Silat useless or misunderstood ?

Discussion in 'Silat' started by Kuntaoist, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    I don't think I understand all of the terms you use for principles:

    - Retreat Forward: Although that sounds like a familiar one to me, a lot of styles also move to the side, or stay on the spot or move back, when being attacked and then move forward.

    - 'You're standing in my space': don't know for sure what you mean by that

    - Adhesion: If that means that you stick to your opponent, similar to sticky hands, that also is not always the case with silat styles. Some style love to aim for limb destruction, some styles stay very soft in an aikido way. But perhaps I understand wrong

    - The Pincer Principle: Don't understand that one..perhaps using leverage?

    - The Shearing Principle: Could you explain that a bit

    - Seating: Could you explain that one as well please
  2. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I do think it's a fair observation that, if you're going to say that any video examples brought forward so far are bad examples, you need to be able to produce good ones. Either personally or via YouTube.
  3. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    How do you Retreat Forward? Off at an angle is the easiest most efficient way. You'll see this in most systems of Silat (at least all so far encountered by me).

    And yes in other arts too. Just that in Silat it's is a specified principle. Where as in other arts that are less inclined to describe Principles they'll just call it 'Angle off'...

    For example this is really common in the Mae Mai and Luk Mai (major and minor tricks of Muay). But the only person who bothered naming it as a Principle was (now) General Sri Pook.

    Take ground. Occupy the space your enemy stands in. Often by taking their balance in the process. Myriad ways to do this. The techniques don't matter. The Principle is the thing.

    Regardless of whether you're doing 'limb destructions' or softer stuff. The techniques again don't matter. The Principle of Adhesion refers to keeping on top of them. Keeping contact and making your enemy do the work.

    Best shown by 'breaking somebody's structure down' so they tend to collapse really near you. So your actions are efficient.

    As opposed to you needing to chase after them after you hit them across the room.

    This is one of the KEY differences between the Silat systems and say Muay Thai. And to a lesser extent the older Thai systems such as Muay Chiaya, Muay Korat etc. This notion of maximum efficiency.

    Two points come together along The SAME Line of Action

    Two points come together along a DIFFERENT line of Action

    Please do some research as to what you think this is. And why it's so important in most systems of Silat.

    None of these Principles or Concepts are unique to Silat.

    But in my experience so far the whole lot together as a systematic approach has a certain uniqueness to it.

    I'm sure you'll see these concepts in what you're doing too. If you choose to look.
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  4. nasigoreng

    nasigoreng Valued Member

    pincer= gunting (scissors)?
  5. nasigoreng

    nasigoreng Valued Member

    seating is changing level -- squatting with one or more point of contact on the opponent's upper body so your bodyweight drops the opponent.
  6. nasigoreng

    nasigoreng Valued Member

    but earlier you said

    it sounds like you have added some neat tricks to your toolkit.
  7. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    I disagree. There is no 'core principle' in silat because silat is not a single unified description of style. I understand that many proponents of a silat style will present silat as a singgular style ... but it's patently not the case.

    Core principles exist ... but they exist within each perguruan. There could very well be similarities in 'core principles' among different perguruan; especially if there's been an overlap of influence, however that is true even when you compare some silat styles with taijiquan, judo or karate for instance.

    You've had exposure to 40 + styles? Wow .. that is a lot :).
  8. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Taoizt can speak for himself I'm sure, however I'd like to point out that he didn't say that YouTube silat so far present bad examples .. but that generally speaking a person could reach a wrong conclusion about what silat is or isn't by watching the silat on YouTube.
    And I agree completely! The silat I see on YouTube is silat ... but doesn't represent ALL silat styles out there and a person could be forgiven for drawing a conclusion of what silat should 'look like'.
    In my opinion there is some similarity with how people might move depending on culture. In East and Central Java for example, there used to be the cultural influence of traditional dance that (in my opinion) influenced how people will tend to move ... that can influence any martial art that the person might devote to. Even people who don't play silat can look like they're playing silat!

