The History of the Indy Kali-Silat Association International
The Indy Kali-Silat Association was established in 1982 by Bruce Ogle in Indianapolis, Indiana, and was originally called the Indiana Arnis Association. It was the first Filipino martial arts organization in the state and one of only a handful of such schools in the Midwest at the time.
Guru Ogle met Dan Inosanto at a seminar he was teaching at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts in Chicago in the late 1970s. He was amazed at Guro Inosanto’s knowledge, ability, and open and approachable teaching style and would develop a lifelong friendship with him. It was at this time that Guru Ogle was first introduced to the Filipino martial arts and also Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do from Guro Inosanto.
After learning from Guro Dan for several years, Guru Ogle met another one of his martial arts mentors in 1982, when he went to Big Springs, Texas, and attended Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje’s first U.S. Two week Instructor Candidate’s Certification camp. In addition to learning a great deal of GT Gaje’s Pekiti Tirsia Kali, Guru Ogle got his first taste of Indonesian Pencak Silat. He met Pendekar Eddie Jafri, who was a Silat instructor from a small village in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia.
During the camp’s elaborate graduation ceremony, GT Gaje strongly suggested to Guru Ogle that he should open an “Arnis De Mano” school when he returned to Indianapolis. As he was already an accomplished martial artist and had previously studied Judo, Kung Fu, and Karate, and ran a Karate school at the time, Guru Ogle changed the name of his school upon returning home, and the Indiana Arnis Association was born. As time passed, GT Leo started calling his art Kali, and the we changed to the Indiana Kali Association.
In 1991, on the advice of Guro Inosanto, Guru Ogle began training with Pendekar Herman Suwanda in Mande Muda Pencak Silat. As he and his students became more familiar with the teachings of Pendekar Suwanda (as well as the silat being taught by Guro Inosanto and Pendekar Paul DeThouars), the name of the association was changed to reflect the added emphasis of Indonesian arts into the curriculum.
Today, Guru Ogle is living in West Java, Indonesia, with his beautiful wife and son. He’s still sharing knowledge with local Silat players and learning every day. In the United States, Guru Ogle’s students share the teachings of Guru Ogle and his teachers with a new generation of Kali-Silat practioners.
The purpose of the association remains the same as it always has been — to promote and research the martial arts of the Pacific Archipelago, while at the same time preserving the unique heritage and traditions of these time-honored arts.