Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pencak Silat -

Selamat All

I am thinking about moving the ezine over to a blog. What does everyone think about that? I'm thinking that it would be easier to maintain. I've been working at figuring out ways of making other systems that are in place do the work for me rather than create work for myself. This is another one of those thoughts on that train...

Ultimately I would like for the forum to move totally over to a blog and cut that out of the website too. Especially since there is no primary difference between the two. Of course, it seems that having it be an open blog would have some limitations and issues but it could be more collaborative if people were interested.

US Silat Association:
Nick, one of my silat students from Tampa is trying to start a US silat organization. He's already hot into it. It basically looks like the organization I tried creating, that everyone gave lip service to but no one actually took part in. The Silat Union has ended up being more of a connection amongst people but nothing formal. Largely because people didn't seem to see the value in community.

Nick is pumped and idealistic about this however, and since he's in college he's got the time, so I think his energy will be good. I'm glad there is someone out there willing and interested to do it. Nick hopes to be able to get IPSI to sponsor silat masters from Indonesia to come over and teach, etc. and to get them to recognize silat in the U.S.

I like the idea and I hope it works since it might really help get some much needed exposure for silat in the U.S. and it might finally change some perspectives about the pencak silat that has been here since the beginning. There is definately a need since the thing most entrenched isn't necessarily the best or even good - though it has been a start.

More to follow...


Rumor has it that next year a few high level Sumatran stylists will be touring the U.S. and that would be good.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Holy Crap! Cold Silat class

Well, I'm just about frozen... It's like 48 degrees right now but there's around a 20 mph wind and class was flippin' cold tonight. Everyone was wearing their sweatshirts and other clothes to try and keep warm.

We worked on evasions against a stick. It was interesting to see Rocco and Todd work through it. Todd has a lot of Kali to sort through but Rocco did quite well actually. Rocco made a pretty good run at it and for the most part did okay.

They worked the Ales as well as Masukan Tangan and Masukan Kaki. We also did some "what if's" scenario stuff and that was interesting. Baseball swings, etc.

Anyway, glad it's over. It'll take about an hour to warm up I think... I know it's colder in other parts of the country (like Wisconsin) but dang, I'm used to Florida weather - at least a little - and it's cold tonight.

Hormat saya,

New Pencak Silat Domain Names

Hi all

Just wanted to let you know that you can now get to the site via a few different URL's

Nothing too big, but maybe a little bit easier for some.

Hormat saya,

Pencak Silat Seminar - December

Just a quick note to say that I will be holding a seminar in Milwaukee, WI with the Alive and Kicking group. It will be around Christmas some time, I am thinking that the best time would be the 23rd but I'll have to find out from Sahnya what she thinks.

We'll probably do a little bit of curriculum out of level 4 and then I may introduce pisau. It will depend on the people and what intrests they have.

Worked a little on the book, but quite frankly, I've been doing so much freelance work that I haven't been able to spend any extended time on it. Only little bits and pieces here and there. It's not looking good for the end of the year unless I can do some over Christmas vacation...

Hormat saya,

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Saturday Pencak Silat class 11/18

Hi All

Another good pencak silat class. Well... at least I think so. We worked on explosive entries and developing feet as well as hands and things to consider when making something explosive. It's more about approaching the entry with no intent of power as much as trying to be "empty" and quick, letting your mass transfer power as it moves forward. It's a bit different than just trying to hit hard because the point is to get to the target without telegraphing primarily and letting your body follow in such a way as to continue the attack. It doesn't matter how much power you have if you can't get to the target so explosiveness is essential! With that speed will come power... eventually.

We also worked Ales, Entries and entries against knife, as well as Sepak Naga against a front kick, attacking the supporting leg. We have been using a kicking shield lately and it's fun to be able to let some power go. It's also helpful to see where people still are weak in structure or understanding because power doesn't require strength, though strength can sometimes add to it. Power is a result of good mechanics, being relaxed (which really equates to speed), timing, and whole body intent.

Doug got his head split open by my wedding ring... Sorry Doug. We were working on focus mitts and Doug's head dropped into a place to near the focus mitt and got a nice cut on his forehead. If I had been thinking, I would have taken a picture because that baby is really leaking. :-) So, just a reminder, take your jewelry off when you train and don't put your head by the focus mitt. :-)

We did do some filming and photography. We filmed trapping with a knife in hand, the bow with a knife, and how to use knife grip switching and the various grips to counter someone holding onto your wrist. Of course, it's not without it's risk, but it does offer another way to add variability into the fray. Also, we did photos of that material and came that much closer to having the first weapons level completed. It's still a long way off I think just because of the quantity of material and now we are hitting the holidays which makes filming somewhat sporadic. I'll keep at it though.

