken to Waterland Neeltje jans.  This complex explained how the dam system works, what the obstacles are for building dams, and the history of dams and dikes in Holland.  Also the events of 1953, when a dike broke during an intense storm, is documented for all to see.  There were signs in both Dutch and English.  As time progressed, we were transported back to Zeeland to prepare for the training at night.  From Monday through Thursday, the workshop hours were from 6:30PM to 9:30PM.  Only on Sunday were the hours for the workshop from 3:00PM to 9:30PM.  On this night, the guest instructor was Paatje (Bapak) Nelson (Pamur Bandai).  Bapak Nelson brought with him Yohan (spelling and I think that is his name???), student of more than 15 years.  He shared with the workshop participants a form, followed by applications from the form.

            On Tuesday, August 6, 2002, workshop participants were taken on a early morning trip to spend the day in Amsterdam.  Boy what a city that is!  As with the whole Holland experience, more than one week is needed to see and experience all of Holland, yet this can and probably should be said while visiting any other country in the world.  Albeit our host Raymond did show us a great tour of Holland and knew the history of the places visited as well, which was an added bonus!  In Amsterdam, Oom Ingram shared with those who walked through Amsterdam with him, stories of history of the city and stories pertaining to his life when he used to live and work from Holland.  Another great tour guide!  As with all good things, time quickly passed and we were off again to another great workshop with another guest instructor.  This time, the guest instructor was Paatje (Bapak) Phefferkorn S.H. (Setia Hati).  Bapak Phefferkorn is 81 years young and knows how to liven things up.  I do not believe any workshop participant will ever forget how to shuffle!  As with other instructors, a form and a bow sequence were shared, and applications done.

            On Wednesday, August 7, 2002, workshop participants were brought to Rondje Dordt to visit a “live” windmill exhibit, where we were able to walk in a windmill and see how Dutch people lived and worked within a windmill.  A small number of workshop participants were even able to try walking in real wooden clogs.  The clogs were comfortable and have the same rating as modern safety shoes do.  This night, the guest instructor was Bapak Dolf de Vries (Pukulan Pak Serak).  Bapak Dolf de Vries is 68 years young and brought his son Frank to aid in the seminar as well as conduct a portion of it himself.  During this seminar, Bapak Dolf de Vries used a different approach than previous instructors and asked the group what we wanted to see and that is what he gave us.  Towards the end of the seminar, Bapak Dolf de Vries conducted a question and answer session with Team USA.

            On Thursday, August 8, 2002, workshop participants were shuttled to Rotterdam, the oldest port and the most tonnage through the port {I believe these two facts are true.?.} in the world.  In Rotterdam, we boarded the harbor cruise line called Spido.  There was warm pie awaiting participants on the section of tables reserved for us.  There were several televisions within this level of the ship, which broadcasted the tour of the habor/port.  First the mayor of Rotterdam appeared on screen, and in several languages introduced himself and summarized facts of Rotterdam and what we will be experiencing.  As with the dialogue of the mayor, the remaining tour was also explained in multiple languages.  Once the tour finished, we went and spent the remainder of the day in Dordrecht, shopping and eating.  This night, the workshop was conducted by our host Raymond Ingram (first half) and Oom Ingram (second half).  Warm-up and other exercises were shared and more applications were taught.  Finally group photographs were taken and workshop participants were able to say good bye to other participants and to our host and family.


II.         Coming Home

            After the workshop, the team worked together and prepared the one last shared meal.  This dinner lasted for hours.  It was not that the meal prepared required more time to coordinate, it was just simply the last meal that would be enjoyed together as a group from a tiring and fulfilling and satisfying week.  Training stories and experiences were shared, both from this Summit and from previous experiences.  The dinner lasted over three hours.  Then the packing begun.  Even one of us stayed up the remainder of the night in order to write post cards that were bought at the beginning of the week.  The morning came awfully fast, and before we knew it, the time was 6:00AM.  Amazingly, our host was able to bring all of Team USA to the airport on-time, even with an unscheduled, unplanned “pit” stop, just prior to the arrival at the Amsterdam airport.  Although it was nice to arrive home on Friday, August 9, 2002, during the daylight hours of mid-afternoon.  Perhaps some of the workshop participants never did overcome jet lag, they just pressed on.


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