Inside Kung fu Article

Discussion in 'Silat' started by serakmurid, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    Be that as it may Steve, even though I do not study Serak, I believe the constant bickering on the forum does indeed reflect on all of us.

    I meant no offence by my post, but merely tried to point out how may look to the non-Serak pesilats.

    For other MAists who do not study Silat might not make the distinction between styles. Those perusing this forum may indeed draw the conclusion that us Pesilats are constantly falling out due to internal politics. Who could blame them? Many threads regardless of the original title seem to get hijacked and politicised.

    In the UK we have a saying too. "Do not air your dirty washing in public"

    Edit: By the way, I think that most other Silat perguruan outside the USA and in particular outside VDT Serak, are pretty much aware of at least some of these issues ;)
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2006
  2. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    MAP is an English speaking forum, thanks

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2006
  3. Steve Perry

    Steve Perry Valued Member

    Dirty Laundry

    And I wasn't offended, merely responding that if you think it is a problem, by joining the fray, you become part of it. I'm not against you jumping right in, more power to you. But you don't make it better by telling us to shut up and then do what you say we are doing ...

    Yep, it looks ****y from outside, but there are real issues here. Some of the folks who have made mistakes or gotten stung are passing stuff along in the hope that it might prevent other folks from suffering the same fate.

    Some of us who didn't do anything at all suddenly found ourselves being vilified for no reason at all.

    I don't claim to have the only line to Truth; what I can say is, we up in our little backwater of silat (taught in the rear of an unheated and uncooled metal shop, and before that, either a garage or backyard) were happily minding our own business when all of a moment we started getting worlds of crap tossed in our direction.

    There are only a relative handful of us -- my teacher doesn't do this to make his living. But he is very good as a player and a teacher, and in some quarters, this apparently gives rise to insecurities.

    One of the basic principles of our branch of Sera is that we don't back up much. When attacked, whether by word or deed, we feel that we are allowed to defend. I'm not much of a fighter -- too old, too slow -- but I can hold my own with a keyboard, and so I step in where I can help.

    But they can read. I pointed out a factual error in an article. I explained why I thought it was wrong, and then I elaborated, pointing out that there was an unstated agenda that might be responsible for what seems, from where I sit, to be a pattern of such things.

    Nobody has to believe it. But I felt the need to say it, and make it as clear as I could.

    Do I think that Ed Martin was out to get us in his article? No. I expect he took what he was told about base-angle-leverage at face value, and no reason why he shouldn't. Be that as it may, it was still wrong. Why would I let it stand, that credit (however small) should be taken from where it was due?

    Yep, we have that saying here, too. And for a long time, none of us in our group said anything about the dirty bedsheets and ship-sails and building covers being waved about in the breeze. But at some point, you reach the end of your patience and get tired of wiping slander off your face. How you get somebody to stop is to call them on it, whenever and wherever it comes up.

    I bear Guru Astle absolutely no ill-will. I understand his position. But I also understand my position. I favor mine.

    And as Winston Churchill joked about ending a sentence in a preposition, this is something up with which I will not put.

    It's a simple enough position to imagine yourself in: Suppose somebody got online and said that your teacher didn't really know the art he claims? That he was a nice enough guy and all, but not really adept as a player or a teacher?

    How would that make you feel?

    I never said that about Pak Vic. I said he has an ... interesting relationship with the truth, but not that he was a crappy player or teacher and that none of his students had ever learned anything.
  4. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    Point taken. Although I really can't see that situation arising.

    So does rising to the bait in public help matters? Better to stay in the shadows ;)

    Anyway, I will leave you guys to it. My interjection was well meant if a little hashly worded. Better for me to back out and not make myself unpopular :love:
  5. Steve Perry

    Steve Perry Valued Member

    What is the Point? Attend ...

    Actually, yeah, I think it does. If you see something with which you disagree and you let it stand, then you can't gripe if people accept and believe it because there was no option.