The Vol.2 book may end up later than I had hoped just because of all the freelance work I've been doing and the need for more photos, and writing that needs to be done yet. I've tried to keep it a little higher quality with the photos and to use more photos rather than less in an effort to communicate more efficiently to people in the know already. Hopefully that will work well. I'm also trying not to recreate the wheel with material, etc. that should already be known, at least to a certain degree and that's already been made available somewhere else while trying to keep a balance with those that might start with this Volume rather than Volume One.

Take care,

Pendiri Pencak Silat Pertempuran

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Pencak Silat Pisau and Penjabakan

Saturday 11/11 - At our pencak silat class we primarily worked on trapping and counter trapping. Doug and Rocco are working on it. Mario was also there so he and I did a bit together but he primarily worked on his hand entries. Rocco and Doug got through Traps 1-5 primarily and then I showed them 6-8. We discussed how the trapping that I teach combines exchanging, re-parrying, grabbing, etc.

The primary purpose is to get people flowing from one hit to another and that should happen regardless of the success or failure of your initial attack. The basic premise is to try and use one hand to immobilize the two hands of your attacker, freeing your other hand for a counter attack. The point of trapping isn't to trap your opponents limbs as much as to free you to strike them.

Additionally, we discussed the need to press into your opponent and ultimately to try and immobilize them somehow because trapping typically requires a way to pin the attackers arms to themselves. Another component or another way that can sometimes be accomplished is by continually moving forward into your opponent, crowding them.

We'll probably spend a month on trapping. There is a lot of material and value in trapping and while the primary issue is using one hand to immobilize two of the attackers, it does mix with exchanging, checking, and catching to a degree. So understanding all of those methods from level 3 is valuable and necessary. Of course, evading and entering is also vital because without those aspects you won't be able to employ the rest of it.

Another aspect to trapping that needs more exploration by Doug and Rocco is the sensitivity to the opponents energy. There is always a spring-like energy in the defense against any attack where contact happens. We need to be able to be sensitive to it and use it appropriately to make our trapping effective, smooth, and explotative.

We also filmed a bit of pisau today and did some photography for Vol. 2. We videod Jurus Pisau Satu and a very brief buah. Grip changing, and grip use, as well as hand exchanging. I think the last thing we filmed was the Tangkapan of pisau or using the knife to perform catching. There's so much that translates into knife directly that the Level 10 of the system could be quite large. Levels 11 and 12 will not be quite so large I think.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pencak Silat Monyet

Saturday 11/4 - At class we went over Pencak Silat Monyet material. Not groundwork as I often associate it, but nasty elbow flows and combinations to destroy the attacker by overwhelming them. It was the combination of elbows in various ways to keep a constantly changing elbow shield that was extremely dynamic, and simultaneously offensive as a method of attack. Very destructive and very painful. It's really the combination of some drills I've done in the past, static elbow methods, elbow shielding, and an epiphany of the similarities in combination with the general study of movement, flow, and combativeness. Hard to summarize but very intruiging. I am working through it's presentation to formulate methods for training, etc. It is very monkey silat in style and brings together some of that from my history and training (all the way from the beginning of my training), into the current context of PSP.

We discussed it's value with langkah and pencak silat celing or boar silat manifestations which is essentially the same type of thing. The Silat Celing is the combination of drills, langkah, shielding, destructions, explosive entries, and kicking into an approach, that while simple, could take years of training. The Silat Monyet is the same type of thing for the upperbody.

In the near future I will try to lay out more of each of these, but I thought I would just give you an overview. I would hasten to say that I am very excited about the potential of each of these and though you don't know it yet, you will be too.

We also got to finish filming the Monyet-Harimau (I think) for Level 9 and the beginning of Level 10. I am still formulating how best to teach Levels 10-12 without making them too repetitive in nature. I don't want to give material that a person who is not part of the system could figure out, without participating in the earlier materials. In other words, I don't want the materials to be redundant which is a bit of a challenge because when working with a tool such as a knife, golok, sarong, you must be able to switch between principle, application, and movement based manifestations. I am looking at just filming exceptions to the core but working at ways to communicate that best. More thought will need to be given to it...

Hormat saya,

Guru Pencak Silat Pertempuran

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pencak Silat in Maryland

Hello all; Pelatih Bill Dwyer has set up a new website for Pencak Silat called Pencak Silat Pertempuran Maryland. Here is the web address:

Of course, I will be updating the links on the side to reflect the new site.

Tomorrow is pencak silat class and I hope to do some blade filming and some photos. I doubt it will all get done but I want to get started on it. I think I'm done with Harimau finally. I'll address some issues in the 2nd volume which will fill it out a bit so Tingkat Sembilan or Level 9 should be complete soon.

Hormat saya