Thursday, September 9, 2010

Traditionalist Versus Modernist

Traditional way of Silat is suppose to be flexible and adaptable because it is an art of survival, helping pesilat to survive and the survival of the knowledge itself. It must be able to be reinterpreting at any time, into any 'language' and for any situation. It is suppose to be versatile and broad meaning even the old ancient traditional techniques that is already more than a thousand years old.

Being a true traditional Silat master one must be an old school, evergreen, modern, up-to-date and open minded person. If he can't adjust himself to evolve whilst making the knowledge stuck in time, he is contributing towards the disappearance of a very precious knowledge.

There is nothing wrong in the modernization of Silat or of any knowledge even the modernization of Islam knowledge. Exceptional precious knowledge are suppose to be able to modernized but with proper adab or manners and must also be done with strict guidance from an expert of that particular knowledge.

Many ancient Silat styles claim that their techniques have the beginning but not the end. That show how powerful and special their styles are. How can that be no end if it cannot evolve, adapt, modernized and embrace changes? Proper changes not frankensteining, adaptability not adoption of alien techniques or style.

Being a very ancient and traditional Silat is not suppose to be carved in stone, stuck and freezes in time or having static narrow techniques. It cannot be only words or so called rich philosophies or wealthy concept alone. Ancient Silat is proven its effectiveness and reliability. Everyone knows how its power of knowledge and wonder of wisdom evolve itself and it's practitioner through time.

The only problem is, can we change for better? Can we evolve? Can we learn from what we acquired? Can we attain the understanding of our own knowledge? Are we willing to be guided and embrace humility? Why all these are important? Because these are among the way of ancient Silat survive through time and evolve showing its wonder. These also the way of a true master whilst making sure the continuity of this precious ancient survival knowledge.

Everyone must work together by changing and merging wisdom so that we can gain more from what we already have, both traditionalist and modernist in Silat world. Where did that modernist group get their knowledge? What happen to the traditionalist if they don’t have any modernist as students? We all know very well that most modernist are from new generation that learn from old traditionalist masters.

In the end, everyone needs everybody. We need each other to survive if we must protect ourselves from any harm and we need each other to make sure that this Silat knowledge can survive another many thousand years insyaAllah. Let us learn and practice being humble like plain water so that one can be flexible, adaptable, precious, fluid and strong physically and spiritually.

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