Friday, March 30, 2007

On The Hunt...

I'm looking for help from anyone who can find these movies on VCD for me or DVD if possible. I'm not sure if I have the movie names right or not. I have found a few online but would like to know of people who have actually purchased items from places and got what they paid for.

Hang Tuah -
Hang Jebat -
Pendekar Bujang Lapuk -
Pendekar -
Sultan Mahmud Mangkat DiJulang -
Semutar Hitam -
Tiger of Jampa - (I know of a source Monash University, but it's a bit pricey...)

I found these clips on and I was just wondering if any of you knew a good source for these.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

Explosiveness in Pencak Silat - Part 3

The torso and waist are the most difficult to make explosive for most people. It seems to almost be a natural instinct to try and create power with our limbs. Unfortunately, there are many times when the limbs alone are not enough. For instance, in our body evasion and our entries (ales dan Masukan), our body must become explosive. We must learn to move in a way that generates enough power within our movement to successfully move ourselves out of the way of an attack and ultimately to enter in. This is most noticeable in Ales Badan or Body Evasion. These are primarily Ales-ales satu through empat (though certainly not exclusively).

The first and most basic method of developing explosive movement in your waist is to perform your Ales without the use of your hands for parrying and against a fast attack. Keep in mind, that what makes a movement explosive isn’t how fast you can go overall, but how quickly you get to your fastest speed. That requires a combination of elements that were written about previously.

A second method to practice, which relates to developing body explosiveness, is learning to Gelek quickly. This works to develop your turning, where the first method of using the Ales-ales tends to develop the arching and rounding of your back.

The third method to practice that will develop your body explosiveness body is performing sliwa kuda in the opposite direction of the ales you want to practice. By doing so, you can learn to improve your sliwa kuda, the gelek, and your ales as a single fluid method. Again, the best way to develop this is not relying on your hands to parry a fast attack. Some might think that you could step, but the reality is that you cannot rely on feet typically because the hands are faster than the feet, so you must utilize your body in a way that nullifies an attack until your feet can catch up. At least for close range attacks.

You’ll find that by doing these three training methods and simply forcing yourself to move explosively, you’ll really start to see how your ales can begin to disappear and become more a part of your entry movement. Of course, if your waist becomes explosive it can dramatically increase the power of your striking as well.

>>>More to follow

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

PSP Announcement

Selamat All;

Just wanted to announce quickly the promotion of Matthew Lesko to Murid 3. He came over from Louisana and tested for Levels 1 and 2 this past week. Also, it was great to meet Matthew and get to know him. He brings 23 years of martial arts experience with him, and God willing, we will have a lasting relationship and many more years to add to that foundation.

Please congratulate Matthew on his promotion(s)!

Hormat saya,
Guru Stark

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Explosiveness in Pencak Silat - Part 2

Sorry for the long delay in getting this part out... I was ill for a time and I've been swamped ever since and just trying to keep up....

Before I continue with the specifics of explosiveness amongst the three types discussed previously, it seems appropriate to expound further on the idea of explosiveness and the mechanics which make the individual appear explosive when, in fact, it goes beyond the actual movement itself and enters into other realms of ability and scope.

Some methods have already been discussed, albeit briefly and utilizing different words, such as:

1. Being non-telegraphic
2. Knowing the range of the tools you intend to use and the relationship to the target you intend to strike.
3. Masking your intent by first using another method to distract.
4. "Zone" the tool to be used, being sure to use the appropriate tool for the task and "assigning" each tool in your arsenal a general task. (Though this may not be directly useful in short encounters it does train you to be aware of your body in relationship to the opponent each time you engage one.)

This next idea could be viewed as number eight of the DO's list in the previous posting or part 1 on explosiveness, or number five of the list above - it's your choice.

In regards to explosiveness, there are more details that could be added, such as the need for movement. That is to say, that an object in motion tends to be able to generate more motion, easier, and therefore more quickly, than a static object. It is then, generally useful for a practitioner to keep their "objects", i.e., hands, feet, and waist moving, at least a little in order to best be able to take advantage of an opening when it occurs. The movement itself does not need to be large or, in my own experience, even noticeable as such. It does however, need to be intentional.

For years I used large and exaggerated movements when I trained. I could understand the need for movement and the difficulty that it posed for my attackers, ufortunately, for much of that time there was little, if any, particular purpose behind the movements. This sometimes (maybe often) led me to be caught off guard by attacks because my hand and feet had no particular purpose when I moved them. Oh, don't get me wrong, I moved them as though it looked like they had purpose, but in reality, it was not all that purposeful. Don't walk that path. It's mysterious and often frought with "accidents." Instead, train yourself to be aware of how you move, when you move, WHY you move. Be mindful of the purposes of your movement and learn to become aware of vulnerabilities in your movement patterns and start trying to understand them and ultimately remove those vulnerabilities.

So what does that have to do with explosiveness? Well, you cannot have directed explosiveness in your movement if you are uncertain of your own well-being. You will trapped into a reactive situation versus being active and being able to exploit the weaknesses of your attacker when they show themselves.

