Some thoughts about tenaga dalam (internal strength)

Discussion in 'Silat' started by Rebo Paing, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    I have heard many claims of tenaga dalam (internal strength) and how to develop & nurture it over the years, some sound fanciful/magical and some sound more practical. I can't speak about that which I don't know, therefore my understanding of tenaga dalam is based only on my own body knowledge experience.
    I define tenaga dalam as a "dynamically relaxed neuro-muscular-skeleto holistic body-structure resulting in integrated movement, which develops maximal focus of energy to any given point of choice". This I think is true of any physical activity, and certainly true of any MA. Like anything else, there are degrees of outcomes which depend on a level of body knowledge and other physical factors unique to each individual.
    How we go about developing our tenaga dalam in silat, is the province of that area of development and activity we call ketrampilan, which literally means skill in a particular endeavour e.g. ketrampilan in doing squats or foward rolls etc.
    Skill in silat is dependant upon the harmonious symbiotic relationship of two factors. The first factor is the ability of the body (ketrampilan) to expeditiously carry out the requirements of the strategy, which incidently is the second factor (the art of strategy is a ketrampilan of its own). Without ability one is unable to carry out the strategy, and without the strategy one is unable to make the ability count.
    At this time, I wish to discuss ketrampilan with a view to what parts of the body we wish to develop and how that affects the development of tenaga dalam.
    I think that most people would agree that the ability of the body to do what it is asked to do, is influenced by how it is trained and the emphasis put on particular outcomes. For example, to be able to move fluidly into an angles advantage against an opponent one might focus on what physical and mental qualities one needs in order to facilitate movement. Let us add to that requirement and ask of our-selves that at every point during our movement we are also able to apply an effective strike or offensive application. We soon realise that a movement orientated activity that requires the unity of balance, leverage, fluidity and power will also require a structured methodology to achieve the intergration we seek.
    A possible solution to this problem could be found in the following two tiered practice.
    1/ Develop the core (body core - pusat/pusar awak/badan ... which I think is more than but includes the area that CMA call dantien).
    2/ The practice of Gerak Nurani - which paradoxically is NOT gerak nurani during the training stage, but is a process of seeding our instincts and discovering and extending the limits of the body and mind. (I think in a modern sense using current terminology, it is similar to neuro linguistic programming).

    Next (as soon as I can) I will talk a bit about developing the body core, among other things ...

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2006
  2. Kiai Carita

    Kiai Carita Banned Banned

    Hi Bro,

    This definition seems very long winded to be comfortable to use. Can't you mull over it more to make it more simple? Simple people like myself don't understand :D

    Aku Cinta Padamu
  3. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    My dear brother, you are the poet, make it more poetic if you wish :p ... as long as artine ora ilang! (the meaning is not lost)

    Rahayu dik KC
  4. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Some more, about the core ...

    What is the body’s core? When we’re talking about muscles, we are referring to the deep mass of skeletal muscle tissue that wraps around our mid-section, supporting our spinal column, passing underneath through the perineum, the pelvic floor muscles – that point between the anus and the reproductive organ, as well as the smooth muscle of the diaphragm. (Note, that if you do a search on “body core”, you’ll find many articles on the scientific terminology and the function of etc :) ).
    Imagine that the body core is an egg-cup or a bowl that provides the stable base for our spine, head arms and legs. In fact, the body core comes into play in every movement activity we do that requires balance and loco-motion and a strong body core is a requirement to keep the spine healthy and flexible.
    It goes without saying then, that a strong and flexible body core is a basic requirement to any activity such as silat and is a pre-requisite for the expression of tenaga-dalam.
    However, to express tenaga-dalam during stillness and in movement it is not enough to have a strong and flexible body core, its in my opinion important how we breathe and how we train.
    In the old days, people appeared to “just have” the ability to express tenaga-dalam, through training in a particular style. I think this phenomenon needs investigation. In the old days, life was tougher. For example, not so long ago people in my village (Sekaralas, 7km towards Gunug Lawu from Walikukun) used to routinely carry 1 kintal (100 kg) of rice on a pole across their shoulders, and easily transport that weight at a brisk trot 7km or more. In the modern world this practice is considered undesirable because of the possibility of impacted vertebrae in the spinal column etc. However the body adapts to many stresses, and when pushed to certain limits will (I think) develop the requisite habits to facilitate what is being required of it.
    Carrying a 100 kg weight balanced on a pole across the shoulder while performing a shuffle run across a distance has the following benefit. It requires that the muscles balance the forces being generated by the contraction and expansion of the muscles in the core area and requires an efficient cardio-pulmonary system to persist with the activity. So, the egg-cup becomes thicker (especially around the pelvic floor area), more elastic and responsive to changing requirements dictated by the need to balance weight (control the pull of gravity) on un-even terrain. In addition the breathing becomes more efficient as it is impossible to perform this activity without maximising breathing technique and posture. This ability cannot be acquired immediately. People train through necessity from childhood and the process is gradual.
    Another habit that my countrymen have (pre westernisation) is to ndodok (squat on your heels) when resting or doing the toilet. Thus the flexibility in the pelvic floor muscles to perform this action is developed at a young age.
    The question then is, how do we duplicate the results safely in a modern context.

