Discussion in 'Silat' started by Kertas, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Kertas

    Kertas Valued Member

    Salams all, Goodday, hello..

    What is the main reason for Indonesian Silat not using the Keris as weapon. Ive heard variations of reasons, one being that the Keris was regarded as a talisman and was more symbolic of status or if it was used for fighting, it was only used as last resort due to its magical powers.

    I have not trained with keris under any of my indonesian teachers, and one of my Javanese friends told me that the Keris has no significance in his silat except for its physical use in fighting.

    On the other hand, the malaysians i have trained with hold the keris in much higher regard and physically train with the keris, still observing much respect for this weapon.

    Id like to hear your thoughts.

  2. Kertas

    Kertas Valued Member

    Id like to add... yesterday I was asked why Malay weapons look so wierd (Kujang, Celurit, Keris, Kerambit)... I said "its to strike fear into an assailants heart" LOL i just made that up..

    was also asked why the Keris has a wavy blade. i said it represents a moving serpant (Naga) and the straight keris, a still serpent. This i read on some keris website which i cannot recall. Can any knowledgable person on the subject please enlighten me, or any other fellow pesilats about the subject.
    Talking about Naga, how did this term creep up into silat? Naga = Dragon? Chinese or Hindu influence?
    Excuse my ignorance... they say half of knowledge is in good questioning.
  3. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    In my family, specific keris are pusaka. They are revered heirloom represents the link between generations (to the past). So in this sense there is a sacredness about them that is more than the object.

    Also it is a symbol of power and spirit. Sure they can be used as any object can be used ... but very bad etiquette when other tools are more appropriate.

    Naga (pronouced naw-gaw in Kawi) is from Sanskrit and hence in Kawi. Kawi is ancient Javanese and has its roots in Sanskrit. So yes the influence from Hindu is there. Naga means serpent ... but can also mean dragon in the sense that dragons are serpents I suppose.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  4. nasigoreng

    nasigoreng Valued Member

  5. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    I read an ancient text recently but now cant locate it, it was about the use of weapons in battle in Indonesia. The weapons were listed in order of usefulness and importance in battle.
    The Keris was near the bottom of the list showing that to ancient Indonesians the Keris was considered a poor weapon for battle.

    The Keris is a talisman really and you can see similar knives in Thailand used to frighten away evil spirits and keep your home safe from negative energys.

    The isi or spirit in the blade is said to protect its owner and bring good luck i.e. the keris is see as a living thing.
  6. Wali

    Wali Valued Member

    Battlefield... long blades... arrows... mayhem..... a little Kris just doesn't cut it (pun intended).
  7. nasigoreng

    nasigoreng Valued Member

    The keris is more a status marker than a weapon.

    but they could become very practical close range weapons when the blade is coated with arsenic or some other kind of poison.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  8. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    The real power of the Keris is simply not to be scoffed at.

    [ame=""]‪Keris Pusaka milik Tabib Mohammad Dwi‬‏ - YouTube[/ame]
  9. Kertas

    Kertas Valued Member

    Ah, thanx/trima kasih evry1 for your thoughts. I think the most prominent opinion amongst all my malaysian friends is that the keris is or was meant to be a talisman. Has anyone heard about Tok Janggut? Theres sum story i heard about him and his fighters throwing Keris against the chinese enemy and the keris actualy flew like a target-locked missile killing them.
    One of my first silat teachers told me he personaly killed a djinn with his keris. Myth or fact? You take your pick, but the people i heard these stories frm were realy convincing..
  10. pakarilusi

    pakarilusi Valued Member

    I am a Malay Pesilat in Malaysia.

    I have done 3 different Silat Styles (Harimau Berantai, Cekak Hanafi and my Family's style...) till now, also TKD, JKD and BJJ. (I KNOW, WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS... ;) )

    While I revere the Keris as my great Cultural inheritance, I totally believe that its "magical talismatic" qualities are highly overrated. And I've done the whole ritualistic approach to Silat with all the bathing, chanting, bertapa and such...

    If it gives confidence to some (or most), great... But the Keris is a personal defense close quarters weapon. I personally believe that we do it and Silat a disservice by putting it on an altar so high that we never train with it as such. A weapon.

    NOT the best weapon in the world but a good weapon nonetheless when in the right hands. It won't work if those hands are constantly holding limes and kemenyan incense though... ;)

    Just my opinion though.
  11. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    In my opinion, beliefs and conventions about the keris belong to a past era just as do the stories about Excalibur and The Lady of the Lake.
    Also the keris is peculiar to a cultural subset of a much wider group. Not all who practice a silat of one flavour or another actually have the keris as part of their cultural accoutrement.
    Those who truly do value the cultural and spiritual significance of their keris are unlikely to talk about it on a public forum for martial arts. :)

    BTW, the keris is not to silat as the katana is to iaido!
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  12. pakarilusi

    pakarilusi Valued Member

    But that's my point Rebo...

    Those who truly do value the cultural and spiritual significance of their keris are unlikely to talk about it on a public forum for martial arts.

    It is put on too high an altar for just something made from wood and iron.

    I don't believe in the mumbo jumbo regarding the Keris, ANY Keris...

  13. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    I wasn't arguing with you :)


    My natural predisposition is that I agree with you. However we are stating this subjectively ... correct?

    I have found in life that belief's are not conducive to debate. Especially core beliefs. As much as we can, we live and let live.

    Rahayu ... which means salam sejahtera! As always.
  14. pakarilusi

    pakarilusi Valued Member

    We are in agreement... :)

    Salam sejahtera.. :)
  15. Kertas

    Kertas Valued Member

    I agree too. Take away the keris from a pendekar, and you'l see the power behind the metal and wood. Amazing what true silat masters can achieve without the keris.
    0ff topic: pakalursi, can u explain bertapa? Wher did this practice originate from?
  16. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    That guy in the vid, I would like to go to his shop.

    "I'm just visiting your wonderful country and was looking for a suitable souvenir to take home, can you suggest anything?"

    Oh yes I have many keris with big magics inside :)
  17. pakarilusi

    pakarilusi Valued Member

    To Kertas (why paper yah? :) )...

    I certainly am no authority on the history of "bertapa"....

    Basically, to be in seclusion in a cave or wilderness has been practised by hermits, monks, warriors, sages etc. for thousands of years...

    From my experience however, in Silat, it is more a test of willpower by the Guru to see his student's mental fortitude. In a nutshell that is... ;)

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