Wednesday, January 30, 2008
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.