    More to follow ...
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2006
  5. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    The example of a man carrying a weight balanced across the shoulders is a good one!
    Lets now imagine that not only is the ground uneven but it is muddy and slippery because of the wet season. Naturally the man can not walk completely upright so he lowers his centre of gravity to increase stability on the ground.
    Think of walking on ice, you will not walk completely upright but you will naturally go into a horse stance like posture. Add the weight to your shoulders and now you are walking in horse stance with a heavy load on your shoulders. Due to the heavy load you are also breathing deeply.
    The result of all this is that you are in a stress posture whilst doing deep breathing exercise.
  6. Orang Jawa

    Orang Jawa The Padi Tribe-Guardian

    Salam Kembang...Very deep bro :)
    Good example Narrue..
    What we all take for granted is a "weight transfer" Balance is important, but without the understanding of the art of weight transfer, you will not be able to excute the tasks, whatever is it accept just stand in one place. I'm the proponent of teaching weight transfer from the very begining.
    I had talk about it, but most people just ignore the important of weight transfer. They think the silat technique is automatically teach them the art of weight transfer....not true. Without the understanding of weight transfer. Your techniques/movements would not be effective, robotic, and ineffecient.
    And I could be wrong too.
  7. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Excellent Narrue!

    Walaikum salam Mas Tristan :) ...
    I have read your response in the langkah application thread and I agree totally with your opinion on the importance of the art of weight transfer.
    However that post is easily lost, hard to find etc, it would be very beneficial (and an honour) if you were to start a special thread and give a tutorial on the art of weight transfer so that we may all benefit.


    For KC, email me on your thoughts how to simplify the meaning ... love you too little brother :) .
  8. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to offer you some ideas and similarities I noticed between your discussion of tenaga dalam and internal strength practices in Chinese internal martial arts.

    Please note, I have plagiarised much of what is to follow from here, I have also added some personal comments.

    In Chinese internal martial arts, internal strength is a combination several physical factors:

    1) Rooting - For strength to be properly generated, it needs to have a base to provide the resistance to form a base for it to push against. The emphasis on pole standing (i.e. Zhong Zhuan, standing practices)in many martial arts is to build up this base by lowering the centre of gravity of the body to enhance stability and the efficient transfer of force from the centre of gravity to the ground. This means that the centre of gravity (Dan Tien, Hara) should first be identified by the practitioner and isolated so that it can be distinguished clearly. The stress is on strong support with the minimum of effort utilizing the efficient structure. One way of looking at it, is taking away the muscles and having the body aligned such that the bones, tendons and ligaments are still standing. Lowering the qi/yi (energy/intention) to the Dan Tien which roughly corresponds to the body's centre of mass helps achieve this.

    2) Coordination - The different joints and muscles in the body must be coordinated to work together to produced a strength born of the whole body working efficiently together. When antagonistic groups of muscles do not work in a coordinated fashion, tension is created which lessens the resultant force. The coordination is also with breathing which affects the state of the body. Coordination using the centre of mass as a base which is supported by efficient structure allows an efficient path for strength to flow. Hence the importance of the Dan Tien not only as a origin point of the root and the exertion of strength but also as a region where qi is stored and emitted from. Relaxation and awareness of the centre during movement are important factors in this aspect.

