what are some techs for this ma?

Discussion in 'Silat' started by Cougar_v203, Mar 18, 2003.

  1. paulsilat

    paulsilat New Member


    Thanks for the reply.

    Like I said, I meant no disrespect or meant to insult anybody with my comments. I have a tendancy to say exactly what I think, and that was my opinion of those specific clips. Even with the informal aspect, I don't think my comments were that scathing or unjustified, but I will refrain in future from such postings.

    I guess I wont get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression, so I wish you guys good luck in your training.

    Is the seminar being held in the UK (where I live), if so, I would be very interested in attending, as there are very few silat instructors here, and regardless of how my comments sounded, I am always open to learning new things from other people.

    My apologies if I was harsh, but I guess that has been instilled in me by the way I was taught. It is something I am working on!

  2. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Welome to MAP Paul - good to see you're getting the idea - Be nice!
  3. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    Well that's a reasonably good recovery Paul. :D

    I'm sure Mike will explain the circumstances the clips were taken in presently, and you'll find him an excellent source of information on FMA.

    If I said what I actually thought every day, then the world would drown in it's own tears. The clever thing to do, is get people to understand your point of view, as opposed to shattering their own. Ask questions, and consider the answers carefully.

    Apologies if that seems like a lecture, I have a tendency to say what I think.

    Over to Mike........
  4. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Hi Paul. Welcome to MAP. First, rest assured that I take no personal insult from your post. Your opinion is your opinion. I'm guessing that since you live in the UK and train in Minangkabau Silat, I would assume you're in the lineage of (if not a direct student of) Guru Richard de Bordes.

    I've had the opportunity to train with him once at a seminar in Dallas. Very impressive :)

    Now, let me address your comments about the vids. As I said, I take no personal insult from your post. So, please take my return reply in the same spirit - simply a sharing of knowledge/opinion.

    First, bear in mind that video is not a great medium to see things. It's a 2 dimensinoal representation of 3 dimensional actions.

    Second, as was previously mentioned, those clips (particularly the Sapu and Carenza vids) are very "off the cuff."

    Now, before I continue, let me give you a brief overview of my MA background. I don't know how many years you've been training and I'm not trying to get into a "who's the senior practitioner" argument. I just want to give you an idea of my background so you know where I'm coming from. You can read my entire MA bio at my website: http://www.impactacademy.com/guru_mike_info.php

    But here's a brief overview as specifically relates to my Silat background. I started training in Kali and Silat in 1995. The specific system is called "Sikal" and is a hybrid of elements from several systems of Filipino martial arts and several systems of Silat. The primary influences from the FMA are Lacoste/Inosanto, Balintawak, and Doce Pares Eskrima/Eskrido. My personal tastes run toward the Eskrido but it's all good :) On the Silat side, my instructor, Guru Ken Pannell, had trained for, I believe, 6 years with Paul de Thouars in Bukti Negara and about 10 years with Herman Suwanda in Mande Muda. So the Sikal blend drew from those heavily.

    In 1998, I met Willem de Thouars and began training in his Kuntao Silat de Thouars, though I wasn't an "official" student until January of 2002. In 1999, Willem hooked my instructor up with his brother, Victor de Thouars, and our group began training in Pentjak Silat Serak.

    I no longer train specifically in Silat Serak, but my exposure to it certainly affected my Silat work.

    Don't understand this comment at all. Could you elaborate?

    What was sloppy or embarrassing about it?

    Refer to my comment on video. I assure you that I was completely stable. The "loss of balance" was me avoiding taking my student down. He has a bad knee that was acting up that day so I was trying to be careful. Also, feces occurs. Sometimes you lose your balance :)

    As for no "depok" ... I don't know how you could miss it :) The kick to the knee is the depok. A depok needn't always go all the way to the floor.


    Well, first, it was slow speed and he was standing still because I was teaching. If I did it at full speed, the people at the workshop would've had a hard time following what I was doing.