    I agree that showing personally is a good thing ... there is too much noise on Youtube already and it is erroneous to think that Youtube is a good place to make good judgement. To make a good judgement you need to see the person for yourself ... and from my understanding there are a few good players in the US and in England. I live in Toowoomba, Australia and might consider teaching an individual or two ... but I'm traditionalist that way ... and comes with my cultural baggage ;).
    Last edited: May 30, 2013
  9. KC martial arts

    KC martial arts New Member

    I do agree there are some really bad examples of silat on youtube. But you could probably say that about alot of arts. I did other martial arts for years before I got into silat. Silat changed the way i understand the martial arts and the way I move more than any other art has. It gave me a true understanding of flow. I don't see things as techniques anymore, i just see them as principles to be applied.
  10. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    Like Rebo Paing said, i did not mention that all silat on youtube give people wrong idea about silat. For instance the clip of Kang Cecep Arif Rahman does give a good idea about some west-javanese silat and there are more of those videos of the same source 'Saudara Kaum'.

    I will not quickly show videos online, but who knows in the near future..
    I do agree that the best idea you get is by meeting personally. If anyone is in the neighbourhood of Holland then they are welcome to meet.

    As for the principles, thanks for clearing that up Sokklab. All of those principles sound indeed familiar, although we use different terms in a different language. I'm not sure if these principles are valid for all silat. In my point of view Silat as a name is similar to Kungfu. It's as diverse and broad. Some silat styles have plenty of kungfu influences (or kuntao influences), some resemble more karate. Some are as soft as taichi, some resemble boxing.

    Sokklab, the fact that i do not recognize the terms you used, does not mean i have no clue about their meaning (so i chose to look). I'm sure that if you mention the term 'seating' to an indonesian he will not recognize the term either.
  11. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    You're missing the point guys. The point was simply that, if you feel like the examples being given are not representative of what you're trying to express, there are likely the means out there to present examples that ARE.

    The alternative is this debate tactic that gets employed a lot in martial arts discussions. Where whatever example is brought forth is met with the same refrain: "That doesn't show what I was talking about." It's a way of shutting down the opposing viewpoint without providing the means to continue the discussion in a productive way.

    I think everyone here gets that "silat" is a generic term. And that practices are going to vary widely based on specific style, school, teacher, and student. But video provides some tangible reinforcement for points that people are making. All I'm saying is that the counterpoints would benefit from similar backing.
  12. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Well it's a language thing for me. I call it ALL silat. Your taiji, judo and karate is silat as well. What I'm inferring is that the silat phenomenon is bogus (IMO) ... if you try to pin it down to stylistic mechanistic form, but maybe it's just that I'm not up with the times; which is why I have my pet peeve about labeling on Youtube.

    As I said above ... this is silat ...
    [ame=""]The history of xing yi quan - YouTube[/ame]

    so is this
    [ame=""]Pengasinan Jalan Enam - YouTube[/ame]

    and this in particular shows IMO why in the end you can call it anything you want (transcends style lol) ... but most likely you'll use a word like silat or martial arts depending on your language ... though I'm sure knowledgeable foreigners will say it's definite;y NOT silat ;).
    [ame=""]Tarung Bebas Genggong - Pesilat vs Santri. - YouTube[/ame]

    I haven't been MAPing for a while ... and it wasn't so last time I looked.

    I think people would probably benefit more to give YT a big pinch of salt! :D
  13. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Are you telling me that you see NO utility in specifying that the term "silat" describes martial arts from Indonesia? You see no criteria whatsoever for determining whether something is silat versus muay thai versus kali?

    Why not just dissolve the silat forum then? If discussions of silat could legitimately take place on the kung fu, FMA, or even karate forums, is there anything that makes silat distinct?

    I'm no expert, but I think it's perfectly possible and useful to talk about silat as a cultural product of Indonesia and related areas. And to talk about silat in contrast with other styles.
  14. nasigoreng

    nasigoreng Valued Member

    it IS useful to discuss Silat [fighting styles of the Malay archipelago], but due to the extreme diversity of cultures in the region, and, by extension, their own combative cultures, there is a sense of futility. This is because the difference from silat A and silat B could be equal to the difference between boxing, fencing, and greco-roman wrestling.
  15. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Isn't that problem solved by discussing specific styles?
  16. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Nasigoreng is correct it is useful as a container forum to discuss any of the plethora of styles practiced in the region ...
    which I think is what you're saying as well?

