Sunday, February 26, 2012

Four die in extreme martial arts tests

Four die in extreme martial arts tests
Yemris Fointuna, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 02/22/2012 8:21 AM
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Four martial arts students have died while attempting to achieve invulnerability in extreme tests in separate incidents in Greater Jakarta, and East Nusa Tenggara.

Two men in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara died on Tuesday as a vehicle drove over their bodies. A third man remains in critical condition.

The trio, all assistant coaches at the Kera Sakti pencak silat martial arts school, were identified as Ebiridio Sarmento, 20; Elder Cruz, 21; and Abilio Fretes, 18.

The three performed their test at the Noelbaki bus terminal. Witnesses said they first took rat poison and survived.

When none of them fell sick, they proceeded to the next test.

“The three members later proceeded by laying down in the street while some motorcyclists drove over their bodies with their bikes a few times,” a fellow school member, Alberto Amaral, said on Tuesday.

“Nobody got injured,” he added.

The three then decided to allow a four-wheel vehicle carrying dozens of passengers to roll over their bodies.

Their request was granted. However, this time the results were gruesome.

“They screamed when the vehicles passed over their bodies. When the show was over, we found their bodies were crushed,” Alberto said.

Sarmento died at the scene, while Cruz died on the way to hospital.

Fretes is currently in critical condition at a hospital in Kupang.

Kupang Police criminal investigations chief Adj. Comr. Yohanes Kristian Tanau said they had named the school’s leaders, Egidius Sarmento and Antonio Tinto, as suspects.

Officers also took into evidence a car, two motorcycles and rat poison as evidence and were also questioning Brendo, the driver of the vehicle that passed over the men.

In a separate incident on Monday, two pencak silat enthusiasts from Cilincing, North Jakarta — brothers Slalindar Andri Wibowo, 24, and Dedi Supriyadi, 26 — died from severe burns after they were doused with acid in a test of their immunity against weapon attacks.

“[Andri and Dedi] learned to master a weapon-resistant skill. But when acid was poured on them, they were severely injured,” their sister, Lisa Faja Riana, said after viewing their bodies at the Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital morgue on Tuesday.

Lisa said her brothers and two friends, identified as Oman and Hendra, went to Serang, Banten, on Saturday evening to look for a master who could teach them immunity against weapons.

Banten is famous for a traditional performance called the debus in which a performer demonstrates his invulnerability to weapons and fire.

“Andri told his wife that he went to a prayer gathering to learn religion instead,” Lisa said as quoted by

Lisa said the family was informed about the incident on Sunday evening after one of the victims’ friends called to inform them that the brothers were dead and their bodies were in a hospital in Serang.

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