Some thoughts about tenaga dalam (internal strength)

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

  1. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

  2. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Apa kabar Narrue!
    I'm on dialup and I can't seem to see/ hear past the intro which says "What is that which is called tenaga dalam?" ... maybe I can slip in at work and have a look on their computers ... we'll see.


    P.S. For those who are interested, I have basically the content of my posts on a weblog I'm keeping about Silat Kembang Alas. It's all very low tech :D .
    If you check my profile, you'll see my web-address (
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2006
  3. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    It's all sort of academic, really. Most of us will never even be competent at the external aspects and basic principles of Silat. I'll certainly spend the rest of my life trying to get past beginner and close enough to see intermediate on a clear day. The esoteric part? It would be like quantum gauge theory in primary school arithmetic class.
  4. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Forget the esoteric ... it is a mind-fog only!

    It's all sort of academic, really. Most of us will never even be competent at the external aspects and basic principles of Silat. I'll certainly spend the rest of my life trying to get past beginner and close enough to see intermediate on a clear day. The esoteric part? It would be like quantum gauge theory in primary school arithmetic class.

    Hello Tellner,

    We will always be beginners :D
    However I disagree with the gist of your post ... being that the only esoteric thing about tenaga dalam and silat (and anything else to do with your own body dynamics) is that you need to harness the potential in your own body and mind. My opinion of course!

    What is silat really at its core? Just principles for mind-set (getting in the goove so as not to juice-out on adrenalin) and for moving the body. Nothing more, nothing less. Silat IMO depends on tenaga-dalam, so without tenaga dalam, the silat is only 'partially expressed'. Different aliran, probably different principles.

    Breathing is physical and has do-able principles. Dynamic relaxation is physical and has do-able principles also. Everything about developing the body-core is physical withdo-able principles. In fact if you excelled at Yoga, you would have more than enough fundamentals to express tenaga dalam in anything you do ... not just silat.

    I remember a story told to me a long time ago... about a Russian ballerina who kicked a sailor to death in her cabin, when the sailor tried to grab her ... was she a pesilat? No, she was a ballerina who expressed her 'tenaga-dalam'.

    I think sometimes the cultural baggage of different schools of thought might make it appear more esoteric than it needs to be, the reality is that some people will always have more talent and some people more experience ... but in the final analysis silat is about is extending our 'selves', physically and mentally.

    Tellner, you personally have every possibility into excelling in the art mastering movement and tenaga dalam, the only obstacle is the mind.

  5. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    Good thank you Kembang Alas. This guy seems to be an authority on the subject and I don’t think I have seen so many certificates on one person’s wall before. I see he mentions something about the elements Tanah, Air, Api, Angin and the Chakras in the body. I guess he has adopted the Indian system as a base.
  6. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Rahayu Narrue,
    The guy's name is Mohammad Nor Abdul Rahman, and he starts off by saying that the school (perguruan) used to be called Perguruan Wali Putih but changed name in 1990 to Cakra Alam (alam is nature or 'the whole of nature') ...he then goes on to say that Tenaga-Dalam is something that is found in people's bodies ... that they activate the red & white blood cells that results in a tremor in being/nervous system(?) that presents as "super power"

    His further ramblings seem to be a syncretic mix of Hindu, Buddhist & Muslim ideas ... however I didn't listen to the end because I think he's misguided.

    I think there are levels of understanding of the different states and possibilities for the human body, but my personal ideology is that I don't need to know everything to that deep level to make my body work for me in my area of choice. I think that as a pesilat, it is not that difficult to reach the deeper aspects of body dynamics ... and I think it is attainable by anyone who learns to feel the body in a dynamically relaxed state.
    The people in villages across Java learned the state through everyday survival activities ... life was hard. These days you can still see it even in modern nations ... look at skiers, surfers etc. They might not know it, but when they aren't thinking about it and moving on the board at one with the elements, they are expressing their tenaga dalam ... all it takes is to transfer the mind set and body mechanics into a silat framework... and voila! Most people though impose a mind-set of restrictions when they play a different 'label'.

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2006
  7. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    On increasing martial power.

    I have already talked about the importance of developing the body core. It is of paramount importance to silat, without it the player is using disconnected localised force.
    Why is it undesirable to use localised force? ( i.e. force emanating from forearm only or shuolder only etc). Because disconnected force is simple to lead, to re-direct, easy to topple and lacks power.
    In other words it is ineffective.
    Discovering body knowledge of the body core, requires sensitivity on the part of the practitioner. Only after there is concrete body-knowledge of the activation of the body core, can there be a progression to the art of applying force onto an external object (opponent). This is an extremely important juncture, because habits created through the use of localised non integrated force are very difficult to eradicate.
    The ramification of this idea is that the practice of pukulan, jurus and langkah is counter-productive until the pesilat has the body-knowledge of the body core that we are discussing.
    (Note that we approach the ideas of pukulan, jurus and langkah a bit differently than what appears to be the norm. Particularly pukulan and jurus where the principle is more important than any static form ... which ties straight in with the beginning practice of Gerak Nurani).
    In the past people talked about connected power. What this means is that all parts of the skeletal & muscular system work in concert/ harmony, each part linking with and magnifying the efficacy of the other. Just as we don't use localised muscle power in movement, so to do we NOT neglect the integration of the rest of the body in relation to the body core. It is not enough that one has a practical and working understanding of the integration of movement through the body core (which in this case equates to achieving the quality of power movement), but also we need to be able to amplify the quality we possess and be able to express sufficient martial power (putting the power into power movement) without which it would be difficult to overcome an opponent who might be naturally strong, big and fast.

    The next series will discuss some ideas on the subject of increasing martial power without losing speed and fluidity.

  8. Kiai Carita

    Kiai Carita Banned Banned

    Gerak Nurani

    Dear Pendekars,

    As Kakang Kembang Alas asked in an email, I will here for my nephews write what I know of a practice common to old Jawa called Gerak Nurani.

    Gerak means movement and Nurani is a composite word from Arabic Nur (Light) and Aini (Eye) so Gerak Nurani means Movement (of the) Eye of Light (Conscience). The idea behind Gerak Nurani is to surrender totally to God and let all your movement be in accordance to God’s Will, be Pleasing to God, and be Blessed by God. Because of that the training of Gerak Nurani, especially the ‘opening’ or the first time when the adept is led through the gates in to the surreal world of the different level of consciousness, must be started with prayer and surrender to the Creator and the Sustainer of the Worlds.

    Before the adept is ‘opened’ –meaning have his first training in the art- (s)he must cleanse herself and repent of her sins for she is going to ask that The Most Powerful use her movement as an instrument to carry out the Will of the Most Merciful. It is most important that the adept cleanses herself and surrenders with faith to the Will of God for a while (can be long) before she practices the art other wise someone else might be moving the body, the Spirit of a Macan or of a Naga, of a Jinn or of Shyatan, for instance.

    In the silat Karuhun of West Jawa, often there is ‘possession’ by an animal spirit. The tradition of Gerak Nurani sees this practice as undesirable for the practitioner has no control. In Jawa, the pesilat in trance possessed by an animal spirit or any other spirit is called kelenggahan (possessed – sat on), rather than lungguh – sovereign, sitting strong. So the first steps towards Gerak Nurani are simple: get closer to God.

    Technically before the studying of Gerak Nurani the adept should practice sitting still in a relaxed and pasrah state letting his body be embraced by the nature of the Earth (lahir) and his mind by the nature of the ( Inner) batin. Thoughts come, images go, but always the adept must stay relaxed, pasrah, breathing gratefully like a sleeping baby. There are no chakras to concentrate on, just concentrate on the body’s sitting and the mind’s relaxed non-judgmental state. In Jawa this is called the laku of ilmu Kanthong Bolong, practiced by Ki Lurah Petruk of the wayang kulit. There are two poems connected to this that come to mind:

    Ilmu Kanthong Bolong
    (The Knowledge of the pocket with a hole)
    Yen ana isi lumuntur marang sesami.
    (If there is anything in the pocket it will be shared with fellow creations)

    So before Gerak Nurani is taught the Kanthong Bolong needs to be good. The adept must show generosity in spirit and also materially towards all life and also the adept must be able to sit in the sila position, in a relaxed state with his backbone correctly aligned in the embrace of the gravity of the Earth until his thoughts calm down and his mind becomes wening -clear. With practice everyone can experience the stillness of the ‘body-core’ can later be maintained while standing, walking, whatever. The martial philosophy of Kanthong Bolong is apparent in the other poem:

    Sugih tanpa bandha, digdaya tanpa aji, nglurug tanpa bala, menang tanpa ngasorake.

    Wealthy without riches, powerful without amulets, mount-an-attack-far-away-and surround-the enemy without an army, win without humiliating.

    When the adept shows the signs of being in intimate contact with her Nurani, and her stillness is satisfactory, the teacher must find a good time and place to bring her into the experience of the art, or in Jawa: dibuka - opened. The good time would be a time when there is dramatic weather and a good place would be any place in open nature where there is a lot of space. To get to this place the adept and the teacher must journey by foot through difficult terrain long enough to be quite exhausted when they arrive.

    Through the journey the adept and the teacher should be in worshipful mode and upon arrival assume the Kanthong Bolong practice position on the ground. The difference is that now they do not stay still, rather they must follow every krenteg (split-second-to-split-second-desires/will-of the-heart) on and on, flowing without stopping, until they are not exhausted anymore. In the dibuka training session they should follow their krenteg with their eyes shut for at least several hours, better still, several days. A great camping game to do! From there the adept is on her own in terms of Gerak Nurani and should follow her religion more sincerely and strengthen her faith with good prayers and good deeds which will make her Nurani cleaner and sharper.

    Walt Whitman summed it up neatly when he wrote: I sing the song of myself …It is the Self that needs to be present while practicing Gerak Nurani. In Jawa there are several levels of self and we want to access Ingsun Sunyata, the HyperReal Higher Self that Longs for God and according to our songs the accessing and the Self itself is thus:

    Datan ana aku datan ana karsa lan pangira
    Let there be no I let there be no pretension or anticipation
    Sing ana Ingsun Sunyata
    Let Manifest the ‘Hyper-Real-Higher-Soul’
    Ingsun Sunyata iku Tanpa Rupa.
    The ‘Hyper-Real-Higher-Soul’ has no form.

    Although in a trance, the practitioner is sovereign and knows what she is doing. The trance is being one with the Greater Energy that Flows through the Universe by the Will of God. In Suryoningalagan-speak, they would say, lenggah, ora kelenggahan sit down, sovereign and sober with even heightened sensual perception, and have no one sit on you!

    Warm salaams to all,

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2006
  9. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Now that's deep Dimas KC :p

    Back to how to increase martial power ... what does connected power (martial power) depend on? It depends on strong pliable girdle (body core) and strong legs!
    The biggest problem most people have in any strenuous activity is often the legs, especially the knees. There are two mutually supporting ways to make things easier on yourself :
    1/ be your ideal body weight (not an ideal body building weight ... but an ideal natural weight for your frame size)
    2/ develop the muscles surrounding and supporting the knee action, so that the entire leg is doing the supporting, and not only the cartiledge surrounding the knee joint.
    So how do I get strong legs and a pliable girdle ... why, latihan mlaku of course.
    This post will be about how to do latihan mlaku with greget, sawiji and sengguh nora mingkuh ... and after walking as prescribed for many-many hours, days and weeks you will (if doing it properly) reach the level of gregel with your mlaku.

