Friday, February 02, 2007

Pencak Silat Celing

Pencak: A way of movement
Silat: Using that movement in self-defense
Celing: Boar
Pencak Silat Celing: A way of moving like a boar for self-defense

(Yes, I know it's a somewhat redundant start to this post but sometimes doing these things is necessary. I just don't know why.... :)

Rocco and Doug had a private lesson last night and Celing was the topic. Doug has committed to 5 private lessons to understand Pencak Silat Celing better. So I thought I would bring up the topic again but try to fill it out a bit and to introduce it to those who didn't catch it last time. We did do some simple, basic, elementary, Celing at last year's Keluarga for those who were able to attend. We didn't get into very much application. Hopefully this year we will be able to do more, building off of last year and getting people excited about the usefulness of Celing.

The basic principle of the boar:

  1. Get the opponent on the ground by destroying the structure of their legs. It's a pretty broad principle with a relatively specific methodology and freedom to add as necessary to accomplish the principle. As with all things that I teach - Langkah dari batu ke batu.

Though the basic principle is simple. It comprises a fairly wide quantity of techniques that can be used to accomplish it. The techniques themselves are fairly simple in structure but combine together in myriad ways to create a matrix for accomplishing pencak silat Celing in relationship to the opponent. In addition some basic strategies exist to make the techniques more successful for the specific purposes of accomplishing the basic principle of Celing.


  1. Determined

  2. Aggressive

  3. Destructive

Some of the techniques that comprise the Celing system are things that as PSP students you may have learned already on a limited level. With a little change in intention and targeting you can utilize these elements as methods for accomplishing pencak silat celing.

Here is a listing off the top of my head:

  1. All Ales

  2. All Lutut

  3. All Tapak

  4. All Masukan Sepak

  5. All Masukan Lutut

  6. All Timbilan Kaki (Secondary to destroying whenever possible)

  7. Celing Taring

  8. Sepak Bulat

  9. Sepak Rusuk

  10. Sepak Naga and it's variations

  11. Tendangan Rusuk Bawa

  12. Sepak Menyendok

  13. Sliwa - A type of stance which is normally referred to as sikap pasang in this system. This would be Sikap Pasang Tiga or Empat. The hand positions can vary depending on your purpose. (Some specific hand positions are used in certain regions of Indonesia.)

Celing Strategies:

  1. It is essential to use surprise.

  2. It is essential to attack as though the opponent will move away.

  3. It is essential to constantly prepare for the next attack. It is not a one shot, one kill style art.

  4. It is essential to use the hands (Celing Taring) to distract, control, strike vulnerable points, and generally keep the opponent busy on the upper level.

  5. It is essential to use angular stepping. It is not a direct system per se. The angles of stepping and alignment allow you to be able to launch direct and efficient attacks at the primary targets - even when using "circular" kicking such as Sepak Bulat.

  6. It is essential that your attacks be vicious and decidely destructive in nature. The point isn't to be gentle. If you consider a board shredding your legs with their tusks you will get the concept.

  7. It is essential to use methods that destroy structure. There are many ways to do this. Pain is probably the least of these - though pain can be an outcome.

Primary Targets of the legs:

  1. Upper knee

  2. Lower knee

  3. Inner thigh

  4. Outer thigh

  5. Front of Shin

  6. Back of calf

  7. Top of Foot

  8. Inner Ankle

  9. Outer Ankle (lesser target - but can be used)

Primary targets of the head and torso: (Which are all attacked with Celing Taring to be pure Celing)

  1. Eyes

  2. Throat

  3. Sternomastoid

  4. Behind the Mandible

  5. Under the chin and along the Mandible rim

  6. Hyoid Bone

  7. Suprasternal Notch

  8. Clavicular Notch

  9. Below the nipples

  10. Xyphoid Process

  11. Armpit

  12. Lower Abdominal Crease

  13. Groin

The method is simple, the mastery is not.

Training Methods:

Training in Celing is normally comprised of the basic attack by the trainer and the trainee performing various combinations of the basic methods in response, targeting the vulnerable points outlined above in a fluid way. Adding more methods as you get comfortable. It is absolutely essential to step into Suliwa or Sikap Pasang Tiga and Empat upon the completion of the majority of the basic methods. This will set up subsequent attacks to the base of the opponent.

Later, as you begin to get comfortable with Sikap Pasang and Suliwa you can begin working with an opponent who moves similarly on various angles, constantly repositioning yourself to counter their position or attack and setting yourself up to perform the next attack.

Another great method is to work at "Cutting" the angle. In this method you learn how to use the system against a person who moves a lot. You learn to cut the angle, setting yourself up to attack them instantly, and of course, continue to attack.

Once you begin to do this fluidly, you can begin to work on the methods in such a way as to get the opponent on to the ground, following up with various stomping attacks, kicks, etc. If a person puts their hand down on the ground to hold themselves up, it is appropriate to attack that arm with kicks and stomping as well. It does not stop necessarily, just because a person falls down. The point is to remove the threat.


If you're so inclined to use the system as a primary method (it could be and is able to be) for your PSP, you can take this a step further and get into the conditioning aspect.

  1. One conditioning method is to start by sitting comfortably in a chair and gently dropping your forearms onto your shins. This will condition both your forearms and your shins simultaneously and can be very good. Do this gently and over many months you will be able to add more and more power to the process. Be sure not to just do it in spots but to do it up and down the entirety of the forearm and shin. Especially the outer forearm. If your shins are very sensitive you can start with palm slapping. Apply Balur if possible, massaging out any bruises. (Our PSP brother Jay sells Balur).

  2. Another method is not to use pads during your training. The basic hitting and kicking over and over will ultimately condition portions of your legs, build determination in your spirit, and get you used to being attacked. It is important that you supplement this method with the method above to enure that you are getting a complete conditioning since not all areas on the legs are targeted.

  3. You can also strike your forearms together, alternating inside and outside in order to harden both sides of the forearms. Be sure to move up and down the forearms.

In PSP I tend to prefer methods that utilize ourselves versus outside equipment for the conditioning for two main reasons. One, everywhere I go, there I am. Two, it's a bit easier to control the conditioning because one part or another will feel a bit of pain and that bit of pain is a clue that we need to be considerate of our bodies and gradual with our conditioning. Too many people jump into conditioning with a 2 month mind set and it's really the process of many many months that is best. Conditioning too hard, too fast, will get you health problems in the long run and since the majority of us are part-time warriors, the trade off for your health is not worth it.

Additionally, for me at least, the idea of MA is about preservation of life and to me that also means the quality of my own life and if I destroy myself to do it, then I'm missing the point. I have too many life-long injuries that I have sustained from martial arts. They will never go away and in fact, as I get older, they may get worse. Don't do that to yourselves.

Hope this was interesting.

Hormat saya,
Guru Stark


Anonymous said...

boar kicks ass

SilatBlogger said...

wow. that was a stunning revelation.

Jay said...

You make some valid points. What stuck out with me were Intention and conditioning. I like the "DAD" principle.
The idea that conditioning the body takes a while is good to mention. Too many people think they can whack away and overnight they will have solid limbs. If one has not done any conditioning, it is akin to a block of steel prior to being shaped into a blade. It takes work to go from ingot to implement.
Thanks as always.

SilatBlogger said...

Hi Jay


What is the "DAD" principle. I'm not familiar with that... at least as an acronym.

ksmaguro said...





SilatBlogger said...

Aahhhh. Yeah, I guess I've heard that one before.