Matt Thornton's comments on Silat

Discussion in 'Silat' started by TomFurman, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Sorry I should have been more clear... I was simply trying to point out that people talking about how being willing to kill someone to defend your loved ones is again a fairly extreme situation and is not something that is always going to apply to self defence. If everyone on here has had to kill a couple of folks in their time then your right I'm being naieve but if not then I'd say I have a fair point about people taking discussion of self defence to the extreme unnecessarily.

    Your really not following my logic by the looks of it. I've never said it isn't necessary for a soldier to kill someone when at war. I'm also not arguing that there could never be a time when killing someone is the only option available. My point is that is a very rare situation to be in and to make it seem like your either willing to kill or won't defend yourself properly is a false dilemma.

    But you still haven't killed anyone and yet you have implied that you've been in many life threatning situations. This would seem to support rather than contradict my suggestion that self defence rarely involves killing your attacker.

    As I said I was playing devil's advocate majoritively because I think we are still talking about uncommon events as if they happen everyday. The reason you find me flippant and disingenuous is because I'm not agreeing with you. I think by now it should be abundantly clear I'm not saying 'my chosen martial art rocks... you all suck!'. All I am saying is that people seem to be overexagerrating a bit... I grew up in a city known for being dangerous. I've had family members and friends who have been the victims of violence and tradgically a few who have been killed. I've experienced some bad situations in my time too so it's not like I have no idea that bad things can happen. However, despite all this I've still never come across anyone in my life who has had to kill their attacker in a self defence scenario (although I have come across many people talking about how they would!). I've met people who have beaten the crap out of attackers or been badly wounded when defending themselves but again no-one whose had to kill. I suspect you will tell me how safe and secure my childhood in Belfast was and how the rest of the world is much worse but actually I don't think thats quite true. If you only look at the extremely dangerous cities you maybe right but America isn't as a whole a dangerous place to live.

    I don't really know what you mean now. I don't want to start my own school nor do I consider myself an expert on self defence. Im just pointing out problems I see with certain arguments being made here. Also, I've lived 'on my own' since I left Belfast when I was 18 which was over 5 years ago. You can keep playing the 'I'm older therefore my arguments win' card if you like but really I don't see why you need to if your arguments are already valid.

    Again maybe this is all down to perspective where are you living now that you find danger on every corner? I am genuinely curious. Is this genuinely a concern for everyone living in the US? In the UK knife crime is becoming more of a worry but that is overblown by the media (and NO Im not saying it doesn't happen but just that fatal stabbings are on the news for a reason i.e. because they are out of the ordinary!).

    P.S. If it helps make my position a bit clearer I actually agree with most of Steve Perry's post above.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  2. kerambit

    kerambit New Member

    I agree with his post completely too, so what's the point (at all) of what you're saying? I'd say that you have a visceral or philosophical dislike to my attitude about self defense. A lot of people do. I think it's the idea of it they don't like, the whole lack of fair play aspect of it.

    You seem to be on some sort of moral high horse, frankly. You seem to have this sort of incredulous attitude. You may not know what things are like in many parts of the United States and other parts of the world.

    I could go on and on and on about things that have happened, that have happened to me, that I've seen happen to friends, that I've heard about happening to people of my acquaintance who are women, guys, cops, private citizens, et cetera.

    Over time, you may agree with me more or less, or your opinion may not change from where it is at 23.

    There I go again playing the life experience card.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  3. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    I also do apologise if Im taking the thread off topic. I just find this discussion interesting. Overall I think Matt Thornton was over exagerrating and generalising but I think most people on here probably agree with his sentiments aboute effective training. Maybe I'm wrong but I think there is more common ground than people care to admit.

    EDIT: kerambit if you find it impossible to discuss something with people younger than you then please don't feel obliged to continue. I have taken on board your claim that in 10 years time I will see your wisdom. I think its complete rubbish but hey what do I know I am afterall younger than you.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  4. kerambit

    kerambit New Member

    I don't like saying this, but you're coming off as both self-righteous and chirpy. Like it or not, it's something I very often hear from my students who are 20-25.

