Hi and welcome to the Cape Town Self Defence Institute website. My name is Kenneth Petersen, I would have to say martial arts enthusiast! I absolutely love the martial arts and what I've spent a lot of years understanding is just how you utilise what you know from your various martial arts forms to defend yourself in violent situations on the street. Thankfully, my base art is the Piper Knife System so I've begun without preconceptions, forms, traditions etc.
It's become increasingly clear to me that in South Africa we face some very unique challenges. Our history has helped shape a society that tends towards the more extreme edge of the violence continuum as it pertains to civilian crime. We're faced daily with information that assaults our senses in every single way possible.
People as esteemed as Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu have bemoaned the degradation of our society's moral and ethical standards. However, what does this mean for the common man(or woman) on the street?
I mean it's quite simple to moan and sit on the sidelines and say "yep, it's that group of people" or "it must be terrible to be a victim like that". Well. Actually. Violence doesn't discriminate. We have the full range of criminals. Murderers, rapists, burglars, con men, pickpockets, white collar criminals, home invaders. You name it, we have them.
Well, I met a man about in 2001 who is still my instructor today. His name is Nigel February and he's the founder of the Piper Knife System, my base art.
Sometimes I call him Soke, or Grandmaster and make jokes with him but to be honest, it's mostly through his instruction over the years that I have most of my martial arts skills. Some other folk helped along the way. :-) I could list so many names here but I'm actually going to single out a couple of folks, Nigel as I've mentioned, Japie Cilliers, a proper oke and dangerous old guy along with some of his students Henry Pieters, Dina Posthumus and Denzil Botha (didn't know sticks could move that fast and hurt that much). Nigel's first two students as well, Shadley Kannemeyer and Mark Kapot, these two gentlemen are truly best experienced in real life. Good luck to you.
I've also had the absolute pleasure to meet and train with GM's Al Dacascos, Al de la Cruz, Robert New, Gabriel Vargas, Kai Li, Janice Somera-Aquino and Sigung Bruno Rebelo who were kind enough to start me on my Kajukenbo journey, mahalo for that.
This has caused me to understand that first and foremost, you must train to survive. This is paramount in what I teach and this is by any means necessary. There's nothing wrong with studying all the different martial arts of the world and enjoying what they all have to offer, however, it's important to never allow a false sense of complacency to creep in the higher up the black belt, sash, etc ladder you go.
In South Africa, nine times out of ten you won't see the attack before it happens. So to that end I teach all that I've learnt over the time I've been training and allow the students to choose which way they decide to go. If you want to just learn how to defend yourself, that's available, if your ambition is to become a world champion and compete resplendent in gi and belt, that's available to you too. As with everything in life, choices are individual.
As a corollary to the martial training, I've had the opportunity to address my physical training needs with a master trainer in Karl van Lith. He lied to me about how easy plyometric training was. Tacfit, Circular Strength Training (CST) and prasara yoga. Wow. Bodybuilding has nothing on my current training regime.
I look forward to continuing on this lifelong journey and hope that you will join me on it.