FMAT: Connection with silat

Clark Kent

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Sep 11, 2006
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Connection with silat
By mi1990 - 02-03-2011 06:15 PM
Originally Posted at: FMATalk


Can kali, escrima, arnis be considered a type/branch of silat ?


------------------------------------ Post Bot - FMA Feed


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Oct 11, 2011
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Salaam Alaikum, as a teacher of an ancient classical Sumatran Silat system... I would like to speak from our tradition concerning Silat... and its branches... Pentjak Silat is a term used in the malay world outside of Sumatra in Sumatra its only called "Silat".

our lineage is traced from Saudi Arabia, through Gujarat India to Sumatra and then from there it hopped from island to island 'til it reached the phillipines, and other countries Brunei syngapore, borneo, etc... the farther you go from sumatra the less flowing the movements... and the more choppier and influenced by other less dancelike arts it becomes... it also loses its spiritual essence along the way...

True Authentic Silat is a mystical path... its defining characteristics are as follows... "from our ancient point of view"... (others are welcome to thier opinion... what I am about to share is knowledge which has been handed down through our lineage in an unbroken disciple line of spiritual transmission....)

Authentic silat can be defined as:...a path of spiritual enlightenment having the following characteristics on a path of perception: there are many ways of receiving or understanding Silat... the following is one of the ways it can be understood...

1) Musical; a dance to a drumbeat, gongs, and a war horn
2) it is a bladed art... as an inheritance from angelic forms of bladed martial art
3) its about multiple attackers faught on various physical and spiritual levels or gates in the world and within us.
4) its sacred steps are the true wisdom of the art
5) its expression is lightning fast... and just as destructive its purpose is to dispatch assailants in the time it takes to make an exhalation.... or sooner. The Term Silat has many original definitions one of which is "The Attribute of Lightning"
6) there is no sporting aspect, therefore no submission techniques theory
7) there is a very strong animal style influence but no animism or animal spirit possession.

Authentic silat is missing from "American Silat"... true silat in the USA is very rare... and one of its hall marks is "Kembangan" or the Flower Dance with bladed weaponry... all forms of true silat should have this "Living"... movement based on geometrical stepping patterns anchored by a heart inspired understanding... expressed through the breath. As Tai Chi can be understood to be "moving meditation", Silat truly can be understood as "moving prayer".

"Oneness" of mind body and soul is the result of true silat training and practice...

I have had the pleasure and good fortune to teach a few kali teachers as well as phillipino MA students and teachers in arnis, and other arts... I am currently teaching 5 kali and arnis students who have spent years in these arts... they tell me... that training silat is far from what they had been doing previously... honestly I have no knowledge of what they "know"... as my teacher's way was to empty cups at the outset and to advise that nothing shared from Silat should be compared to any other frame of reference as they are too far from one another... yet... I can see when they struggle to let go of "choppy movement, to acquire grace and "the Flow"... of silat movement... the more years they have in MA training the harder it is for them to flow through the curriculum... also the more "in their head"... they are the harder it is for them to become "heart directed"... which is the connection process for inspired movement.