silat, jkd, kali

Discussion in 'Jeet Kune Do' started by zakariyya21, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. zakariyya21

    zakariyya21 Valued Member

    Why do alot of JKD schools crosstrain these 3 diciplines?
    What are the aspects that you find come together within these diciplines?
    What do you take from each dicipline?
    What benefit do you derive from training these diciplines?
  2. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    The connection is a historical one, initially. Bruce Lee expressed to his closest students that he didn't want commercial JKD schools (as I remember from the various books I've read). His friends, Guros Dan Inosanto and Richard Bustillo, wanted to respect those wishes while also helping prevent JKD from going the way of the dodo. Their solution was to open a kali school that offered JKD classes to a select few students identified through the regular kali program.

    The silat connection also comes from Guro Dan and his explorations into various other arts. Coming from kali, he's also embraced (among other things) muay thai and silat. The silat, in particular, seems to blend well with his kali. So much so, in fact, that he's referred to various parts of his training as "sikal" and "maphilindo." ("Sikal" obviously being "silat" and "kali;" "Maphilindo" is a combination, I believe, of "Malaysia," "Philippines," and "Indonesia.")

    My personal exposure to silat is pretty limited, so I won't comment on the technical contributions. I'll leave that to cleverer posters.
  3. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Bruce was exposed to Silat through a guy named "Reeders" if I recall would confirm this if I could be bothered...I believe it was Bruce who pointed Dan towards Silat.

    Despite what many other JKD people would claim - usually the OJKD crew - Bruce had a lot of expopsure to kali through Dan. This is my favourite anecdote

  4. JKDbyNik

    JKDbyNik Valued Member

    I think the answer to your first question was handled by Owen and Hannibal.

    To answer the other 3 questions....

    2) Pretty much all of the weapons work in JKD comes from Kali. And Silat influences a lot of the stand up grappling, sweeping, and even some of the entries.

    3) JKD is about individuality, so a better question would be what do YOU take from each discipline.

    4) Benefits aside from the knowlegdge, experience, and connection to JKD will vary for everyone. But again, Kali and Silat have definitely influenced JKD and brought a vast majority of our weapons tactics to the game.
  5. MWAW

    MWAW Valued Member

    Many of the primary principles and strategies of JKD are derived from Western Fencing. It is, conceptually, a weapons-based system. Obviously, Kali is also. When you study both arts in depth, and train them in a synergy, there are so many common denominators that one starts to blur into the other.

    Silat has become far more prominent in Guro Inosanto's instruction, simply because Guro Dan's focus has shifted. Silat compliments his natural attributes more and more as his age advances, therefore it plays a far larger role in his teaching than it did maybe 20 years ago. Therefore, far more of his students are placing a greater emphasis on this art, which is why its popularity has grown. I'm afraid this falls into the very common issue of everyone trying to copy exactly what Guro Dan does, which is not my thing. If I have actually understood his teaching all of these years, I don't believe it's his thing either. But there you go.
  6. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    With you on that Michael - I do very little Silat in my interpretation because I have not had a lot of exposure to it and to be honest it does not really interest me too much. Not that I think it is ineffective, I just don't feel it adds anything to my personal matrix

    My Assistant loves Silat and he blends it a lot into his read of things. Horses for courses!
  7. JKDbyNik

    JKDbyNik Valued Member

    If you use any western boxing in your game...then you use silat. In 1899 when the US Army went into the Philipines, they saw a bunch of guys slip/roll/bob/weave etc and had their hands tucked tight to their faces. At that time, here in the states we had guys like John L Sullivan, and boxing was about standing in the "irish pub boxer" pose and just exchanging blows. When we asked the Philipino why they were doing what they were, they simply said that their system was originated from the blade, and to not move or to keep your arms out was a sure way to get cut!

    Since then, western boxing has taken on Silat influence.

    Hannibal, I think you should investigate more in might really enjoy it. Much of it is very flowery and not for me...but there are certain elements that I think are awesome. PLUS, if you practice your basic entries such as the outside, inside, split...silat was an influence on those. Just sayin.

  8. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Possibly - the genesis for mine was always kali/panatukan, (in addition tho teh boxing I had taken) but as the arts can be largely interchanged and there is a lot of "bleed' this may be moot.

