Vol. 1 No. 7

De Thouars Family Gathering 2000

yearly de Thouars Family Gathering is one of the great, yet relatively
undiscovered, communal events of the country — and perhaps soon of
other countries. It is a martial event, but the building of family
relationships is in fact what it is really about. "Players" and their
families somehow get to Denver from all over the U.S. and many parts of
the world (from as far away as Mexico and Sweden) to prove that this
gathering to investigate human energy in a combative, but not
competitive, format is perhaps the seminal martial arts event of its

event is about testing principals of energy in theory and actual
experience. Through the years of the gathering, these events have
crystalized into a community of curious and open-minded players who, no
matter what disciplines they come from, honor Uncle Bill’s dictum that,
with practice, energy will lead the open-hearted player. It doesn’t
matter whether this investigation is from Uncle’s own discipline of Kun
Tao Silat de Thouars or the various sister arts — each seem to strive
toward a liberating place of spontaneous movement.

of practical "banging," with the commonality of respect for Willem’s
guidance toward ultimate oneness with each person’s own energy, gave an
amazing profile of the martial ideas out there. Styles such as Pa Kua,
Shaolin, Traditional Silat, Venezuelan stick fighting, Serak, Tai Chi,
Ju Jitsu, free fighting, Vietnamese monkey boxing, Kun Tao Silat,
dancing and any number of spontaneous gatherings investigated
everything from vibrating palm to self-defense in small, enclosed
spaces, such as a phone booth.

gathering may yield more insights into human energy than any number of
chi kung conferences. It also teaches the attending players to receive
with a laugh the same power most believe can only be delivered or
received in actual combat. The fun of this year’s gathering seemed to
prove that the investigation of high-level energetic martial principles
need not always be a serious contest. Instead, many left this weekend
of intense but enlightening training with a smile, as if it were a

If you want to go someplace "better" in your martial
and energetic training, be sure to attend next year’s gathering,
wherever it will be.

For infornation about next year’s gathering, please check out Uncle’s website: