Understanding Kembangan

Discussion in 'Silat' started by Bobster, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. Orang Jawa

    Orang Jawa The Padi Tribe-Guardian

    Kembang Alas said: For me, kembangan is part of the process to teach my body and mind to combine power with flow.

    Salam Mas Krisno,
    In general, I'm agree with you :) Silat is about flow of movements. Harsh, crude, and powerfull movements like in Karate is not a true representation of Silat. Many silat students confused with this. I think? I observed many silat players did just that, I called it Karate Silat. The objective of learning silat is to be able to move very subtle in any movements. Learning silat is like taking shower, you got to do it everyday :)

    It has nothing to do with seni ... but can look artistic I guess, however the focus is not on looking good, but to get the neurology aquiring the body knowledge to be effective in the movement, the strike and the tactic.
    It is also an effective method for dissecting complex moves and asking the question ... what is the purpose of the move and can it be reduced?
    When we look at the outcome we want to achieve, do we take the long convoluted route ... or do we understand the essence and take the route easier for the body to internalise and consequently more likely to be effective?

    It all depends, some kembangan have few realistic applications. This is a very complex issue. The bottom lines is this, you got to define your objective to learn the kembangan. For example, lifting weight is good to strengthen your muscles but if your objective to punch harder or faster, you got to hit the bag or air puch religiously. To assume because you have a strong muscles is automatically you have the speed and power is false. Your body only remember what you have been practicing. If kembangan is the core of you practice the kembangan will dominate your reaction.

    As for Narrue comments about practicing slow...I'm agree whole heartly. Especiall in kicks, if you can do it correctly and slow, only then, I think you start to understand how much muscles strength did you have. It is easy to kick fast to hide the proper way to kick or to multiple punches. It is about the delivery....you have the package but does not know how to deliver the package...You are in the big trouble :)

    Beauty for beauty sake is good for the dancer ... but many MA have complex move that doesn't work in reality.

    LOL, I agree with you Mas Krisno
  2. Rebo Paing

    Rebo Paing Pigs and fishes ...

    Selamat malam Mas Tristan,
    In general I agree, kembangan is a very complex issue exactly as you say.
    My post is only about my personal approach to kembangan and where I use it in my own personal practice ... and Mas Tris, I shower every day!! :D .
    Talking about Karate, I recently meet a Bugis man from Pare-pare (Sulawesi) and I asked with respect if he practiced silat ... and his answer was no-way ... he does Karate!. I was surprised, in his opinion silat is to much halus and has no power ... hehe.

    Narrue, it is as you say :) .

  3. Narrue

    Narrue Valued Member

    Doesn’t really surprise me, why don’t all westerners just do boxing, it’s a very good and efficient martial art plus boxing produces a very strong healthy body. The answer, probably the same for that guy who doesn’t like silat…….the grass always looks greener on the other side!
  4. Bobster

    Bobster Valued Member

    Well, actually, I LIKE boxing, it's all fight with no fru-fru. There is nothing that teaches hand fighting skills better, in my opinion, although it can't be considered as an "inclusive" art, (lack of advanced entry-parry-counters and various grappling/kicking skills) the emphasis on just punching can give you a fantastic foundation in your targeting & power upon impact. I mean, if it develops your abilities to a higher level, who cares where it comes from?

    I don't think you should go into Kembangan looking for "application" per se, that's the realm of Jurus and Buah. Kembangan serves a different purpose (not so much a "higher" purpose, but no less important than Jurus). Kembangan gives you the element of flowing motion, it's like a format to bring your Jurus into at the intermediate/advanced level, one that most martial arts never achieve. The mixed timing and rhythm in the music gives you variables that teach you how to control the flow & keep the tempo of combat under your control (or at least, more so than your opponent!) This is all but ignored in other arts, and the idea of training to music is considered almost blasphemy.

    The truth lies in that statement...!

    As to the Indonesian guy doing Karate, it's nothing new. Many Asian countries are more in love with "foreign" martial arts than thier own. In the Philippines Tae Kwon Do & Judo are HUGE, but Kali is considered "lesser" to Japanese arts. This is disheartening when you consider how much more recently the arts of the Nusantara were used in actual combat than most other arts, as well as the fact that, to me, they are MUCH closer to the savagery of thier technique, and less "artsy", if you take my meaning. Much less pomp and circumstance in Silat, much more stabbing and bleeding. That's slowly changing as well, but personally, I strongly feel that the "attitude of the knife" is what truly seperates Pencak Silat and Kali from other arts. Check out Oong Maryano's book for a comment Masatsu Oyama made upon observing Pencak Silat for the first time...He couldn't understand why Indonesians would want to do Karate, if they had Silat!
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2006

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