Congratulations on your decision to train at Naga! We are committed to providing the best martial arts training available. Our instructors are knowledgeable, attentive to detail, and they care about you. Their understanding, dedication to excellence and teaching experience are what makes our school a unique community. We have compiled this information as an introduction for you. Please take time to read the rest of this document to orient you at the start of your journey!
The Naga Rules & Tips
- Safety First!
- No profanity in the school.
- Show courtesy to your fellow teammates and to your instructors and any guest in the school.
- Bow onto and off of the training floor.
- Be on time for class. If you leave early, inform the instructor
- Your uniform must be clean for each class.
- No jewelry
- Keep fingernails and toenails clipped short.
- If you arrive late, follow correct protocol upon entry
- No alcohol or other drug use in the school or before training.
- No talking on your mat, but please feel free to ask questions of the instructor.
- If you have a problem or injury, please speak up!
The Poekoelan Student Creed
Patience ~ Practice ~ Perseverance ~ Purity
- I will train to the best of my ability
- I will develop myself in a positive manner
- I will practice patience, love, and compassion with my teammates and others in my everyday life
- I will follow the examples that Poekoelan teaches: to be flexible, strive for excellence, develop self-discipline, and respect others
- I will avoid anything that will reduce my mental and physical well-being
- I will practice what I learn in class constructively and defensively and never be abusive or offensive
Who will help me if I am confused, have a problem or a complaint?
We provide an extraordinarily high level of attention at our school. If you have a concern, talk to any of the instructors who will either answer your questions or find someone who can.
Rankings & Training Paths
The ranking system
Students show their progress by the color of the belt or sash they wear. Each color represents a step toward Black Belt. To be clear, you are not measured by the color worn around your waist but by your heart, the love, compassion, fierceness, and sense of fun you bring to your training.
- Cun Tao – Beginners
- 1st Degree White Belt
- 2nd Degree White Belt (1st stripe)
- 3rd Degree White Belt (2nd stripe)
- Third Phase Interview
- White Sash
- Gold Sash
- Blue Sash
- Green Sash
- Brown Sash
- Black Belt – 1st through 5th Degree
What Training Looks Like at Each Level
Cun Tao (self-defense) is your first phase of training. Beginning students wear white which shows purity and humility. In Cun Tao, you learn self-defense skills, basic animal movement, kids, punches, parries, and forms. You will also learn rolling, falling and a series of over 100 quick releases or “holds” which can be used to defend against both empty-handed attacks and weapon attacks including guns, knives, and clubs. Once the holds are mastered, promotion is made to Third Phase training.
In Third Phase fighting, practitioners learn joeroes (combinations of strikes) from all four animals, along with the internal development of the spirit of each one. More advanced students train the spirit of the Naga – the Indonesian Dragon. Third Phase students learn Lunkas to train the high to low movements as well as basic footwork of the animals. Sets combine animal joeroes and fighting techniques and style. Kumbongs combine the magical components of each individual’s fighting style. At every level, students create their own Kumbongs, developing movement that suits their style of fighting and reflects their love and devotion to the art.
Is Poekoelan hard to learn?
Our instructors will expand your strengths and separate movements into manageable pieces to ensure your success. You will learn and improve immediately with the calm, expert guidance of our instructors.
What if the training or parts of the class are too difficult?
Poekoelan is a broken mirror style, meaning that no two students look the same. Training is for everyone and no one is expected to do everything. We encourage students to work to their full capacity, whatever that may be. Often we find we are capable of doing more than we think possible.
Will I really be able to defend myself?
Training will give you solid fundamentals in self-defense. You will learn physical and verbal techniques that will provide you with many self-defense options. There are no guarantees in life, but we believe that our training will provide you with realistic and practical options.
Will taking Poekoelan benefit my child?
Training in Poekoelan creates confidence and helps develop personal initiative. It also helps provide good personal safety and self-defense skills. Parents often tell us that they see these qualities transfer to greater success in school and other extra-curricular activities.
Tools • equipment • Tips
Always take the time to write down what you have learned in each class. Our system contains an enormous amount of knowledge and it will help in the future to develop this habit now. You should compile this information in your Poekoelan notebook.
For the beginning student, the only gear needed is a white uniform. Upon entering Third Phase Training, students will be required to purchase protective foot and hand padding as well as headgear and a mouthpiece. These are necessary for safety as well as mandatory insurance regulations. Additional equipment includes shinguards and knee or elbow pads.
As you begin training you will use muscles that you didn’t know you had. This may lead to a bit of muscle soreness or fatigue. It is important to learn to take care of your body. Here are some simple strategies:
- Ice any sore muscles or bruises.
- Take hot baths with Epsom salts.
- Eat food with high protein content within a half hour after exercise. This will help repair muscles.
- Drink lots of fluids before and after exercise, especially in warmer weather.
