Orlanda, Bob

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Resident of Denver, Colorado, and a computer professional for more than 30 years, Bob Orlando was introduced to the martial arts while on active duty in the U.S. Marines (1961-1964). However, it was not until after he left the service that the flicker of interest that was kindled there became his consuming fire. Orlando began serious study in Chinese kenpo-karate. Shortly thereafter
he switched to kung fu, studying under Al Dacascos (then teaching in Denver, Colorado). His training with Dacascos lasted three years until a back operation made it impossible to continue in Dacascos' high-kicking style of kung fu. It was back to Chinese kenpo. There Bob received his first-degree black belt from Dr. John P. Cochran. Although he has subsequently earned additional rank, he prefers to say that he is a student of the arts and leave it at that. "Rank," he says, "is excess baggage. It becomes a hindrance to learning because everyone expects that you already know everything."

Ever a student of the arts, Bob's quest for knowledge has taken him into aikido, iaido, arnis de mano, and eskrima. However, what has impacted him the most are the years he has spent studying Chinese kuntao and Indonesian pentjak silat under Dutch-Indonesian master Willem de Thouars. After nearly 12 years of training with de Thouars, Bob received his teaching certificate from him in 1994. A graduate of a Jesuit university, Bob is the author of Indonesian Fighting Fundamentals: The Brutal Arts of the Archipelago andMartial Arts America: A Western Approach to Eastern Arts. He has also produced a two-hour video,Fighting Arts of Indonesia: Combat Secrets of Silat and Kuntao (a companion to his first book). Although he is not a "professional" martial artist (one who makes his living from martial arts), Bob still considers himself a "full-time" practitioner, for he studies and trains constantly. His school is a small one, and that's just the way he wants it. "Our school is our laboratory. There, we test everything from the practicality of forms training and techniques, to the latest craze in self-defense. We have a formal curriculum-- from white to black belt -- although it is not cut in stone. I guess that for us, the concrete is never quite dry, for we are constantly learning."