Silat useless or misunderstood ?

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

  1. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    Yes and wrestling practice helped me be able to perform the Silat takedowns,the takedowns have always worked of course it was a matter of could I do them against a resisting opponent,suprisingly enough one of them was very easy :)
  2. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    I manage all of that with my Kung Fu while doing padded drills and sparring. As people keep saying, it's not an either or deal.
    This phenomenon is sadly all too common, but is the result of poor drilling rather than anything to do with sparring. As you say, their forms and sparring were viewed as separate things. If they're doing forms and then low pressure "classical" application work then they're not going to be able to use the techniques from the forms in sparring. Think what that means for a moment though. If they can't use it in sparring how likely are they to be able to use it for real? Think of the implications of that for schools that do such drills and don't spar. Surely they're going to have the same issues they just never see it because they don't spar.
    Think how much more quickly you could develop if you were developing fundamental combat ability right off the bat and experimenting with it every session, and then you'd have more years of training ahead of you with a wealth of experience behind you. Earlier you mentioned that not everyone will be able to fight with Silat. That makes me sad. My aim with my Kung Fu class is that everyone walks out better at fighting than when they walked in. Experiential learning through playing with pressure achieves this. My adult students range in age from 19 to 51, and indeed the 51 year old is one of the most keen in sparring.
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  3. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    Sifu Ben thanks for your patience and civil responses.
    I'm not sure we will ever agree, but your replies are valuable.

    No matter your solid arguments, we will probably not change our ways of training. Perhaps the difference is that most of our student usually already have had a reasonable amount of sparring already under their belt. Some of them did boxing for more than 25 years, some were into competition groundfighting, some have years of experieince as a bouncer. And still, we, with our old-fashioned, application only, and seemingly outdated ways still have something to offer to them. So it means we must be doing something good.. ;)

    I looked at your movies one more time, but they do look like fun and learn people some nice tools.

    Thanks for the chat! And good luck with the training.
  4. nasigoreng

    nasigoreng Valued Member

    I suspect there are some cultural differences that account for traditional silat being (what i would say) "stuck" using "dead patterns."

    1) the religiosity that's associated with a silat instructor make him/her less likely to be involved in violence. Two Indonesian silat teachers have told me about the importance of being humble and not engaging with violent people-- basically saying that you can only use silat if it's a matter of life and death. So if there is reluctance to use the techniques until one is threatened with death, they are less likely to be routinely tested.

    perhaps on account of that the reality of violence vs. dead patterns just hasn't "sunk in"

    2) most of the training partners I've worked with in Indonesia are very cooperative. Maybe it's a cultural thing -- the training partner wants to "help" you pull off the technique, and/or, maybe they see it as a group exercise... it's more of a "performance", not a "fight".

    3) some silat is associated with different kinds of trance states (people become more tolerant to pain, injury while in trance) and so for some people, all of the training is about developing some kind of inner power -- chi blast -- which they will never demonstrate on someone outside their own group.

    so ven diagram it and you have overlapping sectors of:
    individuals who train self defense + avoid all the circumstances where they might use their techniques + are culturally conditioned not to question their teachers, think outside the box + think that they can knock people down by tapping them = ???
  5. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    You might have a point there NasiGoreng, especially regarding a lot of more public silat-systems in Indonesia. However there are some hardcore practitioners out there, it's not a coincidence that some of the silat out there is linked to the military, linked to gangs or security agencies. Styles like Setia Hati and Bakti Negara for instance.

    Nowadays in Indonesia or Malaysia a lot of silat is linked to Islam, some even claim Silat is an islamic invention. That might have an influence on the style, since some focus on the right spiritual attitude towards training, and respecting your fellow human beings.

    However since Silat is such a broad term for hundreds of different styles, I have problems coming up with one solution to match all Silat styles. Some styles really are a bit silly (yellow bamboo stuff you see on youtube), some styles are definitely as hardcore as the kravmaga trained by the Mossad. But all have there own ways of preparing their students for warfare.
    Don't forget that recently (and in some parts still) Indonesia was not as developed as western countries so it was quite common that villages got raided by gang of mobsters carrying goloks. Now if you were training silat over there, don't you think there was a need to actually make it work instead of doing cooperative drills?

    Sifu Ben does have a point to have his training scenarios out here in the west. Actually watching his videos i got some ideas for training as well.
  6. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    Maybe also because of the emphasis on bladed weapons the art is hard to pressure test? It doesnt take a lot to to be effective with blades:)
  7. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    Sorry.. not all silat put the emphasis on bladed weapons. Some look for instance more like street-boxing. Yes you can use a blade, but it's a common misunderstanding that all movements are based on using a weapon and therefore you immediately start using a blade in training. Actually you don't need a lot of training with a knife to be a formidable opponent on the street...

    So you are doesn't take a lot to be effective with blades.
  8. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    [ame=""]Shocknife Knife Sparring - YouTube[/ame]
  9. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    I like the shock knives,the guys didnt want to engage with them though lol :)
  10. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    Also. As you already know.

    If you can't avoid a simple punch.

    You'll have hell's own job avoiding a blade.
  11. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    True. I did some Buah Pukul (same root system same as Nigel Sutton's 'Khatami's' Lian Padukan, Gayong Lima etc).

    That is a Kuntao system (directly pointing to it's Chinese roots). Most of it is a lot like Wing Chun, Yau Kun Mun, Pakmei etc. And not particularly 'blade aware'.

    True. Anybody can 'do' someone with a blade. Normal 'untrained' people kill each other with knives every day.

    Takes a lot to be effective against them though.

    And as my point is. If you can't avoid a simple punch (thrown with 'real' intent and not a 'martial artsy punch', then you'll get stabbed easier than a Sunday roast at a homeless shelter.
  12. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    True you need to be able to avoid a full speed punch who is also retracted and followed up with a second or third one. Static punches are ok to start with but you need to move on..
  13. nasigoreng

    nasigoreng Valued Member

    in some sense, i think that martial arts offer a sense of control over violent situations beyond their control. (similar to the argument that religion is a tool to give a sense of control over death and nature). As mentioned above, it all depends on how you train it (realistic or not). without the realistic training, it seems like the training is more for show.

    For example,tere is tv documentary(*) series called "Pendekar" in Indonesia where the female host studies different silat systems. Let's see how the Merpati Putih are introduced:[ame=""][/ame]

    (the confrontation starts at :50)
    1:25-- those shots would probably end a normal person, but this bro has studied silat
    -- and, of course, his opponents will wait for him to get back up on his feet.
    2:10-- he's fighting 4-5 guys, you think he's afraid b/c now one has a knife?
    2:36 -- oh yeah, be aware of your surroundings: in Indonesia, steel pipes are found leaning up against the walls of all the major malls in case a fight breaks out.
    2:55-- bro is super ****ed off b/c he doesn't have any more people to fight, so he takes out his frustration by breaking something.
    3:00 bro starts to walk off into the sunset but stops to talk to the pretty lady, security and the police must all be at J.Co Donuts. This is such a common occurrence that none of the other shoppers are bothered.

    let's find out more about Merpati Putih (from their website)
    Merpati Putih Pencak Silat is the Indonesian Royal Family’s secret Martial Art and Inner Power System. MP was developed in the 1550’s and passed down through the generations very strictly from father to son & so on, only taught by the King to his Heirs. For over 400 years MP was very rarely if ever, seen by anyone outside the Royal Family.
    In 1963 the Indonesian public was ablaze with riots and civil unrest against the government. Already into the struggle for several years, violence and hate were everywhere and it was boiling over onto the innocent. At that time the 11th generation Heirs (known as Mas Poeng & Mas Budi) decided it was time to reveal their family secrets for the benefit of their people.

    All the people could learn to defend & heal themselves while at the same time becoming more loving, peaceful, & spiritually aware. Today over 1,000,000 Indonesians have studied and benefited from the techniques of MP and with over 100,000 Active members we are not only an outstanding member of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Federation- (I.P.S.I.) & Martial Arts Federation For World Peace- (M.A.F.W.P), but also the standard training for the Indonesian Army Special Forces, Commando Paratroopers, S.W.A.T. teams, & Presidential Secret Service.

    (*) taking into account all the pre-arranged fight scenes.
  14. nasigoreng

    nasigoreng Valued Member

    in my previous post i tried to argue there's an connection between (assumed) fighting prowess, inner power/supernatural abilities, and links to secret/sacred knowledge, be it descended from kings or taught by religious authorities.

    at the same time, we are pre-supposing that someone studies silat for self-defense.
    in the U.S., people might have different reasons for taking up Martial arts: maybe improved fitness, meet new people, study something that's part of some particular ethnic group's culture, gain more confidence,etc... .

    The concept of Reality-based MA Training is still very new in commercial MA schools (i'm sure some folks out there were part of some 'backyard group' that went all out but i'm talking about a MA schools you could find in the yellow pages).

    (1) the protective gear didn't exist, and (2) there wasn't a high demand for that intensity of training. For example, I love Filipino Martial Arts, but I don't know if I want to take my training to the level a Dog Brothers gathering b/c the risk of injury is too high. (and i like my face the way it looks now)

    I think we agree the principles of silat are legit, but they encased in a lot of cultural baggage. Why don't they train more realistically? well, looking back at karate, taekwondo, kung fu schools in the 80's , I think the training was pretty similar (lots of forms, only point-sparring). I think part of the reason I am drawn to silat is that I enjoy the extra effort mining this knowledge to find the gold; connecting the dots between silat and other MA styles gives me a small sense of accomplishment on a regular basis.
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  15. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Interesting thread. It evokes for me a scene in the Matrix when Neo says with a faint air of surprise .. "I know Kung Fu .."; as if one can arrive at a singular plateau of objective understanding of what that actually is.