    Silat is one of those things I remain open too, but in my search for commonality the extra time required (which between my job and training and my family is already in short supply) for silat is not worth the investment at this stage in my development.
  9. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    That would have been FMA rather than silat, wouldn't it?
  10. JKDbyNik

    JKDbyNik Valued Member

    The art was Panatukan Silat. The term FMA is much like MMA, its a blanket statement referring to the the mixing of multiple arts.
  11. MWAW

    MWAW Valued Member

    We're getting a little confused here by terminology.

    The art that the US Army would have witnessed at that time period, according to your anecdote, would have been the Boxing portion of the indigenous Filipino Arts, specifically Panagmut or very often referred to as Panantukan, taken from the original word they used to describe Boxing - "Suntukan".

    Silat, although often thrown in under the umbrella term of Kali, is distinct in terms of its roots, identity and methods of study. Noted to be of Malaysian/Indonesian origin, its foundations come from Indo-Chinese arts, mostly those observed from the movements of animals and expressed through the medium of dance or "Juru".

    You can make the clear distinction between the Filipino Boxing art of Panantukan and the art of Silat, and in this instance it think we need to make that distinction to avoid confusion.

    With reference to your assertion in terms of influences on Western Boxing, I've heard this argued both ways from both Americans and Filipinos. Some Filipinos I have met say that Suntukan was directly influenced by the Boxing seen in the Western world, others have said that Suntukan directly influenced modern Boxing in the Western world, as per your assertion about the United States. Certainly here in the UK, with no real Filipino community or influence, I believe that Boxing has simply evolved though combative experience, superior training methods and a greater understanding of physiology - in the same way that any sport has evolved over the last 100 years.
  12. kuntaoer

    kuntaoer Valued Member

    [ame=""]This Is Silat - YouTube[/ame]
  13. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I hear ya, Nik. This is the first time I'm hearing the term "Panantukan Silat" though. Who were they watching, out of curiosity?

    I'm not trying to be difficult. It's just that, in my casual observation of silat, I haven't seen the hand positioning you describe. Whereas in my observation of various FMA techniques, I've seen it often. Either by the alive hand (in the case of something like Largo Mano) or both hands (in the case of some approaches to Mano Mano or Pangamot). For precisely the reason you cite.
  14. callsignfuzzy

    callsignfuzzy Is not a number!

    My tongue-in-cheek response to the bolded part is that Cus D'Amato invented Silat.

    The more I learn about the history of Western boxing and how it's evolved, the more dubious I am about this story, mostly because the only place I've heard it is from Guro Dan and his son-in-law (I don't want to brutalize Ron's last name and have too many window open already to bother with looking it up ATM). Conversely, quite a number of instructional books have been written on Western boxing over the years, and none that I've read have mentioned any influence from Filipino martial arts/boxers, aside from the "bolo punch" which is generally credited (though disputed ) to Ceferino Garcia. Incidentally, here's Garcia vs. Henry Armstrong from, I think, 1938, almost 40 years after the US took the Philipines:

    [ame=""]Henry Armstrong vs Ceferino Garcia Highlight - YouTube[/ame]

    You'll notice that Armstrong is the one with the high, tight guard and lots of head movement while Garcia is in more of a classical "boxer's"/outside fighter's stance. Most other fighters from that era- Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, etc- fought with a hand-extended stance. Even the inside fighters didn't bring their guard in tight until they started moving inside the opponent's punches.

    But let's look at the first Filipino champ, Francisco "Pancho Villa" Guilledo:

    [ame=""]Pancho Villa vs Jimmy Wilde - 1923 - YouTube[/ame]

    Twenty-five years after the US invasion/occupation, the boxing style between Guilledo and his Welsh opponent, Jimmy Wilde, are nearly identical, with both using the cross-cover in close.

    Go back five years and you have the match between Jess Willard and Jack Dempsey, with Dempsey using a bobbing-weaving style; to my knowledge, he hadn't visited the Philippines, at least at this point in his life:

    [ame=""]Jack Dempsey and Jess Willard- The Worst Beating in Boxing History - W/ Commentary - YouTube[/ame]

    In fact, the "hands in tight, bobbing and weaving" style you're talking about is much more reminiscent of the "peekaboo" style that legendary trainer Cus D'Amato was famous for instituting in his boxers, like these guys:
    [ame=""]Floyd Patterson Knockouts - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame=""]Jose Torres vs Willie Pastrano - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame=""]Mike Tyson' s incredible defence - YouTube[/ame]

    Again, I'm not seeing the FMA connection there.

