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Author Topic: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?  (Read 6340 times)

Josh

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Hello-
As a new member of this site I have been impressed by the high level of polite discourse and martial brotherhood displayed (with a few unpleasant exceptions).   There seems to be a consensus that silat is about personal development with very little emphasis on kicking ass on the forum.  This is quite refreshing, as even discussions on fora dedicated to internal arts seem to emphasize vanquishing an opponent rather than respecting them.  Most members here seem more dedicated to promoting the science with a healthy dose of ethics along the way.  So I was wondering how the image of silat in America could reflect this attitude. 

When I have looked at silat related discussions online they seem to be of the consensus that silat is a brutally effective fighting style with good ground techniques.  They then discuss styles that seem to often have more to do with the Philippines than Indonesia, and where the "Gurus" are always western.  While it is nice to have people thinking silat is effective, the description of it as brutal always bothers me.  I also like the ground fighting aspect, but it seems that people equate that with wrestling. 

I would like to discuss what image you would like pencak silat to display to the world, and how you would like the message to be presented.  Traditional arts are in decline all over the world, and are being replaced by commercially based combat training.  What is the best way to combat this?
Josh

Gajah

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #1 on: 22/08/2007 01:32 »
Well, I think you've pretty much said it anyway :)

One thing that constantly annoys me with more modern MMA based training is all the egos, 'Hell yeahs' and veneer of invincibility! To me it's all very course, kasar as the Indonesians might say, regardless of the combat effectiveness. This to me is merely the physics of hurting people, martial arts without a soul. I mean soul in it's broadest context rather than religious.

I believe learning in a more traditional manner provides a framework for personal development rather than just a series of physical movements. Learning in a more traditional manner often teaches 'how not to fight' too, along with humility, respect, self discipline......

By traditional, I do not neccessarily mean a traditional perguruan or dress etc. I just mean the manner in which the art is taught. Traditional in Indonesia could mean many things, a father teaching his son rather than a large school for instance.

Also, the cumulation of experience through many generations can provide much more insight into how we use body structure, posture and balance. Bio-mechanics I suppose! Purely teaching how to fight, misses out on this.

Perhaps many silat techniques are brutal, but you will rarely find a teacher of silat who is a brutal person :)

It is up to us as individuals and persilat to present silat in a humble and respectful manner without ego and boastfullness. If we all do that then silat will be viewed in the manner it is presented.
« Last Edit: 22/08/2007 01:38 by Gajah »

SundaWarrior

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #2 on: 22/08/2007 03:23 »
I think the image of Pencak Silat should be displayed as it is
in Indonesia, teaching humbleness and respect for eachother.
Each teacher of Pencak Silat will express the movement of Pencak
Silat in a different way (as we are all different and unique people)
but we should all display the Silat philosophy of "noble mind and character" and also the philosophy of the padi (rice) plant.  The
more we grow in Pencak Silat the more we should bow
and become more humble.  The fighting effectiveness of Pencak
Silat is only an added bonus and is a distant second to becoming
part of a Silat family.  Welcome to the forum Josh.

Hormat,
Nicholas   
The Association of Pencak Silat America - "Promoting Brotherhood Within US Pencak Silat"

Rebo Paing

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #3 on: 22/08/2007 08:03 »
Rahayu,
I feel priviliged to "hear" all your thoughts on this forum!  :)
You are real world impeccable personalities, I am optimistic that the "right qualities" will live on.

Salam,
Krisno

Ranggalana

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #4 on: 22/08/2007 15:24 »
Hello-
As a new member of this site I have been impressed by the high level of polite discourse and martial brotherhood displayed (with a few unpleasant exceptions).   There seems to be a consensus that silat is about personal development with very little emphasis on kicking ass on the forum.  This is quite refreshing, as even discussions on fora dedicated to internal arts seem to emphasize vanquishing an opponent rather than respecting them.  Most members here seem more dedicated to promoting the science with a healthy dose of ethics along the way.  So I was wondering how the image of silat in America could reflect this attitude. 

When I have looked at silat related discussions online they seem to be of the consensus that silat is a brutally effective fighting style with good ground techniques.  They then discuss styles that seem to often have more to do with the Philippines than Indonesia, and where the "Gurus" are always western.  While it is nice to have people thinking silat is effective, the description of it as brutal always bothers me.  I also like the ground fighting aspect, but it seems that people equate that with wrestling. 