In addition, by studying yourself, you will start to learn about others more deeply with the ultimate hope or goal of being able to see openings before they occur, so that, by the time they actually do occur, you are moving to take advantage of them. This is typically called "reading your opponent" and refers to the ability to see things developing just slightly ahead of the time in which they actually develop. This is the same ability that makes the average stock broker rise above his or her counterparts and become great.

This is often called timing as well in the martial arts, and can help you to seem explosive or quick when in reality your explosiveness is combined with your ability to read an opponent. This is a critical component to successfuly utilizing explosiveness as you age. It is certain that as you age, your speed and response times will be reduced and having this ability will help you to remain more viable in any encounter you may face.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pencak Silat - Pisau and Kerambit

Just wanted to quickly announce that the second DVD for pisau is complete. The second DVD contains a demonstration of the Jurus-jurus pisau and some pisau bela-diri. This DVD is more about "ideas" for those moving into the weapons areas of Pencak Silat Pertempuran. It also contains a section on understanding Kerambit within the context of PSP working with Dasar and Penjebak or trapping primarily. Introductory content which should be enough Kerambit material for anyone wishing to pursue it further on their own.

Also, sorry for the lack of posts lately. I was layed up in bed for a week with bronchitis and sinusitis and just wasn't able to function. As a result, this week I'm playing catch-up with a bunch of things.

Part 2
Part 1

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Pencak Silat Pertempuran - Level 10a Pisau

The newest DVD for Pencak Silat Pertempuran is now available. The subject of this DVD is Pisau. This one is full of material, so full in fact, that we will have 2 DVD's on the subject. The first contains berhormat, evasion, entries, combination entries, trapping, catching and more. Obviously necessary if you are a PSP practitioner.

Hormat saya,
Guru Stark

Friday, March 02, 2007

Explosiveness in Pencak Silat - Part 1

Ask yourself this question. What is the secret to effective striking (kicking, slapping, pushing, whatever) within the martial arts or any combative endeavor? Think about this for a few minutes and then when you've come up with the best answer you've got, continue reading on.

-Insert jeopardy theme music here-

Okay, you're ready now right? You've got the answer you think is best? Of all the answers I've gotten from people, the one that is the most obvious, in my mind at least, has never been given.

Making contact. This is the single secret to effective striking. You can have all of the power, technique, relaxation, etcetera that you want but if you can't make contact then it's all wasted. There is no value in the prettiest, most powerful strike if it never contacts the target. Obvious right. So obvious it seems, that it is often neglected or overlooked entirely by practitioners. Hopefully, it is still understood that power and other elements are adjuncts to making contact and cannot be neglected either.

Now that we are talking on the subject, it seems that the next section of the discussion should probably center around HOW to hit the target, that is, how to make contact. In PSP, we do this through explosiveness in movement primarily. That is to say, that we hope to be non-telegraphic in our attacks. Of course, other elements enter into the mix too, such as our ability to create optimal angles in order for our explosiveness to be used, and additionally, becoming aware of those opportunities when they unveil themselves to us or taking that a step further by continuously moving in ways that "create" the angles and the opportunity with greater propensity.

That said, the idea of explosiveness can be broken up into three primary areas: The hands, the waist, and the feet. Within these primary categories there may be many different ways to accomplish explosive movement.

As it regards the hands it can often be difficult to attack explosively. It is normal for practitioners to want to utilize power when attacking with the hands which often leads us to an overemphasis on power. The over-emphasis on power typically manifests itself in a pre-strike drawing of the hand back or coiling. Sometimes it will even manifest itself in ways that are not directly relevant to power development such as a grimace or change in facial expression. Additionally, other elements such as weight shifting can also be visible when trying to strike.

Here are some methods that may improve the explosiveness of your hand attacks:

1. Put emphasis on knowing at what range you are capable of striking from.
2. Be patient. Strike when the target is in range and presents itself.
3. Spend time understanding angles and utilizing the hands in efficient and typically direct ways.
4. Utilize "masking" to hide your hand attacks. One way to mask, for instance, is to strike with one hand to draw a defense, but actually intend to strike with the second attack or follow-up attack.
5. Let your hands lead your body and then your feet.
6. Keep loose and relaxed, relying on "fast" twitch muscles to make your attacks explosive.
7. To add additional power to your attack, make whip-like energy through the use of the wrist.

1. Don't wind up to create power. Use your hands to "zone" areas of the attacker so they are ready to attack when openings become available. "Winding up" will just let the attacker know you're about to attack.
2. Don't grimace or make facial expressions.
3. Don't shift your weight to prepare for the attack. Try to move from good position to good position so you are ready more often.
4. If possible, don't utilize your feet as a means of propelling your hands. Let your hands be the first to leave and feet propel forward to keep your hands moving.
5. It's not the best method to put all of your hope in a single strike. Think "langkah dari batu ke batu."