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

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10 comments:

Dan said...

I think it's also important that while good tactics, are important. He might simply be better. If his kicks are as fast as your punches, if you simply can't move fast enough to counter, fights over.

This is not to discourage, but even if you take Guru Guru Stark's advice you still need strength and speed and stamina. I don't think technique alone can win a fight.

SilatBlogger said...

Hi Dan - I'm going to push back a bit okay, don't get uptight about it. I won't be arguing with you. Life is too short and I've done this too long to argue about it. Okay? :) It's friendly but I'm dead serious too.

It's true of course, but that wasn't really the question. The question is how do I deal with that.

You can always come up with ways that you'll lose a fight. Situations that suck, etc. No doubt.

Hell, a guy could just have bad judgement for a moment and the fights over, or slip and fall into the kick, or duck when they should have dodged, or any number of things.

That wasn't the question though. The question was how do you deal with it?

BTW, for myself, I have not yet seen anyone whose feet are quicker than my hands when I employ these tactics.

Neither have I seen anyone whose kicks are quicker than my kicks when I employ these tactics.

Especially I haven't seen anyone whose kicks are powerful enough to end a fight whose kicks are also that fast. I would suggest that you don't fully understand the tactics I'm using.

I would be very willing to try them. As long as the game is equal, that is, that if whoever is kicking at me and trying to End the fight, is also willing to have me End the fight on my terms. That's fair right?

Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing your methods against such things.

KiwiInOz said...

This is a relevant post for me, so thanks for posting it Guru Stark.

I have been training in Silat Bela Diri for just over 3 years (am now aged 41) and will be entering my first tournament at the beginning of next month. It is a TKD 'all styles' tournament and I am going into it for experience.

The tournament is semi contact, and many of the moves that we use in Silat aren't allowed.

I too was concerned about how I would deal with what is likely to be mainly TKD practitioners and their mode of attack. I watched a lot of clips on YouTube and the Olympics TKD (what a bizzare sport!!) and know how I would close down and finish those sorts of attacks, but was less confident about how to score points while sticking to my style.

I'm still worried about it. But playing the angles is obviously the key.

Cheers

SilatBlogger said...

Hi - I think your concern is valid. You are basically entering their arena and fighting by their rules. That's tough.

For me, that kind of experiences is no longer a valid thing. I don't want that kind of experience any more.

Why? Well largely because it's not a real experience in the sense that I'm not really testing my pencak silat. I'd be testing only a fraction of my pencak silat and having to probably modify even that.

So for me, I don't stand to gain anything. I'm not discouraging you. For sure feel free to do it. But for me, I no longer want to train things that cause me to change the framework of the system I am learning. It's hard enough to find the time to train it right? Let alone do something that is almost anti pencak silat. Ya know?

It's a struggle most of us face.

I hope it goes well for you.

Can you use kicks to block kicks? I'm not sure but I think you can only kick to the midsection.

My experiences were more of the no rules fighting and no gear in most cases. That changes things to be sure.

Anonymous said...

O.K.; From the perspective of an old tounament fighter, ask yourself if they, having set such limiting rules which favor their style, aren't CHEATING?

In my book, they are! So, morally, I'm justified in fighting fire with fire.

When I used to compete, the RULES proscribed penalties for illegal contact thusly: first illegal contact, a warning; second (and all subsequent) illegal contacts, a point was awarded to "THE VICTIM".

Generally, kicks were aimed at the head, as head shot earned two points. In other words, if I could use an illegal contact to prevent a head kick, I gained one point.

I always targeted the GROIN! Even to the point of shattering one opponent's cup!

This philosophy tended to cause them to stop kicking high (as the pain wasn't worth the point), thus stripping them of some of their most practiced techniques; They would then frequently lose!

-Hugo

SilatBlogger said...

That's friggin brilliant Hugo. That's why I like you! Thank God - LITERALLY - that you didn't do that to me!! :)

Hazidi said...

A very simple counter to TKD kicks. I have tried to myself on several occasions. In Gayung Fatani, we call it sapu kaki: literally you side step and sweep his feet off the ground (the one he's standing on, not the one he's kicking with). They usually go down with a big thump. By the way, I have a black belt in TKD and studied silat for more then 10 years.

SilatBlogger said...

That's a very practical and direct method.

Another simple method is simply to duck under the kick to the head and shoulder strike the supporting leg by diving through it or gulung.

or

Strike the inside of the knee and destroy it. I actually did this to Hugo (somewhat softly) and caused him a lot of recovery time and as far as I know he still deals with it. Sorry brother!

There are many ways to actually deal with it but the principle remains that you must stay there and deal with it on some level rather than backing up.

Anonymous said...

versus a TKD guy using silat, first tip, keep as close as possible. dont give him any room to jump. that will force him to use normal kick, then,you can catch his normal kick and throw him down with a sweep.

for distance, let him jump and throw his best kick up in the air. and you and strike him using a sweep.

simple.

Priest said...

Hmmm, somehow I missed this post, although I remember us having similar conversation Guru. I've spent a fair bit of time crossing hands with TKD guys, simply because there're so many near where I live. The stuff that I've found works (from PSP and various other sources):

-Foot Traps, stepping on the foot or hem of the pants. If timed right and down to the kicking leg I've made people "trip inside their pants". If done to the supporting leg it removes the attackers ability to pivot which leaves him with a best case of not generating power and a worst case of tearing that knee out.

-Straight/Front stomp kicks to the hip. Lining a solid boot up with their pelvis and just stepping into it real well worked pretty good for me. The bonus is that if it's combined with the stepping methods from Boar Silat (Silat Celing, right?) you are able to close ridiculously quickly and start throwing knees and elbows at good structural targets.

-Catching/destroying. Assuming a right side roundhouse kick on their part do an ales 4, leave your left arm down and use it to catch the leg under the calf, hopefully straightening the leg out. Fire a right elbow straight down into the meaty part of their thigh. For defensive purposes I sometimes index my hand on the side of my head to avoid getting popped. By altering the movement chain slightly this can be used on different kicks.

-Knee blocks. This is an illegal move in TKD, but basically you just take your offside knee and aim it at the middle of their shin. I got in trouble for doing this instinctively at one point, being unaware that it was an "illegal" move. I'd like to think that Hugo was off somewhere smiling when that happened.