    So ok, this is how you seed the method to mlaku correctly.

    more to follow ...
  10. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Back to the discussion at hand ... what does connected power (martial power) depend on? It depends on strong pliable girdle (body core) and strong legs!
    The biggest problem most people have in any strenuous activity is often the legs, especially the knees. There are two mutually supporting ways to make things easier on yourself :
    1/ be your ideal body weight (not an ideal body building weight ... but an ideal natural weight for your frame size)
    2/ develop the muscles surrounding and supporting the knee action, so that the entire leg is doing the supporting, and not only the cartiledge surrounding the knee joint.
    So how do I get strong legs and a pliable girdle ... why, latihan mlaku of course.
    This post will be about how to do latihan mlaku with greget, sawiji and sengguh nora mingkuh ... and after walking as prescribed for many-many hours, days and weeks you will (if doing it properly) reach the level of gregel with your mlaku.
    So ok, this is how you seed the method to mlaku correctly.
    Stand with feet shoulder width apart or slightly closer than that, make sure that your stance is comfortable i.e. there is no strain in your body to maintain your position. (We've already gone through the process of eliminating strain in the body posture ... ensure that you are standing according to the requirements of latihan mlaku!)
    What we want to do now is to walk a few steps and feel what it is like when done slowly. The problem with doing the latihan at speed without understanding with your body, is that it is very easy to drift back into previously ingrained habits while walking. Feel what it's like (use greget), you might feel the following sensations: a feeling of fullness acros the lower part of the abdomen, a tightening up across the entire pelvic floor, when you move your legs it's as if where the top of the legs join the pelvic girdle, that the stumps are being mainpulated by the core/girdle. Grip with the earth with the toes on each step, which activates the calf muscles as well. Eventually it feels like the legs are a autonomous unit with an intelligence of it's own, able to traverse varied terrain with confidence ... freeing up the upper part of the body and the mind to deal with other things (keeping in mind that the body still is integrated). When you have the body-knowledge - take the latihan on the open road! Use it everywhere you walk. Remember to let gravity drag/drop the shoulders and let the lungs spread out on the back.
    Additional advantages of this latihan is that you develop a choppier walk, it is easy to suddenly change direction and remain stable, it is also easy to change height, from high to ndodok without difficulty. Latihan mlaku uphill and downhill develops all aspects of the cardio-vascular system. Good luck with the latihan.

    more to follow ...
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2006
  11. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    The development of strength in the human body can be split into two parts, the physical development of muscles, balance, coordination etc and the internal aspects.
    The physical part should not be confused with the tenagadalam (inner serpent) internal aspects although there is obviously a connection between the two.
    As stated before the core of the body can be developed physically by doing a number of sports and activity’s. I don’t think that anyone would argue with the fact that rugby players develop a strong body core. Those that practice yoga at an advanced level have unbelievable strength, coordination, balance and control. yoga

    From an internal perspective the development of strength is just one aspect covered among many but it has a lot to do with a person’s connection to the Earth energetically speaking.

    A tree with shallow or a poor root development will be easily uprooted in a storm no matter how strong or big the trunk and branches are or how tough the wood is. Likewise a person who has a poor connection to the earth will be easy to move no matter how big he may be.

    In MA people talk about rooting and griping the ground with your toes but in reality it is not a physical skill and you obviously can’t grip the ground with your toes unless you happen to have claws and not feet. It is said that a true man breathes through his heels but what does it mean, we are obviously not talking about air in the physical sense and rooting is not a physical skill.

    The development of the energetic pathways in the human body is closely reflected with the development of the teeth. With the development of the last wisdom teeth the body connects to earth (energetically speaking) and it is at that age when the body naturally bulks up and becomes physically strong.

    In ancient times this earthy aspect in the human body was developed by meditating on the earth and animals that are closely connected to it. The boar is an incredibly earthy animal and due to its connection with the earth it is also very strong and dangerous. We have all heard the saying “as happy as a pig in (X)”

    Practically these exercises can be done either standing, sitting or whilst doing a circular dance form also involving breathing exercises.

    It was not uncommon to have to spend nights alone in a cave, many a cave painting shows shamanic depictions and these practices could be considered shamanic in origin, also the oldest religion on earth.

    There are a number of such exercises to develop different aspects within the body and also fine tunes the senses, for example development of this earthy aspect will naturally increase your sense of smell. Boars and pigs are known to have a better sense of smell then dogs and it is a direct result of the earth aspect.