    It's a common misconception and I think that Nasigoreng hit the nail right on the head in the above post. People go to martial arts classes so they can feel more 'secure', even though it's efficacy is more often in the placebo effect it generates than in any meaningful ability.

    That anyone might posit that silat is useless or misunderstood (to me) shows a misunderstanding of what the process is. To acquire a working usefulness in any skill requires understanding and honesty on many levels, and it's only achievablethrough consistent focused work ... there's no other way. So one may be correct in saying that an individual's silat is useless and that they misunderstand the what and the how of acquiring the practical knowledge ... however that assessment should not extend to judge the body of knowledge that we call silat .. or kung fu .. or martial art ... or any movement skill.

    So ... if you see someone practicing any movement skill/art and demonstrating a lack; it will be because that person hasn't yet confronted what they need to confront in order to be skillfull. They need to peel that onion and find out for themselves. Silat is an idea ... it's not an unchanging immovable object that one can shrug on and shrug off.

    Having said that .. in my opinion if you see silat as a discrete MA style 'originating' from SE Asia ... which IMO is misleading and an erroneous use of the word ... then you can be forgiven for seeing it as useless except in its propensity to propagate a ubiquitious misunderstanding.
    Last edited: May 29, 2013
  16. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    Good post Rebo Paing. Too often people tend to generalize on styles as a whole. I know this might be helpful for creating a discussion, but it's besides the truth. In silat i have seen a lot of different variations: focussing on inner power by breaking brittle steel object, focussing on sparring and forgetting the bela-diri aspects, focussing on seni with it's artful forms, focussing on spiritual aspects so that you can skip on the physical aspects of training and focussing on bela-diri and nothing else.

    The sad part is that youtube exposes sometimes a misleading idea of what 'silat' is.
  17. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    I DON'T go to Martial Arts classes to feel more 'secure'. Nor do I kid myself I'll be more 'secure' by doing them.

    By learning Silat I'm looking to acquire a skillset. One I might be able to make use of in a few years of hard training.

    At present my Silat is making a WORSE fighter not better.

    I accept this because when learning most martial arts you often become 'worse' - all fingers and thumbs - for quite a while. You become a beginner again. Before you get better at doing that Martial Arts system.

    Exceptions to this are usually Muay Thai, Boxing and Wrestling. These usually make you better at rough and tumble really quick - Because of the way they train - Immediate feedback etc.

    I'm currently 'going with the process' in my Silat. I really like the system I'm doing. And I really like the content (the techniques etc).

    Just I don't particularly like the way we train.
  18. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    To me the KEY to all Silat is a set of common principles. Not techniques. Or 'type' of training. Key Core Principles.

    Why don't YOU get on there then and show us how it's all done?
  19. taoizt

    taoizt Valued Member

    Actually we could discuss on what principles are valid for all silat. If you can find them within silat it's probably valid for all martial arts. Could you give some example on key core principles?

    My my sokklab no need to get hostile. As mentioned silat is not one style. Some of the silat shown on youtube might give people the idea, that it's not realistically trained, i did not say ALL silat. I feel no need to put stuff online, to 'show all how it's done'.

    To show some variations on silat:

    [ame=""]Mega mix SDS!!! - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame=""]Yellow Bamboo training in Bali - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame=""]Trailer from the DVDs Seminar with Cecep Arief Rahman - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame=""]silat olahraga malaysia 2009 - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame=""]Seni Tempur Putera Pertandingan Silat Seni Kebangsaan 2012 - Kuala Lumpur - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame=""]HARDCORE SILAT ! Maha Guru De-Bordes in Moscow! LUMPAT HARIMAU - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame=""]Guru Stevan Plinck - 2008 Sera Workshop Las Vegas, NV - YouTube[/ame]

    Now do they all train the same way and have the same core principles?
  20. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    Not really. Partially. And sometimes in their own way.


    Retreat Forward, 'You're standing in my space', Adhesion, The Pincer Principle, The Shearing Principle, Seating etc. The systems of Silat encountered so far by me use and express these principle in the most efficient manner.

    Most of these you'll find in most of the systems of Silat you'll encounter.

    Had exposure to at least 40 + systems of Silat so far. And will be getting exposure to as many more as I can find in the next couple of years. All encountered so far had these Key Core Principles in one way or another.

    Asking a plain and simple question is not hostile.

    I'm merely asking you to make a contribution IF you feel the quality of Silat on Youtube etc is not good enough. Maybe you possess something of worth.

    Well then stop whinging about the quality of the material already there then...Unless you're prepared to do something about it.

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