The Amuk (Running Amok) mentality I learned in Silat...

Discussion in 'Silat' started by pakarilusi, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. pakarilusi

    pakarilusi Valued Member

    For the uninitiated, this is Silat's version of going "Kamikaze", to put it simply.

    Basically, the strategy is if you're outnumbered, down and out...

    Say your prayers (if any)... Grab your Parang/Golok/Keris tightly and go crazy, throwing all caution to the wind. Go into the "kill mentality".

    Take as many with you as you can.

    Really. That's what I was taught.

    I think if anything, this is one of the things that I learned in Silat that has really shown its effectiveness in full out sparring with weapons (mock weapons of course). Especially when doing one against many sparring

    This pure spirit training, not the "ghost" spirit, the guts "spirit".

    Curious... Have you guys learned this?
  2. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    My understanding of the term is just slightly different.

    It comes from warrior tribes who while preparing for battle worked themselves into an uninhibited state, possibly through use of opium or other such substances.

    The witch doctors or shamen along with the warriors would be around the camp fire before battle slowly being worked into a frenzied state, almost as if they were possesed. This state was called amok (or amuck - possibly from the Amuco Warriors).
  3. pakarilusi

    pakarilusi Valued Member

    The word Amok comes from the Malay word Amuk.

    Check it up.
  4. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    the term amuk is from elephant rage/rampage, when the animals just loose it, they call it amuk - at least thats what i've heard of the etymology.
    i dont think its a good thing to induce in sparring because it lacks control and therefore increases the chance of injury
  5. pakarilusi

    pakarilusi Valued Member

    Gajah Mengamuk = Elephant rampage. Maybe...

    But the Pesilat certainly does too...

    You have not seen some Malaysian and Indonesian Silat going into trance have you? ;)
  6. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Don't know about other sources ... but ngamuk or amuk is also bahasa kawi (ancient Javanese with a basis in Sanskrit). It means going berserk, and it's definitely not a normal state nor particularly desirable. Kamikaze is a good description, it's a one way ticket.
  7. kuntaoer

    kuntaoer Valued Member

    The Jurmentados of mindanao used to do the same thing.. It was where they would prepare themselves for death by getting cleansed, wrapping wire and bamboo strips around the muscle groups and major arteries to keep from accelerated bleeding if cut or shot, say their prayers and grab steel.. This was done numerous times during the spanish and american times in the Philippines.. In the case of several reports, the jurmentado would slash and utilize circular cuts with the kampilan, kris and barong so deep that it would be a clean cut to the bone or completely cut if off.. There are also stories of where the jurmentado would be in the middle of a circle of dead spaniards piled around them when in ambush mode.. The book swish of the kris has documented history of such events during the philippines occupation
  8. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    Battle fury, many cultures have used this. I have heard story's about peoples physical appearance changing when they go into this trance like state. Some do a similar thing but they link themselves to a wild animal instead such as a tiger. Their pupils will dilate, they will start to salivate and their hair will stand on end. Basically its embracing your lower (animal ) self, you could also reach up and take on your higher self tho ;)
  9. lucidz

    lucidz New Member

    Actually this is incorrect. There have been many cultures in which there was a concept of a blood rage, however the indonesian concept of Amuk is quite different from say, the Norse Berzerker.

    A berzerker would work himself into a frenzy but could be directed in battle, at least in a general direction to kill.

    Amuk, as one other person mentioned was a complete lunacy rampage. It meant to kill indiscriminately, men, women, children and even animals. Contrary to popular belief it had nothing to do with being out numbered. It was related to honor. If everything you had had been taken from you, and you lost your mind and killed everyone responsible and everyone in your way, it was in fact a badge of honor. There are stories of valiant soldiers who were awakened in the night only to see some deeply unpleasant things. (This is a good post, but we're a family forum, and that imagery was pretty graphic. Thanks for understanding.)

    One such story ended up with a man who went amuk for several weeks until he made his way to the Sultans palace where he killed every living creature. The public respected him so much, they made him the new sultan.

    Another great example is Hang Tuah.

    Hang Jebat was his greatest friend...

    Its an incredible story. There are many legends in Malay and Indonesian and Javanese culture of people running amuk for weeks at a time and killing upwards of several thousands of people. (Keep in mind, a master's Kris was imbued with a neurotoxin so even a small slice could render you maimed or dead.)