    A person who has developed this to a high degree can at will make it almost impossible to lift them off the ground. Although their weight shows as normal when you try to lift them it’s like lifting a lump of lead. Obviously we wont all reach these levels but its important to know that strength is not all physical i.e. muscle development.

    Below: ancient warrior’s helmet with a boar fixed to the top, symbol of strength and earth.

    Attached Files:

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    Last edited: Jul 2, 2006
  12. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    This is my take on tenaga dalam ... there are of course different perspectives.

    I on the other hand believe that tenaga dalam is purely physical.
    Gripping the earth with the toes does make one more stable. Probably because it activates most of the muscles that have to do with stability e.g. when walking on slippery/muddy ground ...
    It is difficult to talk about tenaga-dalam, as I'm talking about my own experience, my own understanding of tenaga dalam ... not something I've read in a book. I know that there is an entire thought system in MA which talks about Qi and energy paths ... I'm not saying it might not exist, although it isn't part of my believe system ... and it is not my area of understanding.

    I am saying, I have no experience in Qi and 'earth energies' ... so what I call tenaga dalam, I see from physical aspects only ... and yes, if you have ever stood in the way of a footballer bearing down you with a rate of knots ... believe me, a footballer can display an awesome display of tenaga dalam :) .

    As far as muscle development ... a body builder for example might look awesome, but not have the stabilator muscles fully developed, those inner muscles which aren't seen but are important anti gravity muscles. These are the muscles are in the inner core.

    Also when developing striking power weight lifting is insufficient, because you have to have the body knowledge of the opposing sets of muscle/tendons which allow maximal tension when applying a strike. This happens through a different type of physical training than lifting weights ... but has nothing to do with meditating in some dank cave :D

    The only nod I give to meditation is that (when done properly) it teaches the body to be in a state of optimal relaxation/tension. There are no shamanic properties of any worth to my way of thinking.

    Last edited: Jul 3, 2006
  13. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Endo, ngendo or ngendani

    To begin developing power in strikes we first concentrate on endo/ngendo/ngendani which means to evade or evasion (the act of evading). Pronounced ng-end-aw
    The methods to develop the martial skill in ngendo applies (IMO) to any strike or movement.
    There are two principle energies that can be utilised in ngendo, that of nempel (sticking) and ngabruk (whacking/bashing/ ... with shocking power). How-ever, the latihan to develop the power for either set of energies is essentially the same ... it is the degree of control of tension that is different.
    Remembering that the principles can be applied to any strike, I will describe the principles behind ngendo and how we seed the idea of ngendo into our body-knowledge system.
    Ngendo is basically using the back of the fore-arm (punggunge naga or Hyang Antaboga) in a circular lifting from below position, followed by the second arm in guard position . Of course it can be applied from any number of positions but the basic idea is as described.
    The body also will crouch/duck and is from a lower position against a higher position.It is NOT a block perse ... in that you are not opposing force with force ... but mainly re-directing in nature, although as detailed previously it can also be used as a nggabruk type strike.
    If you understand ngendo, you can use it almost entirely as the only strike ... although that could be limiting. It is also important in ngendo to be aware of your future placement during movement ... don't ngendo into the other fist for example.
    Before we begin the practice and through-out the practice we have to have total dynamic muscular relaxation and proper posture alignment, ilmu kantong bolong ... but I'm assuming that we are all doing that.
    Next we need to develop greget (feeling) with regard to how the whole movement feels in different parts of the body. You have to really focus on the body, try to feel deep layer of muscle movement. We do this by moving the strike extremely slowly ... like in taiji.
    The reason we move slowly is so that we do not rely on momentum inherent within the movement and consequently miss any of the cues the movement imparts during the execution of the movement while we program our body-knowledge, which in this case is to understand on a body-knowledge level the relationship of opposite forces between the extensor and the flexor muscles in our skeletal muscle system.
    It is important not to move slowly in an empty manner, rather we should be using our mind to create the feeling that we are moving or ngendo against an object, this is also greget ... the body will oblige and accomodate, because it doesn't make the value judgement on whether the action is real or un-real. Be congruent with the exercise and the body will re-act as if it's real. Begin with a light amount of force and once understood build up to a larger amount of force, until you are ngabruk with greget and sawiji.
    This exercise will increase control, speed, accuracy and power for ngendo ... but remember, the principle will apply to any strike ...
    Also realise that ngendo is then explored from many different positions and variations, up, down, from the side, sitting etc. Each new position has to reach the greget & sawiji stage ... the power must be felt with congruence in the limbs/arms, and must not be a stiff power.


