Silat Mubai: Traditional Muslim Fighting Art

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts Articles' started by Anth, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Anth

    Anth Daft. Supporter

    The art of Silat Mubai is almost completely unknown to those who have not searched for or had interest in the Silat arts of Southeast Asia. Another aspect of Mubai that is rare by Western standards is that it is an authentic Muslim Fighting Art. Due to recent events like the Sept 11 attacks in America and the emerging quagmire that is Iraq, people have a tendency to see everything related to Muslim culture with an evil taint. As time will show in reading this article, there are many noble and true practices within the Muslim Fighting Arts that represent the TRUE warrior culture rather than the false, recent, and very publicized extremist one.

    The Master

    The heart of all true MFA originated with the teachings of Commander Ali Ibn Abu Talib, the cousin of the Prophet Muhamad, peace be upon him, who was the founder of the Islamic faith. Commander Ali spent his entire life in the warrior ranks and was known by friends as pious and humble, and by enemies as one of the most formidable warriors in all of Arabia. As a champion of the poor and protector of the house of the Prophet, Ali grew in stature until he became the fourth Caliph (political leader) to succeed the Prophet and the first Imam (religious leader) in a line of 12 after the Prophet. Ali as a man was reputed in his piety and devotion to God, and as a warrior, most of all a duelist, he was unmatched. Contrary to what most people believe, the great Samurai Miyamoto Musashi was not the duelist who survived the most matches with his record of 50 plus wins. Commander Ali fought in his first official battle, the battle of Badr, and killed 24 men in single combats. Combined duels in his life total over 200, which have been recorded and dozens with detailed recordings of the exact events that took place and the adversaries position and family background. It can be said, that Ali as a warrior is responsible for the creation of moral principles of combat that are found within the Muslim Fighting Arts. It is Ali who a Murid (student) can look to in order to understand the true meaning of the word "Warrior".


    The Essential Ilm

    Authentic Muslim Fighting Arts especially those who have their base in the Southeast Asian Silat arts are usually composed of two distinct and complete Ilm, which is the Arabic word for knowledge. The first is Ilm Al-Batin, this is the inner teachings of the system that encompass, combat mentality, moral principles for the Murid, spiritual training and other Batin (inner) components. The inner aspect of the art is irreplaceable and can not be left out without the student loosing his way and straying from the Sirat Al-Mustaqeem, or the straight moral path of a true warrior. In our modern times people like to forget the essential Batin aspects of the arts and focus entirely on physical development, this very sour and innately wrong way to approach the arts will be more detrimental to a student than beneficial. The Batin is that which gives profound understanding to the Zahir (outer) and disciplines it, and forges it slowly and painfully in the fire of Zaat (God's essence). This hard process then leads to the creation of a being that has deep knowledge and strong conviction. One that truly understands the words of the Master Ali, "Be a friend to the oppressed and an enemy to the oppressor", and is ready to give his life for this understanding. The Zahir alone can never reach these depths and will be the first to abandon the Murid in times of distress unless the Batin is solidly entrenched into him from the onset. Zahir is the second Ilm, the lesser Ilm, that which is easily acquired and maintained through regular routine and training. Zahir aides the Batin to accomplish the task that the Batin has understood it must do. As a blade without an edge is almost useless in combat, also the Batin in combat against an enemy is almost useless unless the Zahir element has been learned and is complete. The true way as stated by Hazrat Ali "Is in the balance of inner and outer". When one speaks of the now famous word "Jihad" or struggle, we can see that this is the true Jihad, and the one that brings one towards the end goal of Insan Al-Kameel, the perfected being. The righteous warrior that is ready and able to offer his skill to the oppressed. Able to offer his life for the oppressed to become unshackled from the chains of their oppressors. And truly oppression is worse than murder.


    The System

    Silat Mubai as a physical form of fighting is probably one of the more ruthless of the Silat arts. Based on the traditional Military mentality of the knife as a tool to dissect and destroy an enemy, the art is in essence a contained "Terminator" ready to be unleashed when the time is right. Most people when first entering into the training of Mubai are mentally unprepared for the level of intensity within the techniques.

