I mentioned on my opening page that I have my own business called Fortalesa. In case you’re asking yourself, “why the name Fortalesa?” Fortalesa is not a religious institute, but I took the name Fortalesa from the Bible.  Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ that gives me STRENGTH.” In my native language Papiamentu, it goes like this: Mi por tur kos den Kristu, ku ta duna mi FORTALESA. Fortalesa means strength.

What do we do?

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.

So. At Fortalesa, we focus on guiding the student or client in all three of these aspects that makes an individual a whole human being, so he/she can get lasting results he/she can use in all areas of his/her life.

We use martial arts-based training along with several practical ideas taken from a variety of books on the subject of personal development. I also teach my students the 8 virtues of the Samurai (excluding all religious facets belonging to the Japanese culture). A Samurai was an elite royal soldier in service of the emperor during the time of feudal Japan. On this, I will elaborate in another post.

Fortalesa Combat

I have designed my own Self-Defense/Martial Arts system by selecting what I consider the best techniques from Kyokushin Karate and Thai Boxing, making them very simple to understand and execute. I call it Fortalesa Combat. The Fortalesa Combat Curriculum consist of 50 basic techniques, one 30 count- Kata/Form (an exercise consisting of a sequence of the specific movements of a martial art, used in training and designed to show skill in technique). Note: 30 counts. Not 30 techniques. Each count is made up of, between 1 to 8 techniques. Fighting combinations and sparring (fight training attached to specific rules) are also in the Fortalesa Combat Curriculum.

There are basically 5 levels in Fortalesa Combat:

To test for level 1:

  • You have to know and execute the 50 basic techniques.
  • You need to know and execute the first ten counts of the Fortalesa Kata.
  • You must show your fighting skills by sparring.

To test for level 2:

  • You must know and execute the 50 basic techniques in a sharper and more powerful way.
  • You need to know and execute the first 20 counts of the Fortalesa Kata.
  • You must show improvement in your fighting skills by sparring. Self-control has to be evident.

To test for level 3:

  • You have to know and execute the 50 basic techniques with excellence and a certain level of mastery.
  • You need to know and execute the 30 counts of the Fortalesa Kata.
  • You must show self-control, determination, speed, good timing, strength and excellence of execution in you fighting skills, while sparring.

To test for level 4:

  • You have to know and execute the 50 basic techniques with excellence and a certain level of mastery.
  • You need to know and execute the 30 counts of the Fortalesa Kata with excellence of execution and mastery.
  • You must show self-control, determination, stamina, speed, good timing, strength and excellence of execution in your fighting skills, while sparring 10 rounds of 2 minutes each.

To test for level 5/Black belt:

  • You have to do the whole level 4 test, but this time with an extreme fitness assignment before each segment of the test.
  • You must be at least level 4 Commando Krav Maga. Commando Krav Maga and Fortalesa Combat are two separate disciplines, but considering that Self-Defense is a very important part of Fortalesa Combat & Fitness, and that CKM is regarded by Sensei Raul as the best Reality Based Self-Defense System in the world, it would be only logical that a Level 5/Black Belt Fortalesa Combat practitioner would also be highly skilled in the art of survival in the streets. It could be said that someone who has achieved level 4 in CKM already has begun the understanding-process of what Combat Survival means. That’s why level 4. Of course Sensei Raul recommends that after the student has become a Fortalesa Warrior, he/she will continue his/her Fortalesa Combat training and his/her further development in the art of Combat Survival by achieving level 5, 6,7 and 8 subsequently. Needless to say, every student of Fortalesa Combat will receive classes in CKM and will also be tested in the respective CKM-levels, so when the time comes for him/her to test for Fortalesa Combat Level 5/Black Belt, he/she will be ready.
  • You must do a verbal test about the philosophy and essence of Martial Arts and Self-Defense in general, and Fortalesa Combat in particular.
  • You must teach a Fortalesa Combat class.
  • Last, but certainly not least, you have to do a community project. Either for an individual in need, a family, a school, or any organization that helps people. A Fortalesa Warrior is the same as a Fortalesa Samurai. The word Samurai means “to serve” or “one that serves”. At Fortalesa we get stronger and wiser, and that means that we also become more humble and benevolent. The more developed you are as a human being, the more “of service” you are.

