Why Silat?

Discussion in 'Indochinese Martial Arts - General' started by Hawke, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. Hawke

    Hawke Master Black Belt

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    Greetings and Salutations!

    Why did you choose Silat (or why Silat chose you)?

    Most of the people I have talked with already had training in a different MA before they studied Silat. Some schools combine Silat with others (FMA seems common).

    What do you like about Silat?

    With Respect
    :asian:
     
  2. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    I had been a dojo bum for many years and first heard about Silat from Donn Draeger's books. It seemed fascinating. Later, my then-fiancee was in a JKD school that had a few seminars which included some Silat. When a teacher moved to town I had a choice between studying with him or staying with a local Modern Arnis teacher.

    It was a very, very easy choice. Brandt knew what he was talking about and had made it work when large armed men didn't want him to stand up again. That's with his physical infirmities. The movements were natural. The attitude and techniques made sense. What wasn't to like?

    Some time later my current teacher moved to the area. It was his skill and the recommendation of my first guru which were the deciding factors. The principles made sense. The way he fought came out of the principles and the curriculum. The quality of movement was excellent. It seemed efficient, pragmatic and deep.

    Later other things came out, but that's what was attractive in the beginning.
     
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  3. Bobbe

    Bobbe White Belt

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    I came to Pencak Silat later in the game, I was already training Wing Chun and Jiu Jitsu in my mid teens, and thought I knew everything. In South Carolina in the mid 80's, that wasn't a difficult thing to achieve.

    I met my first Kali instructor next, LaVonne Martin. You may have heard of her, she's one of Dan Inosanto's top people. At the time (about 1987-88, I forget exactly) she was married to my Jiu Jitsu instructor in Sarasota Florida, Steve Roesnch. I used to drive 17 hours from Columbia to Sarasota just to train with him. I wasn't terribly interested in Kali at the time, and Pencak Silat was just too weird for me to comprehend. However, I took a few private classes with LaVonne since I was down there already (I wanted to make good use of my time) and she got me hooked on the sticks.

    I've been a lost man ever since.

    Through her I met Francis Fong. You can pretty much follow the bouncing ball from here: Fong -> Inosanto -> Suwanda(s) -> Petrilli -> any one who drifted through, around or near the Inosanto Academy.

    I can't really say when it happened, but I eventually receded my training in most of the other arts I was in, and focused only on Kali and Pencak Silat.

    Something I always coveted when I was younger was being a black belt. I felt a little annoyed at Pa Herman, because by the time I reached 3rd Degree in Jiu Jitsu...I just didn't care about it anymore. He had made the learning process more important to me than the piece of paper. I'm grateful to him as well...But I do look back on those days sometimes and say "What the hell was I thinking?!?"

    You can also blame him for this non-conformist attitude I have when it comes to conventional martial arts attitudes and culture. He REALLY opened my eyes, and it wasn't until after his death that I truly started to appreciate what he gave out.
     
  4. infinite beginner

    infinite beginner Purple Belt

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    Is it not impossible to proficiently practice many and yet retain claim to mastery of one
     
  5. doc D

    doc D Orange Belt

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    I had trained for years in a lot of the more standard fare ....wrestling, judo , American kenpo ,Shou Shu, Chinese Kempo, tae kwon do , hapkido, shotokan karate, ,Kyokushinkai, Jun Fan gung fu , etc, etc. I was training in Larry Hartsell's JKD Grappling association in the mid /late 80's as I recall .While in USAF Spec Ops , I spent some time in some interesting places overseas. At one of those locations, I also spent some time hanging out with a particular US Army Green Beret/ US Special Forces member who had also been a Tunnel Rat in Viet Nam. He was a Chinese style fighter who was pretty rough and tumble and had great footwork and body movement. He liked the Thai Boxers ,when he was in Thailand, because of the full contact work they did and he liked the Kali /escrima folks because of their weapon base, williness to train with live blade during their development and their attention to footwork. But he seemed most excited about the Pencak Silat people he had some contact with. He told me of a few times he ran across silat stylist in South East Asia . He said the first time he saw one in action , it really unnerved him. At that time ,he had done a lot of serious training but he did not feel it had prepared him for what he had seen take place in an altercation he witnessed. He did eventually make some friends within the silat community and learned a bit about their methods. He said he trained pretty hard to learn to deal with some of what they did. He told me that this focused training was probably what saved his hide one day when one of his team members was about to get in a scrap with a local who, he figured out,was a pesilat. He encouraged me to seek out any Pencak Silat teacher I might ever run across and try my hardest to get some training . Well, that pretty much put the bug in my ear. When I was in Texas, I heard Pendekar Herman Suwanda was conducting seminars within the region. I went to see him and had an absolutely wonderful training experience. His art seemed to have everything I wanted and seemed to exhibit the motions and skills my teacher/ friend had mentioned. Later, Bill Stutesman introduced me to Maha Guru Richard Crabbe De-Bordes and the experience was similarly exciting . The more I trained with my silat teachers, the more I saw the concepts and skills being developed that I had been working on when studying JKD, Jun Fan Gung Fu , Wu Wei, grappling, Muay Thai and Kali.There seemed to be a bit of redundancy in many respects. I decided to place my focus on the study of Pencak Silat and have been with the art ever since, with no regrets. One day my old friend came to to the DFW area and searched me out....he dropped by one day and saw me working with Dave Goodenow , one of my training buddies at the time. I just grinned and said he had nothing more to treach me, it was obvious I was getting what I needed from my silat teachers.

