Page 2 - Shomen May 2014
P. 2

My Experiences in Indonesia
by Peter Ault

The year was 1999; I was taking my 3 Dan grade on the Saturday and flying to
Singapore on the Monday to start my new job in South East Asia.

I had 2 fights in the Kumite and got punched twice in exactly the same place,
cracking my cheek bone. It felt like my eye was hanging out!

On the Monday I flew to Singapore. The next 3 days were spent arranging work
permits etc. to work in Indonesia. All photographs taken had me looking like that
very rare animal in China – a PANDA!

I arrived in Indonesia to run a factory, met with all the staff who thought a ‘thug’ had
come from the UK to manage them.

I settled down to work, my family didn’t join me for 10 months. I looked for a Karate
club, but nothing available. Pencak Silat is the martial art of Indonesia. I started a
club on the 20 floor of Batavia Towers, a skyscraper in the centre of Jakarta. I
had students of various nationalities, 1 Brit, 1 Dutch, 3 Indonesian and 1 Chinese.
We trained in an air conditioned squash court. Life was good!

Once my family joined me, we moved outside Jakarta into an industrial zone for
foreign investors. The industrial park had its own security guards, but not really up
to scratch. Once again, I found myself with nowhere to train. I had a spacious
double garage and started to train on my own, no air con, on a hard tiled floor.
Slowly, the security guards would come to the door to see what all the fuss was
about and eventually joined in. No English spoken, pigeon Bahasa Indonesia with a
hint of Japanese. This took place for the following 2½ years! (They became the
fittest security guards on the estate!)

I don’t think we realise how lucky we are to have the WTKF clubs available for us to

train 5 nights a week, if we so desire. Imagine no facility available and you can’t
train? Students come and go, but the one constant is the presence of the instructor
at the front of the class, ready to instruct you in the Marvels of the martial arts, ours

being Shotokan Karate.
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