    P.S. Tenaga Dalam does not translate to Inner Serpent ...
    Tenaga = Energy Dalam=Inside/Inner ... so translates to the energy from inside ... or Inner Strength.

    Some aliran equate tenaga-dalam to the metaphysical or to the supra-physical. As I'm not a terribly sophisticated individual, my intepretation stems entirely from a physical experiential tangent :) .

    more to follow ...
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2006
  14. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Imagine a whipping rope ...

    Imagine a rope that is being used to whip an object. While it is swinging around it is pliable but at the point of impact it becomes extreme high tensile and hard ... that is what you're aiming for in ngendo/ngabruk and that can only be achieved if you are relaxed and flexible like the rope. If you have stored tension in your skeletal muscular frame you won't achieve greget.
    Without achieveing greget you cannot hope to achieve unity or sawiji.

    So ... when you can do it slowly (like taiji), and your movement is congruent, you need to practice it at speed. Sometimes you might feel that there is an isolated part of the arm or fore-arm that tenses ... this is wrong. The arm should be luwes, pliable but tensile and the tension when it happens begins in the core and ends in the punggung naga. I forgot to mention that ngendo is normally performed with open palm. Movement is more agile when the hands are open and there is more control, also it is easier to direct the whole body. Closed or tight fists favour gross motor movements generally speaking and tends to isolate the power in the moving appendage and surrounding muscles only ... if you do strike with a fist make sure that it is loosely curled before impact and tightened only at the point of impact.
    It would be counter-productive to rush into prcaticing at speed with-out the requisite body-knowledge.

  15. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Rahayu, thank you for reading this far.
    I fear that I may be taking up space on this forum that is meant for discussion.
    If you wish to continue reading my 'instalments', you may do so by following my web link under my profile ... or do a Google search on Silat Kembang Alas.

    Matur sembah nuwun (thank you) for the opportunity,

    Wallaikum Salam.
  16. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    I don't see why that should be the case, as it is part of a tradition of Silat :confused:
  17. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    I'm not leaving!

    Hi GS,
    I'm not leaving the forum altogether if that's what you thought I meant :woo: .

    It's actually time consuming up-dating both ... but OK-lah ... seeing you twisted my arm :D :D

  18. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    On techniques and tying it altogether through jurus

    We have already talked about the body-knowledge that is required in performing silat. It is the discussion that we've had on our understanding of what is 'tenaga dalam' or inner power.
    To re-iterate, it is important to understand that the process to acquire body-knowledge or skill, is the same regardless of what type of strike we do. The difference exists in the type of power or energy through action that we wish to express, e.g. to differentiate between a sticking power (tempel), shocking, smashing and pounding powers (ngabruk, ndobrak and gempur), a scything power (sabit), a whipping power (sabet), penetrating or pushing powers (tebus and sodok), a chopping power (bacok) or a cutting power (sigar) etc.
    The descriptions of power are essentially the descriptions of the quality of the energy behind a particular strike and are necessary as a way to transmit understanding of function.
    There are subtle nuances of expression of power which are inherently more suited to particular strategies, for example in the jurus of sendal pancing (if you've ever been trout fishing, that initial throw out of the line followed by the whip of the rod), we can use combinations of sticking and whipping energies (nempel & nyabet) followed by shocking energies (ngabruk) ... the idea behind the strategy being that we create a reaction based on our understanding of natural instinct in that people invariably pull back when pulled, so we accomodate by changing our own direction helping the adversary into the direction his instinct propelled him.
    However, as previously stated, a seeker 'seeds' (mbibit or di bibt) our body-knowledge using the techniques of Gerak Nurani, and it is important to understand that once the body-knowledge is understood that we don't obsess about labels. The appropriate strike and strategy will unfold depending upon the situational requirement.
    It is certainly possible that using the principles of Gerak Nurani as understood by us, that we seed our body-knowledge subconcious with a completely different set of actions ... that is up to the individual, if you do tennis, then there are offensive and defensive actions inherent within tennis techniques for example.
    In the final analysis, the idea behind the process is that we are not restricted by any form, we become independant of forms learned by rote or the form happens as we act. (Having said that, there is another set of ideas that we like to 'seed' into our sub-concsious and that is the idea of stratedgy incorporated within jurus ... )

