PENDEKAR VICTOR DE THOUARS
The man who first popularized SILAT in the Western World, starting from the early sixties, giving ample time coding the style, was Pendekar Victor De Thouars (along with his older Brother who passed away in 2013, Pendekar Paul de Thouars).
Pendekar Victor De Thouars has largely codified both techniques and the methods of teaching. This admirable teacher head-school of Sera/Serak/Serah Silat, had a very adventurous life.
Born from of a Marquis of French/Dutch origin and an Indo mother (with 2nd Grand Mother of Dayak origins), he lived in Indonesia until the end of WWII, then in the fifties he went in the Netherlands, through other European countries (including Italy), and then he settled down in the sixties in the USA. For the USA he has also fought in Vietnam, and later in the USA he became an expert aeronautical engineer, and many of his developed projects are still in use as of today, and a pioneer in the research for "Renewable Energy". A true passion for Silat, and in particular Sera Silat, distinguished Pendekar Victor De Thouars since childhood, when with the help of his Mother, started to study in Indonesia under Pak Tisari Mardjoeki, direct student of Emas Rhoen. Then studied Serak in earnest, then continued in the '50s in Netherlands, where he arrived before the brothers, under the expert guidance of his uncle John De Vries (1890-1972), who had learned Sera Silat directly from Emas Djoet. So Pendekar Victor De Thouars was also certified by his uncle in the lineage of Emas Djoet, in my opinion complementary to Emas Rhoen, for a complete knowledge of the Sera/Serak Silat.
Family De Thouars reunited then in the sixties in the United States: brothers Maurice (1928-2014), Paul (1930-2013), Victor De Thouars and Willem De Thouars (1936). Willem became an expert in Kuntao, he moved to Norther California and to Colorado where he developed his own system of Kunlun Pai.
Paul and Victor stayed in California, began to Teach and Train Silat together in the new continent.
Pendekar Victor De Thouars (1941), the youngest brother, became famous for his physical strength, he used to train splitting series of coconuts with his bare hands (he does this even today!!!), and breaking with shinbones three baseball bats tied together, but he is also cared of the meticulous coding of Sera Serah/Serak Silat in the two schools that he studied (Emas Djoet and Emas Rhoen), also helped by his particular mindset of aeronautical engineer. However he also become expert in other fighting styles, such as Fencing, in which he is “Maestro”, Muay Thai, Boxing, Judo. He Married Jane F. de Thouars, who studied Puncah Serah and is also an expert in Aikido, her Aikido Shihan Francis Takahashi brought many of Aikido Masters from Japan to the United States over the years.
As older brother Maurice went back to Holland (Netherlands), the leadership of Serak Silat is left to his brother Paul, as it is was customary in that time, because Paul was 11 years older than Victor. Then brother Paul in 1982 decided to leave to Pendekar Victor De Thouars the leadership of the Serak Silat system. He also issued to Victor a “Certificate of Completion”(published by us), indicating that Victor De Thouars had completed the system in 1964, and indicating in the same document that Maha Guru Victor De Thouars would take place in the title of Pendekar as it was announced in the 1987 Video made by Tortoise Video, owned by Al Iba.
Pendekar Victor De Thouars is the only Grandmaster (Maha Guru) to have codified the system with meticulous attention to details and program. This is impossible to find today even in Indonesia (villages of Bogor and Bandung), because of a bad communication system, a lack in the transmission of the traditions (not correct recordings after the Families de Vries and de Thouars left Indonesia) and because in Indonesia what is better known as Serak Silat, comes from Emas Mustafa lineage, but unfortunately Emas Mustafa stopped prematurely his trials with Pa Sera.
Pendekar Victor De Thouars in 2008 gave to his top student Maha Guru Horacio Rodriguez his lineage holder, so he started to retired from the public teaching, but however he continue to teach privately to a very few students, also with the support of the modern technology and with annual special camp in Italy helps directly the grow of pure Serak-Puncah Serah in Eurupe. Pendekar is still very actived in the production of books, videos and weapons (that he designs and makes).