Thursday, December 25, 2008

Silat Seminar

I know it's been awhile since I've posted out here... sorry for those who were following.

Just wanted to take a second to announce a two day seminar that will be held in St. Cloud, Florida, February 14th and 15th, 2009. This two day training event will be focused on the expansion of the basics to include a weapon and additional ways to increase the realism of your PSP study.

Bring training weapons, safety gear and a hard work attitude.

Contact me if you have questions are would like to attend.

Sincerely,
Guru Stark

www.combat-silat.net

Sunday, September 14, 2008

pencak silat

This is a response to another question sent in by a student.

Question:
I just wanted to know if there was any drills I could do to make my body remember to keep my structure at all times?

Answer:
Well, the best drills imo are the things you are going to use in real combat so I would recommend having someone feed you attacks slightly slower and with a lot of repetition in order to ingrain the movement more and to develop greater trust in it. The issue isn’t the body keeping structure - it’s the mind trusting the structure.

You cannot force trust, it must be built and that just takes time and the increase of stress over time. Too often we want to increase the stress we put ourselves under too fast instead of settling for graceful, smooth repetition of a thing until it becomes second nature. Once you do this long enough you’ll start to automatically be able to deal with greater and greater levels of stress without even thinking about it.

Trust and faith are inter-related and they both require a certain degree of relaxation or relaxed mental state. Not oblivious relaxation but alert and calm. Fear is easily bred by a lack of trust in something and that is when you will find your technique starts to waver.

Additionally, you will always have a startle response or reflex. That will never go away, however, your startle responses can become more refined and more directly pencak silat if you sufficiently train movements that are related to your bodies natural response or reflex mechanisms. For instance, about a month ago, a friend at work startled me slightly and before he or I knew it, I had grabbed him behind the head and lightly elbowed him in or near the eye. Just a reflex but it came about as a result of training, my body responding the way it did because of the response from the startled positions my hands were in. Other times I've instinctively kicked or hit. It depends on the position of your body relative to the attack when the startle takes place. Certain positions and certain relationships with the attack and attacker will draw certain startle responses based on my training.

Structure is no different. I find myself in many cases like that, utilizing a type of Ales that is sufficient enough to avoid but perhaps not perfect in the traditional sense.

To get to that stage you must continue to be challenged by unique and different attacks over time, sufficiently enough to build genuine responses to things that are unique or startling. The way to do it is often just to do the thing over and over until you get it right, with enough of a change of speed to accommodate your level of skill.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Trusting your postures in pencak silat

This is a response to another question sent in by a student.

Question:

I just wanted to know if there was any drills I could do to make my body remember to keep my structure at all times?

Answer:
Well, the best drills imo are the things you are going to use in real combat so I would recommend having someone feed you attacks slightly slower and with a lot of repetition in order to ingrain the movement more and to develop greater trust in it. The issue isn’t the body keeping structure - it’s the mind trusting the structure.

You cannot force trust, it must be built and that just takes time and the increase of stress over time. Too often we want to increase the stress we put ourselves under too fast instead of settling for graceful, smooth repetition of a thing until it becomes second nature. Once you do this long enough you’ll start to automatically be able to deal with greater and greater levels of stress without even thinking about it.

Trust and faith are inter-related and they both require a certain degree of relaxation or relaxed mental state. Not oblivious relaxation but alert and calm. Fear is easily bred by a lack of trust in something and that is when you will find your technique starts to waver.

Additionally, you will always have a startle response or reflex. That will never go away, however, your startle responses can become more refined and more directly pencak silat if you sufficiently train movements that are related to your bodies natural response or reflex mechanisms. For instance, about a month ago, a friend at work startled me slightly and before he or I knew it, I had grabbed him behind the head and lightly elbowed him in or near the eye. Just a reflex but it came about as a result of training, my body responding the way it did because of the response from the startled positions my hands were in. Other times I've instinctively kicked or hit. It depends on the position of your body relative to the attack when the startle takes place. Certain positions and certain relationships with the attack and attacker will draw certain startle responses based on my training.

Structure is no different. I find myself in many cases like that, utilizing a type of Ales that is sufficient enough to avoid but perhaps not perfect in the traditional sense.

To get to that stage you must continue to be challenged by unique and different attacks over time, sufficiently enough to build genuine responses to things that are unique or startling. The way to do it is often just to do the thing over and over until you get it right, with enough of a change of speed to accommodate your level of skill.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pencak Silat Tactics of PSP

QUESTION:
I have a question for you. A friend of mine is a black belt in TKD he's pretty fast when he trows kicks and throws different combinations always one kick immediately after another kick so he always catches me. How do you deal with that?

ANSWER:
It depends on how you are fighting. I don't have a DVD that addresses that as such, but I have fought TKD guys, Karate guys, Wing Chun guys, Kali guys, Hapkido guys, etc. It matters a great deal how you are fighting. Are you fighting to touch or to hit? Hit or to hurt? Hurt or to injure? Injure or kill? If the intent is not there to at least hurt it makes any fighting more difficult.

