Can you have Silat without the deep spiritual aspect?

Discussion in 'Silat' started by US Martial, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. US Martial

    US Martial New Member

    Hi all,

    I have been toying with the idea of getting back into martial arts again (after quite a long hiatus). I have had varying experiences with Silat schools, and I would to ask two really simple questions, which I am hoping you can all help with:

    1. Are all silat schools and teachings intrinsically linked with the spiritual aspect of the art?
    2. Are there any schools in the London area which purely teach the art, based on it's martial side, rather than the internal/spiritual side of the art?

    Thanks in advance, for any help you can give.
  2. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Silat does have that aspect to it, but the best bet is to "zone" it out as background noise or color. I do not need to believe in chi to benefit from taiji practice, nor be Christian to train under Matt Hughes: if you can tolerate what you do NOT want to adopt then you stand to learn a lot from the less prosaic aspects

    Certainly being based in the UK you will probably find slightly less emphasis on the esoteric anyway
  3. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Short answer is yes. Also, Kali is essentially the same thing. As similar as two arts can be tbh.
  4. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

  5. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    this guy is also one of my best friends godfather! small world
  6. US Martial

    US Martial New Member

    Hi all,

    Thank you so much for all of your fast replies, it is much appreciated. The reason I posed the question is because I have had some hits and misses with previous Silat instructors, and didn't want to go through some of that again; I won't elaborate as that isn't the intention of this post.

    Van Zandt, that is great news for me, thanks so much. And also good to have recommendations from key people on MAP.

    I am going to give it a try with Alvin; it looks like he's got a really good structure to his teachings too. I have to admit, this has reignited my excitement for martial arts again.

  7. Purespite

    Purespite Valued Member

    One of Alvin's instructors is doing a Harimau seminar in London in Feb so you could probably get a taste there.

    There is also Satria Fighting Arts in Richmond which is Steven Benitez, Alvin's old teacher.

    From memory there is also a Harimau group in Tottenham as well.

    P.S. I have a friend who trains in SBL (and I've trained in something similar) and it's great - conditioning is a killer though.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  8. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    A little bit to the north there is also Pukulan Pentjak Silat Bukti Negara classes, given by Byron Banton in the city of Rugby which strictly focusses on the martial side of thing. He is a very experienced boxer who made the switch to the indonesian styles.

    Whilst the Satria Fighting Arts work from the ground up (learning the techniques on the ground first), Bukti Negara starts from standing up and going into the groundwork later.

    Not saying that one or the other is better, just a different approach to it.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  9. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    But to be honest the deep spiritual aspect is linked to all real traditional silat styles. Some teachers only prefer not to focus on it, since some of the aspects don't blend in that well in Western culture
  10. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Yeah, generally here in the UK (and even in European countries with a strong Silat community like Holland) you're going to be taught by Western instructors who probably won't buy in to Silat's spiritual side. Even if you do get taught by an Indo teacher, they're probably going to be Muslim, which means they'll go easy on animalistic traditions.
  11. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    It's good to stay grounded and not float around too much in the air when it's about these (spiritual) subjects. However i'm not saying it's all total nonsense Probably 98% is, but not all.

    Funnily a good hit to the chin makes mince meat of most spiritual practitioners, even when they are in some sort of trance, so best to train your hits and defenses against people, and leave the mumbo jumbo out of the equation.

    For the record, when you talk in Holland about 'Indo' it usually means that you are of mixed descent, so mostly Dutch and Indonesian combined, I should know , I am one ;)
    Indo's in Holland are very rarely muslim, mostly christian.
    Indonesians however are a different story. Originally Indonesia was known for their syncretic beliefs, mixing parts of several spiritual and religious practices. This somewhat changed during the last 50 years or so. Sadly some people have us make believe that Silat is an art which is Islamic by origin.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 7, 2016
  12. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Saya tau, istriku dari Bandung :D
  13. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    Silat strong connection to animism and magical beliefs make it very much the opposite of an "islamic" art
  14. US Martial

    US Martial New Member

    I've experienced the negative side of overly spiritual/religious teachers; each to their own, but it's not something I am willing to be pulled back into after those experiences. I know silat can be a great art when taught by a good teacher, and I have a hunch that it's unlikely to ever be 100% devoid of a spiritual or religious aspect (be that animalistic, monotheistic, or polytheistic etc), but I'd just like to train the physical art.

    I appreciate all of your insights and experience, thanks again.
  15. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Good points made, Taoizt. But please try to remember MAP's policy on masked profanity. Thanks.
  16. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    There are both animist, Islamic, and catholic forms of silat. In Indonesia their is a deep belief in the magic of silat even among notionally Islamic people. It might be hard to find a secular silat teacher because of the strong roll played by the different religions in Indonesian and in the culture of silat.
  17. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    Sadly this makes Silat also a bit 'vague' for westerners, while Silat can be super practical and realistic. The 'vague' part can also be an excuse to keep students busy and make them loose part of their own identity
  18. kuntaoer

    kuntaoer Valued Member

    Most of the silat and kuntao instructors I have met and trained with over the years have not placed a heavy emphasis if any at all religious aspects on thetraining.. I have trained in the Philippines and have trained with in the states with different silat instructors where the emphasis was on the training and not the religious aspects
  19. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    In the States you mainly get in contact with the western forms of silat which is mainly focussed on the physical parts of silat. Also in seminars you will never see any spiritual stuff, it's just not meant to be shared in seminars. In Holland most silat is also focussed on the physical parts , however there is some links to the spiritual parts here as well. In Indonesia the spiritual parts are there, it's undeniable.
    Most people in the west only receive partial transmission in the art. It's the same as what happened in Japan and China
  20. Dylan9d

    Dylan9d Valued Member

    I never experienced the spiritual side of Silat.

    In Luton there is Glenn Lobo with Silat Lincah and his own blend of Pukulan Langkah Mati.

    I think hes a good teacher, not sure how far away he is since im not that well known with UK.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016

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