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Author Topic: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.  (Read 20314 times)

SundaWarrior

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #15 on: 27/08/2007 02:00 »
Salam Silkroad,

How was the seminar with Pak Herman?  It must have been an incredible experience for you.  I know I would have been honored to meet him.  I agree
that Guro Dan definitely had a talk with Pak Herman about the way his seminars
were taught.  Pak Herman had an incredible knowledge of Pencak Silat and it
is really sad to have to limit the giving of that knowledge to just techniques.
I actually had the honor of meeting one of Guru Rennie's students at a Harimau seminar in Phoenix.  He was an incredible Sumatran Silat player.

Gajah,

The idea of a TMA adapting the adat of an MMA would indeed be pretty funny
to see. [lucu]

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

Doc D

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #16 on: 27/08/2007 08:32 »
Hello

I trained with Guru Besar Herman Suwanda for a fair amount of time.

When Pak Herman would first come into a new area, he would often teach technique to get people "hooked" on what could be done with the art. He had experiences of running potential western students off with the rigors of Cimande style  conditioning or Harimau style langkah. For those that spent more time with him than just seminar attendance , he did indeed teach more than techniques . The taught Ibing, jurus-jurus , traditional stretching  and strength building exercises , internal training ,etc, etc....

He recognized that a lot of those who were interested in silat were from the JKD orientation.....they already could kick , punch, were adept in various forms of sparring....so , in seminars and such, he was more likely to teach techniques. He also knew that many of them were not interested in what else he had to offer, so I think he chose to give that to those who wanted it, but withhold it from the audiences that were less interested. He clearly wanted students whose focus was pencak silat, but he understood that many American's coming from a "melting pot " style culture also liked a "melting pot" approach to martial arts. He also understood that in order to convince people who had a wide range of martial art training options( Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Escrima, Tae Kwon Do, Shotokan, Kenpo, etc , etc) that pencak silat was a worthy consideration, he needed to show some straightforward material that could be used quickly and pragmatically. This of approach , of course , gave many the notion  that he only taught techniques.

He was very friendly and approachable to all who attended, experienced silat student to rank beginner. He very much promoted traditional silat and, also,  emphasized that he wanted students to understand his culture as much as mere fighting technique. He was definitely an excellent ambassador to the West....He definitely inspired a craving in his students to learn more about Indonesia and it's people and it's culture.

There are still plenty of little groups in our area ( Texas , USA) training quietly in the wealth of information he bestowed on us before his untimely passing. It has not died out!!!

With Respect,

Doc

Rebo Paing

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #17 on: 27/08/2007 09:12 »
Interesting discussion. I assume that MMA means martial arts from many different sources?
In that case I would think that most traditional arts began their journeys as a MMA.
I myself (and my individual style of silat) would probably fit under that category.
How we learn to move is just that, the physical manifestation of our individual art (or conglomerate of arts) ... the gado2 concept heheh. But going back to my original assumption, everything began as gado2 and eventually overtime assumed the status of rendang ... ;D.
That is truly traditional ... I don't know if anyone has thought about how illogical it is that Cingrik Goning or Cimande or any traditinal art could have emerged fully fledged as an original inspiration without external influences?
All Indonesian silat owes influence from Indian and Chinese martial arts ... in fact I would say that any art that hasn't absorbed some influence (which makes them MMA by definition) would be an insular art where any deficiency (if any exist) are unknown.
The traditional container of any art, especially if new, depends on the founder. If the founder systemises the art within the crucible of their belief structure, it will reflect on their art.
Again using myself as an example, my mixed bag of tricks has a sytem, pegged by what I consider  sound principles through its entire structure. It is contained within the philosophical structure of my family mores of Kejawen. In that respect, I follow age old tradition where the villager requires a martial tool, gets some from many places .. and systemises it under the umbrella of his cultural heritage ... voila, we have a silat system.
Considering my back ground, my quest to develop my system (even before I knew it would be a system) was based entirely on pragmatic needs. The systemising takes a lot of thought and introspection, meditation and singular focus. Maybe in 100 years it will be considered authentic silat  ;D

My 2 cents,

Salam hangat,
Krisno
« Last Edit: 27/08/2007 09:14 by Rebo Paing »

Doc D

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #18 on: 27/08/2007 10:35 »
Hello again

I suppose here we need a definition then. By Mixed Martial Art are we referring to Arts like Pencak Silat Mande Muda that is comprised of material, teachings and knowledge from several styles within a relatively limited scope( in this case, of silat) or Jeet Kune Do which uses material from a broad spectrum of arts spanning many different regional and cultural sources......or is the MMA reference really focused on the sport/entertainment  oriented martial arts used for  events like K1 and  the Ultimate Fighting Championship ???