    I don't think I'm going to change the minds of anybody who is firmly set one way or the other. But maybe somebody who doesn't know will at least see there is more than one side and check around a little more.

    For years, we kept the dirty laundry out of sight, and as a result, there have been folks who blundered in and got wrapped up in the folds unknowingly.

    I'm not insecure about what I'm learning, but I do hate to have folks bad-mouthing it and having people who don't know better think they own the field. They don't.
  6. realitychecker

    realitychecker New Member

    Where's Marjokey?

    It is getting a lot like 'Where's Waldo?' at the VDT Academy. A friend of mine who is under Guru Dan called me over the weekend to tell me that the ROF will be at the Inosanto Academy. What happened to Hawaii? The 'missing link', Pak Marjokey is absent too. It seems that they do not expect to get a big turn out unless they can tie it to Guro Dan. The 'murids' should get a glimpse of real MA from their visit to the Inosanto Academy! Same, old instructors (outside of Guro Dan, who is always exciting) as last year. Go see the Ed Martin crew workout for $250 ? Hmmmm........................................... :confused:
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2006
  7. serakmurid

    serakmurid Valued Member

    ALL I WANTED IS FOR PEOPLE TO READ THE BLINKIN' INSIDE KUNG FU ARTICLE !!!!!! Not start a major faction war. There ain't that many silat articles around, anyhow. Gads, I stopped reading the forum for a few days just to cool down. All of you seem to have taken my info-post as an opportunity to flame me, my teacher and each other. Shame on you!

    Thanks Monyet for the defense I appreciate it! I'll see you hopefully at ROF 2006. Too bad not enough people had deep enough pockets to get to Hawaii (like me), but its great to see the Bellflower PUsat Tjabang and the Inosanto Academy. Pak Vic, he is such a masterful Serak Guru, I am looking forward to seeing him again and Guru Dan, too. I am sure the "Guru Ed martin crew" will be fantastic as always, I do miss all those great murids. I am cheating and having Pak Vic come out to Cortland in the last week of April, too. :D
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2006
  8. realitychecker

    realitychecker New Member


    No one's blaming you for the war, Andrew. As I'm sure you realize, your public announcement of your association to your school and the article put you in the middle of your teacher and some higher level guys like Monyet (who is Ed Martin, and you will see him at ROF) and people who your teacher has made feel in the past like you must have felt on your "couple of days off from the forum". But your last proclamation is typical of the frontline VDT cheerleaders. Play the innocent role, graciously thank anyone who is even close to being sympathetic to your plight. And finally act like you don't possibly know how underhanded things can be in your camp, and play the innocent. If you are going to play the innocent on a martial arts forum, expect to get lit up by someone. Like Mr. Steve Perry said, the old "why can't we all just get along?" thing doesn't cut it here. I'm sure you know this as you trolled forums even back when my teacher knew you. You can look in almost any category in MAP, or any forum, and find indifference. As you found out, there is a lot of that toward the orginization you belong to.

    It is also a total cop out that your teacher can't produce this Marjokey, the missing link that trains Serak(r) in Indonesia. Hell, I might have even dropped the $250 to come see him. The first thing I want to see is how he does his jurus 1 elbow. I heard a rumor that the 45 deg-downward elbow your school holds as THE Serak(r) standard, was actually an addition by another sore spot on the Serak(r) scene from Seatle. And not in any way, shape or form is that particular elbow a functional structure in true Sera because you raise the elbow above the shoulder. If you had a functional understanding, you understand that doing that makes you 'weak'. Have you seen this Marjokey do the same elbow yet?
    Anyway, I don't want to upset you anymore. My Grandparents always told us that it wasn't nice to play with firecrackers next to a flock of Sheep!
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2006
  9. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    Serakmurid, I understand that a lot of this must have come as a shock. If you'll look over the posts by Bobbe and Steve you'll notice that they were careful to stay away from flaming. Realitychecker and Orang Bayangan were a tad less restrained but still confined themselves to pretty reasonable posts considering what has happened to them. Me? I never did get that diplomacy merit badge when I was a Boy Scout. So I just play them as they're dealt.