Also, when you fight anyone you must remember that there are several ways to deal with it. It doesn't matter a great deal who they are or what style:

One is to close the gap which will not allow him to kick or at least not more than once. Kicking requires a certain distance between you and the kicker. If you stand still and he kicks he gets to choose when and how often he kicks so he gets to create the combinations and it's up to you to defend yourself. Move in immediately and get out of defense and into offense. (Ales and Masukan for PSP folks.)

Two is to use angles versus backing up when they attack. If you back up against any type of attack, in a straight line, they will be able to continue to attack. Kicks are not very manueverable so if you choose to back up for the initial attack you should do so at an angle. Then the attacker will be forced to change simple combinations into complex ones where the body has to re orient. Additionally, if you do both close the gap and change angle it really messes with the relationship (Ales for PSP folks).

Third, any attack generates from one of four places - either shoulder or either hip. If you want to defend against any attack the best way is to go to the source. Attack the source of the attack directly. I normally just block kicks by kicking the kick as it starts or by attacking the hip or upper thigh close to where it generates. The same can be done for strikes of any kind. This is best when combined with the previous two. The key is to block in a way that is destructive to structure. Not just blccking or attacking the limb that as kicking or striking, but actually destroying structure by doing so. (Totokan and or Timbilan can do this for PSP folks.)

Fourth, close the gap, attack, change angle, destroy structure, and then monitor additional attacks by putting your hands or feet in ready positions to deal with additional attacks by monitoring the zones from which they generate. Additionally, by closing the gap and catching or locking the attacker you can nullify many follow up attacks. This is only a good option if you haven't already and aren't able to destroy the opponent. I don't advocate this over hitting the attacker repeatedly or breaking down there structure but it does work if you close the gap but are unable to effectivel attack. (Tangkapan and Kuncian for PSP folks.) Locking requires more skill than the opponent catching does not.

Fifth, if this isn't working for you, learn to control the range of the fight so that you can break away when you want to or close or use the tools you want to use and are comfortable using. Do not fight the other persons fight. This is hard to learn especially if you get hit but you are still better to fight your best fight than to fight their best fight.

Sixth, be ready to take it to the end. Be willing to close, over-run, take a hit, and get close enough to move beyond injuring to killing. Intent to do harm as quickly as possible is necessary. To what level needs to be determined responsibly. If there is a weapon involved on the part of the attacker you need be willing to move to killing. (Pembasmian for PSP folks).

Those are my suggestions. Which one works for you will depend on your skill and understanding and of course the attackers skill and understanding.

Sincerely,
Guru Stark
Pencak Silat Pertempuran

www.combat-silat.net
www.combat-silat.com
www.silat.us

http://pencaksilat.blogspot.com
http://stores.lulu.com/combatsilat
http://www.cafepress.com/silatshop

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

keluarga pencak silat pertempuran

Keluarga has come and gone. It was great. Small but really good. Only the cream of the crop came :)

We worked on a lot of fundamentals, mostly surrounding pencak movement. Taking things to the next level, explosive footwork, and material of levels 1-5.

If you didn't make it. You should try to make it to the Florida early next year. Info will be posted.

Check out the KSMA blog because he probably posted about it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pencak Silat Pertempuran

This is a video that shows a potential application from within the first few movements of Jurus Tiga. It can be done in several ways but this is a simple and direct way.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pencak Silat Pertempuran

video

Rocco Latino practing Pencak Silat Pertempuran offensive entries with follow up techniques #3.

Pencak Silat Pertempuran

videof

Rocco Latino practicing Pencak Silat Pertempuran Offensive Entries with follow up techniques.

Pencak Silat Pertempuran Class

video

Rocco demonstrating a string of simple techniques based on one of the offensive entries.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Masukan Tangan


Masukan Tangan then, are the beginning of my answer to the dilemma of footwork being slower than hand attacks.

The reality is that footwork is slower than most people's hand attacks and once in range footwork is typically on a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio. As a result a good fighter will need some other way to respond to hand attacks. Most utilize blocking and parrying solely. Yet, the value of the Masukan Kaki lies within it's direct and often more aggressive nature. Considering that aspect then, you would also need something more than Tangkis or blocking to respond to an attackers hands in order to maintain that aggressive nature. Especially if you intend to own the timing of the conflict.

The answer from my perspective was to look at what works and what makes the foot entries effective on any level and expand that to a similar methodology for hands. This was done by looking at the silat systems I was studying at the time as well as my own experience, boxing, kalis, Arnis, kuntao, and other martial arts.

From that a methodology was born called Masukan Tangan and ultimately the beginning of viewing things quite differently from a martial arts perspective. The Masukan Tangan were quite different than other martial arts that I had seen at the time because they did not rely on blocking for the hands but were based on angulation through the use of Ales to put yourself in a position to strike the vulnerable areas of an opponent in real time - without blocking. As a result, you can conceivably steal the attackers timing and rhythm as your own and cause them to move from offense to defense within the span of time of a single attack.

