Monday, December 29, 2008

Guru Plinck Nominated

Got this link from Ron Miller. Among the 2009 nominees for something called The Pugilists' Hall of Fame is Maha Guru Stevan Plinck.

I dunno about this group, but it's nice to see our teacher getting recognition. (That's him in the baseball cap and white shirt in the middle ...)

17 comments:

Worg said...

You know, I've seen three videos of Guru Plinck.

Not that I am any kind of judge of high level silat people, but he sure looks like he can walk the walk to me. Not only that but his instructional material is excellent.

Can you tell me how many tapes/DVDs there are in the Serak Series? Are these available for purchase?

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

I see Guru Bob V. was inducted last year. He's probably the source of Guru's nomination.

Steve Perry said...

There are four, kinda.

First was was the Bukti Negara tape from Paladin Press. I think it's still available, though Guru moved on and left Bukti behind more than a dozen years ago. I think it's most memorable for the opening sequence, the alley attack, was was, save for the kick cut in at the end, first take and unscripted. As I understand it, the notion was, Guru walked through the alley and the students jumped him and let's see what happens.

Mushtaq recalls that he bounced off the alley floor pretty good.

There were two Sera(k) vids shot and released by Joe Daggy and Lexington Films, Djurus One and Two. About half of the material for Djuru Three was in the can after the second shoot, and when Joe ported the VHS to DVD, he added a third volume with this material. Good stuff, but only about twenty five minutes of it.

All of the students on the vids are in better shape theses days, and watching the DVDs makes us cringe at how sloppy and clueless we were. Still, the material is there, even if we weren't the best examples of how to do it.

Plus, in the first vid, Guru had a ruptured spinal disk and was waiting for surgery. In the second (and third) IIRC, he was like six-weeks post-op, and he moves better now ...

Steve Perry said...

Yeah I saw that Guru Bob was there. Probably they figured if he was worthy, Guru Plinck had to be.

Worg said...

"Plus, in the first vid, Guru had a ruptured spinal disk and was waiting for surgery. In the second (and third) IIRC, he was like six-weeks post-op,"

HuhWTF? how, Tenaga Dalam?

Well, I guess he was smart enough to see a doctor when he was first incapacitated, unlike some people (meaning me)

Regardless, I really love that Bukti tape. In fact, I watched it every day until my VCR ruined it. If I were in the NW I would be studying with Plinck, no question about it. In fact, you may be seeing me out there sooner or later, the pacific northwest calls to me.

Steve Perry said...

Well, no, Guru let it nag him for a while before he finally went and got the back fixed. He said it was a legacy from his jumping out of airplane days as a green hat, but that it didn't really bother him all that much.

He's got a bad knee now, probably torn ACL, and he just braces it and goes on. Needs to get that tended to, as well.

Very stoic fellow, our guru ...

AF1 said...

A few questions from a noob to the silat world:

What is the deal with Bukti Negara being a subset of Serak?

Was Paul De Thouars really using it as a way to find ideal candidates to teach the "true" and "more deadly" art of Serak to?

And if it's not too sticky of a topic--would it be ok to ask why PDT and Mr. Plinck parted ways?

Steve Perry said...

Pendekar Paul apparently decided early on not to teach Sera(k) students who weren't either Indonesian or Dutch-Indonesians. No women, either.

(Guru Stevan Plinck is Dutch-Indonesian, born in Holland, though raised in the U.S. and a citizen here. He was Paul's student before Bukti Negara was created.)

There are a couple of versions about Bukti and how it came to be. One concerns a spiritual revelation that allowed Paul to teach Americans by creating a daughter art instead of the parent system.

The joke was that it was created for old people, cripples, and Americans.

If a student finished the Bukti curriculum, s/he thus demonstrated his worthiness to possibly be allowed to continue in Sera. (Well, he did. Still no women taking Sera from Paul that I know about, unless that's changed recently.)

When I started training with Guru Plinck that was the party line, and that's how he was teaching. We have a couple of Bukti gurus in our class. I got 5/8ths of the way through the Bukti curriculum.

In this version of the story, the art came to Paul in a vision, and all of a piece, and the name indicates that it is a gift to the country that accepted him.