    The problem is that your teacher has built up a huge reservoir of ill will among every one of his former students with whom I am acquainted and has said things which aren't true and which he knew weren't true. Most of it was to promote himself at the expense of people around him. Combine that with the small size of the online Silat community and the even tinier de Thouars subset. Friction was nearly inevitable, particularly when some of the old lies were repeated.

    Nobody is saying that Guru Victor can't fight, can't teach or doesn't have impressive Silat skills. Some of us have gotten tired of his apparent attempts to declare himself the Pope of Silat and to rewrite history towards that goal. You aren't to blame in any of this. In fact, some of us would think less of you if you didn't defend your teacher. We just feel obliged to set the record straight and correct obvious falsehoods about people we respect.
  10. Bobster

    Bobster Valued Member

    Sorry about that Sarge!!!!
  11. Orang Bayangan

    Orang Bayangan New Member

    Well, I for one feel for you. You obviously had no idea that your teacher has done so much to create such ill will in the Silat community.

    But if you think about it, he did spend years riding rough shod over everyone who would not kowtow to him as the real authority on Silat in the USA.

    You have not been around long enough I would bet, to remember how your teacher and his sycophants did so much disruptive damage to the Pendekar list, which was one of the most valuable resources the Silat community had, that Abu Mansur ended up closing it down. And it was done just so that your teacher could continue his vendetta against William Sanders.

    It is because of actions like these that he has engendered such ill will. Now the worm has turned though and he is getting what he was so willing to give to others.

    So don't be surprised if you get a lot of hostility when you point people to a self serving article that claims Victor has been good for Silat in this country. The truth is quite the opposite, he has brought shame to this community with his antics. Until he is put in the place he really diserves, a short unfortunate footnote in the history of American Silat, it is unlikely that this community will ever be taken seriously.
  12. Steve Perry

    Steve Perry Valued Member

    Um, Guru, all I did was point out an error of fact in the article, and indicate in follow-up postings that this wasn't the first time such errors had crept into print. If you like, I can deconstruct the piece at length and show you a whole bunch of other stuff offered as fact that cannot in any way be proven to be such.

    This is the problem with pronouncements from that branch of the art. There have been many, and many of them are iffy, contradictory, or outright wrong. I am not the first to notice it, nor, I expect will I be the last.

    But show me where I said Pak Vic was a bad silat player or teacher. Or that I flamed you.

    Thing is, if you stand up and say, "Hey ain't this cool?" you might ought to be prepared for folks who maybe don't think it is -- especially when they have good reason to think that.

    You were happy to see a piece about your teacher in print, and nobody blames you for that. And maybe you had no idea there was any contention in the arena of silat Sera(k) in the U.S., though I must confess, I have my doubts about that. Certainly you will know so in the future.

    I respect your view that your teacher has been nice to you.

    You might consider respecting other viewpoints that indicate he wasn't nice to some other folks. And consider if that has any bearing on the matter.
    And if you want to save yourself some grief in the future, consider doing a little research on your own to separate fact from fiction. You might suprised at how much what you think you know doesn't stand up under close inspection.

    Any help I can offer, contact me offline.

    If you'd rather remain blissfully ignorant, that's your right, of course. But if so, you don't get to gripe too loudly if somebody points it out to you down the line.
  13. Orang Jawa

    Orang Jawa The Padi Tribe-Guardian

    Salam Serak murid,
    If you are a murid as you had claimed, then you got to learn to listen and listen to learn.
  14. Sgt_Major

    Sgt_Major Ex Global Mod Supporter

    Thats cool. Just for folks like me who are ignorant of other languages and cant keep up with the conversation :D
  15. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    Besides the thing he said about your uncle, the goat and the melon wasn't meant literally :)
  16. Buddy

    Buddy Valued Member

    "You have not been around long enough I would bet, to remember how your teacher and his sycophants did so much disruptive damage to the Pendekar list, which was one of the most valuable resources the Silat community had, that Abu Mansur ended up closing it down."