In addition, with the use of the Ales you can create the necessary power to create a blow of sufficient force to incapacitate temporarily through the evastion AND leave yourself in close proximity to the attacker with a superior angle in most cases.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Masukan - Entries

The entries are based off of the Ales. The Ales-ales are the foundation piece from which all other elements come off - from an attribute perspective.

That said, originally I learned Masukan Kaki from Pamur. The eight that I currently use were derived directly from Pamur as is. They are great and they taught me many things. They still teach me. I've modified them on a superficial level but they are essentially the same as I was taught. Very good - though the purpose of me writing these pieces isn't to get into all of the "what belongs where and where did it come from" discussions. Personally, I think that will only detract from the value of it. What is valuable is not the what and where but the "why!" That's what I'm really wanting to communicate.

That said, even though the Masukan Kaki or Leg Entries have so profoundly changed how I think about combat, they are not the final solution. They have shortcomings. It's the same shortcomings I've found with most footwork that exists in the martial arts. That is to say, that moving your feet in order to move your body is not always very fast. Or to rephrase, it's never fast. Especially when compared to an attacker's hand speed.

The shortcoming is then, that when an attacker is striking you repeatedly, they do not wait for your footwork to catch up. Instead, they simply strike and strike and strike until you resign using footwork in that manner. Especially if your footwork is the source of your evasions. I suspect that if you really look around at systems that have extensive use of footwork as their evasions that you'll see those systems actually use blocking in real time combat because there hands are faster.

Additionally, to use Masukan Kaki or Leg entries requires that you are able to close on an attacker and bridge the gap immediately - at least within the time space of a single hand attack. In my own experience that has proved to be reasonably difficult to do in real life with any sort of consistency. The mind is an amazing organ and people are quick to see a threat and change and adapt their movements. This makes it difficult to apply a Masukan Kaki unless you can see the attack coming, or just get plain lucky.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pencak Silat Pertempuran Ales

The Ales are another area of learning where the thought process involved may be of value.

The Ales came about as a result of struggling with the emphasis on footwork that so many systems use for evasion. While the basic premise seems reasonable and sound, it is very difficult to do well or fast enough. That is, that when an attack is coming, that you move your feet, which moves your body out of the way of the attack. It makes sense except that when you try it against a weapon attack, you'll quickly find that your feet are not fast enough unless you can see the attack coming. As a result, the next best thing was to find evasions that didn't require your feet to move or at least not much in order to take away the primary targets of most people's attacks. By doing so, you can perform them quite quickly which makes them much more viable for dealing with attacks when you cannot see them coming. Primarily the Ales badan come from Pamur though the context for use is slightly different and the Ales Kepala come form Raja Sterlak.

I filtered them through what I knew to work in boxing as well and thus the Ales were born.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dasar - Pencak Silat Pertempuran


I thought about approaching this topic within one of the books that I've written concerning Pencak Silat Pertempuran but it never really made it to that stage. Now that I'm more or less done with volume 3 I thought I might start doing a little writing about this topic.

So just what is the topic? Well, I thought it might be beneficial to go over the reasons and purposes behind the decisions I've made for the system. The point of which is to help those who are inclined to study PSP and eventually teach it. My long term vision is that Combat Silat will be adaptable to the culture and changes within the culture and those leading it will be able to make Combat Silat responsive to the needs of those using it. That said, it must, in order to stay Combat Silat, consider certain elements as part of a baseline for making those decisions. In other words, to remove whimsy, and reaction as reasons for change and to consider things thoroughly before accepting or adopting any change. To enable that type of reasoning it seems prudent to at least communicate what the basis for making the original decisions originated from.



This post will deal with the basics of the system. How and why they were chosen. To start, you'll notice that there are no blocks or tangkis in the Combat Silat basics. The idea is founded in the notion that to be defensive puts you behind in timing and to be behind in timing is to be reactive instead of active. When you are reactive you cannot set the timing but are subject to the timing and rhythm established by your opponent.

Secondly, you'll notice that there is no stance training per se. We do learn some stances as we go along, but there is no great emphasis on stance initially. The basic premise behind that decision was to focus on mobility and motion rather than stability. The reality in my life, is that even after years of training I do not yet move my feet enough and as a result, I do not want to train anything that might reinforce the notion that standing still is a good thing. Do stances have value? Yes they do but not as much as good movement in combat.

Regarding the fist strikes, I wanted some variety in movement and application. I also chose to include some strikes to remind those who study with me, what the foundations of Combat Silat consist of, at least in part. The Pamur punch and the Sterlak Punch as examples. In addition, the strikes that are a part of the foundation should also offer some options for defending and countering any opponent. The same is true of all the basic strikes and kicks. Beyond what I've listed as being part of the thought process for inclusion or exclusion from the system the elements included are not necessarily sacred.