    3) Alignment - The proper alignment of the bones in the body provides the structure by which the force is transmitted and provides a clear path for strength to flow from the point of focus to the ground. With the bones efficiently bearing the stress of the reaction force, the musculature can work efficiently without unnecessary exertion. Standing practices have much to do with developing these alignments. As mentioned previously it should be such that if the muscles are removed, the body is aligned such that the bones, tendons and ligaments are still standing. This basically teaches your body to rely on the bones and connective tissue for support, hence allowing the muscles to relax.

    4) Focus/Intention - The above three characteristics are dependent on the focus of the strength which determines its efficiency. Focus denotes a point where all the body's potential is directed at and also to the task to be accomplished by the resultant force. This is trained by meditative type practices which include the aforementioned factors.

    5) Weight Transfer – In Chinese Internal Martial Arts there is a huge emphasis on differentiating within your body fullness and emptiness, closing and opening. With respect to weight transfer, one basically learns to move in such a way that the weight can be easily/habitually fully transferred from one leg to the next. This leaves the practitioner with more options when loosing balance and more weight to shift in to and out of movements.

    6) Spiraling – This is to do with relaxation and twisting of the soft tissues, much like a spring. After a certain amount of practice the soft tissue become conditioned to this twisting and gain a more springy, elastic feel, resulting in more motion within every movement, which in turn produces more energy. It is similar to comparing a still drill and a spinning one.

    All of the above are mutually dependant to some extent, in the sense that improvement in one area will lead to improvement in another. There are also other less-physical or even meta-physical factors to do with the mind and energy which add to the effect of the aforementioned practices.

    Hope that’s of some use to you.
  9. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Ketrampilan ... developing the core

    Thanks all for your individual insights to this point! I learn too.

    Remember that this discussion is a step-wise process ... and that's the problem with writing it's kind of 2 dimensional in that it advances in a linear progression through time ... and I know that there are other issues that are as important that should arise from time to time.
    Now that I've described in passing, a couple of the environmental factors that I think influence the cultural development of an art, I will detail what my system uses as a set of ketrampilan to aid in the development of the body core. (In my eyang buyut days horse riding was a primary skill. These days horse riding skills not part of the curriculum.)
    1/. "Latihan ngadhek jejeg" (practice standing upright/rooted) Feeling the body relax through standing - with feet about shoulder width apart. Let gravity pull the shoulders down, chin not protruding, knees slightly bent and toes gripping the earth. The spine has to find it's optimum balance point on the pelvic girdle and there should be a gradual elimination of all muscular tension as a result of poor body alignment. Combined with the breathing technique which I'll describe next ... and once the breathing becomes natural ... this techniques is incredibly relaxing. OK, the breathing is as follows, in the standing position when drawing breath in it is done by pulling the diaphragm down i.e by wrapping the core area between the navel and the perineum and to some extent to the end of the spinal column. It's should be a 'peres' (squeeze) sort of feeling ... and this action draws the air down into the lungs. The lungs have to feel like they are sticking flat against the inside of the natural curvature of the back, and the floating ribs feel like they detach and expand to accommodate.
    The way I explain the sensation of lungs sticking to back is to encircle your arms in an embrace in front of you (fingers not touching, palms towards your own face ... like hugging a tree) and then while breathing in reverse the palms (turn in toward face until palms facing out) and push very slightly. If done properly, you should feel the lungs flattening out on the inner back curve ... hehe and maybe not, because it's difficult explaining this in writing. However .... when practicing relax through standing arms stay by side with forefinger running down seam of trouser.
    Points to remember during practice:
    a/ Focus on the posture alignment and learn to be sensitive to what your body is telling you.
    b/ Drop shoulders .. most people carry stress in shoulders in between shoulder blades and slight hunching up. If you drop with the out breath you can feel your lungs being 'peresed'/squeezed of all air ... totally naturally by body, not by deliberate thought.
    c/ At the same time, focus on your breathing ... breathing should not feel forced and you shouldn't have a tensed feeling in abdomen and diaphragm ... if you do, use the deep breathing that is comfortable for you, ( however the breathing as I've described is how we breathe naturally in SKA).
    d/ Don't obsess about the tingling in the tapak siki/kaki (palm of the feet) or the hot running up leg or the itching on the crown. All part of natural process.
    e/ Do for as long as mind is comfortable, 15 - 30 minutes is fine. This can be done frequently, on train, in lift, in office etc.

