Saturday, March 14, 2009

Attributes and Principles

So the discussion of attributes and principles came up again in class. This system is about the development of attributes and application of principles, physical, emotional, mental, and for those inclined, spiritual.

Some people see the system as a bunch of techniques in spite of the fact that it's not really designed that way. Try as I do to help people understand otherwise, we are inclined as a species, to want things defined in as neat a package as possible, techniques do just that. We all want to be invincible and untouchable in violent encounters. It's natural to want that. This system doesn't teach that way. This system teaches that the "rain falls on the just and the unjust", trained and untrained alike can be hit, stabbed, pounded, hurt, killed, maimed. It's a fact.

After 1,000's of years or millions of years, we have never been able to figure out how to 100% of the time pound the snot out of some deserving idiot. It hasn't happened. It won't happen no matter how tough we think we are, or how invincible the system we are studying is supposed to be. Furthermore, if someone tells you the system they teach or study is unbeatable, they are a liar and or a salesman.

Even if a system was considered to be unbeatable, to have all elements required to succesfully beat any possible weapon, person, persons, or combinations, we all come with a different set of attributes. Furthermore, there are environmental attributes that enter into the fray. Within this, there is still the reality that even the people you fight will have differing attributes. They are fairly definable, speed, timing, range, height, weight, agility, etcetera, but each one of us comes with a slightly differing quantity of these. That fact, times the options that are available to us via the tools that exist personally or externally, times our understanding, times environmental factors, ad nauseum, make any guarantees of succes within combat, complete and utter nonsense.

So what's a person to do? Well, for starters, you can train yourself in a way that develops your strong attributes and furthermore develops any weak attributes you may have. In addition, by pursuing the understanding and application of the best attributes you have as well as the development of weaker attributes, it will only help. Additionally, by understanding principles of combat, angles, leverage, physiology, autonomics, etc. you further increase the probability of success. I would also add, that if you settle on a method of combat and you don't depart from it, especially when things are at their toughest, it will help you in most cases.

Pencak Silat Pertempuran will help you find and develop those attributes; standing, with weapons, or even on the ground. Additionally, it expands your weaker attributes, helping to make you more rounded as a fighter. Of course, utilizing principles all throughout making the attributes you do develop even more effective. Attributes that are specifically developed are use of angles, timing, understanding and use of range, tools, explosiveness, and aggressiveness, to name some. Some principles are the 80-20, langkah dari batu ke batu, set points, and relationship.

The drills that are found in Pencak Silat Pertempuran can be seen as techniques to those who are untrained, or unclear, but to those who are trained, it is hoped that they will see them as simultaneously developing attributes and principles in application. The primary difference is in how a thing is looked at. A technique fits a situation or event that happens a specific way, at a specific time. It cannot fit any other situation or event as well as it does that specific way or specific time. Principles can be applied across different events or situations and the attributes determine the effectiveness of the application.