    Having been one of those said "sychophants", I'd like to issue a public apology to all concerned. I've already said as much to Pak Tristan so now it goes out to all of you. I'm sorry.
    I was fortunate not to be on the "do not call" list (at least on the website), because I resigned. I'd like to think that there are those who still remember me with some fondness, but I am happy to have just gone back to baguazhang.
    Cheers all,
  17. Orang Jawa

    Orang Jawa The Padi Tribe-Guardian

    Hi Buddy,
    Good to hear from you.
    Life is about choices, freedom to choose the outcomes...
    You are a gentleman, indeed.
  18. Orang Bayangan

    Orang Bayangan New Member

    Blue Badui, White Badui, Grey Badui?

    There was one passage in the article I found quite interesting. The writer said

    So what are the implications here? Is the author suggesting that Sarak has an extraterrestrial origin? Ore does Sarak fight along ley lines as is suggested by "It contains knowledge and understanding of the earth's magnetic forces"?

    Are the Badui supposed to be aliens? If so from where? I am also interested in the figure "more than 2,500 years" as the archeology of the region does not seem to bear this out.

    Are the Badui descendants of the Grays? Or are they perhaps the last remnant population from Lemuria?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    (This is not directed at the non-extraterrestrial styles of Serak)
  19. Monyet Nakal

    Monyet Nakal Valued Member

    I’m sorry everyone for once more adding to this thread and keeping it alive. I was quite done with it and I know the majority of you are well sick of it but there is some direct, personal misinformation that I feel I should address so if you have not been following this thread than there’s really no great insight in this post, but if you have been following this thread please read the following clarification to an earlier post.

    You can go ahead and stop smugly patting yourself on the back all over this thread realitychecker. I can assure you that I am not Mas Ed Martin. He is a phenomenal martial artist and an incredible instructor so I would normally be quite flattered that you might confuse me for him (were your designs not an attempt to ridicule) but sadly you are nowhere near the “great ‘net detective” you assume yourself to be. So kindly come down off your high horse. You haven’t “gotten my number” and your gleefully exuberant attempts to lord your mistaken conclusion over me are laughable.

    The missive you quote had been censored before I was able to read your post, but I believe I know the one you are citing. Perhaps in the future you might wish to validate your theories about a person’s identity before publicly reprinting personal communications or even posts from a private forum? Although then again perhaps you really wouldn’t as I don’t actually think you really care one iota as to whether I am the author or not and were merely looking for a handy justification to spread some further malice. Not that it really matters in regards to this thread, but I have met this Mr. J. R. on several occasions and based on my personal impression of him I would not be able to come up with a bad thing to say about him. He struck me as a very nice guy and an eager student of Indonesian martial arts and well-worthy of your unnecessary defense of him in this venue.

    If it seems that I am going out of my way to keep pointing out that my personal feelings about people and courses of though mentioned in this thread might differ from those implied by others, well that’s because I am, but I am also being honest. It seems redundant to keep saying but many of the former students of Pak Vic’s that have been cited in this thread are people that I have met and hold genuine admiration for. I was sorry to see them go. So you see if, as you seem to be under the impression, I was genuinely blindly followed the party line I would not be giving my personal feeling on these matters I would be recounting someone else’s position. I’m sure all the people listed have their personal reasons for leaving and their own version as to how they left just as Pak Vic had his personal reasons for asking them to leave. As such I abide by my teacher’s wishes and do not professionally associate with them but I still maintain my personal impressions or even admirations of them. So attempt to be reasonable when you re-read my posts and I believe that you will find no “cheerleading,” “flag-waving” or rote repetitions of company rhetoric located in them.