    2/. "Latihan ndodok" or squatting has three phases. Again this is a relax exercise.
    Phase one. Don't change the preceding position, and sink into full heel squat (not tip-toe squat). Keep same breathing as above. Feel tension dissolve bit by bit and stay down for 15 min or so.
    Phase two. Weight transfer on one leg (don't rise - still full squat) and stretch one leg out to side. Aim to eventually get leg straight ... this helps create flexibility in the lower bowl portion of the body core. Do same with other leg. Do a few times each leg to maintain flexibility.
    Phase three. Rise up from full squat position to ngadhek position, but this time raise arms in arc (along sides) until co-incide fingers touching with upright full extension (keep within principles of ngadhek jejeg i.e. knees bent, toes, spine alignment etc) ... you should be breathing in while rising. Once up, breath out while scooping arms to waist high, palms facing up. Breathe in while arms arcing to side and slightly to front as if pushing something down to abdomem area and sink bak into full ndodok squat. My children (ages 12 and the twins are 8) do phase three at least 30 times.

    3/. "Latihan jaran kepang" because it is like a dance movement from the jaran kepang dance. Get into low wide horse riding stance, drop gravity through core bowl and relax shoulders arms palm up next to hip girdle. Then twist and lower one knee to centre line between both feet. Alternate knees. My children do this 30 times.

    4/. "Latihan nyambut ngisor" sort of a hybrid squat (all squats are flat heel squats - not toe squats) onto one leg from a wide kuda kuda, while performing a slow inward twisting open palm threading strike along the length of the extending leg with the hand ending at the foot (sort of like a Phase two of latihan ndodok). The other arm has open palm rotating out to above temple. This exercise is done slowly with a feeling of strength along arms and legs.

    5/. Last of all, do a lot of walking or "Latihan Mlaku", however the walking must observe the following. Must lower centre of gravity, knees slightly bent, shoulders dropped, breathing as prescribed, gripping ground with toes and heel (even when wearing shoes) ... and observe that it is the pelvic girdle and floor that is moving the trunks of the legs. Observe when full weight is transfered on to supporting leg when moving other leg.

    FWIW these are the set of skills or ketrampilan I wished to share on how we use to develop our body core. I am sure that there are many other exercises that are just as good ... for example, I think that a surfer or a skier develops the same attributes in the body core naturally by virtue of the requirements of their sport.

    My children call the set of exercises Ilmu Cendol, because the legs feel like jelly when done properly. Cendol is a jelly-noodle like substance that is used in a drink made of coconut milk, gula Jawa or kelapa ... and the drink is called Cendol hmmm yum!

    Finally, it is hard to convey this over written medium. I apologise in advance if descriptions are confusing, but I hope that I have managed to convey the idea. I think it is always important to listen to your body and listen to what it is trying to tell you. Treat the body gently and ease into unfamiliar exercise, nothing happens quickly. The key is that you maintain muscle and tendon elasticity ... weight training using free weights might also have some benefits, especially high reps low weights regimen ... but I certainly would not recommend the machines that guide the weights. Personally I don't use weight training anymore, although I did many years ago whilst in the army.

    Rahayu, more to follow ...
  10. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    Nice post Kembang Alas, I bet your children love standing in kuda kuda :D

    The exercises described are similar if not exactly the same as those I have seen in qigong. Most exercises of this nature are preformed from horse stance or slight adaptations to that stance.
    I think of these exercises as stress postures synchronised with visualisation and breath control.
    The effect and purpose of many to these exercises is to cause a release of energy from within the body core which is a compensation effect due to the stress generated whilst holding the postures.
    Prior or immediately following such exercises it is common to slap, brush or massage the skin to further increase the efficiency of these exercises. Consumption of herbal preparations, the application of oils to the skin or dunking in cold water are also things commonly done.
    Such exercises stimulate the endocrine and lymphatic system and it’s not uncommon to notice overproduction of saliva or a pain in the kidney area whilst holding these postures.
    These exercises also help to expel toxins from the body whilst also opening and unblocking channels within the body.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2006
  11. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    The last bit of the puzzle ... the practice of gerak nurani