    I don't hear it very often from my student who's a guard at a federal prison. I don't hear it from my female students who study with me for a reason. Could it be that they know something about the world that you don't?

    That's all.

    I do think that Thornton couldn't possibly have meant what he was saying. I think a lot of what that guy does is bluster designed to generate controversy and attract people to his gym. He's been doing it for years, come to think of it.
  5. Cuchulain4

    Cuchulain4 Valued Member

    Age isnt a factor here. There are 20 year olds who have seen far more in their life than people 3 times their age. Circumstance, and enviorment are what matters. Otherwise all people 40+ would be carrying knives.
  6. Cuchulain4

    Cuchulain4 Valued Member

    i get the feeling that what he said has been taken out of context.

    I got from the quote that he was saying that, there is a reason you dont see some of the more "exotic" techniques found in some systems used in sport, and i can see the logic in that.

    I dont think he was attacking silat as a whole, just using it as an example... of course i could be wrong.
  7. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    I don't take chirpy as an insult and the self-righteous thing I would fire right back at you. It really gets on my nerves when people feel the need to criticise the character of someone who disagrees with them rather than respond to their arguments- look at your posts see how many times you've insulted me then look at mine and notice I've actually never insulted you just your arguments! It also annoys me when people characterise arguments against them as 'flippant', 'disingenuos', 'self righteous' and so on but somehow fail to see the irony of regarding their own opinions as beyond reproach!

    If you feel like continuing answering some of the following might help clarify things:

    - Where do you live that you feel the dangers you have described are everyday dangers (I've asked this several times, if you don't want to answer feel free to say that but it might help me understand where your coming from)?
    - Why have you not killed anyone if the self defence situations (which you seem to be frequently in) are usually a matter of kill or be killed?
    - Do you think Belfast is not a dangerous city?
    - I have had friends and family injured and killed and still don't agree with you... does that not suggest to you that maybe its not a matter of more experience (i.e. you are right and I will eventually learn) but a matter of opinion (i.e. your mentality may actually not be the only mentality people can legitimately have on this topic)?

    Quite likely they do though I would also imagine it has something to do with like minded people being attracted to particular classes. If you were introduced to a number of individuals from similiar professions who agreed with my sentiment would you change your opinion or simply think they are wrong? Also, do you actively seek out alternative views to your own? If not then I'd suggest that might have something to do with why you've not come across many. Then again... maybe where you live now is remarkably dangerous, is it?

    That we can agree on.
  8. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    Right... experience matters and Im not denying that someone older than me probably has had more experiences than me. Im just denying that everyone who reaches the age of over 30 and has some experience with self defence will agree with kerambit.

    Well it's late here anyway so I'm off to bed. I may disagree with you kerambit but I really do enjoy the discussion and same goes for most of the other replies I've read. If Im mucking up the thread or no-one wants to discuss my points then don't worry I wont keep hammering on but I actually think the discussion could be productive if we can get down to discussing the various arguments instead of things like our ages and my pyschological makeup.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  9. bcullen

    bcullen They are all perfect.

    Why just a few months ago I was set upon on my own patio, first one, then another, before I knew it there were more then I could count. They drew first blood but I struck back with a vengeance I crushed the life from one and moved to the next with blinding fury. Once the immediate threat was dispatched I tracked down the stragglers and followed them home. My recon complete I retrieved some chemicals and proceeded to poison the lot of them; the group died down to the last member... :yeleyes:

