What can I expect to do in a Silat Class?

Discussion in 'Silat' started by SoKKlab, Jul 25, 2003.

  1. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    I've been to see a few Silat classes over the last few months in London, and frankly i'm still as confused as ever.

    If you are a Silat practitioner, can you please give me a broad overview of drills, practices etc that you use in your class.

    Do you Hit pads? How much technique work do you do? Sparring?
    Are your comments relevant to most silat styles or just yours?

    Your Assistance please. BTW I have been to see Perisai Deri and Gerak Ilham. I read the Quentin Chambers book on P.D before going to see it.
  2. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    I've not seen any Persai Deri or Gerak Ilham so can make no comments about them. There are hundreds of systems of Silat. It'd be impossible to give any sort of general answer to your question that would be applicable across the board.

    Some common components, though, are:

    A juru is usually translated as "short hand form." Jurus are used to develop upper body attributes.

    Langkah ("footpath") are used to develop lower body attributes.

    Kembangan ("flower dance") is equivalent to kata/forms.

    Buah ("fruit") are applications derived from the jurus, langkahs, and kembangan.

    But not all Silat systems have all of these elements. And some use different terminology.

    Some systems also incorporate "ilmu" (mystical elements).

    As far as other training methods, that would be totally dependent on the specific system and instructor.

    As I said, there's not really a way to give you an answer that'd be applicable to all (or even most) Silat systems.

  3. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    Thanks for the reply Mike,
    I guess the question is a bit of a Brainstrainer.

    Okay to rephrase (this may be easier..). Which are the Silat Systems renowned for their Emphasis upon learning and practising Actual Fighting Techniques?

    Or is this a daft question too?

    I'm prepared to learn the forms and all other aspects, but am looking for a Silat system that has its emphasis firmly in Fighting, I know that they all claim to eventually give you that, but i'm not convinced by what i've seen so far.

    Can anyone shed any light upon this? Or is it not that simple?
  4. krys

    krys Valued Member

    I would say filipino silat (and filipino kuntao silat, filipino kuntao, but I doubt you will find any school in Europe......

    It is all on actual fighting and we train with pads, metal weapons........
    Although you may not learn techniques to kill right away as in other silat systems, you learn very effective fighting from the start (nearly broke the leg of a fellow fma instructor during light sparing on my first lesson)....
    The killing stuff will come a little later, it is not really showy as these systems are not commercial.....

    As for the other styles i think it all depends on the instructor.....

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2003
  5. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Well, I think it depends on the instructor and the student as much or more than on the specific system.

    A system is just a set of training tools. How those training tools are taught and trained will determine whether or not a student will be able to fight with them.

    There's one specific Silat system (won't say the name to prevent political BS from rearing its head) that I've seen quite a few practitioners of. Some seem very robotic and don't appear able to apply any of their skill. Others seem very fluid and perfectly capable of applying it. All from the same system. All "advanced" (instructor levels) practitioners. So, it can't be the system itself.

    However, I will say that, in my experience, the Silat "forms" are still very tightly tied to their combative aspects. One of the things I liked about them when I first started training in Silat. When I asked, "What's this for?" I never got a response of, "I don't know." or "It's just a block." I'd get a handful of possible applications that all seemed viable to me. And I was told, "That's just the tip of the iceberg." And it was.

    But, again, it comes back to the teacher and the student - how the material is taught and how it's trained.

  6. Wali

    Wali Valued Member


    They teach Silat at East West Studios in Hendon Central.

    The emphasis is on practicality, although we do a lot of conditioning, groundwork and langhka, as this forms the basis of the system.

    A lot of people try to rush through a system and quickly want to rush through the basics. In Silat, you need a certain level of conditioning and understanding of the basics in order to progress through to the next level.

    Like Pesilat mentions, we cover jurus, LOTS of langhka and also have a Kembangan class a week.

    If your interested in having a look, drop me a line.

  7. SoKKlab

    SoKKlab The Cwtch of Death!

    Thanks Wali, Mike, Krys,
    For the Info. I'm a little clearer as to what to expect now, coming from a Muay Thai background I'm not interested in dancing about the place in fancy pyjamas, so if it's learning fighting then i'm interested.