    Thnx Narrue :)
    The final link in the development of tenaga dalam from my perspective is the latihan of Gerak Nurani, which literally means pure/ inspired movement or meditation in movement (olah rogo).
    In latihan gerak nurani, the principle is : Greget (with feeling), Sawiji (unity) Sengguh nora Mingkuh (courageous and responsible). The highest level of Latihan Gerak Nurani is called Gregel, which is where intention and spirit unite with movement.

    Greget (with feeling). When we are in a physical conflict situation, it is necessary for us to focus completely and not allow distractions to infringe on our awareness, in other words we have to 'get in the mood' to be able to deal appropriately with the situation at hand.

    Sawiji (unity). Relies on total dynamic relaxation of the body to achieve integrated movement, to respond appropriately to any threat or any intrusion or potential intrusion into our circle of influence, our body space, regardless of our position at the time. The hands and the feet move in unity linked by the body core or even directed by the body core.

    Sengguh nora Mingkuh (courageous and responsible). This is where our spiritual and morality training influences our reactions how we learn how to commit to action. Our reality is that life and death are inseparable sides to the same coin. We are part of the tao, alam-semesta, the holus-bolus-infinty-plus-everything before we were born, while we live and after we die. It is our journey and all of us experience it at the time appropriate to us, whether we prepare or not. The choice we can make then, is to live and to die appropriately with the spirit of a warrior.

    To achieve Greget, Sawiji & Sengguh nora Mingkuh we go through tthree stages.

    The 1st stage is where we 'seed' the appropriate body knowledge pertinent to the task we might envisage. This is true in anything. When we learn how to drive a car for instance, we learn how to coordinate clutch, brakes and accellerator with steering, indicators and to develop an acute awareness of what is happening in our sphere of influence. While learning this it can all seem chaotic, but eventually we learn to relax as our 'body knowledge' takes care of things.

    In our case (as pesilats) we are developing holistic body reaction, i.e. we deal with the specific problem related to reading and feeling the opponents intention and how to respond. There are many ways to ward off a punch to the head, but there are fewer ways to do so without expending extraneous movement and energy. There are also additional tactical requirements such as where do I want to be when attacked from side A, B, C etc. Programming these responses into our 'body computer' or creating appropriate 'body knowledge' is the function of seeding.

    How we as individuals respond to threats is different depending on many factors. We are for the most part who we are. For example my character tends to lean to being hot-headed, and (in my youth) not care of the risk too much, while my brother would take more care in calculating the risk. Recognising this in our selves is an important factor in developing an 'own style', recognising strengths and potential weakness with regard to martial development.

    The 2nd stage extends into single practice and then in two man practice, where a scenario is played out to demonstrate a particular strike - a two or three step latihan nyambut ... maybe similar to some versions of sticky hands using the ideas of appropriate method/movement discovered in the first stage ... and then into free form, both as an individual (kembangan) or against an opponent or multiple opponents.

    The 3rd stage involves meditation as its base ( attention on the breath similar to some Buddhist breath/attention meditation practices). This stage extends into one's entire life and how we learn to deal with the every day experience through all it's many nuances, how we make choices. We never stop learning, about our 'selves', 'others' and our environment.

    Salam bersilat!

    P.S. actually there's 3 stages ... which I've added :D
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2006
  12. Kiai Carita

    Kiai Carita Banned Banned

    tenaga dalam and tenaga dalam


    Actualy, strong men would carry 100kg on each side of the pole (pikulan - an other traditional silat weapon). I remember lying for three weeks on my back in Panti Rapih hospital in Yogya for a dislocated hip-bone, from carrying too many bricks up an over the sides of rice paddies (galengan) while helping to build a friend's house. It is not easy.

    But talking about Sekaralas, the even more amazing feats of strength were perormed by the blandong- teak thieves - our village was surrounded by government teak forest - all cut down during the 'Reformasi' era when the 'little people' took back. Remember (almarhum) Joyo mBendhol? He could run fast carrying a big teak trunk and when he put it down he could make it so heavy no one could lift it. In that way he could steal many teak trees and school all his children.