    Of course , why I am with Silat is because it fits my needs and is the art most suitable for my particular way of moving ,as well as my psychological "worldview". I am certain many other folks have found similar satisfaction within their own non-silat arts. You just have to find one that you can make work for you in an effective manner and one that seems to meet all of your training needs. For me , it was Pencak Silat.
    With Respect,
    Doc D
     
  6. doc D

    doc D Orange Belt

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    Apologies.....In the previous post I misstyped "I " instead of "He" just grinned...
    I can't seem to figure out how to edit the post and the mistake changes the flavor of the story. He really was pleased that I had found a silat teacher. His Kung Fu method was very heavy on what we would call Langkah in silat. He liked the fact I had finally learned to move a lot better !

    Doc D
     
  7. pesilat

    pesilat 3rd Black Belt

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    I was born with crossed eyes and my vision development was somewhat screwy. Consequently I have poor depth perception. I started training TKD as a kid but at the kicking range I'm at a huge disadvantage because of my depth perception problems.

    I moved from TKD to Okinawan Goju-Ryu and was more comfortable but still had issues caused by the depth perception.

    When I was introduced to Silat - specifically from the de Thouars Serak lineage - it felt like I was coming home. That extreme close range where I'm able to rely more on tactile senses than on visual senses is great for me and, in fact, is what I had kind of fumbled my way toward. When I was introduced to Silat I thought, "Wow! People actually fight like this! This is what I've been groping in the dark trying to find for years!"

    Mike
     
  8. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I love Silat and the movement fits perfectly with my training. Personally I love that close in manipulation and leg destructions. [​IMG]
     
  9. infinite beginner

    infinite beginner Purple Belt

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    you can take the art out of the jungle but you can't take the jungle out of the art.the physics of the tiger, dexterity of the monkey ,the mesmorizing lightning strike's of the cobra.
     
  10. ben

    ben Yellow Belt

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    When I started I had never heard of silat or kuntao. I'd done about 8-12 months of karate and gotten bored. Then one day my dad (who was still doing karate at the time) called and told me I had to come and check out this class he had been to. He had gone because they advertised Tai Chi and he ended up sitting in on a silat class.

    I was hooked right away. Not because of any particular movement or tech but because of the hands on application and the in depth explanation.

    What keeps me coming back is the fluid, supple and explosive movement. The more I practice the better I feel. I am constantly learning something new and improving what I know. There'll be no more marching up and down the floor shouting kia for me.
     
  11. infinite beginner

    infinite beginner Purple Belt

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    martial physics. no time for strengh no time for speed no time for time.
     
  12. jus_dann

    jus_dann Blue Belt

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    I also found myself playing around in the "inosanto circle"
    in reading this, i remember LaVonne busting my head open with some sarong work........can you say SHEWWWW! LOL
     
  13. jus_dann

    jus_dann Blue Belt

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    and with the 1st question,
    why silat?
    well after years of chinese training with a hit of FMA & Kuntao,
    I really enjoyed the "all you can eat" with FMA and some silats just help me tie together the FMA with the CMA. just kinda felt natural
     
  14. infinite beginner

    infinite beginner Purple Belt

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    silat is nothing if not an intense study of physical precision.Skill is not knowing how much damage you can inflict ,but how much damage you can evade and counter.For every one technique there must be a thousand counter's
     
  15. Copis

    Copis White Belt

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    11 years ago I moved to Denver.....I felt it would be foolish not to investigate the deThouars lineage. Bapak Willem deThouars lives a few minutes from my house.....the rest is my personal history. As a young Instructor under Willem I can honestly say that Silat has changed my life....

    Bill Maniotes
     
  16. PG Michael B

    PG Michael B White Belt

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    Why Silat? Quid pro quo...why not silat?

    Silat is principal based with simplicity and intent as the guiding edge. It is also pertinent to know that Silat, especially those systems that come from Malaysia and Indonesia work off of the premise of Mustaqeen (the straight path)...many of the systems are steeped in Islam and trained in accordance with this in mind. The Silat I have trained was not the life long syllabus that most in the west are accustomed to, rather it is a short syllabus and can actually take a year or less to learn (learn not master). In south east Asia the people who study need it now, not tomorrow, so the lessons are tailored to fit into their every day life. This is what appeals to me. A straight forward methodology that bases it's content on simplicity with intent as opposed to rhetoric, dogma and theory only. I train and explore the Silat world for the love of the arts, the culture and the practicality of methodology, especially Baringingsakti Pencak Silat Harimau. This system fits well for me. Do not believe the hype when they say big men can not do Harimau...LOL...I know several, myself included that can prove that query dead wrong. Peace, salaam, shalom

    PG Michael Blackgrave

    www.bahadzubuwest.org
     
  17. infinite beginner

    infinite beginner Purple Belt

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    take out the sport, the fair fighting, the rules of exchange and competition along with heavy value of muscle and speed
    and most arts end, where silat just begin's
     
  18. infinite beginner

    infinite beginner Purple Belt

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    //\\ //\\
    \\// \\// even a strong breeze can sweep away equilibrium, if its from the right angle.
     
  19. infinite beginner

    infinite beginner Purple Belt

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    jurus are just rote mindless stirking tools ,once you finally understand them
     
  20. infinite beginner

    infinite beginner Purple Belt

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    Everyone of the same style get's the same generic jurus, yet no two fight the same. its how you can express the motion to the best of Your capabilties.
     

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