    Those ants will never bother anyone again. :D (GOTCHA! :p )
  10. rizal

    rizal Valued Member

    Just want to put my own opinion here.
    I think Mr. Thornton POV is somewhat limited. That's because the basic he used is "ANYTHING that works in street/open ground fighting MUST work in the MMA fighting ring".
    Now, I'm a pretty big guy (for asian standard at least). Yet I think it is stupid to let yourself getting cornered, right? See the "Self-Defense" threads in this forum if you don't believe me.
    Is everybode forget about the concept 'elak' or 'hindar' or 'langkah'? It doesn't limit to simply 'disengagement' but also 'maneuvering'. You move to get in a position that is favorable to you AND unfavorable to your opponent. It also means opening/closing/using space (or to adopt US military jargon, the battlespace).
    Does this means silat is uneffective in close quarters? Yes, and no. Some people can use it effectively, some don't. It's the same as other martial arts. Would an MMA fight a sumowrestler in the Dohyo?
    I've seen UFC dan K-1 and I admit, their moves are quite effective. Yet, it is not all there is to martial arts.
    I have some arguments with the proponents of MMA as better than others. In the end, I just smile and drink a cola since my silat helped me a lot and there is all the evidence I need.
  11. Stevebjj

    Stevebjj Grappling Dummy

    I'm not sure if my question was intentionally ignored or just missed, but I am very interested in an answer. Some of the Silat experts here have said that Silat trains for multiple opponents and a few have suggested that you guys train in a realistic manner to counter torture, improvised weapons and other worst case scenario stuff. Please, could you give some details? Someone talked about a "ring champion" who was shot. How would Silat have prepared him differently? Another person talked about AIDS, torture, and rape in a bar, among other worst case scenarios, and suggested that his Silat training got him through that alive. I'm asking how? What specifically does Silat teach that other more common MMA styles don't (MT, boxing, sambo/bjj etc) that prepared you for those situations? And how do you guys go about it?

    It seems relevant to the discussion, because Thornton's comments with Silat relates to your training and it's practical application outside of compliant drills. I'm missing some pieces of the puzzle. Thanks.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2006
  12. Silatyogi

    Silatyogi Valued Member

    having 1 to 8 people attack you at once and try to deal with it and try to come out on top and in control. We often work out like this in my class. It starts off slow and then we work our way up to "anything goes" and we move as much as we can with out killing someone its tough in SIlat to "Spar" full out cause you will hurt someone especially when edges are involved. Not to say its not possible I have done sparring from time to time and I have found that it is very useful to get an "idea" or a sense of what is required in a confrontation. But sparring is usually a friendly roll and not a guy trying to really HURT you or attack you and Kill you rob you or rape you.

    Also we try to throw in a weapon from time to time in the 1 against 8. Another thing is we train outside on concrete, mud, grass, and also we try to train doing everything sitting down as if you are in your car seat, or sitting on a chair , lying down etc.

    Also we work on dealing with getting attacked from your Blindspots, your back, your sides etc. So we have drills like if you are standing talking to someone and you get attacked or you are at ATM machine and you get jacked from sides or from behind and we do it in a way so you have to move based on your environment and scenario.

    I have been in situations where you do not have the room to move in the real world and you end up having to fight extrememly close quarter. NOT every place or environment gives you the chance to have floor space to roll and get a dude in an armbar or to even kick. But you have to be ready for it all.


    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
  13. kerambit

    kerambit New Member

    You should reread that for comprehension, Peisistratos, because that's not what I said. Interesting that you should miss that, given the context.

    I used those as examples of situations that DO happen to people. If you're doing MMA to exclusion, you're not necessarily training for mob scenes. You're not training for knife scenes. You're not training for gun scenes.

    To say that this is paranoia is ridiculous. People live very different lives and their day-to-day circumstances are very different.

    The response to this is "Well, these things don't happen," and so we go around in circles.
  14. oosh

    oosh Valued Member

  15. kerambit

    kerambit New Member

    Oosh: It would have been more accurate for me to say that kali in the phillippines, or the collection of arts loosely called kali in the west, has incorporated various elements of silat, to varying degrees depending on the region or style.

    Interesting links.
  16. Steve Perry

    Steve Perry Valued Member


    In no particular order:

    Silat as we learn it teaches you to assume your opponent has a weapon, even if you can't see it. In the U.S., that generally means a gun or a knife, and if somebody sideswipes your car, that is irritating in the extreme, but if you think he has a piece, that makes a difference in how you approach the situation.

