Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pencak Silat mealtime

Saturday after class and videoing I went home and started preparing a shopping list for the Saturday evening meal. I invited Rocco and Doug over for a, primarily, Thai meal. We had shrimp Pad Thai, Tom Ka Gai, Lumpia (Filippino spring rolls), Pisang Goreng (Indonesian Fried Bananas), and some wafer thingies with Ube in them for dessert.

Everything came off pretty good. Rocco and Doug talked a little silat while I finished off preparing the meal. I thought it was good. Rocco apparantly likes Sambal (I think that's how you spell it...) which is Red Chili paste. He kept putting it on heavy enough that it caused him to have mild coughing fits. Pretty funny.

This is a meal that my family has enjoyed over the years but my girls have grown weary of the soup at least. We've had it for the past 6 or 7 years and they just aren't interested in it that much anymore. It was delicious imo. The pisang goreng and the lumpia are new additions and the girls pretty much like them. I am surprised that some people don't like pisang goreng.... it's wonderful to me. I had A LOT of it when I was in Indonesia a few years back.

So what does this post have to do with pencak silat? Well not much if you're looking for technique or training tips, but lots if you consider your brothers in silat to actually be brothers, friends... family.

Having meals with students was a thing I did many years ago and then stopped, largely because of financial issues, but I see a need for students and teachers to do it. It helps us to understand each other more, appreciate each other more, care about each other more and, dare I say, invest in each other more.

FYI - It would be wonderful to try and do something like this at Keluarga, but even if that is not possible, to be able to regularly share a meal together is a great thing.

Pencak silat is not like every other martial art. Oh, of course it can be, and some seem to be pushing it in that direction but that was not the original intention imo. The original intention of pencak silat was to protect first your family, then your village, and then your region, and then your country. It was never meant to be a place of selfish intent but of community.

Family is more important than commercialization - even if the art dies out IMO. Even if THIS art dies out. Of course, I don't want it to and I believe that when people really understand this art, it won't because it will become THEIR art. In order for that to happen, it must be family and it must be real.

When you are leading a group do you act like the untouchable master on the mountain or do you lay your cards down in front of your students to be examined as is? My vote is for the cards...

hormat saya,
Guru Stark


Jay said...

Eating is a long standing tradition for KSMA. Every gathering would have at least one feast. Depending on location we would either raid a local restaurant or do a potluck. We have several good Thai places here and a few other styles that can be looked at as well.
Also, as long as the weather is good, we will have a fire in the pit in my backyard. Sitting around the fire is a great way to just hang out, IMHO!
Also we do have local feasts and were just talking about having one of late! They are a great way to be more of a family for sure.
Take care,

Phil said...

Oh, untouchable master all the way.

Steve Perry said...

You might enjoy this link;

I had some discussion with these folks a while back, and got to see some of the backroom video without all the commerical hype. They got some moves, you can see them without all the flash; but they are trying to sell a product, and putting up what they think will pull in a newbie to buy it.

Different strokes and all ...

SilatBlogger said...

Hi Steve;

Yes, I remember talking to them awhile back and have had some off and on again discussions with an instructor from the school. Nice guy.

I agree, that backdoor footage was pretty good - they certainly can move, though it seemed like a good portion of it was choreographed to me... still good and the right tools for the job.

To me, it's not about them AT ALL. They just happen to have some examples on the market. In any case I like them. I think they're pretty good. However, the commercialization issue is both good and bad. So I want to be a little cautious about it for my perguruan at least. Try to instill some deep values in it before/if any type of commercialism comes. They probably have already gone through this process (I hope at least) and are now pressing on with the strategy of it all. For us on the other hand, we are quite small, even in comparison to yourselvs probably, and we need to still build that value based decision making ability.

Deciding now what's of value and what isn't so that when the time and temptation comes the decision has already been made and now it's just a matter of sticking to it.

Not at all a judgement of the RC guys though I can definately see how it could be taken that way.

PS I will change the original post so it doesn't come off like that.

Steve Perry said...

Well, part of the problem was that when they popped up on a local silat e-group they asked what we thought about what they did. We weren't too impressed by the over-produced and staged vids and said so. After which they said, Oh, okay, here's some of the real stuff ...

One of my sticking points was that on their site, they touted their head instructor as the only guy in the west ever to get such high rank, blah, blah, and when I pointed out that such a claim was, um. less than accurate and apt to get serious silat players snickering at them, they got kinda defensive.

That's the problem with hype -- step too far over the line, people turn it off and any real stuff you might have gets ignored because the signal-to-noise ratio ...

SilatBlogger said...

Hi Steve;

I totally agree here and in there case, the hype doesn't seem to have slowed. On the other hand they do have some skilled movement.

It's tough for me to know what to do with that...