    There are many versions of tenaga dalam in Indonesia. In PGB we are followers of the Chinese tradition but schools like Hikmatul Iman and the school that originated in Margaluyu Cimande, tenaga dalam is rather different. It would be interesting to get brother Sulaiman's Gayong perspective on this (has he has several times performed the Gayong tradition of mandi minyak-panas) but I think that there are two distinct paths in tenaga dalam in Ndhonezian silat mainly the Chinese internal method and the Islamic faith method which grew on an older Hindu and pre-Hindu method (like agama Sunda Wiwitan). Often you can see in Cimande Banten or Hikmatul Iman or Pagar Nusa demonstrations where girls and children demonstrate ilmu kebal. They do not train difficult kuda-kuda or geseran or breathing, rather they fast and recite verses of the Qur'an and they become invincible to sharp blades.

    Hikmatul Iman is a particularly interesting school as it has a different core than the Chinese and also the Guru Besar never studied silat. He was a fan of silat comic books and one day recieved guidance from God and founded a tenaga dalam silat school! Check him out in google he is proof that you can learn silat from comic books!

    By the way historically there has always been a competition between the Chinese tenaga dalam and the indigenous ones, like in the history of the real Mustika Kwitang (as oppossed to Jim Ingram's hijack version) but it must be said that some charlatans are out there to impress people with stories of 'bats flying out of their mouths', 'spirit keris' and 'spirit tombak' or the spirit of Let. Col. Untung who was named after the slave-become-king Untung Surapati and had the same luck to be executed.

    The Mukadimah Guru Besar of PGB states that 'ilmu' happens because there is reality in nature that is captured by the awareness of man. Alam takambang jadi guru said the datuks of the Padang lands. There are many types to tenaga dalam in Ndhonezian silat. Particularly common would be the tenaga dalam used to guard property. Remember the thieves in Eyang's and at Pak Suradi's who thought they were in deep water and were swimming on the ground till people found them in the morning? They were caught by the tenaga dalam of the owners of the property. All power comes from Allah.

    Warm salaams to everyone,

  13. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    Pak KA,

    Latihan jaran kepang

    Just to clarify, do we lower the knee all the way onto the ground?

    Matur nuwun
  14. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Hi Gajah Silat :)

    Yes, you lower the knee all the way to the ground ... in a controlled manner, make sure not bang knee onto ground.

    Sami-sami GS

    Di'mas KC,
    Yes I remember the blandong, they were amazing. But closer to home,remember when we used to hang around with Pak Chip and his brother, the tukang kayu's? They had tenaga dalam from their occupation. Not an ounce of wasted energy in there daily performance.
    Bapak said to me once, that a lot of the silat in Tanah Jawa was influenced by pedagang Tionghua(Chinese traders) who hired and taught locals to help protect their goods. I think also that there was influence from India, as the two great religions normally associated with ancient Asia was Hinduisme and Buddhisme, both coming from India and making a syncretic bond with Jawa kebatinan ... thus we get the mix of kebatinan with breath and health & power (yogic & qigong) training. Now we have the influence of Islam as well which adds another dimension.
    As you know, philosophically I try to follow a syncretic mix of the old ways of Eyang Kakung. According to Bapak, he (Eyang Kakung) and his brother followed the way shown by Sheyk Siti Jenar. I was also influenced by the tao philosophy from one of my past teachers, Prof. Lee Pei Dong (Chen Taiji at uni).
    I know Eyang Putri was famous for her deep skills ... however, I find myself at the cross-roads of an age that requires practicality and I don't have the skills Eyang Putri had. My sons need to practice practical ilmu (i.e. one that I can teach), so tenaga dalam is for body health, and a healthy body is provides a stable base for a healthy mind!

    The Mukadimah Guru Besar of PGB states that 'ilmu' happens because there is reality in nature that is captured by the awareness of man. Alam takambang jadi guru said the datuks of the Padang lands.

    Spot on!!! :D Absolutely my belief too! It is also exactly what I am trying to say about the old ways ... the way followed by Eyang Kakung and by Bapak.