I would like to discuss what image you would like pencak silat to display to the world, and how you would like the message to be presented.  Traditional arts are in decline all over the world, and are being replaced by commercially based combat training.  What is the best way to combat this?
Josh


Salam all,

America is a different animal because there is no kasar-halus concept in culture there. I would not know how to present silat there. In the UK, where I have some experience, silat blends in well with the local culture. People like Steve Benitez and his gang have actually changed the sociology of the Hendon area of London for the better, particularly in the culture of the male youths there. I think that the De Bordes Harimau people are doing something of the same but I never seen them in their social context so I can't say. Haji Mang Ipin and friends have been doing good social and character building within the Naqshbandi community in the UK too.

On the other hand, people like Guru Besar Liam McDonald in Ireland have been having stupid and homophobic online fights with the small MMA community there which doesn't reflect well on silat at all. But seeing that he is a Guru Besar under the notorious Sanders of California one should not be at all surprised.

To give a better representation of silat we need to do more latihan in silat, and do better in whatever we do in real life too.

Salam hangat semuanya,
Bram
batu kali jadi candi, duka jadi puisi, jagal jadi wali

optimus prime

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #5 on: 22/08/2007 20:53 »
Hello Pendekar Armchair Bram

So you want to bring this fued on to every thread on this forum, well lets go.

I will ask you again  and I will ask you every day to tell the people on this forum why you pretend Pendekar Mama didnt exist when you did know. Why did you tell lies. I also want to ask you a very simple question as I spoke to a few friends in Camden, they said that you didnt pay your taxes, why did you not pay your taxes. Is it ok to Fraud?????

So you caught out in telling lies and frauding great homat

If you want to bring your arguments with PCP and Mr Sanders to every single thread day in and day out, than we will. Your choice.

Pendekar Armchair Bram you're a good one to talk, let view some of your posting so far to the silat community

Warm salaams, to all but Slipthebag - to you, no salaams. You are a rude warmongering bully who spreads falsehoods for amusement. I pray may Allah keep His Curse you You are a keyboard warrior, or is Mas Tris' words: wet pu*sy. A mature human would not conduct himself like you do....Bram...

Is it good Homat to call people wet puss$, why do you need Bram to call people this. Why do you need to bring a woman private parts into a conversation...??

I would like to alert the moderators on the conduct of this man in this thread, the thread on Cimande Macan Guling and also on the thread set up specifically to attack me, which also makes a PM public - that is very uncivilized. Is this what the MAP is about?....Bram

You do this all the time, this thread had nothing to do Mr.Sanders or Mr. Mc Donald but you wanted to keep stiring. You are guily of the very thing, you run off and cry about.
You made public private mails between yourself and the moderator of that forum. It's like the pot calling the kettle black.



As a person, I would fight 10 key board warriors like Slipthebags any day, anywhere, anytime.....Bram


Bullshit, you wouldn't fight anybody, you backed down every single time. Even when you were offer an opportunityu of meeting Mr Sanders who offer to pay for your flight from UK to Ireland, all other travel expenses, a meal , overnight accommmadation you refuse.. saying that Mr Sanders should come to your market stall and beg you for forgiveness..ooohh yeah you a great warrior..


When Mr Byrne turn up at your demo, you told him a very different story, on what you felt our Cimane was like. When you sneaky tried in on, Mr. Byrne landed you on your backside within 5 to 10 seconds. When Mr Byrne couldn't turn up for the second night for your demo, because of work, you curse him on the phone. You very big into curses. curse this... curse that...


 





Optimus


« Last Edit: 22/08/2007 21:24 by optimus prime »

Josh

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #6 on: 22/08/2007 21:09 »
Thank you to everyone for your replies.

I had a chance to meet one of the senior students of Steve Benitez and he was indeed well trained with no "chip on his shoulder".  I agree that would be an excellent model to follow.

It is interesting to hear they are changing their local neighborhood culture.  That is an amazing accomplishment. 

I am always sorry to hear that people with claims to advanced martial training have failed to receive an equally advanced understanding of respect for their fellow man.  They sound like people it would be no fun to have tea with let alone train with.

Thanks,
Josh

optimus prime

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #7 on: 22/08/2007 21:27 »
Hi Josh

I've have met students of Stephen Benitez and they are indeed a good buch of guys and girls. Mr. Benitez is a very good teacher. Mr DeBordes students are also very talent and worth meeting.

Optimus

HanaChu69

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #8 on: 22/08/2007 23:27 »
Dear Optimus

I’m currently in my “recluse” mode and will not want to be involved in any forum. After reading all the postings and your recent replies, I began to see you as a disturbed person on the brink of being psychotic and paranoid.