Every Fortalesa Warrior will receive a:

  • Fortalesa Combat-Level 5/Black Belt Certificate.
  • Fortalesa Warrior Certificate, signed by Sensei Raul de Windt, managing director of Fortalesa Combat & Fitness and also the creator of Fortalesa Combat. This certifies that you’re someone with high ethical and moral principles and you uphold the lifestyle and honor-code of Fortalesa Combat and the Bushido (Samurai) virtues to the best of your abilities.
  • Fortalesa Black Belt with your initials and the words Fortalesa Combat embroidered on it.
  • Fortalesa Warrior baseball cap and polo-shirt.
  • Fortalesa Warrior stainless steel chain with your initials and the words Fortalesa Warrior engraved on the pendant.
  • Instatement into the Fortalesa Samurai Society as a member of the Fortalesa Samurai Team (Fortalesa Elite Team, so to speak).

After the student has achieved the title of Fortalesa Warrior, he/she won’t need to take any more tests. There will only be constant training and research on the martial way through Fortalesa Combat for as long as it is possible for him/her, because the pursuit of personal improvement and excellence has no end.

Fortalesa Combat Kids

The testing requirements for the kids are the same as the adults, but with a little adaptation according to his/her age. For example kids younger than 12 years old will learn CKM-Super Kids instead of Commando Krav Maga.

Who is a Fortalesa Warrior?

In his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, author Maxwell Maltz says, “The key goal-image is our self-image.” Our self-image prescribes the limits for the accomplishment of any particular goals. It prescribes the “area of the possible“.

At Fortalesa Combat & Fitness, we believe that this statement is true for everyone, not only in Martial Arts/Self-Defense and Fitness training, but in all areas of life.

You cannot perform beyond your beliefs about yourself. For example, in martial arts, there are millions of people that can do amazing and fancy things (trick kicks, flips, board/ice breaking, etc.), but when the time comes to apply those awesome abilities in a real situation, either in a fighting competition or a street-fight, they’re unable to. How come? It’s because of their self-image. Deep down in their inner being, they don’t see themselves as someone who can stand their ground and defeat an opponent. They have the skills, but because they think less of themselves, they’re not able to perform at the level that they should. On the other hand, some guy that hasn’t been training for that long (maybe he knows just the basic punches and kicks) comes out of nowhere, wins the competition or the fight on the street. Why? You guessed it, his “SELF-IMAGE”. Probably while he was growing up, someone in his life (could be his parents, teacher, grandmother, coach or whoever) kept telling him, “you have a lot of potentials, you are loved and appreciated, don’t you ever give up, fight for what you want in life, you’re gonna do great things”, and so on. They helped him built a positive and healthy self-image.

For a lot of us, that’s not the case. Our self-image has been distorted or broken (intentionally or unintentionally) by our parents, a teacher, a friend or whoever. It doesn’t matter who anymore. What matters is that we can change our self-image. We do it by changing the way we think. In other words, renewing our minds, as the Bible says. That’s awesome news. We are for sure going to elaborate on this later on, on this website.

So, a Fortalesa Warrior is a Fortalesa Combat practitioner who has improved his/her self-image to the point that he/she doesn’t feel the need to react to every single action from other people. He/she understand that everyone’s behavior is a result of their self-image, that subsequently is the consequence of their belief system, that is based on their frame of reference. With that in mind, he/she has no fear and he/she can deal with the situation with wisdom instead of negative emotions. In other words, he/she radiates so much self-confidence (because of his/her positive and healthy self-image) that people that are judgmental or have low self-esteem could take it as arrogance or superiority complex. But it just comes from knowing who you are. Nevertheless you’re never done improving yourself. It’s an ever going process that the Fortalesa Warrior is aware of, and takes very seriously.