Do public exhibitions of Tenaga Dalam harm Silat's image?

Discussion in 'Silat' started by RedBagani, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. RedBagani

    RedBagani Valued Member

    Several martial arts have the equivalent of Tenaga Dalam exhibitions and I have personally witnessed several such as walking on glass, being run over by a car, getting hit without getting hurt. I watched these spectacles of mind- or spirit-over-matter with awe. The most bizarre exhibitions were performed by Silat practitioners, such as eating light bulbs, cooking eggs on the top of the head.
    I have heard and read that some people feel that such exhibitions hurt the image of martial arts. Some view them as circus tricks or magic shows. Others, on the other hand, think that these are legitimate demonstrations of human potential and power.
    What do you guys think?
  2. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    I think it DOES harm the image of any art in the eyes for those intelligent enough to rationalise what they are seeing. Sadly those people are in the minority and many will fall for these cheap circus tricks :(
  3. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    It depends if what you see are genuine displays done simply to look good (XMA fighters showing off) or if it is a cheap ass trick to draw in students such as breaking a breeze block thats been cut.
  4. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    So far they've hurt it. I've seen a few of these demonstrations. Most were carnival tricks, old hat to anyone who's read "The Flying Circus of Physics" or followed James Randi. The threadbare rationalizations when they're asked to demonstrate under controlled conditions are painfully familiar, too. The "I will point at my student and he will fall over" stuff is even worse.

    On the other hand, I've seen some really impressive stuff. But it was shown privately and not used as a huckster's ploy.
  5. Ular Sawa

    Ular Sawa Valued Member

    There is so much in the art of Silat to demonstrate that "tricks" like these do damage the image of the art. This is especially true in the west where most people don't understand it anyway. Silat is competing against "imports" on the home front so why not show people what it's really all about.

    On the other hand, cooking an egg on the top of the head could be handy if someone missed breakfast....
  6. Kiai Carita

    Kiai Carita Banned Banned

  7. rizal

    rizal Valued Member

    by your description, i think what you saw is an art exhibition known as 'Debus'. Debus is basically not different with other kinds of shows like Chinese's Dragon (Barongsai), Warok Ponorogo, and Shaolin Exhibitions.
    in my opinion, it will not harm silat. Pencak Silat is much more of that. But it might make people misunderstood Silat and expect to be able to do those things quickly.
  8. Ular Sawa

    Ular Sawa Valued Member

    The misunderstanding Silat was the point I was trying to make about how these types of demonstrations can damage the image of the art. If you are showing people who don't understand what Silat is, then why would you not show them the types of things that students actually practice in classes. Of course your system of Silat may actually train to cook an egg on top of your head but that was never taught in a classs I attended. Pencak Silat is much more than that so why not show what it is.......
  9. RedBagani

    RedBagani Valued Member

    How to demonstrate Tenaga Dalam?

    Physical techniques are not the only thing in Silat. Tenaga Salam is also an inherent part of the system. Okay, let's forget about the more bizarre demonstrations. Let us say that we want to demonstrate to the public what the human body-mind-spirit can achieve, which is really amazing if one goes beyond imposed limits. Would strong-man acts be considered good for the art or would it only harm the image of martial arts? By strongman acts, I mean breaking things with genuine skills using real materials, and other stuff that do not involve trickery or illusions.
    The reason I ask is because most of the negative reactions against Tenaga Dalam exhibitions come from the West. In Southeast Asia, exhibitions such as these are regarded as entertaining and even eye-openers. Is this a matter of cultural differences, a faulty paradigm (superstition vs scientific viewpoint), or we really gross? :) :) :)
  10. soulguru

    soulguru New Member

    hmmm.... its obvious abt the 'cultural differences'; regarding the 'faulty paradigm' and the gross stuff, i think its a matter of conjecture, ehehe...

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