    I don't want to rush through a system, just don't want to end up doing something that is ********, hence my looking for Authentic Silat systems.

    I'm always very thorough when looking for classes, as I am going to invest alot of sweat and time into what I end up doing, so I invest alot of legwork in finding something worthwhile.

    I understand the importance of the other aspects such as the forms and applications and when I find a good system and one that's right for me, I'll put my all into learning and understanding it all and do it with a good heart.

    It's just that finding part....I have located a few more classes that I am going to go see. I'll keep looking and see what turns up, including Steve Benitez's classes.
  8. Wali

    Wali Valued Member


    You raise some very good points.

    We have some ex-Thai Boxing champions of considrable reputation training with us, but wont name-drop in here. These are guys who are "old school" Thai, and would not stay for the years they have been training if it was just a flowery and useless art.

    You show good maturity in not accepting things without first doing your research, and I hope you eventually find a school that meets your needs.

    All the best,

  9. butterfly_knf

    butterfly_knf New Member

    To be honest, I found trouble in learning myself.
    But then my Guru told me that Silat should be weightless, it should be use limitlessly so you don't need to wonder whether you did right or wrong, just-- follow your heart.

    Well, Silat is very much DIFFERENT from any other MA I know, yet it's certainly similar to Kung-fu. In Silat, they focused on what your body can do as a reaction, and what is impressive the most---like you say---there is no need to worry for an unquestionable answer, the movement in Silat made as much efficiecy with less energy that you need.

    Sounds like Tai chi:cool:
    Silat is very--- lots and lots of variation. Until in the end, there are probably no form at all. Since it is 'weightless' and it is progammed to block and assault at the same time.

    And the thing in Silat is: its extremely good footwork.
  10. krys

    krys Valued Member

    Many people compare Silat to Bagua...
    Actually many of the soft parries look like Tai Chi movements....
  11. butterfly_knf

    butterfly_knf New Member

    It doesn't sound strange, right?
    As the world major MA came from China- n the Chinese learn it from the Indian monks.

    The style of Silat may show many similarity to other arts, especially Jiu-jitsu art of grappling.
    (No wonder- even Japanese Ninjutsu created from Sun Tzus' Art of War)

    I guess, all MA are brothers.
    But the fact is, without comparising to the genetics behavior and talent; the practice of MA work best if it fits to your personality. The Indonesians, Javanese- create Silat based on their ancient belief at that time. You can still see it even now. It's no mystical- but it is, see how Yoga meditation lead us to...

    But trust this-the good or bad in the MA depends on the practitioner, in other case, if you intent with negativity then your mind&body receives the same feedback itself.

    It's pretty cruel- that's why you need a good supervisor in it.
  12. krys

    krys Valued Member

    :Angel: How true you are...This is exactly what happened to the peoples I trained with in the first place, their intent were really negative, all of them got injured and stopped practicing within three years....
  13. butterfly_knf

    butterfly_knf New Member

    :D Thanks

    Let's just say that-- I have a good Guru, he taught this stubborn-snobbish-carelless girl well enough:love:
  14. krys

    krys Valued Member

    Good gurus have a deep influence on the behaviour of their students..... I kept on seing my guru in dreams (my training partner too) after meeting him for the first time.... it still happens; after meeting him I really changed.

    Silat implies conduct which has three levels:

    A (pe)silat is an individual who has a noble mind and character.

    A (pe)silat is one who loves his fellowmen- love, friendship and peace.

    A (pe)silat is a knight who upholds truth, honesty and justice and is always resilient in facing any ordeal and temptattion.
  15. butterfly_knf

    butterfly_knf New Member

    That is true, students do dream about their Guru.
    They have to always manage to educate their pupils.

    Even when they're not in this world...(you know what I mean)
    :rolleyes: haha~~that's a bit...tricky

    It's not the first time I sense something---unseen---
    Whee--we surely have to build strong mental state...right?:Alien:

    (dear god...)
  16. Fist Of Legend

    Fist Of Legend New Member

    In my PS lessons I have to train my buts off. I do competition training so I learn more techs to really use in a fight, but to get further in rang you have to learn some technical techniques. What also is a very good thing about PS are the harding trainings, like for example: get hit with a bamboostick to strengthen the muscles. Hope I was of any help ;) greetz

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