MARTIAL ARTS: It took almost three years to get him to Australian shores but Indonesian martial arts expert Aris Suhartanto has finally been able to visit Gladstone.
Known as 'Mas', a Javanese word meaning 'older brother', Suhartanto has been training children and adults at Silat Langkah Baru Gladstone since arriving here last week.
Mas comes from Jogjakarta in central Java, he has been practising Indonesian martial arts since 1996 and has also spent time in the Indonesian National Armed Forces.
It took plenty of time and paperwork by chief instructor Tony Arandale to bring Mas to Australia, but the knowledge he has been able to impart during his time here has been priceless.
"We have a training history with him, we went over to Jogjakarta and trained with him last year,” Arandale said.
"We tried to bring him out here last year but failed, but managed to get him out here this year. We've been running five sessions a day with him.
"Mas is teaching Jurus Tunggal to seniors and juniors which is a competitive form and the only form allowed in competition.
"He's teaching competitive fighting and to our seniors at night, he teaches Langkah and some weapons work.
Mas said he's enjoying his time teaching Pencak Silat in Australia.
"I'm so happy because I'm a teacher, I like to train and teach so when I train martial arts it gives me a lot of satisfaction,” Mas said.
"It helps me to heal and defend myself because I was always the smallest guy at school.
"It's helped me a lot.”
Silat Langkah Baru is an authentic Indonesian Martial Art that that focuses on Self Defence and trains in at the showground hall on Scenery St.
Tony Arandale is Indonesian trained and has well over 40 years experience in Pencak Silat.