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Author Topic: When is it Silat?  (Read 1757 times)

Aikijutsu

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When is it Silat?
« on: 23/08/2007 00:16 »
Salaam Friends,

This is in my mind from the Bangau Putih thread.  I am not a silat practitioner (yet), but I am very interested in silat from a martial and cultural perspective.  I just pray that I can find the right teacher.  I have practiced Aikijujutsu for a long, long time so I have a foundation in martial arts. 

My question is: “When does Silat begin?”  I have noticed from my experience in Japanese martial arts that beginning students from different ryu have marked differences in the way they move.  At the advanced levels however, there is more uniformity.  Is it true to say that a master looks like a master?  I once attended a demo of highly ranked Japanese and Okinawan martial arts masters.  There wasn’t a striking difference between the Karate-ka and the Jujutsu-ka at the higher level in the way they moved: soft, relaxed, fluid, and powerful.

Please forgive my digression as I know this is not a JMA forum.  Is Silat like this?  If you had a group of Silat masters from different styles and different regions, would they look more similar than different? When does the student know when he’s doing silat?  When do you all look at someone and say “That’s silat”.

Looking forward to learning more.

Ken

Rebo Paing

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Re: When is it Silat?
« Reply #1 on: 23/08/2007 07:55 »
Hello Aikijutsu and welcome aboard.
There are two ways of looking at this question from my point of view, and they tend to overlap.

The first is, that silat is the traditional martial way of the Malay peoples of SE Asia. As you drill down into the layers of localities, silat becomes much more defined, but essentially silat is the traditional martial art existing in this region.
It has not always been called silat, but variously maenpo, pukulan etc.
Newer innovations with outside influence can still be silat as it is developed or founded within the cultural container of its heritage. Some styles of kuntao can be seen this way.
The second is that silat is a word that means martial art in a broad sense. From this perspective Aikijutsu is silat and so is pure kuntao, wu shu, karate, Krav Madga   etc.

There is such a difference in the physical manifestation between existing styles, that it is difficult to say from observing movement alone that a style is silat.
e.g. Cimande, Nampon and Gerak Saka all look very different, different ranges different focus etc. Having said that I agree with your point of view that eventually "style" takes a back seat as a response to action and a person just "moves" with the grace and fluidity inherent in our highest potential as human bodies animated by spirit.

Salam,
Krisno


N.B. There is a very good book about silat called "Silat Merentang Waktu" by O'ong Maryono which is a marvellous source for silat related information in Indonesia.
The English version is titled "Pencak Silat in the Indonesian Archipelago" translated by Ruth Mackenzie, published by Yayasan Galang, ISBN 979-9341-60-4.
I would recommend it as required reading for ANY person who follows the path of silat.
« Last Edit: 23/08/2007 08:04 by Rebo Paing »

Ranggalana

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Re: When is it Silat?
« Reply #2 on: 24/08/2007 07:50 »
Salaam Friends,

This is in my mind from the Bangau Putih thread.  I am not a silat practitioner (yet), but I am very interested in silat from a martial and cultural perspective.  I just pray that I can find the right teacher.  I have practiced Aikijujutsu for a long, long time so I have a foundation in martial arts. 

My question is: “When does Silat begin?”  I have noticed from my experience in Japanese martial arts that beginning students from different ryu have marked differences in the way they move.  At the advanced levels however, there is more uniformity.  Is it true to say that a master looks like a master?  I once attended a demo of highly ranked Japanese and Okinawan martial arts masters.  There wasn’t a striking difference between the Karate-ka and the Jujutsu-ka at the higher level in the way they moved: soft, relaxed, fluid, and powerful.

Please forgive my digression as I know this is not a JMA forum.  Is Silat like this?  If you had a group of Silat masters from different styles and different regions, would they look more similar than different? When does the student know when he’s doing silat?  When do you all look at someone and say “That’s silat”.

Looking forward to learning more.

Ken

Hi Ken,

All martial arts can be called silat IF they are encapsulated by ADAT that is rooted in nusantara.

Just my opinion,
Bram.
batu kali jadi candi, duka jadi puisi, jagal jadi wali

Aikijutsu

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Re: When is it Silat?
« Reply #3 on: 24/08/2007 08:09 »
Salaam,

Thank you Krisno!

Mas Bram, what is Adat Nusantara?  Is it Islamic?  Malay? Both? 

Your friend,

Ken

Ranggalana

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Re: When is it Silat?
« Reply #4 on: 24/08/2007 09:25 »
Salaam,

Thank you Krisno!

Mas Bram, what is Adat Nusantara?  Is it Islamic?  Malay? Both? 

Your friend,

Ken

I would say that Adat Nusantara is proto-Malay, Malay, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and more. Basically it might be respect to God, parents, King, and teachers and the sharing of sirih-pinang with brethren and strangers.

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

 

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