    As for your claim that "boxing was about standing in the "irish pub boxer" pose and just exchanging blows", no it wasn't. Contemporary boxing books from the era show defenses such as blocking, slipping, catching, and side-stepping; many of the texts can be found on or have been generously reprinted by MAP member Kirk Lawson at

    One of the reasons for the extended on-guard position was that clinching was used as an offensive and defensive tool much more than you see these days. Ten years after the US invasion of the Philippines, we have a match between Jack Johnson and Stanley Ketchel, where Johnson demonstrates a great deal of control from the clinch:
    [ame=""]Jack Johnson vs Stanley Ketchel (1909) - YouTube[/ame]

    Also notice how small the gloves were, comparitively, at the beginning of the 20th Century, and got progressively bigger to what we have now. Peekaboo would have been a lot harder to pull off in the smaller gloves found in the Johnson-Dempsey era.

    So at the risk of completely derailing the thread, that's why I'm highly suspect of the "FMA influenced Western boxing into using head movement and tight defense" story.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  15. MWAW

    MWAW Valued Member

    Great post callsignfuzzy
  16. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Sorry,Nik,the chronology doesn't add up. Corbett defeated Sully in 1892 using "scientific boxing" to defeat Sully's old style pugilism. By 1899 the "pub boxer pose" style of boxing which you think was still popular at that time was going or had gone the way of the passenger pigeon. Except perhaps in poses for fight/theater posters.

    I don't see anything in western boxing that has to be silat/kali derived. A lot of early boxing is derived from fencing. People do come up with the same things independently of each other.

    Then again who's to say by 1899 what the Marines saw wasn't influenced by Corbett? And why not? Corbett's methods revolutionized the game the world over.

    I must agree with csfuzzy because unless there have been some new revelations in the past 12 years or so nothing I'd read/heard on the history of boxing since I was a kid in the '60s until about 2000 (and I've read a wee bit on this history) gives me any evidence nor reason to credit SE Asia for developments in modern boxing. I also must concur w/csf that in my experience the only source for this idea is Guro Inosanto.
  17. JKDbyNik

    JKDbyNik Valued Member

    Hey...I am willing to remand my statement without presence of ego. My education of Silat has come thru Guru Dan, Ron Balicki, Marc Halleck, and Guru Rick Faye. All of which are directly under Guru Dan. Next time I see him, I will definitely bring it up though and see if there is something that we missed.

    Regardless if Silat and Western boxing are related or not, Silat still offers some wonderful things. So we can sit and debate the history, or we can open ourselves to the experience and take what we find useful from it.

  18. JKDbyNik

    JKDbyNik Valued Member

    Here is a great series on Panatukan Oweyn.

    About my historic reference....please watch, start at :34sec in.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  19. callsignfuzzy

    callsignfuzzy Is not a number!

    No one has said otherwise. But if information is wrong, or likely wrong, I think it should be addressed. Martial arts is unfortunately rife with claims that have little or no evidence to back them up. As both a trained historian (I swear I'll finish that degree one day...) and someone who looks at martial arts as a science, I want evidence to go along with claims, especially those I see as suspect.

    I think the Southeast Asian martial arts have probably enough merrit to stand on their own without Deeboing other martial arts, in this case boxing. I've obviously invested some time (and money) into them, or else wouldn't have come across this claim, to put things into perspective. Pointing out that heresay probably isn't historically accurate based on independent evidence is hardly saying, "Silat sucks", is it?:)
  20. JKDbyNik

    JKDbyNik Valued Member

    No it is not, but from the tone of the earlier posts of the thread....I felt that it could possibly be heading that way.

    I do appreciate that a few people put up some pretty compelling evidence that my historic reference may be inaccurate.... I can't say I am 100% convinced but there is obviously something off and I need to look more into that. The other history buff I know is Guru Dan, and in mid Feb he'll be in Minnesota so I will definitely ask him more about it then.

    Truthfully, I don't really care much if Panatukan Silat and Western Boxing are related or not, although I feel that there might be some connection just for the simple fact that the US was in the Phillipines and inherently will exchange some information, cultures do that. I was never a Silat practitioner, I was exposed to it thru JKD, enjoyed it and saw merit in particular aspects. Some of you guys have gone to great depths to check on the history....I think that is awesome!!! I never cared enough about this topic to do so, so between the 5 entrusted instructors I've heard it from...I just left it alone.

    So I thank the guys who did more research. I appreciate it!!!

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