Photo of Rex

Rex's Blog

Get the latest news and updates from Rex

Major Martial Art event: The 14th Annual De Thouars Family Gathering June 28th & 29th!

Current mood:excited

One of the most significant annual martial art events in Colorado is coming up on June 28th and 29th at the Northglenn Recreational Center featuring some of the top teachers in North America to honor a local martial art legend Willem "Uncle Bill" De Thouars. The event is the 14th Annual De Thouars Family Gathering. This year's event is proving to be the biggest and the best so far!

Saturday: 9am to 4pm
Dinner starts at 6pm
Sunday: 9am to 5pm
Monday Hangout (Wayne Welsh's home): 10:00am

-Master Bapak Willem ("Uncle Bill") De Thouars-
Born in Java, Indonesia in 1936 of Dutch-Indonesian heritage, Uncle Bill began studying martial arts at the age of 5 under a Chinese Taoist priest named Liem Ping Wan whom had immigrated to Java and began to teach him Kun Tao. Shortly thereafter the Japanese invaded as WW2 was underway. Uncle Bill's teacher was killed and this child was put in to an internment camp until the end of the war. He was then reunited with his family where he continued his studies of Kun Tao and his family art of Serah, a style of Silat which dates back over 300 years. He then took it upon himself to study other forms Kun Tao and Silat under some of the world's top masters. Uncle Bill has also spent time as a Dutch Merchant Marine. Throughout his life he has studied many different arts including Pa Kua, Tai Chi Chaun, Karate, Jiu Jitsu, Boxing and Fencing to name a few. He came to the U.S. in the mid 1960's and trained with the likes of Bruce Lee, Dan Inosanto(Bruce Lee protege), Ed Parker(founder of Parker Kenpo Karate), Ark Yuey Wong(of Kung Fu the TV show fame), Al Dacascos and others.

While he is not the first to combine Kun Tao and Silat, he was the first to coin the phrase here in the U.S and is instrumental in it's exposure to the western world. He is very internal and has included many animal bodies reflected in the natural motion that imitates authentic animal movement into his art. Today Uncle Bill is also very artistic painter and his paintings are in demand worldwide. A humble master, Uncle Bill teaches his personal art of Hakka Kun Tao Willem De Thouars at seminars around the world at locations such as Oslo, Stockholm, and Guadalajara plus American locations including Boston, Atlanta, and Santa Monica and at his home in Thornton, Colorado.

-Lao Shr Wayne Welsh-
Lao Shr ("Elder Teacher") Wayne Welsh has studied martial arts since 1964. During that time he has studied Kenpo, Kun Tao Silat, BaGua, Hsing I, Shaolin Gung Fu, Kajukenbo, Chang Family (original form) Pa Kua, Fu style Tai Chi & Lung Hsing Pa Kua, Tang Shou Tao Hsing I, White Crane and Serak. During his training he has been fortunate to have studied with such martial arts luminaries as Ron Carlson, Willem deThouars, Al Dacascos, Mr. Ng, Peter Kim Ho Chu, Vince Black, Ben Lomeli, & Eric Ling. Lao Shr Wayne currently lives in Colorado with his wife of 44 years, Pat where he teaches a small group of "Dragons" who call him "Old Dragon".

-Grandmaster/Dr.Ray Weathers, Dipl.Ac.D.Ac. O.M.D.-
Doctor Ray Weathers lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he practices his healing arts. He has been recognized as Hanshi 10th Dan Black Belt in Singtong Te Goshin Jitsu Do by the National College of Martial Arts International LLC. He is the founder of Golden Tiger Singtong Martial and Healing Arts and has been featured eight times on ESPN as the Acupuncturist and Oriental Medical Doctor to world champion bull rider Terry Don West and world champion calf roper Joe Beaver. This will be his second year of teaching at the gathering. His personal website is

