My name is Raul Clemens de Windt, also known as Sensei Raul because of all my years of teaching Karate, Kickboxing, and Self-Defense, but mostly because of a tv-show I had, called “Defensa Propio” (Self-Defense), through which I taught the viewer Karate and Self-Defense.
I was born on August 12, 1972, on beautiful Curacao, a small island with an area of 171.4 mi2 and a population of 158,665. Curacao is located in the southwestern Caribbean Sea. It lies in the middle of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) just 40 miles (60 kilometers) off the northern coast of Venezuela.
My journey in martial arts started when I was 12. My mother wanted me to learn to defend myself now that I’ve started going to secondary school (elementary school was horrible regarding the bullying and having to fight for “survival” almost every day), so she signed me up for Karate classes. I remember it clearly. Tuesday, September 4, 1984, at 6 o’clock in the evening, my first Karate class. There I was, standing in my school’s gym hall (that was being used as the dojo- martial arts training facility) wearing jeans and a t-shirt among a bunch of teenagers, each one wearing a Karate uniform with a blue belt. That meant that the other kids have been practicing for a few months and have already been through their first belt-test. I did my best and everything was going great…until the end of the class. I made a mistake during the closing ritual and the other kids laughed at me. The sensei, Mr. Henry Gougon told them, “don’t you laugh at him. Do you see this kid? He’s gonna surpass you all”. And he was right. Then, in the car, I told my father that I didn’t want to go to Karate classes anymore because the other kids laughed at me. He told me, “well Raul, I already paid for the first month. So, after this month you can decide if you wanna continue or not”. But that month was enough. From then on, I was hooked on Karate and have been training ever since. As they say, the rest is history.
I achieved my first Kyokushin Karate black belt in 3 years. I started training in the art of Thai/Kickboxing at the age of 16. I have participated in lots of local Karate and Kickboxing competitions and several international Karate tournaments, including a World Championship. I’ve been Curacao Karate Champion a few times and one time Dutch Antillean Karate Champion during my competing years in Karate.
After 11 years of training with Sensei Henry Gougon, I met Sensei (now Shihan) Eric Constancia (originally from Curacao), a former European Karate Champion who had competed all over Europe and also had even trained in Japan. He moved from Holland to Curacao and he came to train at the only Kyokushin Karate school on the island, the Henry Gougon Karate School. After a few months, Sensei Eric decided to walk his own path by opening his very own Kyokushin Karate school. By then, my friend Rudolf Conquet (who now is a former 5 time Veteran World Kyokushin Karate Knock Down/Knock out Champion) and I were already friends with Sensei Eric, and we decided to go train with him. After 5 years, he moved back to Holland. Rudolf was already living in Holland by then.
Then I started training and teaching with Sensei Dudley Josepa, a former two-time World Sport Karate/Point System Champion. Meanwhile, I became a fitness instructor and started teaching Cardio Kickboxing classes. That was after Mr. Billy Blanks introduced Tae Bo to the world. If you wanted to be in style, you had to do Tae Bo/Cardio Kickboxing. I earned a living doing this for several years. By the way, I have to mention that the Curacao Aerobics Marathon Record has been under my name since the year 2000 (2 hours, 33 minutes, 2 seconds). Later in that same year, I went to Miami to get certified in Kardio Kombat (a form of Cardio Kickboxing like Tae Bo, but “better”) by Lisa Gaylord, creator of this fitness system.
THE POLICE SCHOOL
In August 2006, I got an incredible opportunity to work at the local police-school as an instructor in Mental and Physical Education and of course Self-Defense. Later on, I also became a Riot Team and Shooting instructor, alongside getting certified as a Conflict Resolution instructor. Almost at the same time, I was approached by people of the Voice of the Youth Foundation with a request to become their trainer for the kids in the project, The Youth Brigade for Security and Formation. My decision to accept led me to become the first commander of the Brigade, a position that I have gladly fulfilled for 13 years.
Soon after I started working at the police school I got certified in Kapap, an Israeli self-defense system founded by Avi Nardia. He came to Curacao to teach the course and then left. I continued training every once in a while with his representative on the Island. One day, searching through the internet, I found Commando Krav Maga. It looked very interesting to me. A few days after that, a student of mine that works at the airport told me that he has met an Israeli Krav Maga Master that lives on the island. I was skeptical at first, but he gave me the master’s name and phone number. I went home, searched the name on the internet, and guess what. The master turned out to be Moni Aizik, founder and creator of Commando Krav Maga (CKM), the most devastating and effective Israeli Self-Defense system in the world. I called him right away. My student was right. Moni Aizik really lives in Curacao, the same country/island where I’m from and where I live. That’s how my CKM trajectory started.
Currently, I’m CKM level 8, the highest level you can achieve in Commando Krav Maga. I’m also T.O.P. (for Law Enforcement) level 1, CKM Super Kids (against bullying and predators) level 2 and Smart Safe (for women) level 2. All these are derived from CKM and belong to the Combat Survival Institute. I did my level 1 & 2 and T.O.P. in Miami, level 3 in Curacao, level 4 in Israel, level 5 in Miami, level 6 in Curacao, level 7 in Curacao and the final part in Israel (due to an injury), level 8 twice in Israel, CKM Super Kids level 1 & 2 in Curacao and last but not least, Smart Safe level 1 & 2 in Curacao.
In 2013, I decided that it was enough working for a boss. I handed in my letter of resignation and I became my own boss. Since then I’ve been teaching Karate, Self-Defense, Commando Krav Maga, Cardio Kickboxing, Fitness (group and one on one); I’ve organized Bootcamp, Survival and Teambuilding sessions/weekends for organizations and business companies. My company’s name is Fortalesa Consultancy & Training, but it also functions under some other names like:
- Fortalesa Combat & Fitness
- Fortalesa Empowerment
- Fortalesa Security
At Fortalesa, we believe that before you can be a good fighter, sportsperson, police officer, doctor or whatever, you have to be a good person/human being. And to achieve that, we need to work on our personal development. That means physically, mentally and spiritually.
On this website, I will give you more information about how to get physically, mentally and spiritually stronger.
Look in the menu for different topics.
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