    We have a lot of road-rage here; if a guy cuts you off, it isn't the best idea to give him the finger -- because he might be armed.

    Want to see a a bunch of very polite people? Go to a gun show in a state where concealed handgun carry is allowed. You know every other guy in the place is packing.

    Get the license number and call the police is a better option. At the least, be on the look out for a weapon and at first sight, move away, fast.

    In silat, we learn drills and exercises with compliant partners, and we practice these until we can do them without hurting them or ourselves too much, and then we start to add speed and power and take away the compliance. We do spar, and in our group, we wear mouthguards and grappling gloves (sometimes boxing gloves, for certain techniques.)

    People get hurt. And for those who say nobody gets hurt rolling, I've heard from more than a few folks who say that isn't so.

    Thornton's contention is that all this "dead" training is worthless compared to immediately starting to roll on a mat against somebody who'll tap you out if he's better.

    He can have that opinion, but we are allowed to disagree with it. Since you say you know nothing of silat, how can you reasonably say it doesn't work?

    And from the tone of your question, I'd guess that's what you believe -- that Thornton is right and we are wrong ...
  17. Silatyogi

    Silatyogi Valued Member

    Ben largusa, Floro Villabraile's protege once said that Kali ( a word he created by the way) comes from Southern phillipines Silat.
  18. Stevebjj

    Stevebjj Grappling Dummy

    Thanks. This is the kind of information I was asking about. You guys were talking about how your training is different, but I couldn't get any sense of it.
    I've never suggested that you're being paranoid. While this is off topic, if I have any sort of opinion it's that very few people who live in the neighborhoods/areas where these things do occur with regularity have enough expendible money or time to train in any martial arts. I realize that this is somewhat cynical.

    As for rereading it, I went back and did just that. In context, I can't understand what else you could be suggesting other than that you guys train to counter those types of things. You brought them up as examples of things that MMA guys don't train for. I'm not trying to be unreasonable.
    Steve, that's what I was asking. I know Matt Thornton is saying that you guys train in dead patterns. It sounds like you guys don't agree, and think you train with 'aliveness' or whatever buzzword you want to use for the equivalent (non-compliance, etc).

    If there's any negative tone at all, it's confusion. Sure, I think sparring is great, and I agree with the idea of training in an "alive" way, but "aliveness" doesn't always mean sparring. I'm definitely not an expert. I guess where I'm getting hung up and why I'm looking for some detail is that if you guys train the way you say you train, I don't see where the problem is. What i mean by that is if you do train with some combination of compliant drills and non-compliance, and if there's the degree of randomness and realism that you say, there would seem to be no conflict between Silat and Thornton or whomever else. I guess this disparity between the crux of this thread and what both sides are alleging is what I can't wrap my head around.
  19. Steve Perry

    Steve Perry Valued Member

    What's to Confuse?

    We didn't start out alleging anything -- Thornton (and more than a few other MMA guys across the web) -- feel compelled to point out that what we do is, at best, inefficient, and at worst, silly. Because silat as some of us train in has no sport component. You don't use it seriously unless you need it, and if you seriously need it, you are justified in using whichever tool is necessary to save your hind end.

    Those tools by design include whatever you can get your hands on, and knives are a big part of that.

    The MMA crowds said, "Ah, well, silat doesn't work in the ring!" and under their rules, they have a point. But we don't train under their rules, our goal is not to win matches but to stay alive ...
  20. Stevebjj

    Stevebjj Grappling Dummy

    Steve, thanks for the response. I think there's a difference between training in dead patterns vs not sparring vs "it doesn't work in the ring". Believe me when I say, I'm not an expert. I'm genuinely trying to understand, so if I ask questions, it's only with the intent of making sense of the information here and diametrically opposed information elsewhere. Or in other words, either I don't know what aliveness is, or thornton doesn't know how you guys train, or you don't actually DO all of the stuff you're saying you do... or what is more likely, I just don't get it. Which is why I'm asking questions.

Share This Page