The Singapore Experience (by Ingo)

After three months in hot and humid Singapore – it’s time to put the cards on the table.

First of all, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to all Kali Majapahit (KM) instructors and fellow students. It was an honour and privilege to train at KM headquarters. I’ve had an amazing experience of intensive training, exciting challenges and warm family spirit.

Thank you!

So, what have I learned? Well, according to my parents in law, it was a waste of time: “You better get a job and a house. Stop wasting your time always on holiday. You should be working on your career now.” Both my parents in law – who by the way, generously let Yee Han and me stay at their apartment for free – are not happy about our life goals. To my surprise, being courageous and pursuing one’s dream is not an esteemed trait in the eyes of Chinese parents (in law). To work hard and a lot is what earns you their recognition. Presenting a steep career and a high grade in your work performance evaluation will make them proud. So proud that even the high costs of a neglected family and/or messed up mental health are generously overlooked.

So, that’s the first thing I’ve learned: Satisfying your close ones’ expectations and living up to your own needs sometimes do not go together. Luckily, when it comes to that, both Yee Han and me have our priorities straight and aligned.

I didn’t spend all my time at the martial arts studio. Once we took a one-day hike through the Mac Ritchie jungle on a quest for a hidden Japanese shrine.

For me as a lateral entrant into Kali Majapahit – my first grading in KM was for Kasama – it was very important to get fully immersed into KM. And that’s what I did: I lived the Kali Majapahit spirit. That means two hours of training every second day.

After 80+ hours of KM training, I found out:

  • That the students in this school make exceptionally fast progress – due in great part to the genius of the curriculum
  • How to motivate students to keep repeating their basics until everyone gets it 
  • How some of the instructors use their advanced skills in the area of personal development to help students in mastering their life.

In short, the takeaway for me is of course an improvement in my Kali skills but also some great insights and inspirations for me as a future martial arts teacher.

Equally, I am left with a longing for more and high respect for this unique place on earth, where top quality martial arts teaching meets the honest striving for educating people to create a better world.

What happened when they found out I was leaving. “Squash him so he can’t leave!!”

The last thing and probably the most important experience for me was assisting and teaching the kids classes. I went for all of them, with the intent of giving something back to the school in return for the training I was receiving. In the end, I got a lot more back from assisting and teaching the kids classes than I could have imagined.

I learned about my own temperament and composure in a stressful environment. And I learned how to act in new ways that I did not consider part of my temper. Basically, I’ve learned how to better discipline a bunch of wild children. Standing in front of adults becomes a lot less scary too.


In conclusion:
I’ve improved on what has been lacking in my repertoire the most: Kali skills and teaching skills.

If you’re not from Singapore and have the opportunity to go and train at the KM headquarters – Do it! If you’re already training in Singapore and you have the opportunity to assist for kids classes – Go for it!


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