Sifu Donald Tampubolon
Sifu Donald Tampubolon, a.k.a. “Sifu,” as his students call him, currently teaches classes at various institutions. Rather, he teaches basic and intermediate levels of Shootfighting and Self-Defense. Donald Tampubolon currently teaches at various CUNY College campuses and other private institutions/firms, such as the Federal Reserve Bank and the Zeckendorf Towers, a large apartment and fitness complex in a prominent area of Downtown Manhattan.
Where did this all begin you ask? This all took place in a small planet, far, far away… Not really. It all actually began in Jakarta, Indonesia, where Donald Herbert Tampubolon was born. At the ripe age of three, he began his life as a martial artist. Donald started his training in “Pencak Silat,” a martial arts style common to Indonesia. Two Sifu’s instructed Donald for Silat, Sifu Rachmat and Sifu Soekamto. After plenty of rigorous training in the jungles of Indonesia, Donald Tampubolon emerged as a 4th Degree Black Belt in Pencak Silat. Sifu Rachmat granted him the title of “Sifu” and presented him with an embroidered Black Belt, honoring his achievement.
Although Pencak Silat was the root of his martial arts education, Donald went on to discover new forms of martial arts across the continent. From his studies in “Kyo Ku Shin Kai Kan” Karate in Osaka, Japan to Kung Fu in the Shaolin Temple of Northern China, Donald greatly increased his knowledge of the arts. He boasts a 2nd degree Black Belt in “Kyo Ku Shin Kai Kan” under “Shi Han” Tokunaga, a 2nd degree Black Belt in Aikido under Sensei Omeri, a 1st degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do under “Sempei” Kristian and a 1st degree Black Belt in Judo under Sensei Yo-Shugi. Donald also completed his full education of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, which took 15 yeas with a Shaolin Monk.
With this newly attained ability, “Sifu” Donald Tampubolon embarked on his journey of various martial arts and fighting tournaments. He had competed in more than one hundred “full-contact” tournaments in many Asian countries, the United States, and other countries around the world. He partook in such competitions as NHB (No Holds Barred fighting) UF (Underground Fighting) and K1 (Kickboxing/Karate/Kung Fu, etc.). In his course of competitions in the North American Karate and Kickboxing Association, he had won more than 14 trophies, all in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place; he participated in fighting, self-defense, weapons, traditional forms (for katas) and open forms (for katas).
One other institution that Donald was involved deeply in was the International Sport Kickboxing/Karate Association (ISKA). Here, he had won more than a dozen trophies. Currently, he is the North American Lightweight “Power-Wood Breaking Champion of 2004.” In addition, Donald is the Runner Up for North American Lightweight “Power-Concrete Breaking Champion,” “Power-Wood Kick-Breaking Champion,” and “Creative Breaking Champion.” He carries the title of being finalist for ISKA “Speed Breaking Champion,” as well. Among all the other awards and recognitions he received, he earned 3rd place in the ISKA Master Black-Belt Division of Self-Defense in 2004.
After his long, enduring education in the arts of fighting, and his involvement in demanding competitions, he looked back; just to see 25 years of hard work and dedication. In the duration of those 25 years, Donald had been educated in more than 6 disciplines of martial arts, taught different styles of martial arts to a large variety of students, competed in more than 100 full contact tournaments and traveled across Asia and the globe, to North America.
Although Donald H. Tampubolon houses an immense knowledge of martial arts in his body, he did not let his fighting side conquer his life. He was and still is a bright student, who holds many degrees. While in his home country, Indonesia, he completed an Associate Degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor’s in Accounting. However, his learning was not cut short once he left his country. After coming to the United States, he proceeded on to completing a Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA), with a major in Finance and Investments and a minor in Business Law. If you think the list ended there, keep dreaming; Donald is presently going for a Master’s in Applied Mathematics and it will not be a surprise if he goes for another Degree sometime soon.
How can one achieve this you ask? Even if you didn’t ask, the answer is not a simple 1-step or even 3-step method. Before he learned to read and to fight, Donald learned something critical to anyone seeking a better way of living his/her life. He learned the values of discipline, hard work, spirituality, concentration and respect. Learning these important aspects of life helped him increase his capacity for learning new things anywhere and everywhere he went.
Rather than just getting the brutish fighting skills into his mind, Donald also received a great spiritual enlightenment from his training. As he stated, Donald’s training “helped [him] with his education since it not only pushed [his] physical, but also [his] mental capabilities.” Strongly believing in everything he did, with unbreakable dedication brought him to where he is now. When it comes to achieving goals, his advise, simply put and direct, is: “Break the limits and set your goals high. Believe in yourself and work hard; you can certainly achieve all your goals and dreams.” He loves teaching others new things, being the reason why he loves studying and teaching martial arts; he considers martial arts as one of his greatest passions.
“Everybody has the chance to improve in life, however they must not be afraid to fail. Success is not a destination one reaches, but rather a journey one takes.” - Sifu Donald Herbert Tampubolon