    As far as it not working? I don't know what you mean by that at all.

    I can only assume you mean the second thing shown in the clip where I start to go inside of his arm, then I switch and go outside.

    If you listen to the audio, it's pretty evident (or at leat, I think so) that I'm simply showing 2 possible options. I can get to the choke from the inside or the outside of his arm - same, same.

    This material comes from the Cipecut in Mande Muda. Traditionally, it's done with a sarong. But when I would show people the material with a sarong, they would say, "Cool. But I don't wear a sarong."

    So I took the principles used and applied them to clothes that people do wear here in the US.

    This one borders on being insulting to me, but if I had watched the video clips and seen (or not seen) what you stated, then I would probably have the same opinion.

    I represent Silat to the absolute best of my ability. I freely admit that I'm not the best Silat man around. In fact, with only 8 years of Silat, I'm a relative beginner compared to people like my instructor. Never mind people like Dan Inosanto or, especially, people like Willem de Thouars. Or, if my assumption on your lineage is correct, people like Guru de Bordes. My 8 years is a pretty paltry amount compared to their 20+, 30+, 40+, 50+ years (depending on which person you're referring to).

    But to say that I'm a poor representation or embarrassment to Silat is pretty harsh. Especially when I have received personal compliments from various world-class Silat players like Herman Suwanda or Willem de Thouars on my ability and understanding in Silat. I know, I'm kinda tooting my own horn a little. Normally I'm a bit more modest. But you were honest with me, I'm being honest with you :)

  5. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    I don't think your 1st impression was all that bad. I have no problem with honesty.

    You'd be more than welcome to come. Nothing's been confirmed yet, except that I will be the UK in December. I'm talking to a couple of people trying to arrange a seminar or two while I'm over there but, as I said, nothing's been confirmed yet.

    Now, let me ask you something, Paul. Do you have any comments on what has been discussed in this thread (vid clips aside)?

  6. paulsilat

    paulsilat New Member

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the concise and candid reply. Re-reading my post, it seems very over-the-top, and to be honest, I'm a little embarrassed to have posted it!:( . Never a good idea to post stuff after 2am local time!

    FYI, I don't train with Guru Richard, although I am aware of his awsome reputation.

    I would be interested in attending any seminars you may give in the UK, and will keep my eyes open for one.

    I am also aware of the excellent lineague you have trained under.

    I hope to partake in discussions within this board in the future, and wish you luck in your training.

    Take care mate!

  7. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    LOL. Not to worry. I've made that mistake a few times myself in the past.

    OK. I'm curious, though, could you elaborate on your background. I'm not all that familiar with the Silat scene in the UK. The only one I'm aware of there at all is Guru de Bordes. Fill me in :)

    Cool. I'll be arriving in London on December 3. I leave on December 16.

    I'm trying to get at least one, maybe two seminars set up during that time. Not sure what I'd be teaching, depends on what the host would want.

    I'm traveling right now, finishing up a week of training with Willem de Thouars. When I get back home on Monday, I'll start getting in touch with people and try to pin down a date or two.

    There's a guy in Birmingham I need to contact who may be interested. And a guy on another forum is looking into some possibilities for me.

    My primary reason for coming over there is to meet some of the people I know from online (like Melanie, Yoda, and others from here and other forums that I'm on). If I can put together a seminar or two, then I could make some pocket change and write part of the trip off as a business expense. So much the better :)

  8. waya

    waya Valued Member

    I am not an FMA practitioner by any means, but I have to comment on this having been the subject of a few of Mike's clothing attacks (and very intimate with his living room floor :eek: ). They do work quite well. It was a new concept for me and I was impressed with how well they worked against a myriad of attacks.

  9. paulsilat

    paulsilat New Member


    Hi Mike,

    Hope you've had a good week.

    I was wondering, do you guys practice the Kembagan over there? What about Ilmu training? It's not something that you read about a lot, and wanted to see if it is trained on the other side of the pond!

