Difference between Silat, Kali, Arnis, Eskrima??

Discussion in 'Silat' started by balut, Nov 20, 2003.

  1. Wali

    Wali Valued Member

    Traditoinally, the older silat styles started from the ground. This is still seen today in most Indonesian villages, where they don't come up until a good mastery on ground is achieved.

    There are systems which start upright, but this wasn't always the case. But to not sideline from the topic, my main point was the stressing in differentiating the Silat from the Kali.

  2. krys

    krys Valued Member

    Silat isn't limited to Indonesia :).
    The filipino silat I practice is in my mafamilly for a very long time (we can trace it 11 generations back).

    There are different systems of escrima in the Philippines. I agree most arnis-escrima styles practiced in the Visayas and Luzon feel very different from silat...tactics and teaching have little in common...

    but the systems practiced by the southern muslim filipinos and other non hispanized tribes share some similarities with silat (footwork, blade handling....). Those arts are little known and not, to my knowledge, taught outside the Philippines.
  3. Wali

    Wali Valued Member

    "Those arts are little known and not, to my knowledge, taught outside the Philippines" (I don't know how to quote others in the cool little box!!!)

    This is exactly what I mean. I am reffering to the mainstream US and UK taught Kali, as this bears little resemblance to the Silat which I have been exposed to (which is also very rare and not taught to everyone).

    On my journeys, I have also seen many styles call themselves Silat, which looked more like karate or TKD, so I am talking from a perspective of a pure Silat style that retains its authenticity.

  4. dennisservaes

    dennisservaes New Member

    I would like a diagram and photos of that footwork.
  5. starrider7777

    starrider7777 New Member

    Of course you are right. Technically they are all distinctive. This is true especially when you add the qualifier "traditional". My own training was not traditional by any means. However, I do have some instructional videos that each present Silat and Escrima etc. in more traditonal formats. The differences are far more apparent in these video presentations than from my experiences in the kwoon. In the U.S., especially in "JKD" type environments, all these styles kind of end up being stripped down and hybridized. While this approach is not "pure" to any specific style...its product can still be effective. That's my point. Also, I am quite interested in what you fellows are saying here...I am learning more about the origins and distinction of these things...thanks. :)
  6. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    kali is indonesian? wow! the grand tuhon of pekiti tirsia kali never said so!
  7. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    I've seen this statement several times recently out here on the net. There is a theory that the Pilipino people as we know them today are mostly descended from Indonesians who migrated - the whole story of the seven Datus and such. And there is almost certainly some connection between Filipino and Indonesian MA owing to the fact that both were influenced by the Majapahit empire.

    But to say that "Kali is Indonesian" is a bit of a stretch in my estimation. They share common roots, of course. But over the past 700+ years they've had very different influences and have evolved into pretty different arts - though some individual systems are very similar to each other. The two do usually mesh and compliment each other very well, though :)

  8. dennisservaes

    dennisservaes New Member

    I agree with you Mike, that Kali is not Indonesian. The Kriss was brought by the Muslims and was traded or taken in skirmish, and the Spanish refered to enemies using the blade as Moros. What is referred to as Kali in my oppinion is ancient Filipino Martial Arts, however, that term did not exist until recently according to my research, it is an abreviated version of Tajakalili or Kalis or some other word. The word Morro didn't come around until the arrival of Spanish to name the new and old enemy warriors Morros.
    Train hard and have fun!
    Guro Dennis Servaes

    P.S. I have a group http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/csemt/ and it has been dormant for a few days, but everyone can join and discuss FMA, and other stuff.
  9. Wali

    Wali Valued Member

    I have to say that the Kriss was an Indonesian weapon before Islamic influence, and is most closely traced back to the Vaedic influences.

  10. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    there are several different types of krises. several are indigenous only to filipino muslims.
  11. Wali

    Wali Valued Member

    I think you will find these aren't Silat Krisses, so to speak. By this I mean they dont have some of the key aspects of the traditional Silat Kriss, other than the blade. My point was that the Kriss knife was in Indonesia well before ANY established religion set there.

    As you are aware, the whole area is a very blade oriented place, and there was lots of travel and trade, and influences between regions took place over many years, so there will be similarities.
  12. krys

    krys Valued Member

    Krisses are used in filipino silat.... their design may be different from those of Indonesian krisses but they still are traditional weapons for filipino muslims.