    The core styles within the art are,
    1. Mubai Qital - this is the emptyhand system which teaches the Murid how to use every part of the body as a weapon to destroy an enemy mentally and physically. The use of the knees, shoulders, head, hands, feet, fingers, and other body parts are ell emphasized.
    2. Mubai Moussarraa - which is the groundfighting component of the art is one of the most effective, easy to learn, and deadly groundfighting systems a Murid can encounter. The entire system of Moussarraa is trained in a fullcontact environment with and without weapons ranging from knives, guns, sticks, and sarongs (Malay scarf)
    3. Mubai Kaskas - is the edged weapon art that teaches short, long and medium range knife fighting. This art uses double and single blades to effect lethal and non-lethal effects on an enemy.
    4. Mubai Asas - is the impact weapons system. The single stick is emphasized with fullcontact training being an integral aspect of the training curriculum.
    5. Mubai Rimah - teaches the Murid the functional methods of using any object as a projectile weapon. This art also includes gun fighting and its many strategies.
    6. Mubai Maren - the flexible weapon art is not limited totally to the defensive use of flexible weapons but also incorporates more Military techniques of strangulation and enemy neutralizations.
    7. Mubai Baraat - the field expedient weapons art. This is a deadly category as the Murid takes his knowledge to the next level of proficiency by understanding the deadly qualities in everything around him

    Nizam Al-Darajat (Rank System)

    The rank system in Silat Mubai is unlike other arts in that it does not place rank on people because they have learned a specific set of techniques and Jurus (forms). Rather the rank is given according to the practitioner's mental and spiritual advancement within the art. A person can study for a year fulltime, know half the physical aspects of the system and still be only on the second level of personal evolution. As we recognize that all people are not created with the same abilities and mentality, it would be impossible to grade a street hardened Police Officer training to protect his life the same as a computer programmer training for interest. The two practitioners will not evolve the same way and therefore can not carry the same rank in the exact amount of time. Another aspect of the rank system in Mubai that is unique is that of secrecy. Humility is an extremely important part of the Batin training in the art and rank as all people involved in Martial Arts know breeds superiority complexes in the practitioners. To stem this type of wrong behavior the rank is kept secret between the Ustaz (teacher) and the student. No one knows the level of the practitioner until he becomes an Ustaz himself and thus no one can claim to be superior to another simply because of the color of a belt or a marking. The true rank will show in the person's attitude towards the class, system, Ustaz and other students in the Halka (training group). Responsibility is accorded to each practitioner within a training session according to his ability, this week a level two student who is excellent in elbow drills will lead the drill session. Next week a level five student excellent in blade work will lead the session. This ensures that everyone from the onset is trained how to be a leader and take charge of a group without hesitation. Usually there will be an official Ustaz Musaed (assistant teacher) who is capable of leading every class, but even he will stand down to let the others take command. This process again teaches humility. In Silat Mubai we work with seven levels of personal development.

    Sahib (level one) - this is the beginning stage where a person has just discovered they have interest in the system and start practicing through CD-ROM or in person sessions.

    Talib (level two) - this is a person who has fully decided to start studying the art and begins a routine of training in the system.

    Murid (level three) - a dedicated student who has acquired a fair amount of knowledge and sincerely wishes to continue his studies.

    Yakeen (level four) - this student is at a stage where he is knowledgeable about the system and wishes to become an instructor.

    Fidai (level five) - this person sacrifices alot for the system, learns its physical and mental aspects and spends time with the instructor to gain as much knowledge as possible of the system he loves.

    Ustaz Musaed (assistant instructor) - the UM is fluent in the physical aspects of the system and spends most of his time learning the Batin part of the art and preparing himself mentally to be an excellent representative of his instructor.

    Ustaz (instructor) - the instructor is the representative of Hazrat Ali in the physical form. He tries to improve himself inside and outside in order to be even half of what the great Commander was.

    The system of Silat Mubai is a traditional Muslim Fighting Art that understands that tradition should never impede progress and development. The art itself is modern in its combative tools and is able to function very effectively amongst the "new" combat arts that are around today. The most important thing to realize and to remember when thinking of Mubai as a combat art is that it is profound, and goes beyond physical. Profound in the way that it brings the practitioner to the limit of their own personal evolution as a warrior without ever having them realize and be poisoned with pride and arrogance from the position they have attained. The essence lies in the words we will depart with here from our excellent Master Ali Ibn Abu Talib

    "There is always light for those who wish to see"
  2. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

  3. vismitananda

    vismitananda Valued Member

    Silat is mainly derived from "Kali" the art of knife fight in Filipino Martial arts.

    But the difference is that Silat Mubai has a lot of ground works, ranging from Judo, Jiujutsu, to Aikido. Accompanied w/ a knife.

    The word "Silat" comes from Indonesia, there is something to do with "Pencak Silat" system.

    Mainly Muslim people or even non Muslims are practicing this art. But the hardest part is that, this arts is so rare in my country.
  4. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    If anything it's the other way around. More accurately, they both grow out of a common ancient tradition of martial arts.