-Si-Gung Richard Clear-  Teaching in Tennessee, Si-Gung Richard Clear has studied in the U.S. China and Canada. He has over 30 years of continuous study in the martial arts, psychology, philosophy, medicine and physiology. Si-Gung Clear a member of the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. His background includes Old Hand Shao Lin Kung Fu, Kun Tao Silat, Pentjak Silat, Tai Chi, Chi Gung and his own Si-Tai-Gung Street Kung Fu.
-Matthew Cohen-  He is the founder of Sacred Energy Arts in Santa Monica, CA. He originally found his roots in Yoga. He has been training in martial arts since he was 12 and is versed in Shaolin Kung Fu, Kun Tao Silat De Thouars, Chi Kung and Tai Chi Chuan. For over 20 years he has studied body-mind healing including Thai massage, Chinese styles of bodywork, Swedish, sports, deep tissue, craniosacral therapy, and more.
-Guru Kurtis Goodwin- The owner of A.P.I. International Combat Arts Association in Portland Oregon which offers a diverse array of martial arts given Guru Kurtis' diverse background, the instruction offered ranges from Kids Tae Kwon Do to highly advanced systems of Kun Tao Silat De Thouars and Presas Hinigaran Arnis De Mano, Laos style Kick Boxing and Tibetan Nine Headed Snake Fist Kung Fu.

-Stewart Lauper- He is the founder and owner of Progressive Martial Arts with 3 schools in Denver and the Metro area. The first school opened in 1985. Stewart Lauper is a long time practitioner and teacher of Kun Tao Silat De Thouars, Chinese Kenpo, Muay Thai, Grappling, and Mixed Martial Arts. He is one of Uncle Bill's top senior teachers and a mainstay at the Gathering with his well known "reality check" sessions.

-Dr. Bahati Mershant- He's lives in Kona, Hawaii, has studied Ci Mande in the village of Ci Mande in Indonesia and is an expert in many of the island arts and forms of Silat and Chinese Kun Tao. He has created his own Tenaga Tiga system. He has travelled to Indonesia many times and is creating an in depth documentary of his experiences. He is versed in many styles of healing and massage and is a staple at the Gathering with his Sunday healing sessions.  

-Don Miller- He is a top Tai Chi Chaun instructer located outside of Boston beginning his studies in 1970 under Master Liang T'ung T'sai. He has published 3 books, Bodymind, The book of Jargon, and The Conquest of Aging. His background includes Yi Chuan, Kuntao-Silat De Thouars, Jeet Kune Do, Ki-Aikido, Muay Thai, Pa Kua, Tae Kwon Do, Kodokan Judo, Shing Yi, Combat Grappling and numerous systems of Chi Kung meditation and healing.

-Shelley Millspaugh- Guro Shelley has been training in Kombatan Arnis / Modern Arnis since 1992 and has spent extensive time training in the Philippines. He was awarded Master Instructor of the year. He teaches in Kansas City school featuring many arts including the 5 Way Method, Kuntao Silat Dethouars and Maju Bela Diri Pentjak Silat and his method of Kadena Kruzada. Guro Shelley is a Lakan Walo Senior Master in Kombatan Arnis.

-Master Samuel Scott- He began training in the martial arts over 30 years ago. He a certified instructor in Filipino martial arts, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, and Shackled Hands, edge weapons, tactical boxing, Surung, and co-founder of Talahib Kun Tao now teaching at Full Circle Martial Arts in Maryland. He was a nationally ranked fighter with over 300 matches. He was inducted in 2006 in to the Blackbelt Hall of Fame.

-Dr. Scott Sobel- Instructor, Dr. Scott Sobel teaches at the Baltimore Aikido Academy which offers instruction in Aikikai style Aikido to which he is a 4th degree black belt. He is also a Guru Tua in Pentjak  Silat, an Indonesian martial art taught for self-defense, not for sport.  He has a tremdous understanding of the triangular motion and close quarters fighting style of the art. Dr. Sobel is under the instruction of Andre Knustgraichen.

-Hanshi Ron Carlson-
Hanshi Ron Carlson lives in Denver, Co. with his wifeand he owns a martial arts school in Edgewater, Colorado. He has been recognized as master teacher in Kempo & Gung Fu and founded the Gow-Ren-Lu Kempo & Gung , Ka-Jin-Ro Kempo Jitsu system. In 1997 he was recognized as a Grand Master and promoted to the rank of Hanshi 10th Dan and asked to form and direct the Kempo First Foundation. Hanshi Carlson served as a fire fighter for 25 years with the Denver Fire Dept before retiring in 1993. He is married with five children and two grandchildren. His teaching has been enjoyed at the gathering for many years.