With Respect

Doc

Ranggalana

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #19 on: 27/08/2007 11:07 »
Hello again

I suppose here we need a definition then. By Mixed Martial Art are we referring to Arts like Pencak Silat Mande Muda that is comprised of material, teachings and knowledge from several styles within a relatively limited scope( in this case, of silat) or Jeet Kune Do which uses material from a broad spectrum of arts spanning many different regional and cultural sources......or is the MMA reference really focused on the sport/entertainment  oriented martial arts used for  events like K1 and  the Ultimate Fighting Championship ???

With Respect

Doc

Salam Doc,

At the beginning of this thread I think that Nicholas was refering to the cage-fighting style entertainment sport called MMA. He was not starting a thread about MMA as a description of the process of systemizing an art. Neither was he talking about MMAs like JKD. Nick's worry was that the screaming MMA cage-fighting sport would reduce MAs like silat to a scattering of techniques without any cultural roots.

My argument for MMA (cage-fighting style) is that it has its own cultural roots. The worry to my mind is more when silat lets go of its mother culture and adopts the Adat of cage-fighting and becomes the most vicious, deadly and devastating art in the world. That would constitue a complete misrepresentation of silat.

Hormat saya,
Bram.
batu kali jadi candi, duka jadi puisi, jagal jadi wali

Rebo Paing

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #20 on: 27/08/2007 15:11 »
Ah, cage style fighting ... fighting for fightings sake?
Thanks for the explanation .. I probably didn't read thoroughly enough!
I agree that fighting for the wrong reasons will create a result that will be not be on a good path. It is reasonable for people to seek for themselves a particular skill, whether it be for survival or for health, but to do so for the sole reason of fighting, misses the point, as you've said, and that would indeed be a serious degradation/misrepresentation in the martial culture of silat.

This is often where misunderstandings between the difference of a Jago tarung and a Pendekar lie I believe. Though I don't believe that western culture has any more difficulty in understanding the concept, because of the mystique of the Knight who fights only because he has to, the underlying morality, whereas a pit fighter usually fights because he chooses to, for personal gain.

Salam,
Krisno

Gajah

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #21 on: 27/08/2007 16:56 »
Salam,

I took MMA in this instance to mean UFC, cage fighting and so on.

I still think the main objective is to teach 2 huge, fit blokes to brawl in a controlled environment mainly for the sake of entertainment. Lets not forget that these guys are professional athletes who spend many hours every day training. They also have access to the best equipment, personal trainers, physiotherapists etc. So, given this, of course they can fight.

Conversely, most average Joes like us, have a full time job, a family, and a limited income........I'm sure if we had all the above and 8 hours a day to train...

They also train for a purely victory and money based culture.

But these are the new MA heroes. No longer the humble hero that only fights when he has to. These are what a new generation of wannabes look up to and aspire to be.

These heroes are loud, crass, arrogant, and boastful...or at least that's how they are portrayed.

So we now have a new type of martial (artist?). I'm sure you will now get kids doing a few months of MMA training, thinking or maybe getting told they are the best. That combined with a loud boastful attitude, taken away from the TV arena, is a dangerous combination. You only have to look at another forum to see, 16,17,18 year olds stating what they do is superior, is 'proved' in the cage & so on. Some of these kids are in for a rude awakening, a spell in hospital or worse.

As far as I understand things, every traditional martial culture, East or West, has a code of honour or chivalry. There is a reason why this is almost universal and have developed independently across the globe.


Rebo Paing

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #22 on: 27/08/2007 17:58 »
As far as I understand things, every traditional martial culture, East or West, has a code of honour or chivalry. There is a reason why this is almost universal and have developed independently across the globe.



Martin, I like your mind ... you da MAN!  8)

But ... why is the reason do you think that this 'universality' & 'independent development' is so?

Salam,
Krisno

SundaWarrior

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #23 on: 27/08/2007 21:53 »
Salam Everyone,

Yes indeed Mas Bram.  I was referring to cage fighting MMA but unfortunately I am
also referring to some JKD players as well.  I have great respect for people like Guro Dan Inosanto.  I actually have had a couple of opportunities to train with him.
He is a very humble person and gives credit to the mother cultures.  On the other hand, I met a JKD player one time that told me "the only thing he found effective with Pencak Silat was the kicking from the ground."  To me this shows he was only exposed to a small amount of Silat.  Therefore you have JKD students who train in all these martial arts but are often times only exposed to small pieces of the arts. 
I actually trained at a JKD instructor's school one time while I was on vacation.  The instructor asked me my favorite martial art - so I said Pencak Silat.  The instructor asked me if I would show her students some Silat.  I told her I wasn't a
teacher but she still insisted so I showed the students a juru and some applications of that juru.  Afterwords the instructor thanked me and told me he/she had never learned the jurus of Pencak Silat but only technique.  So this is
the purpose of this thread.  MMA is in some ways erasing the culture from the arts.
This is no way an attack at JKD, I just wanted to give you a few "specific" instances where JKD has faultered.  The great thing about JKD is it gives people
a chance to see different arts and if a student fancies one.  That student can just pursue that art.  Guru Dority what do you think?

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

Gajah

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #24 on: 27/08/2007 23:48 »
Salam Krisno,

I believe culture to be an adaptive dynamic process rather than a solid tangiable 'thing'. A kind of self perpetuating organism.

So any element of a culture will ultimately evolve into something beneficial or otherwise die out or be discarded. With regard to Martial Arts, initially they are a response to a threat, either collectively or individualy and a culmination of a groups or individuals knowledge over time of ways to deal with the threat.

Now, eventually certain techniques will become formalised into some kind of system, or systematic approach. At any point when something becomes formalised it starts to conform to the cultural framework.

We then have a set of parameters in which the MA can be acceptably used within the culture. A code of ethics.

So the MA has become something of a dynamic organism both technically and socially. It's own cultural survival becomes an expression of culture itself. Most traditional MAs even though they may be somewhat marginalised can become a unique expression of culture.

Damn, I've confused myself now ???


Rebo Paing

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #25 on: 28/08/2007 06:59 »
I believe culture to be an adaptive dynamic process rather than a solid tangiable 'thing'. A kind of self perpetuating organism.

So any element of a culture will ultimately evolve into something beneficial or otherwise die out or be discarded. With regard to Martial Arts, initially they are a response to a threat, either collectively or individualy and a culmination of a groups or individuals knowledge over time of ways to deal with the threat.
...

Very cogent analysis. Agree completely and ... not confusing at all! ;D

Salam,
Krisno

SilatJunkie

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #26 on: 28/08/2007 18:19 »
Salam all;

Sorry for the late entry...

This is a topic I have discussed at length with those whom I am involved with and I personally think the problem is not an external problem but an internal problem. We like to point the finger at JKD, MMA, Kali-Silat, and various other major arts and, IMO, rightfully so. They have as much damaged traditional pencak silat as given it exposure IMO. Mostly they just grab techniques from here and there and put them together sometimes for the purposes of saying that they have pencak silat it seems.

I have already written a long article on my own concerns with MMA so I'm not going to rehash all of that here but my issue is not with them really because I don't have to study it. Instead, my issue is with the pencak silat community.

On the one hand, we complain about the stripping out of pencak silat from east to west. How, the real pencak silat is not in the West and even within it's homeland it is not as favorable as it once was, yet we refuse to define pencak silat. I have seen a few attempts even on this forum where people have made an attempt to isolate what pencak silat is only to be corrected until they conform to only the most vague of descriptions. If we continue to do this, then what way is there for people to know what is truly pencak silat and what is not?

Is Wado Ryu pencak silat just because it's been in a family line of Javanese for the past 100 years? No, it's still Wado Ryu. Maybe it's been modified but even the Okinawans and Japanese have done that to their own arts. Does that change it's nature?

Here in the U.S. people who study Filippino stick fighting take techniques of pencak silat and incorporate that into what they do and then they call it Kali-silat or they define the kali or arnis they do as pencak silat. In this case, these arts have similarities, but what is the difference right? I mean eventually it will become pencak silat if they call it that long enough. Unfortunately, this also happens with arts that have less similarity with pencak silat. So where does that leave us?

Can we deny that these are pencak silat when no one will say what pencak silat is or what physical characteristics define pencak silat?

In any case, what is interesting to me, is that all of the Indonesian guru silat that I have met, have not asked me what form of pencak silat I study, but rather they have asked me to demonstrate my pencak silat. They have asked me to move - as if they could see my pencak silat. There was little discussion of lineage, little discussion of anything other than an acknowledgement of my silat movement and an embrace as a "brother." Would they be able to do the same thing of MMA or JKD or Kali-silat? Maybe kali-silat but I doubt the others.

On the one hand I understand the plight of the pencak silat family, but on the other hand how can we can raise questions about anyone else who uses the term pencak silat loosely when there doesn't seem to be any clear definition of what makes something pencak silat?

Sorry if those sounds harsh but it has been a frustration of mine for years. There are differences or Savate would be called pencak silat.

Please forgive any mistakes or omissions but I'm on a time crunch to get this written so I may have shortened too much of my comments to make them coherent....

Hormat saya,
Sean
Hormat saya,
Sean

Gajah

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #27 on: 28/08/2007 22:07 »
Salam Sean,

I hope you didn't take my last post to mean all MAs will become the same. I didn't mean that. My response way to why MAs develop a code of honour or chivalry.

Essentialy my point was one of cultural determinalism which is what will define the art. So even though the physical biological parameters are the same wherever we go-2 arms, 2 legs, a body & a head-other factors will determine the manner in which these are used.

I believe these to be social, cultural, environmental. Even economics play a part: look at how many martial cultures have used or developed from simple farm implements. Not all mighty swords and fancy katanas. Simple sticks, variations on sickles, kitchen knives, machetes...I could go on.

So, contrary to what the physicality of human combat would perhaps suggest, the socio-cultural-economic factors will define the end product.

So there we go, even though silat has absorbed many influences there is still something that makes it uniquely silat.


Josh

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #28 on: 29/08/2007 00:39 »
I would like to add a rather late thought to this thread.  People have been talking around the issue that a tma is more than just a collection of techniques.  As many have pointed out, the traditional styles are rooted in a traditional culture.  This includes the ethics as many have mentioned, but there are other internal aspects.  All traditional arts that I know of have some concept of inner energy, which is usually systematized in its development. The training of inner energy is usually quite specific, and not necessarily compatible from one art to the next.  One style might have the energy going up in the same movement where another style might have the energy going down.  Some styles keep all the energy inside, while others let it go in and out.  A traditional stylist might easily take a technique from another style, but would use the science of inner energy development within their own style.  That is how many traditional styles can borrow techniques without loosing what is unique and traditional.  In mma on the other hand, there is no inner science.  There is just a collection of techniques.  When a mma practitioner encounters the more spiritual aspects of the martial styles, they dismiss it as superstition because they have never learned it in conjunction with a total system.  If they don't dismiss the internal aspects, they may be in for even more trouble if they practice incompatible forms of energy development. 

By ignoring inner development and just focusing on fighting, mma styles are hollow.  This of course makes them easier to learn, and attractive to fighters.

Please let me know if this makes sense to everyone.  It is how I differentiate between arts with multiple origins but a single character, and arts with no character at all.
Josh

Gajah

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Re: What is wrong with mixed martial arts.
« Reply #29 on: 29/08/2007 01:33 »
Salam Josh,

Makes perfect sense to me.

Many see that inner energy or whatever you like to call it is in conflict with a more Western 'logical' mindset. I just it as different ways to conceptualise these energies.

I, for instance may view it as using optimal body structure or learning how to alter the musculoskeletal structure for redirection of force. Another may view this as changing the flow of internal energy etc. If we conceptualise or visualise this as energy flow it is another way to program the mind and body.

Sometimes I think of things as re-discovering what is 'natural'. I often watch my 3yr old son rolling, jumping etc. Some of these movements are almost identical to some Harimau positions. He also has this habit of jumping 'down' into a sepok, entirely natural. These are movements that we learn to un-learn as we grow. I wonder sometimes, are we learning or rediscovering?



Back to concepualisation and different ways of looking at things. I believe a psychologist would refer to it as 'framing'. There need not be any conflict :)

As for learning to fight in a short time, a mis-spent youth took care of that in my case ::)

These days like my pseudonym, I'm in no hurry.

Salam hormat

« Last Edit: 29/08/2007 01:43 by Gajah »

 

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