    The current idea of 'Silat' as 'a martial art from the Malay Archipelago' is quite a modern and an artificial concept ... especially in how it's surreptitiously becoming a 'style'. One cannot talk truthfully about it as a set of core principles (thus defining a style). I believe that IPSI have worked hard trying to unify it ... but then the region has an ancient saying bhinneka tunggal eka ...meaning that they support the idea of unity in diversity .. very useful mantra from an incredibly nationalistic (and yet extremely parochial at the same time) bunch of folk.
    We can extend this further to include the idea of nation and culture. The idea of Indonesia or Malaysia is arguably quite modern as well. Sure in the past there were periods of 'unification', but the modern nations are as naturally forming as the European Union (they're all fairly new artificial constructs).
    Coming back to silat styles, take PGB Bangau Putih or Mustika Kwitang for example. Both styles are acknowledged to be silat, yet both have very strong Chinese roots (Shaolin White Crane in PGB's case). Yet the umbrella of silat very comfortably absorbs them both. Same can be said about Perisai Diri in that it has very strong Chinese roots. This is not surprising as the Chinese and the orang Melayu have enjoyed trade, cultural and family interaction for centuries, so why not that we consider Kali and Muay Thai to be part of the generic silat family as well?
    This willingness to absorb is not the issue I think. The issue is that despite the facts the conversation about silat seems to head invariably to a discussion assuming a singular type of practice or a set of mechanisms that have unifying core principles.
    Maybe it's a reflection of how silat styles are coming into the west. The teacher might be passing on to his students that 'this is silat' ... when demonstrating his regional or family art. In his mind there's no ambiguity ... because in his mind it is his silat. But to a westerner they will think ... Mr. X's style is representative of silat ... as the same core principles pervading all silat.

    I think some modern Indonesians get around the whole conundrum by talking about traditional silat ... which focuses and highlights various traditional styles from different regions, but even here there's ample room for movement ... lol.

    Continuing .. let's not stop with Indonesian perspective on silat. Malay silat for example claim silat Sendeng as their cultural heritage ... yet it's origin is from the Bugis from Sulawesi; on the other side of the archipelago ... so I make it simple, silat is a word that describes martial arts period and the word is part of the language of the Malay Archipelago. It is helpful to extend the word with a description of origin or culture e.g. Silat Sendeng, Silat Bangau Putih, Silat Betawi (again slightly generic), Silat Cimande, Silat Minang, Silat Marmoncak (Batak), Silat Tua, Serak, Silat Madi Kari, Syahbandar, Silat Gayong etc ...
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  17. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I'm glad to see that it is actually possible to discuss silat. And yes, that is what I was saying as well. We don't disagree. I'm just trying to get to the bottom of what seems like a lot of unnecessary obfuscation.
  18. bodyshot

    bodyshot Brown Belt Zanshin Karate

    Wow you guys are Ma Scholars, I though I knew some stuff about Ma geography, I see I need another lessen or two lols. Anyway I think Silat is a pretty good martial art all things considered, take their use of that curved knife they like to wield I mean that's a pretty formidable opponent in my mind.
  19. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    bodyshot, thanks for participating ... and from where I'm from (East/Central Java originally), the curved knife is used for cutting grass mostly (heavier versions are used to cut tougher plants like bamboo etc.) ... a farming implement from the village. It's use as a weapon is ancillary to it's original function.

    Ap Oweyn my dear friend, you are among the few who 'get it' I think :).
    No disrespect to Bodyshot ... but to my mind his comment reinforces the 'why' we need for this recent discussion!
    I do feel this was necessary enough to help eradicate what amounts to widely held views sourced (mostly/maybe) via innocent misinformation (imo).

    Nasigoreng, I know you've lived in West Java for a while. You aren't a stranger, I truly appreciate your comments in this discussion. That you can see from the outside as well as having spent time on the 'inside' gives you a unique advantage in discerning the reality I think.

    The Edit .. I just reread what you said Ap Oweyn, and if by obfuscation you mean the obfuscation surrounding what silat is and what it isn't ... I'd say you're spot on the money!
    My personal thoughts are that there are people and organisations who want it very much to represent something other than what it is ... i.e. driven by the same motives as the people who sought in the past to make it an olympic sport.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  20. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    Yes. Because I trained them with some resisting partners outside of class.

    I had to make them work efficiently against resistance.:Angel:
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013

Share This Page