    All Silat systems I've heard of include the knife. Most have some groundwork. Some like Harimau make it a specialty. Combine the two, and you get groundwork with knives.
  5. vismitananda

    vismitananda Valued Member

    Indeed. :)

    Actually it is still debated today where did this system came from. Including Muay Thai.

    In "Silat" it is not only the knife that is being used as weapon, it also includes stick. Like the size of an "Arnis" stick.

    After my research, I'll post about Arnis and Kali, and their differences.
  6. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    let's just put it this way. if they were dogs, FMA would be a malinios and indonesian silat would be a laekenois and malaysian silat would be a groenendael. they're all belgian sheepdogs that share many genes and characteristics but they're different from each other. they're all descended from a common ancestor (in the dog analogy that would be the tervuren).

    so silat (indonesian, malaysian and filipino) are related. they were formed with one common goal: to protect society. they in turn were shaped along the lines of the communities and circumstances in which they found use in. unique and distinct from another but with some common ground.

    fma is a mix of many influences. southern silat, chinese kuntao, visayan weapons fighting, panuntukan, etc. etc. the islands and the tribes fought with and against each other. they blended what they came across into their own system. they kept tweaking it to their tastes and needs. this process continues to this day.
  7. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Indeed, the process is dynamic and organic and continues as we speak.

    But speaking from my own small pond, I regard the Sundanese systems as 'foreign', even if there is a relatively strong influence from that quarter, but it's still pencak. The tradition in my part of East Java sees Chinese systems as just another style of pencak. The pedantic differentiating tends to be a Western or modern thin I think.
  8. RoamingLynx

    RoamingLynx New Member

    sorry I am new to this style. Which style is the one that's more traditional and self defense driven? I have come across some that are more ceremonial dances (what they are actually intended for) then the art of defense.
  9. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    i can speak for filipino martial arts only. during the presecution, many of the martial arts were hidden in dance. (fandango sa ilaw, tinikling, manlalatik, etc).

    so what are you referring to?
  10. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    also, i don't think silat mumbai is FMA. more like it has influences from silat in general but not any one silat style. shipring it isn't.
  11. mma master

    mma master New Member

    I am from philippines yet i didn't hear this martial art. Maybe this is not well publicized thats why it is very unfamiliar to me.
  12. vismitananda

    vismitananda Valued Member

    I am also a Filipino proud to be a Bisaya (a local of Philippines that speaks Visayan language).

    Base on those words, If I am not mistaken, you are referring to Muay Thai.
    In my most humble opinion you should visit the Muay Thai section to know it better.

    Well Muay Thai has a ceremonial dances, it is called the "Wai Khru", in Thailand Khru means Master and Wai means to "bow", it is giving respect to your master, but not only to your master but as well as to other aspects that made a person and as well as a fighter.

    As for the Filipino Arts, my mate Shotoodog might have the best answer.
  13. vismitananda

    vismitananda Valued Member

    Welcome to the forum mate. Where in the Philippines you live?

    I supposed Silat is not only practice in our country, but it was publicly spoken to be originated from Malaysia(or Indonesia), but the neighboring countries claims this art.

    What Martial Arts do you practice?
  14. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    actually it is. there have been forms comps in manila. shipring (tausug silat) and the like.

    again, please look at my dog analogy.

  15. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    Silat is not a Muslim martial art, it pre dates the Islamic religion by several thousand years.
    When the Islamic religion was introduced to Indonesia Silat was already an ancient martial art. In Bali it is practised with a Hindu base and in the Jungles of Borneo there is Silat with an Animist influence. When people say that Silat is in some way connected with or originating from Muhammad it is a modern twist to an old story.
  16. reedk

    reedk Valued Member

    Hi so is it related more to Filipino, Indonesian or Thailand then. I think more Indonesian from reading the above.

    mma fanatic
  17. Infrazael

    Infrazael Banned Banned

    I love the shameless plug on how Ali was a better fighter than Musashi. LOL.
  18. ap1 george

    ap1 george New Member

    I was under the impression that Silat started from Indonesia. And basically spread through South Asia like Mindanao (muslim region) of the Philippines and so on.
  19. Browneagle

    Browneagle Valued Member

    I would class it as hindu malayan.
  20. nasigoreng

    nasigoreng Valued Member

    FALSE. The art of Silat Mubai is unknown to a great MANY throughout the world. This because Silat Mubai does not come from the Malay world (Southeast Asia), but from the mind of its Canadian founder who studied Silat/Kali techniques and created his own system.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011

Share This Page