A Brief History of the Indy Kali-Silat Association International

Guru Bruce (far right) with Guro Dan Inosanto in the 1980s

The Indy Kali-Silat Association International was started by Guru Bruce R. Ogle in 1982. He began his martial arts journey at the age of 15 by studying Judo with Chuck Valovich in Miami, FL. After receiving his black belt, he moved to Indianapolis, where he continued his judo training.

Around this time, Guru Bruce started learning Shorin Ryu Kempo from Sensei John DeNigris. Sensei DeNigris was the son of a U.S. officer stationed in Okinawa. He was promoted to a 5th Degree Black Belt in Okinawa, while he was still in his 20’s.

In 1971, Sensei DeNigris started a school in Indianapolis called Creative Physical Development (C.P.D.), and taught a style that he called Shorin Ryu Kempo, which was under the Hohen Soken system.

At the CPD Karate school, Okinawan karate was the only art offered, and it was a power-oriented, bone-bruising curriculum, and most everything was taught in a very linear, punch, block and kick fashion.

Guru Bruce (far right) with Sifu Wong in the 1970s

This was the old Matsuyama Sensei one-punch kill sort of style. Guru Bruce has described the training as very traditional, and physically demanding, and it added a level of toughness to his martial arts training.

Sometime later, Sifu Wong Tuk Chun arrived in Indianapolis, and demonstrated his kung fu skills to Sensei DeNigris and his students, including Guru Bruce, who was very impressed with Wong’s speed and fluidity.

Starting in 1968, Sifu Wong learned Kok Sut Kung Fu from Sifu Ho Bun Un in England. Sifu Wong further went on to learn Nein Chi Hum Nie, Bom Bo, Bok Un Tao Do, Dao Kwoon Kune, Dao Dik and Pak Mei.

Guru Bruce (far right) training with Guro Dan Inosanto in the 1980s

Sifu Wong entered the United States in 1970, and began learning from Sifu Chun Jow in New York, before moving to Washington D.C., and learning Jow Ga Kung Fu from Sifu Chan. Sifu Wong then moved to Indianapolis, IN, and opened his own school, Wong’s Kung Fu, and that’s where Guru Ogle learned Kung Fu, while continuing to study Kempo at the same time.

A few years later, Guru Bruce opened a karate school with a few other black belts, Orthodox Shorin Ryu Karate, on the South side of Indianapolis. During this period, in the latter part of the 1970s, he began studying Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Kali with Guro Dan Inosanto.

An ad for the 1982 camp in Big
Springs, TX, from the August

1982 edition of Black Belt

In 1982, because of encouragement from Sifu Inosanto and Pekiti Tirsia Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje, Guru Bruce attended a week-long seminar in Big Spring, TX, that included most of the first-generation Filipino martial arts practitioners in the United States.

At the successful conclusion of the Instructor Camp, Guru Bruce certified as an instructor in Pekiti-Tirsia by Grand Tuhon Gaje, and was encouraged to open his own Filipino martial arts school, so he created the Indiana Arnis Association, the first school of its kind in the state of Indiana, and one of the few of its kind in the United States at that time.

While continuing his training with Guro Inosanto, Guru Bruce was introduced by to Pendekar Herman Suwanda by Guro Inosanto, and hosted him for a seminar in 1992.

Guru Bruce (far right) clowning around with Pendekar Herman Suwanda at his school in Indianapolis.

Guru Bruce continued training with Pendekar Suwanda until his tragic and unexpected death in 2000. He and Herman became great friends, and Guru Bruce traveled to Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, and trained at Guru Suwanda’s home on many occasions. He was even introduced to his wife by the Suwanda family.

With the permission of Pendekar Suwanda, Guru Bruce added Silat to his school’s curriculum, and the present-day Indy Kali-Silat Association International was born.

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