- Incorporate stretching into your daily routine. Stretch at night before you go to sleep.
Am I too old to start training?
It’s never too late to start, and our customized teaching method will ensure that you get the workout that is right for you. It is said that a Poekoelan practitioner reaches their prime in their 60s. Poekoelan’s ultimate goal is the achievement of health and tranquility.
Do I Have to lose weight to train?
Our gradient beginner class will ease you into shape and help you achieve a sense of health and well-being. Regular training in a supportive class atmosphere is a great way to stabilize your metabolism and lose weight. Being honest with yourself about how you are nourishing your body is another way to conquer the question of weight along your journey.
Do I have to be in shape to join?
No matter what fitness level you are, our training will gradually and efficiently get you in shape. By training Poekoelan, you are building skill-specific muscle memory as you get stronger. This truly is a practice of physical fitness with purpose!
About our Art
The Art of Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen
Poekoelan is an Indonesian word which means “a series of blows with returning hands and feet.” Tjimindie means “beautiful flowing waters.” Tulen means “original”. Together, this describes the movements of this complete martial art, which flows gracefully and is effective in both combat and healing. The art is symbolized by the flexible, supple, yielding bamboo and an individualistic beautiful rose that has thorns to protect itself. These symbols are set upon a black background which signifies the mysteries of our art.
The System’s movements
…are of a nature akin to water and bamboo, fluid and circular, spiraling and continuous, graceful and whip-like. Movements are derived from four animals: the tiger, the crane, the monkey, and the snake. The use of these animals provides a set of dynamic dualities: soft/hard, fast/slow, small/large, fierce/playful, circular/angular and high/low. All of this is combined with a meditative dance-like form called the “crawl”, a movement that is completely unique to each practitioner.
Martial techniques for self-defense are joined with breath and energy for a union of the body and mind. The purpose is to waken and connect with the body, seek clarity of self and learn to strengthen, protect and secure the human spirit core by developing calm, compassion and a high level of internal energy. The advanced levels of training in the art inspire the student to develop not only physical skills but mental and spiritual skills as well. The three advanced phases of the system are White Dragon, Silver Dragon, and Gold Dragon.
Students begin by bowing with empty hands and open minds to our teachers. The cleansing spirit of the art pours through them, and with each step, it washes and purifies them. The training drum rhythms guide the students to their own movement. To fully understand the essence of training, students are encouraged to “accept, breathe, flow, and not be concerned with outcomes.” Compassion-based Poekoelan offers a calm and fluidly beautiful art of self-protection and cultivation of the inner spirit.
The Four animals
In the Third Phase fighting, practitioners learn
From the snake (
From the crane (blekok) we get aerial and multiple kicking techniques, knee parries, and wingtip strikes. From the crane, we also learn to appreciate stillness, a quiet mind, and a breath of fresh air. We learn balance, tranquility, and calm from this elegant animal.
From the monkey (monjet) we get medium-high stances, sweeps, parries, crafty, devious and clever fighting. We also learn the meaning of community and working together, playing and having fun.
From the Tiger (matjanan), we learn that anything you can do in the air you can do on the ground. We get rolling, low kicks, rakes, elbow, and knee strikes. Most self-defense situations end up on the ground making this practice so important.
A Poekoelan practitioner learns powerful protective and defensive moves. The student learns to hit – and hit hard. Most areas of the body can be used to strike an assailant if need be. We call these “Body Weapons”.
the Meaning of the Patch
“My Body is My Weapon” explains that we don’t need to walk through life with a weapon in hand because we carry the ability to protect ourselves without. The red outline of the hand illustrates the “empty open hands” concept of our art: to use what we have learned from a a place of strength and reconciliation using physical defense only as a last resort. The words Judo, Kenpo, Chuan Fa (Kung Fu), and Karate demonstrate the integration of the arts which have influenced Poekoelan. The dragon, or “Naga” in Indonesian, is symbolic of the way the animal movement comes together in our art. This patch was a collaboration between Willy Wetzel, who brought the art to the US from Indonesia, and his wife, Gerry Wetzel in the 1950s.
- Goeroe – Teacher
- Pendekkar – Protector or Warrior
- Bantoe – Helper/Substitute
- Mas – A general title of respect like Ms. or Mr./Brother or Sister
Common Words Or Phrases
- Poekoelan – A series of blows with returning hands and feet
- Tjimindie – Beautiful flowing waters
- Tulen – Original
- Gotong Rojong – Share and share alike
- Siap – Attention! Get ready!
- Hormat – Respect/bow
- Terima Kasih Banyak – Thank you very much
- Kembali – My love back to you
- Maaf – Please forgive me, I am deeply sorry
- Kanan – Right
- Kiri – Left
- Pusat – Center
- Bergerak – Move! Go!
- Munjurit – Move forward
- Monjur – Move backward