    In the end, I believe that the value of silat can be expresed as the following,
    1/ It has to increase and maintain physical & mental health.
    2/ It provides us with a way for us a way to protect the ones we love, and our-selves.
    3/ It gives us the opportunity to be useful to others.

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2006
  15. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Aids to visualisation ... the sources of inspiration

    The 3 mystical animals used to seed Gerak Nurani - Antaboga (King of the Naga's - sort of syncretic snake with dragon being), Singa Barong (Singa - Lion) & Garuda (Rajawali - Eagle, but a Garuda is a mystical bird of prey).

    Why is it that so many MA's use animals to describe the inspiration behind the movement or strategy? I think it's because in an essentially oral tradition, it is an invaluable aid to use mimicry, such a descriptive, evocative and narrative based device to aid in the pursuit of acquiring the core meaning and quality of that which we are trying to convey.
    Everyone instinctively knows that lions/tigers are indomitable, dangerous and can crush ribs with a single swipe of it's massive paw ... even if you've never confronted a tiger, you intuit a destruction that it might be capable of.
    So, despite the fact that we acknowledge that the method is archaic, we still use the process of evocation by using the 3 mystical animals mentioned above in Silat Kembang Alas because it is effective.

    What follows is a description of the qualities of the 3 mystical animals whose perceived attributes are evoked and mimed to attempt to find the spirit/inspiration behind the strike, move or strategy.

    1/ Antaboga is the king of the Naga's in wayang performance. Naga's are sort of snake and sort of dragon in character ... a snake with mystical qualities. A common snake is ula. A Naga, particularly Prabu Antaboga, is courageous and has human type attributes, moral & ethical, very strong and uses his whole body in a fight.
    His attributes are speed (kilap), strength/power (prakosa), penetration (nebus), entwining/cicular & flowing (ngulet), wrapping (gelut), sticking (nempel) and whipping (nyabet).
    Antaboga is of primary importance to SKA because we also use the Naga to describe the striking parts of our arms. The hand/fist is the head (Sirahe Antaboga), and the fore-arms the side, back and chest. The bicep area is the belly, but the shoulder (our shoulder) is also shoulders of the Naga, and the elbow (sikut) is also the sikut ... just to confuse things!

    Rahayu & more to follow ...
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2006
  16. Silk Road

    Silk Road New Member

    Asalaam Aleikum Kiai Carita,

    Since you brought it up...what about this Lt. Col. Untung and the slave-become-king Untung Surapati?

    Thanks Brother,
    Silk Road
  17. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    The difference between Indian and Chinese internal systems is mainly in the way energy is thought to circulate in the body.
    In Chinese systems the three main channels in the body are at the front, through the centre of the spine and at the back of the body. In the Chinese systems energy is thought to circulate down the back and up the front of the body completing a circuit called the macro cosmic orbit.
    In Indian internal systems the three main channels of the body are to the left, right and through the centre of the spine. In the Indian system energy is thought to circulate down the two side channels and up the central channel through the spine.
    The two pictures below illustrate the two systems, Chinese left and Indian right.

    Attached Files:

  18. Kiai Carita

    Kiai Carita Banned Banned

    Rahayu Kakang,

    Peace to all..

    Hyang Antaboga (not really Prabu to me and you) is the God of the Earth. Boga means food, and whoevere tills the Earth will have food. He reigns underground and is also the foundling father of Raden Wisanggeni, the Jawa son of Arjuna who goes to heaven to and beats up all the Gods when Dewasrani (the god of the Nazarenes- youngest spoilt son of Batara Guru and Durga) tries to use upstairs influence to marry his Mom and become the hero of Jawa. BTW, Wisanggeni Gugat is the lakon of the wayang I will, insya'allah be performing in camden the end of summer.

    Hyang Antaboga is a naga, depicted in Jawa as a huge crownd snake with a wize face. He is very wise and rarely gets involved with mortals. A characteristic of the naga fighting is the opponent doesn't know where the head, body, or tail is. You think it is the head, suddenly it is the body. You think it is the tail, suddenly it is the head. Hyang Anantaboga gets angry, earthquake happens.