It gets really irritating to see this thread being hijacked with your waffling on about other issues. Suggest you list down all your concerns and handle them amicably. What you wrote in your replies will reflect your true self.

I hope you and the others will be able to reconcile whatever differences in the past. I would like your co-operation to work on it and have peaceful resolution.

Regards
HanaChu69 



Ranggalana

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #9 on: 30/08/2007 22:14 »
Dear Optimus

I’m currently in my “recluse” mode and will not want to be involved in any forum. After reading all the postings and your recent replies, I began to see you as a disturbed person on the brink of being psychotic and paranoid.

It gets really irritating to see this thread being hijacked with your waffling on about other issues. Suggest you list down all your concerns and handle them amicably. What you wrote in your replies will reflect your true self.

I hope you and the others will be able to reconcile whatever differences in the past. I would like your co-operation to work on it and have peaceful resolution.

Regards
HanaChu69 


Assalamualaikum, HanaChu

Sorry to be late in responding to your sympathetic post, but welcome to the forum. Please tell us more about yourself and the silat you practise.

Wassalam,
Bram
batu kali jadi candi, duka jadi puisi, jagal jadi wali

f4iz

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #10 on: 31/08/2007 07:00 »
I would like to discuss what image you would like pencak silat to display to the world, and how you would like the message to be presented.  Traditional arts are in decline all over the world, and are being replaced by commercially based combat training.  What is the best way to combat this?
Josh
Hi,
Thank you for posting a question that made all of us think  :)
Just wanted to share my very limited exposure and experience of Silat in the US.
It seems that many of the Silat students here have had experience in other arts like FMA(Filipino Martial Arts) and JKDC(Jeet Kune Do Concept). Therefore, the focus of the curriculum is always on application or self defense or the most effective/deadlies techniques. The students don't care much about character building, self development, or fitness aspect of the art. The deadlier or "NON WATERED DOWN" version of the art the more interested people become.
The other thing is most Silat students I've met here are all adults.
I'm generalizing of course, there are always exception to the rule.
The way Silat is taught is different than the way we learned in Indonesia (maybe applies to Malaysia, Brunei, Phillipines too). In Indonesia you learn the individual movements first, then the techniques, then linking the techniques (some school jurus others call kembangan) , then the application, and so on. So it takes longer to know the meaning and application of the techniques. But it is a process that will also develop character thru preseverance. It's like learning first the individual letters in alphabet, then learn how to say the words, then learn how to say/form sentences,afterwards learn the meaning. In US *generalizing* most want to know the meaning since they feel they already know how to speak.
Here the focus is on the application. One teacher told me that most American students are only interested in the application. He tried to teach basic Kuda-2x and ground footwork but most loose interest after a short time. If I'm not mistaken Pak Herman (Pendekar Mande Muda) stated something similar on one of his seminar at Dan Inosantos academy ..I think he said "Most American students want to go straight to Bam Bam..Rock and Roll"  :)(I saw on the DVD).
After thinking about it some more, maybe if Silat is presented as for example,"The Deadliest Art from the Jungle of Indonesia" it would attract certain Martial Arts students who are looking for the deadliest art or most brutal art.
If it is presented as a martial arts as traditional arts with deep philosophy and also an effective form of self defense, then it would attract students who are interested in those aspects of the art. Maybe to change the perception, the way it is presented needs to be changed first ??
Anyways..that's my thought on the subject.
Regards,
Faiz