    I think I see the reason why you are so mistaken as to my identity. Apparently you did not read any of my posts. If you had you would have noticed that nowhere in this thread do I refer to myself as a “senior” in the system (nor did Mas Andrew for that matter) nor do I spread these “shoveled ‘sheep’ lies” you accuse me of and, in fact, I have pointedly refused to comment on rumors and situations that I have no first-hand knowledge of. That's okay I don't mind repeating myself, much.

    So are you telling me that I should feel shame if I tell interested and curious people like MarcusKnight that I have learned a tremendous amount from my studies under Pak Vic, that it has been a very positive influence on my life or that Serak is a tremendous and potent fighting system? Which one of those statements is the untruth that I am perpetuating? Is the VDT Academy the only pentjak silat organization who is required to promote their association with full disclosure of all past internal and external controversies, or is there some new global silat policy of voluntarily airing your dirty laundry to the public in order to justify every single complimentary statement made that apparently other schools have not been made privy to? I understand that you feel you need to have your opinions voiced but suggest you allow logic to take occassional precedence over your emotions or it might lead to just the sort of double standards you are advocating. If there is a statement that I have made here that paints some magical and rosy picture, that is not simply a statement of my own experience, please quote it back to me. If you are saying that I am obliged to give all opinions especially those that are counter to my organization, well even if I was psychic enough to know all of those opinions, I would feel no such obligation. There are plenty of others who have personal experience and have attempted to make those points here and most much more eloquently than you have. I have faith that MarcusKnight is an intelligent man and capable of making his own informed decisions.

    Just in that same manner, and as I have previously stated, I feel no need to justify statements not made by myself nor will I answer questions that you feel it necessary to attempt to blindside me with, especially when your sole purpose in the asking is sarcasm. But you’ve already read all about that in my previous, and meticulously investigated posts, right? So why then do you insist on asking these probingly curious questions? Do you really expect that I have vast personal knowledge or that I will give you a date and location when Pak Vic will address every single issue that you might personally have with him? No. So why ask me these questions? Because obviously you are simply being transparently rhetorical, sarcastic and more than a little petty. Hey, I’m sure that brand of argumentative style has worked for you and successfully baited folks in the past; I just choose not to play that portion of the game.

    Oh yeah...

    Just so I am not mistaking you, are you advocating that no pentjak silat instructors should commit the great and terrible sin of attempting to make a living using their knowledge in this modern world, or just the ones the you personally disagree with? You might look around and notice that we, at least those of us here in the country you and I share, do not live in small, collaborative villages where a gifting economy might thrive or even survive. If you are implying that Pak Vic’s pricing structure is remarkably higher than those of other martial artists of his or even lesser caliber, well then I suggest you take a more rational survey with a more realistic definition of “too much” other than “more than none.”
  20. Orang Jawa

    Orang Jawa The Padi Tribe-Guardian

    Salam Andrew and Monyet Nakal,
    I admired your both for your loyalty to your teacher.
    Everyone assumes something. We could not function if we did not. We assume the the sun rises in the east, we assume that thunder follows lightning. We are not llikely to be harmed by your reliance on these assumptions, even though assumptions, they are. But what of assuming that a man loves his wife? The teacher teaching for the love of the art and not for the money. That a teacher knows the right course of action? Well, here, as the saying goes, proceed with caution. And the best way to do that is to limit the number of assumptions you make.

    We must of course, embrace a whole panoply of assumptions if we are to set one foot before the other. This approach is fine when the assumption is one that has proven itself since time immemorial and is based upon a substantial body of knowledge, knowledge that we have every reason to continue to regard is true.

    But when the assumption is one for which you have no independently gained experience and when the consequences of failed assumption are significant and costly, you should not subsitute someone else's experience and knowledge for your own.
    And I could be wrong too.

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