I was training recently with my two students, Miles and Cameron, and a question led to a discussion that I feel is worth posting. It was a question that frequently pops up from time to time, “What happens next or What do I do now”? Miles and Cameron have already internalized that PSP works through the tried and true “Do whatever you want but I am going to beat you as if you were a three year old child” Sean Stark method. Thanks for that Guru.
At the time we were refining our Masukan or Entries from Tangan (fist) through Sepak (Kick) and I don‘t know who asked but it came up, “ Bill, I see the value of the Entries but what I am going to do next?” Usually, at this point I smile and ask if they really want to know, don’t wait for a reply and launch into an entry and finish with some brutal Indo-Malay inspired pain compliance. However I felt it was a teachable moment in regards to Silat, culture and practice. Now I do not want to rehash the same ideas as Guru’s earlier post “Conversations with a Student”, I would like to add to the ideas, standing on the shoulders of a giant per se.
Now Miles and Cameron have spent about 4-5 weeks on Masukan and the fluency with the techniques was becoming evident with their continued practice. At this time I knew they were hard working and talented students but they felt the confusion of knowing , “ I can do this part, but what next?” Without their conscious knowing, I had embarked on an effort to address this question before they asked. Now this isn’t a Master Po/ Grasshopper experience. I don’t push that kind mojo and most of the really good teachers don’t push that either. What good teachers do push ( Guru included ) is good practice and practice habits.
I had begun Gerakan practice earlier than usual in conjunction with Masukan. I kept hammering that practice, practice, practice was the secret ingredient to any success in Silat or any Martial Art for that matter. I quoted Guru, as I do often in training, “ Train 15 minutes a day whenever you can, your lunch break, after the kids go to bed, your ability will take off.”
Miles and Cameron had been practicing. I now added the Gerakan to application. One rotation through all the Masukan with Gerakan applications and the light bulbs of realization above Miles and Cameron were blinding. The usual hour and a half training session went well past two and a half hours. The faith was rewarded. Their faith in their practice and my faith in the curriculum. Practice, Practice, Practice - Pencak Silat Pertempuran will take care of the rest.