Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Simplicity & Effectiveness In Silat Melayu

The core of Silat can be many, depend on what one seek in learning Silat and one understanding when acquiring it. Some will only look into the outer part of Silat and afraid to explore the inner side of it. Some become so skeptic of Silat and stay far away from it. Few will combined all aspect of Silat Melayu and understand that Silat can only be real Silat when functioning as whole. Still there are so many different interpretations of the seed of Silat.

In our humble and small traditional Silat school style, the seed of Silat is actually simplicity and humility. Perfection will come when one realizes the weaknesses of oneself. In our silat style, hitting is not the seed of Silat. To us hitting is actually the weakness of Silat. That weakness must be overcome with spiritual practices. When forced to utilize it, must not be influence with rage and anger. Strike only when it is really necessary with such effectiveness but must be done with manners (adab).

The act of defense and offence will never be enough in mastering the true Silat Melayu as whole. When a martial artist only looks into this physical part, normally there will never be perfection and satisfaction till the end. There will be a sense of emptiness. In our school style, the most important will be the key to the physical techniques. From there it will mutate into many techniques variant which is unique for each individual ability and necessity.

This is where the importance of the spiritual aspect of Silat, it is the unseen knowledge and techniques that transform into clear result. Spiritual aspect of Silat doesn’t necessarily mean the mystical ability or magical power of individual. It is also the other unseen knowledge, understanding and skills that must be mastered. Of course the well known part of “kebatinan” or spiritual side of Silat is also essential in looking into the deeper side of this precious ancient survival knowledge.

Many are skeptic and unsure of the status and importance of “kebatinan” in Silat Melayu. There are of course for so many reasons. Society seems cannot accept the result that they hear or they see from “kebatinan” knowledge or techniques, especially among Malay or Melayu in Malaysia. Ironically they accept other way of “kebatinan” and even putting so much effort to learn, practice and spread it. They incorporate different names and terminology to make sense to themselves and others of those foreign “kebatinan” and all seems logical scientifically.

What we see here is actually another simple yet effective knowledge that been practiced by previous society. Whether practice here among our Melayu ancestors or practiced by foreign ancestors. The simplicity of this kind of knowledge is obvious now due to increasing number of enthusiast learning it, the effectiveness of this controversial knowledge and skill also witnessed by current generation and proven in ancient history.

Ancient knowledge of Silat is supposed to evolvable, adaptable, and able to be modernized, embrace and absorb whatever necessary and able to withstand time. Those are the attribute of authentic ancient Silat Melayu and must also be the attribute of anyone that becomes a pesilat and pendekar. Pesilat and pendekar are supposed to be broad minded, modern, wise, gentle and perseverance individual.

Among the wonders of Seni Silat Bongsu is perfecting one’s acquired martial arts knowledge and enlightened both physical and spiritual side of oneself as pesilat in becoming true “pendekar”. Seni Silat Bongsu is considered as the “Ibu Silat” due to its physical and spiritual flexibility, adaptability, simplicity and humility, not because of its mystical or special ability, super power or strength and fancy techniques.

It can also be the joint of any kind of martial arts. It will show you the power of knowledge and the wonder of wisdom when the proper understanding attained. Physically, Silat must function as joints in harmonizing attained martial art knowledge and skills. The simplicity in Silat must compliment any martial knowledge whether it is simple or complicated art. This must be done with adab (manners) and guidance. Deeper understanding must be attained before exploring this exceptional side of Silat.

Traditional knowledge is supposed to give practitioners the ability to evolve when they attain certain levels. Let one learn from acquired knowledge, master it and feel it. Whatever one did, never break up with a true wise master, because guidance is the most important in any journey of knowledge. The core of knowledge and understanding will always be the masters.

Never stop learning (“Jangan Putus Ilmu”) in the sense of learning more from one acquired knowledge and seeking for more new knowledge. Never stop practicing (“Jangan Putus Amal”) which means practicing the physical, mental and spiritual obligation from knowledge acquired. Never break up with a true master (“Jangan Putus Guru”) meaning always willingly and crave for guidance from masters and teachers in learning, practicing, mastering, understanding and applying knowledge acquired.

Among the basic in developing structure and power in our Silat School style are “Tepat” means accuracy from guided subconscious that trained with proper knowledge with proper guidance, “Kuat” which means power that comes from knowledge and skill mastered and “Cepat” means speed that will follow from merging both accuracy and power.

Physical power and physical speed alone is just secondary to our Silat School style. We believe in the power of knowledge and the wonder of wisdom which has been proven by more than a thousand years of our style history. Of course there are also many form of physical, semi spiritual and spiritual exercise. What is the use of physical power and speed if without accuracy? Accurate physical, mental and spiritual action and result can only be achieved when all aspect of Silat mastered, merged and applied.

Silat is supposed to be a self physical and spiritual journey of offense and defense. As Muslim, one must always understand that Islam will always be the core of Silat. In fact, as Muslim, Islam is the core of life. Silat has such adaptability and flexibility in adjusting itself into any physical and spiritual way of different understanding. It can be influenced by the universality of Islam teaching. It can also be influenced by any other belief or system.

Cultural part of Silat is also important in touching the essence of society, specifically the Malay tradition. This cultural side also has a very high adaptability and flexibility towards other norm of culture. Physically and spiritually, Silat is actually an art of control and adjustability. Silat teach, provoke and guide oneself to be highly alarmed and able to protect oneself physically and spiritually.

To learn, master and feel Silat, one must understand and love Silat as whole. The physical techniques, philosophies, history, spiritual knowledge, proper clothing, weaponry and other Silat and non Silat aspect of Silat are all important in embracing a true Silat Melayu as whole while surviving modernization. Than only one can be call real pesilat and a pendekar in the making.

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