The more mundane tale is that there was a pool of potential students and income, and by offering a stripped-down version of Sera, Paul could justify teaching without screwing up his closed-door philosophy. He worked out the forms -- with help, including my teacher -- and started teaching it to beginners.

Victor de Thours, the youngest brother, takes credit for this, by the by, saying it was his idea.

Eventually, Bukti evolved, coming closer to Sera, but back when I did it, a dozen or so years ago, it was still the Readers Digest condensed version of the whole book.

The de Thouars generally don't keep many long-time students. Most of the better ones have either been kicked out, or left on their own over the years. I can hazard a guess or three as to why, but that would be pure speculation.

Bukti gurus had to be recertified every couple of years. Guru Plinck was to teach a seminar back east and one of the Bukti board members allowed to the folks putting it on that they couldn't vouch for his abilities, since he hadn't been recertified recently.

The idea of Guru Plinck going down to L.A. to test in front of somebody whose teacher *he* taught seemed odd to him, and he called Paul, who promptly washed his hands of the matter. That's the board's business, not mine, was the response.

Paul was, of course, the will of the board.

Left hanging out in the wind, Paul's most loyal and long-time student decided that Bukti and its recertification process was history. He spoke to us in class about it the next day and we gave him our full support.

I haven't done a Bukti form since, and fuck 'em.

AF1 said...

Thanks for taking the time to type up such an informative response.

"The more mundane tale is that there was a pool of potential students and income, and by offering a stripped-down version of Sera, Paul could justify teaching without screwing up his closed-door philosophy."

Funny how the opportunity to make money always seems to overcome principle. :)

It seems odd that Paul De Thouars wouldn't vouch for his #1 student or make an exception for the recertification in this case...can't say I blame Mr. Plinck for taking the actions he did.

I'd be pissed too.

Doesn't seem to have hurt him any, as almost any time I see him mentioned online people always speak highly of him as a person and praise his skill.

Steve Perry said...

Martial art politics in general are pretty bad; silat seems worse than most, leastways in my experience.

Lot of insecurities among some of the major players. A student who might be better at it than they are -- which would be the goal for me if I were teaching, to turn out students better than I -- can and does threaten some folks.

Running joke is that you aren't anybody in Silat until you've been kicked out at least three times.
Mushtaq does a whole funny routine about how if you are the head of a system, you have to kick yourself out ...

You can take away lineage, invalidate certificates, but you can't erase knowledge. By most accounts, Guru Plinck was Pendekar Paul's top student; certainly from what I've seen, the brothers haven't produced anybody better.

Makes it tough for us Plinck students, 'cause try as he might, making us better than he is would require major baksheesh with a Higher Power ...

Michael B. said...

I would say he is more than qualified to handle this honor. Now you guys who train with him should be nominated for palooka of the year or something. I can only imagine how he lays the smak down..LOL..anyways..Congrats to Mr. Plinck

Richard Sackville said...

"There were two Sera(k) vids shot and released by Joe Daggy and Lexington Films, Djurus One and Two. About half of the material for Djuru Three was in the can after the second shoot, and when Joe ported the VHS to DVD, he added a third volume with this material. Good stuff, but only about twenty five minutes of it."

Hi Steve, is it still possible to get these dvds or has the firm shut down? Have tried to order them in the past with no luck.

Regards

Richard

Richard Sackville said...

ps Happy New Year to all, may all your sapu's hit that sweet spot!

Steve Perry said...

Last time I saw Joe was in Las Vegas, summer past, at the seminar, but he was still in business then

Did you try his site? I'm sure if he's around, he'd be willing to sell you the DVDs.

http://www.lexingtonfilm.com/serakseries.htm

Worg said...

That was... wow.

Just another data point on a curve composed of many such data points.

Martin 25 said...

Hi there I'm a martial arts Instructor from Ireland and have just got Guro Plinck's 3 dvds and have ordered a seminar one and knife one as well. Are there any more as I think that he said he has others?
best wishes
Martin ONeill

Steve Perry said...

Martin --

Pretty much everything you can get is to to found in the link section of this page -- either Resonant Video, or Joe Dagy's site.