    Walaikum Salam
  19. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    :D Ha, I merely found your take on tenaga dalam without the esoterics a, more accessible way to look at things for a pragmatic man like myself :)

    I did Yoga for a while, which is full of the old woo woo stuff too. I even went off to India.

    My main reason for doing Yoga was twofold.

    Firstly, it is well documented in medical circles that regular Yoga lowers blood pressure. Despite being reasonably fit high blood pressure runs in both side of the family. Practising Yoga lowered this to below 'normal' blood pressure.

    The second was a vain attempt to get more flexible. This worked only to a degree as I am not very flexible and genetically limited.

    However, what did happen was I became much more aware of the subtleties of my own body.

    It also built up a core strength in the inner layer of muscles in the abdomen, spine and lower rib area. Now, although people can do sqillions of sit ups and get a six pack, this type of exercise is restricted to developing certain sets of muscles, generally the outer layer.

    KA's take on tenega dalam seems to be similar to this, therefore for myself at least, it is a logical and practical take on matters
  20. Pekir

    Pekir Valued Member


    I'm not responding into the technical background of tenaga dalam so much but on the connection to the esoteric or even ilmu whatsoever. Whilst I do appreciate the 'magic stuff' that surrounds silat (almost as an integral part of Indonesian society) I do think in to many cases it is advertised in a questionable manner by some of the guru besar2 or pendekar2.

    I once responded politely on the content of a silat website where it was stated that silat without Ilmu Kebatinan/the magikal aspect wasn't true silat. Hence teachers who wouldn't offer Ilmu were more or less bogus. My respons/question was if it was really necessary to put it this bluntly because it didn't show the least respect to numorous serious teachers who have their own good reasons not to teach or advertise Magikal Ilmu.

    The result was that I received a big package by mail which was even less respectful. The main message was still: if I wasnt getting magikal Ilmu it was no real silat and on top of that, because I and my teachers were of dutch-indo desendence I probably never learned the true silat anyways. We were in his opinion the natural 'enemies' of the Indonesians. I never responded to this BS.

    In my opinion there is (or can) be a big difference between Ilmu kebatinan/magikal aspects and tenega dalam. Indeed a lot of traditional styles incorporate both of them, some present them as one. In relation to the tenaga dalam I concur that if possible it should be incorporated, the ilmu is to me a different matter. In our school, we do train tenega dalam and yes we do not train ilmu kebatinan in the sense of magikal training. Besides that I'm of the opinion that a guru can have good reasons to reserve his tenaga dalam and ilmu for his most senior students who have shown themselves 'worthy' (technical, mentality or both) for this aspect of training. Most of the students that start training will never reach this level, so why advertise this as a unique selling point.

    So don't get me wrong, I take no offence (not at all) to teachers who incorporate Ilmu/magik in their curriculum, it's by all means part of the Indonesian culture. I'm pretty convinced this stuff is around and that there are guru2 who know their ways around this subject. I'm to much a dutch-indo not to believe. I only have some difficulty with those who received their magik skills almost like receiving an e-mail, use it to promote their apparent skills and negatively opinionate those who don't.

    Bertemu lagi

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