-Sifu Chad Bailey-
Sifu Chad Bailey is an expert in Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Tai Chi and Martial Arts, who brings an enormous wealth of knowledge and experience to each of his sessions. He discovered the Martial Arts at an early age and his early instructors balanced self-defense with the healing arts of shiatsu, tui na and accupressure. He teaches Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Progressive Arnis, Cadena de Mano, Tui Na Massage and Oriental Medicine in Miami where he lives with his wife, Carmen and his two boys, Zayon Shea and Jared Michael. Chad is a state and nationally licensed acupuncturist as well as a national Diplomate of Chinese Herbology. He is always appreciated at the gathering.
His personal website is

-Sigung Robert Jones-
Professor Jones is the founder of the International Kenpo Karate Society ( I.K.K.S.), one of the fastest growing Kenpo organizations in the United States. He has been inducted into the United States Martial Arts Association Hall of Fame a total of four times. In his teachings he emphasizes drills for the development of explosive speed and power, joint manipulation, pressure point instruction, grappling and mat work, and instruction in the healing arts. Professor Jones holds an earned Ph.D. in Political Science from Northern Arizona University with a cognate area in Education and is certified as a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine through the Tae Geuk Healing Arts Institute. Professor Jones has over 37 years of martial arts experience and he is currently a freelance columnist for a number of martial arts magazines and has authored and co-authored several articles on American Kenpo. Professor Jones lives in Las Vegas, NV with his wife and four babies(Rottwiellers). The gathering is looking forward to Professor Jones being with us for the first time and know that the participants will learn much from him.

-Shen Gung Elio Tarrago-
Shen Gung Elio Tarrago has studied martial arts since 1973. He has studied and practiced many, many art forms over the years. He has been a teacher at previous gatherings and is always a favorite for his flare and knowledge. He is a student of Uncle Bill and Uncle Wayne, but has studied with many other well-known teachers. He teaches his Natural Motion Systems which is an internal art. He is married and lives in Miami, Fl. and his website is at

-Sifu Alfred Westlake-
Sifu Alfred Westlake began studying martial arts in 1980. He attended the Boulder School of Massage Therapy and graduated with honors. He met Uncle Wayne at the DeThouars family gathering in 1997 in Estes Park and discovered Bagua. . When Uncle Wayne returned to Colorado, he jumped at the chance to train with him directly. He has taught children and adults of all ability levels for the last 15 years and he practices massage therapy and teaches internal arts in Loveland, Colorado where he lives with his wife. For more info on Alfred or his practice visit

-Master Christophe Clarke-
Master Clarke has studied the internal arts from world-renowned masters in China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and the US. Master Clarke is a former U.S. team member, 1990 Korea and 1996 Gold medal winner in Brazil. Master Clarke has established himself as a world respected teacher of the internal arts. He has worked for the Sports Ministry in the former USSR as a consultant to their national athletic program. He worked for Dan Reeves with the Denver Broncos on coordination and visualization techniques, and he has also worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to teach their SWAT team high-level martial arts techniques. Master Clarke is a multi-talented musician, screenplay writer, and has starred in five martial arts action films, most recently "Tiger Street" and "Dancing Bear". You can visit his website at

-Sigung Steven Tarrago-
Sigung Tarrago became a practitioner of Ken Zen Ichi Nyo, the art of Zazen (mediation) and Matusbayashi Ryu (moving martial meditation) that set him on a path of Chinese Internal Martial Arts. As a direct disciple of Grand Master Bapak Willem De Thouars, Mr. Tarrago is recognized as a Guru/Sigung and certified in Kun Tao Silat de Thouars.Due to Bapak Willem De Thouars and Lao Shr Wayne Welsh guidance and encouragement to continue evolving and cultivating his own art he is currently continues his evolution and research in the Pekiti Tersia (FMA) "Pit Bulls" with Instructor Dino Martinez, Mandala Tim Wade and Tuhon Leo Gaje Jr. Sigung Tarrago lives in Miami, Fl. with his wife, Amy. He has two children and is a police officer. 


Post a comment...


Forgot password?

Need an account? Sign up