Martial Arts Research Institute, Salem, Massachusetts. Friday October 20, 2006 Grandmaster Edward Lebe was a fellow of that I would have guessed to be in his mid to late 40s, He had an average build but looked to be fit and strong My interaction with him began around Friday noon, just as my Friday morning class was wrapping up. Despite his depth and contribution to the art, he wanted to be addressed only as Guro. I wasn't going to be one to argue. A good lot of us piled in to a minivan to give Guro Lebe a tour of downtown Salem...a city that is very rich in history. Guro Lebe loved the Army Barracks store and walked out with a few USA-themed items. I'm not quite sure how he appreciated the Hallowe'en celebrations of Salem. I don't think it was his cup of tea, esp. as he is a devout Muslim...yet I never heard him complain outwardly. He did seem to enjoy the non-witchcraft segments of our tour, such as touring the House of Seven Gables, taking in the view of the coastline, or hearing about Salem's history as a busy seaport. He also had a chance to experience some authentic New England fog the weather was not very cooperative. When we returned to the school, I had a chance to hear him talk a bit about Silat. He spoke with an accent, but otherwise had a sound commmand of English. I would have liked to have given him an interview but as I'm so new to the art, I felt speechless as to what questions to ask. Instead, I chose to listen. Each sentence he said could have been the topic of a thesis "There are almost 1000 styles of Silat in Indonesia," he began. Silat is a word that means "self-defense" or "fighting". It is a word that can be as generic as "karate" to Americans. Guro Lebe touched upon some of the reasons why Silat is such a broad term. "There are four reasons why a person should study Silat," Guro Lebe began. "One, for the self-defense. Two, for dance. Three, for cultural reasons." I nodded in acknowledgement. "And the fourth?" I asked. His expression changed. "Fourth is meta-spiritual reasons. For magic. I don't have any interest in those reasons," he said firmly. It was clear that it wasn't a subject that he preferred discussing. "No magic in our school Guro, just hard training," I responded. Guro nodded, then looked at me with a sparkle in his eye. "The reason why I study Silat?" he poised. "For the fighting," he grinned. The expression on his face is one that I will likely remember for awhile.