  10. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Re: Kembangang

    Kembangan, yes. Though whether it's the same Kembangan as you do or not is a whole different matter :)

    Some Kembangan are preset forms. Some are done in time to music. Some are freestyle.

    Most of the Kembangan I do is of the freestyle version. I do have about half of a preset Kembangan form from Tjikalong (Paleredan) in Mande Muda. It's traditionally done in time to Gamelan music but I've only practiced it that way a few times.

    Ilmu, I don't practice. I'm aware of it and have known some people who practice it ... and I've known some who claim it but are full of $#!@. And I've known some who know *a lot* about it and can do it, but choose not to practice it because they don't trust themselves with it.

  11. Cougar_v203

    Cougar_v203 4th surgery....Complete!

    they don't trust themselves? Explain.
  12. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    The simplest explanation would probably be that ilmu might be considered the "dark side" or, at least, a gateway to it. At least, that's the impression that I've gotten from some of them. This may be in part because a lot of the Dutch-Indonesians are Christians and the ilmu comes more from the animistic roots of the Indonesian culture.

    I had one guy (a Dutch-Indonesian) tell me, "A lot of the Indonesians think that we [Dutch-Indos] don't understand Ilmu or have a counter to it. But that's not the case. We grew up in the culture and understand it the same as they do. If I wanted to, I could make water run from my palm right now. But I'm not willing to pay the price it would cost in my energy."

    Whether he really could make water pour from his palm or not, I don't know. But that's what he said. And, speaking purely theoretically, if someone had enough control over their bodily functions, they could cause the palm to sweat and open the pores in the palm enough to make the sweat "pour" out.

    As I say, these are just the impressions that I've gotten from them on the subject.

    I've heard some really interesting and bizarre stories about ilmu. I've not seen any definitive demonstrations. Though I've seen some interesting things (like a straight up telepath ... at least, he was able to convince me that he was, might have been parlor tricks, but if so, he was a heck of a magician). But these weren't related to ilmu (though an Indonesian might have considered them as such, I don't know).

  13. dredleviathan

    dredleviathan New Member

    Hi Mike,

    Many thanks for your great explanations - the videos really helped me to identify techniques that I have learned under a different name. I don't "do" Silat but I have no doubt that some of the stuff we learn looks Silat-like or could be due to my instructors being exposed to it.

    Anyway it was great to get a technical insight into some Silat concepts.

    As a matter of fact we have recently been playing with some drills ending in the Sapu (luar and dalam) that you mention (and previously the Biset). As you mention in your later post we weren't given a list of entries, transitions and finishes either but given a format to work in. i.e. for a drill you might have your opponent jab, cross to start with. Chose an inside, a split & an outside entry, a transition (as applicable) and then finsh with the sapu most applicable.

    We were doing this under the guise of a Panantukan drill as it was the entries and transitions that we were really working... and especially the ability to read the most applicable entries/transition etc.

    It was also explained that the Filipino way of doing the forward sweep was less constrained (by this I mean that the form was not so important as it is just seen as a way of getting the person down so that you can hit them some more). I understand that in Silat the form of the Sapu is considered to be very important. I don't know how true this distinction is.

    The other thing that I found interesting was a sector count that my instructor used:

    Sector 1: Outside of lead foot (luar by your definition I think)
    Sector 2: Trapping lead foot
    Sector 3: Inside lead foot (dalam)
    Sector 4: Inside rear foot (dalam)
    Sector 5: Trapping rear foot
    Sector 6: Outside rear foot (luar)

    I'd not come across this before but found it a useful structure to consider.

    I'd like to learn more about Silat I think!

    Yoda - what are sepok, dempok, and silaw then?
  14. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Glad I could be of help :)

    The distinction is very apparent at the basic levels. But in the end, it becomes less apparent. In the Silat (at least as I've learned it), it starts rather stiff (almost robotic) but that's just a training mode to ingrain the principles of the movements into the body and mind. Over time, the form starts relaxing and, to the outside viewer, becomes less strict.