Ranggalana

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #11 on: 31/08/2007 08:35 »
I would like to discuss what image you would like pencak silat to display to the world, and how you would like the message to be presented.  Traditional arts are in decline all over the world, and are being replaced by commercially based combat training.  What is the best way to combat this?
Josh
Hi,
Thank you for posting a question that made all of us think  :)
Just wanted to share my very limited exposure and experience of Silat in the US.
It seems that many of the Silat students here have had experience in other arts like FMA(Filipino Martial Arts) and JKDC(Jeet Kune Do Concept). Therefore, the focus of the curriculum is always on application or self defense or the most effective/deadlies techniques. The students don't care much about character building, self development, or fitness aspect of the art. The deadlier or "NON WATERED DOWN" version of the art the more interested people become.
The other thing is most Silat students I've met here are all adults.
I'm generalizing of course, there are always exception to the rule.
The way Silat is taught is different than the way we learned in Indonesia (maybe applies to Malaysia, Brunei, Phillipines too). In Indonesia you learn the individual movements first, then the techniques, then linking the techniques (some school jurus others call kembangan) , then the application, and so on. So it takes longer to know the meaning and application of the techniques. But it is a process that will also develop character thru preseverance. It's like learning first the individual letters in alphabet, then learn how to say the words, then learn how to say/form sentences,afterwards learn the meaning. In US *generalizing* most want to know the meaning since they feel they already know how to speak.
Here the focus is on the application. One teacher told me that most American students are only interested in the application. He tried to teach basic Kuda-2x and ground footwork but most loose interest after a short time. If I'm not mistaken Pak Herman (Pendekar Mande Muda) stated something similar on one of his seminar at Dan Inosantos academy ..I think he said "Most American students want to go straight to Bam Bam..Rock and Roll"  :)(I saw on the DVD).
After thinking about it some more, maybe if Silat is presented as for example,"The Deadliest Art from the Jungle of Indonesia" it would attract certain Martial Arts students who are looking for the deadliest art or most brutal art.
If it is presented as a martial arts as traditional arts with deep philosophy and also an effective form of self defense, then it would attract students who are interested in those aspects of the art. Maybe to change the perception, the way it is presented needs to be changed first ??
Anyways..that's my thought on the subject.
Regards,
Faiz

Hello Faiz,

Thank you for sharing your experiences in the US, it gives a very good background to understand why in the USA we find something called "the deadliest silat" which doesn't exist anywhere else.

Would I be right to conclude that this happened because the silat players that came to the USA wanted to become guru silat? And because of that had to give in to the market's demands? This is a very diferent situation than in Indonesia, where mostly guru silat do not present themselves as wanting or needing to teach silat and so can deterimine who they teach and how.

My question - if silat is broken down to become a series of techniques without the cultural context is it still silat? We know that silat itself takes techniques from wherever it finds them but then puts them together in a context?

If you are right in your assertion that silat in the USA began as "deadly techniques" taught in a peice-meal way, would the way to change the image be to stop selling silat in seminars and videos? Guru silat should not depend on teaching silat to make their living, and in that way they will be able to be more selective? Traditionally guru silat had other ways of making their living, by trading, by farming or by having other jobs. Like Kang Yana, he makes his money by selling his skills as an architect, doesn't he?

Salam hangat,
Bram
batu kali jadi candi, duka jadi puisi, jagal jadi wali

Rebo Paing

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #12 on: 31/08/2007 10:13 »
My question - if silat is broken down to become a series of techniques without the cultural context is it still silat? We know that silat itself takes techniques from wherever it finds them but then puts them together in a context?

As a general response to the thread, I believe that there always has existed the practical element of silat, however in the past practicality was nearly always embracing the spiritual as well.
How can it not embrace the spiritual? Silat in corporeal is a means to defend and attack ... either way the outcome has a direct connection with life and death and those who profess to practice silat should do well to understand the full meaning of this.
Humans will (I think) always see life and death as a great mystery, even when we think that we are 'kebal' to the emotional and spiritual effect of life and death.
Let us examine what drives a person to become 'the deadliest'. Isn't it fear that drives a person to accumulate 'the best' technique? Isn't it fear that drives a man to buy a gun or to be suspicious of his neighbour or to accumulate more material wealth than they need? I think it is fear of the loss of that misbegotten sense of 'immortality', the drug of the mind, because the mind fears its own demise and will do all it can to drown out the question of that eventuality. Our mind is not who or what we are, but it attempts to usurp that identity.
Today in the westernised (modern) world, the fear of demise has become pandemic. It is obvious in every facet of life, organised and controled by governments and social groups of 'frightened' people. We will not eradicate the behaviours which arise out of fear for as long the fear takes hold, of a people and of us as individuals.
What we can do as individuals is not to seek to control an outcome external to our 'selves'. We can seek to understand our own fears and look into the deeper reaches of who and what we think we are ... who am I ... but a better question would be what am I? I believe that if we examine this critically till we find that no answer is adequate except by negation (that which I am not), then there will be no fear, and our silat will naturally transform.

Tanpo rumus, tanpo rupo, tanpo jurus, niat lan laku dadi siji, which translates to, he follows no theory, his actions do not follow predefined moves (has no form), his will and his actions become as one.

We know that as long as we are concerned with 'rupo/rupa' we will only taste the brown paper wrapping of silat, but we should also know that we cannot force anyone to taste from the feast inside, but merely hint at the possibility. Therefore, in order to effect change (if that is our concern) we need to begin on our own tabula-rasa. our own empty slate.

Salam,
Krisno

« Last Edit: 31/08/2007 14:27 by Rebo Paing »

f4iz

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #13 on: 31/08/2007 10:24 »
Hello Faiz,

Thank you for sharing your experiences in the US, it gives a very good background to understand why in the USA we find something called "the deadliest silat" which doesn't exist anywhere else.
Helo Mas Bram,
I'm not giving the only or "deadliest reason" for this ;D There are of course other explanations that are valid as to why some Silat *Not All* are portrayed/depicted as the deadliest Silat. But I have to say, in the US it's not just limited to Silat. Other arts like Krav Maga, some FMA styles, Hwarang Do, were also given the term "deadliest." Maybe it's just common in the US for Marketing reason or to grab people's attention. I can't image in Indonesia a martial arts school advertises itself as the deadliest. I think alot of people would be waiting each day in fron of the school to test how deadly it is  :-[


Would I be right to conclude that this happened because the silat players that came to the USA wanted to become guru silat? And because of that had to give in to the market's demands? This is a very diferent situation than in Indonesia, where mostly guru silat do not present themselves as wanting or needing to teach silat and so can deterimine who they teach and how.
I'll try to answer from my perspective as a student. Kang Yana or the other Silat teachers who have experience teaching in Indonesia, Malaysia, and US would be the most qualified to answer this question.
I think you're conclusion is accurate to some degree.However,the people who teach Silat in the US comes from different paths and walks of life. There are Indonesians like Mas Rudi W. and Kak Oceng who was a KJRI staff that taught Silat in the Embassy/Consulate, some like Kang Yana *he is one of my teachers* and Pak Herman came to the US to spread Silat, some are Indonesian college students who teach or do Silat workouts with other students in college, and some were dutch-indos who migrated to the US bringing the Silat they learned when they grew up in Indonesia.
So your conclusion would cover some of these different group of people.

My question - if silat is broken down to become a series of techniques without the cultural context is it still silat? We know that silat itself takes techniques from wherever it finds them but then puts them together in a context?
I think it can still be called Tekhnik Beladiri Silat *Silat Self Defense Technique*. If it has the characteristic of Silat movements, I believe it can be called Silat Technique but probably not Silat Style or Perguruan Silat.

If you are right in your assertion that silat in the USA began as "deadly techniques" taught in a peice-meal way, would the way to change the image be to stop selling silat in seminars and videos?
This is difficult for me to answer. I think the seminars and videos are needed so that the art can be given the correct exposure for the art to grow. I'm guilty of watching Silat/Martial art videos too just as a hobby and to educate myself. However, I don't think it is right for one to claim to be a teacher of an art if they obtained their instructions thru seminar only or videos only.


Guru silat should not depend on teaching silat to make their living, and in that way they will be able to be more selective? Traditionally guru silat had other ways of making their living, by trading, by farming or by having other jobs. Like Kang Yana, he makes his money by selling his skills as an architect, doesn't he?
Salam hangat,
Bram

I agree with you, probably because I come from Indonesia. My teachers were college students or people who had other professions. They taught the art not to make a living but for dedication and the spreading of the art.
However, I can see the perspective from the other side of the coin too. Meaning, if one wants to be happy they should do what they love. In addition, if someone wants to be good in something, focusing on that one thing will help them achieve mastery or proficiency of that thing. People are ok with Balinese dancers or Javanese Gamelan players making a living teaching. I think it is ok for Silat teachers to make a living teaching the art also. However, doing that would also open up other possibilities such as, relationship between Student and Teachers become more business oriented.
Besides, can you imagine a musician or rockstar like Jon Bon Jovi if he had to do it partime cause his fulltime job was a farmer would we ever hear "Strike to the heart your to blame, you give Silat a Bad Name" ;D
Ok Mas Bram, I hope my answer makes sense. Again, I'm only giving one perspective based on what I've observed (as a Student). There are other answers to the question. I'm hoping that others would also be willing to provide them in the forum.
Corrections welcomed.

Regards,
Faiz..

Toupee

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Re: How do we improve the perceived character of silat?
« Reply #14 on: 31/08/2007 22:34 »
Hi Josh

I've have met students of Stephen Benitez and they are indeed a good buch of guys and girls. Mr. Benitez is a very good teacher. Mr DeBordes students are also very talent and worth meeting.

Optimus

Oh wow, students of Stephen Benitez have actually met with Optimus Prime, leader of the autobots. I wonder if he squeaks when he walks [lucu]  [lucu]  [lucu]

 

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