    I am not an expert on Indonesian weapons but believe the Indonesian kriss is usuallly smaller and primarly used for stabbing while filipino krisses are normaly larger slashing weapons.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2004
  13. Crucible

    Crucible Valued Member

    do you mean literally or contextually?
    Can you state what your references for this are? I'm pretty uninformed about Tajakalili, what it looks like, where its practicied, when it existed, and who the people are/where who used it. Thanks.
  14. dennisservaes

    dennisservaes New Member

    An old man at a tournament in October of 1992 said he never ever heard the term "Kali" anywhere in the Philippines, and that he thinks it is BS unless it came from the word Tajakalili. You can find reference to the term Tajakalili in several books. The old man said that Mindano and Sulu did some Silat, but no Kali and that Escrima was the Generic term used. Also many kinds of Arnis. But NO Kali. Ted Lucaylucay's Dad I think his name was Lucky was at the same event, but only chuckled about that. He didn't comment. In an interview at http://www.cdfacademies.com/interview_with_ted_lucaylucay.htm Ted Lucaylucay says the following, "The only real Kali School at that time was the Villabralle in Hawaii. Largusa Kali in San Francisco and Dan Inosanto’s school. Everyone else was studying Escrima and Arnis." I have spoken to numerous people that would not lie to me and they confirm that Kali was probably coined by the Villabralle group from the word Tajakalili.

    I don't know of anyone using the term Tajakalili either.

    I met someone that named his art the Lapulapu Escrima system, and said that it was a family art and that his father had been in numerous death matches and was also a boxer and never defeated in the Philippines. I asked, "really?" His Mom and Dad confirmed his story, but I knew he was inventing a story. He has scince then come up with another version of that story and renamed his system. In sales packaging is important, but so is honesty.

    Train hard and have fun!
    Guro Dennis Servaes

  15. Grind

    Grind New Member

    I have to agree, I am loving this discussion - and feel very lucky to be able to read the views of westerners and filipinos alike.

    Is is fascinating for me to read this, as I am at the complete other end of the spectrum from these discussions. I have been practising JKD concept arts for 7 years now - and as you know Guro Inosanto has had a massive influence over JKD concept arts since Bruce Lee's death.

    Many things I have studied over the years are of filipino origin, but were just named kali silat for ease and convenience, and now after reading this post I am beginning to understand why! So until very recently I had no idea about the origins of the movements that I have learned, be they kali silat escrima or arnis - recently I asked my Sifu what the silat we studied was called and he replied Bukit Negra and Kuntao. I now believe that IF it IS kuntao, it is not the 'real' kuntao of Mindanao origin - but more likely a newer, less secretive hybrid.

    I am happy to keep learning as I am, and will always endevour to find out more about Fma.s!
  16. Crucible

    Crucible Valued Member

    Grind, who is your guro?
  17. Grind

    Grind New Member

    PM'd you mate, otherwise we're shooting off topic a bit if we're getting into instructors chat...that's a different thread I believe lol :Angel:
  18. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    Guro Inosanto is a very humble man and doesn't put himself forward, so it's up to some of the rest of us to do it :cool: He has taken his martial arts base to places that the late Mr. Lee probably never even thought of. It's a function of time and dedication.

    The word Kun Tao can mean a lot of things depending on where you are. In Indonesia it's the Chinese martial arts as practiced in the Malay world. So for some value of the word "Kuntao" the original Kuntao isn't from Mindanao.
  19. Crucible

    Crucible Valued Member

    "Original" is a funny topic, I think its more a case of there being several forms of kuntao throughout the malay world that are distinct from one another. In Malaysia they are systems that have no chinese influence, they're considered purely silat, and they've adopted kuntao/kuntau into their name. BTW, one could read from your post that Mindanao isn't part of the malay world. Dunya Melayu Nusantara(the malay diaspora) spreads from Madagascar off the coast of Africa, through southern Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines. Mindanao is part of the malay world and kuntao practiced there is as indigenous as it is any where else in the nusantara.
  20. Crucible

    Crucible Valued Member

    I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to respond to you here, it does pertain a little to the topic. I often ask people on forums such as these who their instructor is because it gives me an idea of their background as it pertains to the topic. Example you mentioned JKD, I know of two well known JKD instructors who have spent some time learning combatives from the southern P.I.. How much they actually were shown I have know idea, but I do know they either spent time in the southern Philippines or with a genuine pesilat.

    BTW, I get a lot of PMs. So I prefer in most circumstances to communicate on the public forums. My mailbox tends to fill up pretty quick.

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