    It's like your focus mitt work. At first, you're taught very precise body mechanics and you go through it rather slowly and robotically. Or, at least, this is the way I was first taught. Then, over time, it becomes second nature and you start getting more relaxed and fluid. To an inexperienced outside viewer, it may look like you're just flailing, but because you started slow and precise, your movements are still precise and economical, just much more fluid and dynamic. At this point, you'll find yourself doing things that are not technically "correct" but they are "proper" at that time with the energy you're presented. Your body is just going with the flow.

    The sweeps, in my experience, are the same. A lot of the FMA sweeping is, at the beginning, less precise than the Silat sweeping. But, over time, the Silat player loosens up and maintains the precision. The FMA player, over time, gains that precision. And, in the end, they end up in basically the same place.

    Yup. We use those sectors, too, in the FMA section of our curriculum.
  15. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Yup - we use the same sectors too.

    Not supprising as there's quite a lot of common source between the thre of us.
  16. dredleviathan

    dredleviathan New Member

    Well I find that very encouraging that there is quite a lot of common material as it means that when I finally get around to meeting and trainign with you I won't be totally lost! Although I'm guessing that the depth of understanding and experience that you guys have between you will probably leave me reeling.

    Mike that was interesting what you said about the techniques becoming freer over time. Of course whether taught this way or not this happens anyway throught just regularly training a technique... I really like make these comparisons between arts only to find out that whilst the road was different the destination was the same.

    I'm not sure I explained the bit about the differences in Silat and FMA particulalry well. I think that the implication that my instructor was trying to make was that in Silat if you didn't do the technique with the correct form it was almost offensive or sacriligious (his word)... is that the case? In contrast the FMA approach was more "job done". The reason that this came about actually was that my training partner was getting a bit narky with me when I was trying out different approaches to the sweep (slightly less expereinced and wanted to stick with the lesson). Like we're all keen on saying here - different horses for different courses.

    So Yoda are you gonna finish our e-Silat course... sepok, dempok, and silaw?

  17. dredleviathan

    dredleviathan New Member

    Also thinking about it I was curious about other parts of Silat training such as the different forms/kata. The names have slipped my mind at the moment but isn't there a bunch of footwork patterns and then a bunch of hand patterns?

  18. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Hmmmm...... assuming you mean Sempok, Depok, & Siloh :D

    Sempok & Depok are cross stepping - Sempok is a cross step back - Depok is a cross step forward. Sthese can be done high, all the way to a seated posture, or without the foot touching down (as in a cross stamp into the knee.)

    If the sempok or depok is continued into a sitting posture - that is siloh.

    Mike I'm sure will give better input - my level of Silat knowledge is basic at best. I wouldn't say I "do Silat" - I use some Silat techniques that I have been taught.
  19. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Yup. That's how it is with all MA that I've been exposed to. The flavor may be different, but the end result is pretty much the same.

    I think this depends on the instructor. My instructors are more of the "if it works, it ain't wrong" philosophy. They may point out things that would improve it, make it work with less effort, but if it works, it works.

  20. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Pretty good :)

    Yes, those are the terms. I've seen them spelled and heard them pronounced a variety of ways (as is pretty common in the Souteast Asian arts due to the wide variety of dialects and influences the languages have had over the centuries).

    My explanations are basically the same as Yoda's, but not quite (especially on the siloh).

    Mine are:
    Sempok - stepping behind your standing leg
    Depok - stepping in front of your standing leg
    Siloh - pivot/corkscrew (i.e.: your feet don't move, you simply corkscrew down into position or back up) - hope that makes sense

    I've heard the resulting positions described as any of the three. So, if you show a Silat player a picture of a person at the final position (i.e.: sitting on the ground, or somewhere in between), the description of the position you get in return may be "sempok", "depok", or "siloh."


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