Walisongo Pencak Silat

Discussion in 'Silat' started by inthespirit, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

    Hello Silat people,

    I have read a while ago about pendeka Steve Benitez and his Walisongo Silat, I have recently been hearing a lot more about this style and its effectiveness.

    I had a look on the website selling the instructional DVD's, checked out the clips on there and read some info on the eastweststudios website.

    I have a few questions, would be grateful if someone could address these for me.

    Firstly is Walisongo Pencak Silat connected in some way to this:


    From my limited understanding this silat style draws its strength from training postural muscles and intention in movement, much like Chinese internal arts, would this be a correct assumption?

    Is force issued by relying more on structure, fluidity, intention and breath coordination/control, as opposed to raw strength developed through training such as weight lifting ?

  2. SilatSeeker

    SilatSeeker Valued Member

    Partially right.

    Much of the strength/power is found in the Lankahs/footwork/stepping patterns. They can train the body how to deliver force without relying on muscle. The lankahs were considered the "secret sauce" and not even taught publically by gurus in the U.S. until like 1990 or so.

    In my silat, some of the power comes from momentum, not muscle force. It's a rolling and swaying movement pattern that starts momentum one direction, then transfers the main attack in a different direction as momentum builds.

    Don't forget that most silats are also blade arts. So just as important as power is speed and manueverability. It doesn't take a lot of power to stick someone with a knife. But to avoid being stuck, you better have some incredible footwork and ability to seize superior angles of attack and defense.

    But, since there are over like 150 different silat styles, many with Chinese influence, I'm sure do use methods like bagua and hsing-i to use whole body/structure power. And some look like bad karate :)

    I think some of Steve's students post here, so they can answer the specifics of their style better than anyone else.
  3. Wali

    Wali Valued Member

    Hi IntheSpirit,

    Firstly, we are not in any way connected to the school your link refers to.

    The stregth in the Wali Songo Silat comes from a number of areas. Firstly, very gruelling conditioning. Normally, the first 40 minutes of any class will consists of very intensive physical conditioning and training. The warm up exercises are aimed at strengthening the whole body, and preparing a student to be able to perform the required movements further on in the system. Silat is sometimes overshadowed by "mystical" talk, and people forget to train!

    Secondly, the nature of the movement in Wali Songo Silat is circular, which in turn helps to generate speed and power. We use a fundamental principal called "Gelek", in which the body is always coiling, contracting and expanding. This is done whether standing still or in movement. The Gelek is particularly beneficial when dealing with multiple attackers as it aids a person in moving from one assailant to the other. It also helps you generate momentum for your stikes, making you rely less on physical strength.

    Like SilatSeeker mentioned, the Lankha is veyr important, an is key around one of the other fundamantal principles of silat - Movement!

    We also have special breathing exercises used to "pack" certain areas of the body (Rib cage, shins, etc.) which make them less susceptable to certain attacks.

    A student starts off on the ground, and this is a good way to develop overall body strength. By ground, I don't mean static postures, but dynamic, constantly moving groundwork.

    All of the silat learnt culminates in the 'Kembagang' - The flower dance. This is a soft dance side of silat, in which a student brings all his knowledge and gets to really show what he knows. This is a missing aspect of many silat styles, but one of the most important.

    Steve also features in the cover of this months Martial Arts Illustrated, if your interested. (London copies come with a complimentary DVD)

    I hope this helps, and feel free to ask any questions you may have.

  4. Sgt_Major

    Sgt_Major Ex Global Mod Supporter

    Bunga is indeed very over-looked in some styles. I love Bunga, it helps me get techniques buried into my head better.

    Circular movements combined with indirect hitting, relaxed movements til point of impact, and ricochet hitting are very good at delivering speed and power in movement.

    If you are in London, I reccomend calling in with Guru Baharu Gavin Bryne, classes take place in the Seymour Leisure Centure every Tuesday from 8:30 - 10:00, in the Marylebone area.
  5. tauhid_87

    tauhid_87 Valued Member

    Thanks for the information in the site you gave, interesting site ........thanks inthespirit...... :)
  6. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

    Thanks for the info everyone, will mull over and perhaps get back with some more questions. Enjoy the weekend.

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