    Warm salaams to all,
  19. Kiai Carita

    Kiai Carita Banned Banned

    More on Hyang Antaboga.

    Rahayu Kakang,

    Peace to all..

    Hyang Antaboga (not really Prabu to me and you) is the God of the Earth in wayang kulit. Boga means food, and whoever tills the Earth will have food. He reigns underground and is also the foundling father of Raden Wisanggeni, the Jawa son of Arjuna who goes to heaven to and beats up all the Gods when Dewasrani (the god of the Nazarenes- youngest spoilt son of Batara Guru and Durga) tries to use upstairs' influence to marry his Mom and become the hero of Jawa. BTW, Wisanggeni Gugat is the lakon of the wayang I will, insya'allah be performing in Camden the end of summer.

    Hyang Antaboga is a naga, depicted in Jawa as a huge crowned snake with a wise face. He is very wise and rarely gets involved with mortals. A characteristic of the naga fighting is the opponent doesn't know where the head, body, or tail is. You think it is the head, suddenly it is the body. You think it is the tail, suddenly it is the head. Hyang Anantaboga gets angry, earthquake happens. A naga is always sakti. It has scales, sisik, like steel. A naga can also nyembur, spray venom, indeed, all every bit of it's body is venomous.

    Warm salaams to all,
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2006
  20. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Thanks di'mas KC (btw ... KC is my real flesh and blood younger brother :))
    and thanks Narrue for your helpful insights!

    to continue ... When describing the fist, if the forefinger protrudes a bit (in CMA called Phoenix fist) we have netranipun (mripate) Antaboga, the eye of Hyang Antaboga. The first two knuckles are the horns and the last three knuckles are the forehead (bathuk) ... depending on the type of punch we use the eye, the horns or the forehead. We also use use the fleshy side of the bottom of the fist (like a hammer fist) and we allude to that as the jowls (Pipine Antaboga) etc.

    2/ The Singa Barong is one of the characters in a Reok performance (actually the main character). The Lion is straight ahead no nonsense & courageous personality. It gets straight to the point and doesn't beat around the bush. As such, it's personality is not alus, not polite and is always impatient to end the fight by the most direct means possible and a tendency toward a frontal attack. The attributes of the Singa must be tempered with the attributes of the other two to reach its full potential.
    The singa attributes are, it has agility and dexterity (trengginas), is fierce and ferocious (ganas), is direct and straight (leres), has knock down power (gempur) and sweeping/scything power (babat).

    3/ The Garuda is the mystical Rajawali (eagle) in wayang performance. He is very wise and is the opposite in many ways to Singa Barong. Garuda does not jump to conclusions so quickly and tempers decisions with wisdom. However the more mature outlook doesn't make Garuda any the less effective and makes for an extremely cool and wiley opponent. Garuda's attributs are that he is wise, cool and detached (wicaksana), martial and intergrated with no wasted movement (gagah), elliptical/ circular (ngiter), shocking in attack (ngabruk), evasive i.e difficult to attack (ngendo).

    Using the 3 animals, encourages the SKA performer to think in a combination of the direct with the circular/elliptical and underpins the spirit of the performance. I mentioned before that the Singa's attitude requires it to be tempered by the other two animals. Really, this is true of all the animals, because a true player will fuse the three creatures into a single personality - achieving the gregel of Gerak Nurani.

    What I haven't detailed here is the different types of pukulan, langkah and jurus that are used to seed Gerak Nurani. Generally speaking we approach these things from a conceptual basis rather than saying this is how to re-direct energy in a verbatim manner. The player is provided the "template" (in a manner of speaking) of a particular strike, move or combination and then explores variations until satisfied that many possibilities are covered.

    I will respectfully stop at this point for a while. I make this small offering in the spirit of the family of man, across peoples and across cultures, in the hope that through this spirit we can all be motivated to do our best to listen to others and to share what we have without prejudice.


    P.S. I nearly forgot, all in all there are 17 attributes, to go with the 17 petals on the emblem (coat of arms) of Suryaningngalogo. 17 or Pitulas is a special number in Javanese thinking. Pitu = Pitulungan (to help) Las = Welas Asih (to have compassion) ... Dimas KC can you explain in greater detail please?
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2006

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