    Anyways, its a fantastic bit of research to do. Very cool stuff.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2012
  10. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Hi lucidz, I wasn't aware of any history where a Sultan in Indonesia was 'promoted' due to the fact that he was ngamuk and killed thousands of people ... maybe he was Malaysian, or maybe it's a local story from where you're from? You're not talking about Ken Arok are you because technically he wasn't a 'Sultan'; wrong period of history and he was Hindu (founder of Singasari). Sultan is a muslim rulers title.
    In my tradition ngamuk is not respected because it means a person forsakes their humanity because they lose control, and it is exactly that; blood lust ... revenge is understandable, but it is still not the mark of a satria to harm the innocent ... and satria too is a Hindu concept ... hehe.
    Now the Java Hindu mix has deep influences in my tradition, so the Mahabharata and the Bharatayuda were big influences in the mythology that I grew up with ... and it was the buto (the baddies, portrayed as giants/monsters) in the wayang pantheon who were prone to ngamuk, and they would come to a sticky end without fail ... even though Bimo (Werkudara, 2nd oldest of the Pandawa's) did lose it once in a while ... ;o)

    A 'Sultan' from Indonesia (especially Jawa) would be a kesatria first ... an 'essential' character trait if you like.

    In actual fact, you don't have to go far in history in Indonesia to know that the people have a deep distrust for that condition ... as many were on the receiving end in 1965. This does not sit easily on the collective psyche, there is a lot to come to terms with.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  11. lucidz

    lucidz New Member

    I'm SO sorry. I didn't mean to go over the top. I'll be a good boy in the future :)
  12. lucidz

    lucidz New Member

    I apologize. Those stories are completely different. The man who became sultan only killed around 20 or so people.

    It was the story of Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat that (legend has it) involved the death of thousands. The story goes that Hang Tuah was accused of sleeping with the Sultan's wife, even though he had not. Hang Tuah was the greatest soldier in the land. When the executioner took him to the woods to kill him, he could not, because he had so much respect for Hang Tuah. So he took his Kris and told him to leave and never return.

    The Sultan, not realizing the bond between Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat, tried to offer Hang Jebat the Kris to make him his right hand man. Hang Jebat went into a rage and began killing indiscriminately. This rampage lasted for weeks and the Sultan barely escaped. No soldier could match Hang Jebat's skill or ferocity and the Sultan had no idea what to do, for only Hang Tuah was skilled enough to beat him. The executioner admitted he had not killed Hang Tuah and the Sultan, instead of being angry, asked for him to be summoned at once.

    Hang Tuah, after seeing the devastation agreed to stop Hang Jebat. Here's the bit from Wikipedia.

    "After learning from the Bendahara that Hang Tuah was still alive, The Sultan had him recall Hang Tuah and gave Hang Tuah full amnesty. The Sultan then ordered Hang Tuah to kill Hang Jebat. Being unquestioningly loyal to the Sultan, Hang Tuah obeyed the Sultan's bidding and went on to challenge Hang Jebat. After fighting in a battle that lasted for seven days, Hang Tuah eventually managed to reclaim the Taming Sari by tricking Hang Jebat. Although stabbed by Tuah, Hang Jebat bandaged his wounds and ran amok in the city square for three days, killing thousands of people before retreating to Tuah's house and dying in his friend's arms.
    Hang Jebat's famous quote was "Raja adil raja disembah, raja zalim raja disanggah" which literally means "A fair king is a king to obey, a cruel king is a king to fight against"."

    Sorry if I'm a bit of a history nut :)
  13. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    No worries. It was a good post. Just needed the edges sanded down a bit. Thanks lucidz.
  14. lucidz

    lucidz New Member

    I'm a philosophical martial artist ;)
  15. kunderemp

    kunderemp New Member

    There are school of silat who will ask you to the state of trance.
    I wouldn't recommended it.

    And about 'Amuk' mentality,
    I say, don't.

    Yes, we have some kind of 'amuk' personality which sometimes happened and believe me, we are not proud of it.

    However, there is a 'ready-to-kill-in-any-way-possible' mentality in Silat.
    I can't remember the exact word, but one of practitioner told me that in his closed family style, "apa yang bisa dimakan, makan" (whatever you can eat, eat it). It means that his style will use any way possible to defeat, although it may be considered as cheating in sport.

    It is not 'amuk' however. You still have control to your mind, to restrain yourself.

    There is another similar phrase from different school, which is "kalau mundur berarti kafir" (when you backdown, you are blasphemy).

    Again, this is not 'amuk' mentality. Far from it.

    All of the phrase didn't meant to suggest practitioner to do blind attack. It sense the weak spot from enemy which is the nearest and 'execute it'.
  16. pakarilusi

    pakarilusi Valued Member

    No blindness, there's where training comes in.

    Just no worry of death. :)
  17. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Frankly I doubt you've ever faced it
  18. shootodog

    shootodog restless native

    Has and still happens in Mindanao amongst my moro bretheren.
  19. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    If so I stand corrected - its a common saying thrown out that many have no conception of. I am scared silly of dying and what it will mean for those I leave behind - that's why I train so hard so I can hold onto itl. Same result, different paradigm I suppose
  20. MadMonk108

    MadMonk108 JKD/Kali Instructor

    How often have you engaged in life and death combat?

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