News / USA

    Indonesian Martial Arts Find Home in Utah

    Indonesian Martial Arts Find Home in Utahi
    X
    June 17, 2014 4:17 PM
    Martial arts imported from East Asia have long been part of the U.S. sports landscape. For decades, it has been common to see American students take self-defense classes in Taekwondo from Korea and Judo from Japan. One school in the western U.S. state of Utah is teaching something a bit different from Indonesia. In this report narrated by Marissa Melton, VOA's Alam Burhanan tells us about Merpati Putih classes.
    Martial arts imported from East Asia have long been part of the U.S. sports landscape. For decades, it has been common to see American students take self-defense classes in Taekwondo from Korea and Judo from Japan. One school in the western U.S. state of Utah is teaching something a bit different from Indonesia - Merpati Putih.
     
    The founders are brothers, Nate and Mike Zeleznick. The movements and instructions are in native Indonesian. Unique to this class, the students use Javanese words as they learn Merpati Putih.
     
    Located in Ogden, Utah and established in 1999, it is the only such school in the U.S.
     
    Mike Zeleznick said they try to teach the students more than just self-defense.
     
    "So we teach all the movements, all the techniques for fighting, for everything, in Bahasa Indonesia," he said. "I really want to share the culture of Indonesia, the beauty, the people, and the aspect, you know, comes from a very long lineage of royalty in Indonesia. So we would like to share that with everybody and really get them to think outside the box and willing to step up and travel and explore and have fun in the world, because you know, it is a big playground out there, and Indonesia is an amazing treasure."

    They have more than 150 students and none of them are from Indonesia.
     
    Nate Zeleznick said breathing techniques are at the core of the training for adult students. Strength gained is tested by breaking stones, iron and more based on the level of the student.
     
    Advanced student Scotty Newton says the class is always challenging.
     
    "I feel good, I feel calm," he said. "I have been doing Merpati Putih for 11 years now, so I have broken a lot of things, and I have had many struggles and many fails, failed attempts, and many successes, too."
     
    But breaking things is not the main appeal for students like Tammy Anderson.
     
    "I am a physical therapist and I do a lot of healing, it worked. So I actually got into this more for the healing side," she said. "I spent a lot of time fighting when I was growing up, and I really do not like to hit things. I spent ten years trying not to hit things, so I really did not really want to break that."
     
    Teachers and students say Merpati Putih, which means "white dove," is not so much about fighting as it is about reaching one’s true potential.

    You May Like

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Despite Cease-fire, Myanmar Landmine Scourge Goes Unaddressed

    Myanmar has third-highest mine casualty rate in the world, according to Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, which says between 1999 to 2014 it recorded 3,745 casualties, 396 of whom died

    Goodbye Ketchup, Hello Sriracha?

    From meat and potatoes to avocados, how immigrants transform American cuisine

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora