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Please tell me about silat

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  • Please tell me about silat

    Hey guys I actually have never really ventured into the Indonesian martial arts forum, but I have been curious about silat,

    what can you guys tell me about it, is it a soft style or hard style?
    Internal or external? etc.... Is it good for fighting or more for self defense..

    Mostly I hang out in the urban combatives forum.

    anyways, any help is appreciated

  • #2
    i have no experience with silat, nor am i a practitioner of the art, i just decided to answer because nobody else had given you a reply for a few days.

    all i really know is that silat is pretty much an umbrella term like kung fu is, and that many many different arts fall under this umbrella. there are many different kinds of silat, not just 1 standard art. i hear there may actually be thousands of sytems and styles that fall under this umbrella, all with their own areas of emphasis. silat includes many different weapons as well.

    it seems like silat gets most compared to the FMAs.

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    • #3
      looks like they mean business.

      [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYfy3AM-lSQ[/YOUTUBE]

      [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2DtCUfCyfk[/YOUTUBE]

      Comment


      • #4
        Rather than re-invent the wheel ...check out Guro Cass Magda's web site (www.cassmagda.com). He's got great articles on Pentjak Silat and Kali. Also, Google Video or YouTube search Pendekar Steven Benitez (www.eastweststudios.com) for some great video clips.

        Train well...

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        • #5
          Here's another good site for you to check out.

          http://www.pencaksilat.com/index2.html

          There are tons of styles. Lots of what you'll see in the United States is from Dutch Indonesians who came here after WWII. (The DeThouars brothers, Jim Engram, there are many others)

          This is very very general, but usually you'll see an entry or response to an attack, then a throw/takedown/lock of some sort, coupled with a finish. There are varied amounts of hitting in there as well, varys by the style and the practicioner. Silat players usually assume that the other person is armed, and the blade plays into much of what we do. Most Silat (at least as I've learned it here in the U.S.), is focused on Self Defense rather than sport.

          Again, that's really general. I hope it gives you an idea. Do some investigating on the web, there's quite a bit out there and that should help as well.

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          • #6
            This forum is a small treasure chest of information.

            The "no-name" style of pentjak silat that I was exposed to was very much focused on three methods of destruction. (with or without a blade, stick or other weapon)

            We learned about the structural (muscle and bones), we studied the respiratory system and the circulatory system.

            It much easier to break things when you understand how they work.

            It's not for everybody. It can be fairly traumatic at times. (we never played with less than three "enemies" at a time)

            If I could say what Silat means to me it is this.

            Let your blade do the work. Think like a butcher, be the sage.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the help guys!

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              • #8
                This is just an aside, but I remember about 11-12 years ago Paul deThouars (I believe it was Paul). Put a 1/4 page add in black belt attacking the UFC for not allowing him to compete. He did challege the Gracies in the add but it was about the UFC. He said hhe was told his style was too brutal or something to that effect. Now This may have been hype for Silat or you cn buy into the rumor of teh early UFC I don't know. This post made me think of that. After that I borrowed one of his tapes it was very brutal, very good stuff!!

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                • #9
                  There are hundreds if not thousands of kinds of Silat. Some are internal. Some are external. Some fight exclusively on the ground. Others are long-range stand up styles. Some have a lot of Chinese influence. Others have little or none. Some are evasive. Others practice brutal conditioning that increases practitioners' bone density to the point where they can break others' bones with strikes. Remember that it's an archipelago we're talking about, thousands of mountainous islands where traffic was difficult up until very recently.

                  The system I practice is from Western Java. It concentrates on close-range standup fighting from boxing range to the clinch. It has groundwork but is weak on ground wrestling. Silat groundwork tends to be a little different because of knives. There's a lot of standard grappling that is a lot more dangerous when a blade or two is involved.

                  Silat is largely weapons-based. There's a saying "There is no Silat without the knife." Other weapons include machetes, sticks, staves, cabang (something like a sai), whips, small hooked blades, clubs, spears and a number of other things. Each style has its own specialties. It tends to be a village or family art. Very few make their living at Silat. There's a government version with tournament TKD-style sporting rules and costumes. As far as I'm concerned it sucks flatus out of stillborn orangutans.

                  There's a lot of mystic BS associated with some lineages. Parts of Indonesia have a wide streak of animism which can come out in martial arts. I don't really know anything about that. My teacher is a Dutch-Indo Christian who doesn't have any truck with that sort of stuff. A lot of the woo-woo is simply good body mechanics, sensitivity and mental preparation.

                  The attitude tends to be pretty pragmatic - take him down, take him out. You don't have time to waste, and every extra second is a chance for you to get injured. If you're injured you can't work. If you can't work your family will starve.

                  AFAIK there aren't any Silat players active in MMA. Different goals. Different methods. Different concerns. A good friend of mine is supplementing a good MMA prospect's BJJ and Muay Thai with a little bit of Silat groundwork and the wrestling he learned growing up on the Mescalero Apache reservation. The guy was doing well in his gym and was starting to get fights. The Silat didn't make him superman, but it gave him a couple options that people weren't expecting. Of course, tricks only work until people catch onto them. His guard was a little unorthodox and tired the guy in it out a bit faster than usual. I'm not sure exactly what he was doing. He decided that making a living and finishing college was more important. There's just no helping some people

                  Another thing...

                  There is plenty of Indonesian nationalism mixed up in Silat the same way that there is in Muay Thai, Judo or Tae Kwon Do. It can make things complicated. There are also some teachers who will not teach anyone who isn't a Muslim. Others don't care what religion you are. Best just to leave religion alone and be respectful of others' beliefs.

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                  • #10
                    "As far as I'm concerned it sucks flatus out of stillborn orangutans."

                    Woah, Mr. Ellner, that is a deeply disturbing image, but I do tend to agree where Olahraga is concerned.

                    Jiu Fu Fighter, just to add a couple more Silat generalisations....

                    Unarmed we tend to like fighting at close range taking the opponents space. In my style we make good use of elbow strikes and also use the upper bony area of the outer forearm too.

                    Also, most Silat does not have high kicks, our kicks tend to be low and usualy with the heel.

                    Another thing is, there is a great amount of flexibility or adaptability in combat....none of this X attack must equal Y response stuff.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gajah Silat View Post

                      Unarmed we tend to like fighting at close range taking the opponents space. In my style we make good use of elbow strikes and also use the upper bony area of the outer forearm too.

                      Also, most Silat does not have high kicks, our kicks tend to be low and usualy with the heel.
                      what style is yours, out of curiosity? i'm very interested in silat myself but it seems so daunting to get into with so many styles, like it's hard to find the one that offers just what you want. but i like the idea of fighting in close (being a judo guy) and want to pick up a knife art.

                      being a close fighting style from relatively the same part of the world as muay thai, does silat use knees and the clinch anything like a muay thai player?

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                      • #12
                        "What style...?"

                        Some folks put too much into a name. When I asked a similar question many years ago I was told "There is no name. It is Pentcha Silat. If I told you the name of it you would not understand it or even be able to pronounce it so why bother. It is just silat. It means fighting."

                        Or something to that effect...

                        For me he would say think of it like Judo with a knife. :0

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The_Judo_Jibboo View Post
                          being a close fighting style from relatively the same part of the world as muay thai, does silat use knees and the clinch anything like a muay thai player?
                          Knees yes, clinch no. I think, and this is just me guessing, that the clinch isn't used due to the assumption that your opponent has a knife or other weapon, and you wouldn't want to tie up both of your hands or be in that position if he pulls it on you.

                          I've heard some theories that Muay Thai and Silat are distant relatives. Its probably more that Muay Thai developed from Krabi Krabrong, and possibly Krabi Krabrong and Silat are related. I doubt if anyone knows for sure though.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jeff5 View Post
                            I've heard some theories that Muay Thai and Silat are distant relatives. Its probably more that Muay Thai developed from Krabi Krabrong, and possibly Krabi Krabrong and Silat are related. I doubt if anyone knows for sure though.
                            They're both from the same part of the world. In fact, Thailand runs into Peninsular Malaysia. People around there traveled. There was trade. There was all sorts of contact. Both were greatly influenced by Indian culture. There are all sorts of cultural similarities. It shouldn't be surprising that the fighting arts have some similarities.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The_Judo_Jibboo View Post
                              what style is yours, out of curiosity? i'm very interested in silat myself but it seems so daunting to get into with so many styles, like it's hard to find the one that offers just what you want. but i like the idea of fighting in close (being a judo guy) and want to pick up a knife art.

                              being a close fighting style from relatively the same part of the world as muay thai, does silat use knees and the clinch anything like a muay thai player?

                              Hi, my main style is Harimau Berantai, the family style of guru Jack Othman-who incidentaly also owns a Muay Thai Gym in Kuala Lumpur. There are certainly similarities with Silat and Muay Boran-probably due to hundreds of years of Malays & Thais fighting! We actualy do have specific 'answers' to many typical MT attacks. We also have the MT low shin kick which is the only one when we don't use the heel.

                              As for close up, yes that way we have control of and anticipation of the opponents intent, which is something you will be familiar with as a Judeka. However, we don't usualy tend to throw people 'away' - just the opposite. We like to have them close and then go for a lock...or of course a kick, and we also train to drop onto the head/ neck with full bodyweight using our knees.

                              We also certainly use knees. We may manouver around the opponent and take them down onto a knee! We train to use all of the body-this even includes headbuts.

                              Now, bring a knife into the equation and things are taken to a whole new level. Hits, locks and throws can all be done to great effect with a knife. With a basic short bladed knife, for us a pisau or belati, we can hook, push or pull with the blade. This, in theory at least, gives the opportunity to 'not kill' the opponent....we dont have to stab or go for a main artery, rather take out an arm or leg. We can even use the flat of a blade to employ a lock.

                              (Sensible bit!) Of course it would be almost suicidal to get into a real knife fight....but then again I believe it is foolish not to explore knifework, as certainly in the UK if you get killed in a fight it's usualy a with knife.

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