03 December 2007

Senjata Makan Tuan?

Several years ago, while we were sitting around guru Haji Jamaludin Shahadan, our Silat Sendeng Haji Hamid master, I asked a question which I considered intelligent. We had completed our basic Sendeng syllabus and were studying swordplay.

I had studied Silat Cekak Hanafi before Sendeng, and was taught that the parang Lading, the official weapon was smithed according to specific measurements of the owner, thus making it a perfect combat companion. Any error on the smith's part could cause the weapon to 'makan tuan' or accidentally hurt its owner.

I had also studied Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9, which taught that a personal Keris needed to be 'serasi' (affinitive) to the owner, and similar physical measurements were required to avoid the weapon 'betraying' him.

Guro Omar Hakim also gave measurement rationale for Pekiti Tirsia Kali for the length of certain sticks and knives used, which determined the proper grip required.

My question to Haji Jamaludin was based on all of this experience. So, I asked the question of the sword in Sendeng:

"Cikgu, does the sword have a measurement?"
"Why do you need a measurement?" he asked.
"Well, so that the weapon will not 'makan tuan'," I answered confidently. What he said next made me feel the smallest I'd ever felt.
"Senjata makan tuan, maksudnya tuan tak reti guna senjata!"
(A weapon that hurts its owner means the owner isn't competent to wield the weapon!)
Sigh. To this day, I've yet to live it down.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab


Anonymous said...

:-) :-) :-)
;-) ;-) ;-)
:-) :-) :-)

(what else can i say other than smile, a very big smile!)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... again... I am thinking.... Smile is not enough... A laugh is much better. BIG LAUGH!


Anonymous said...

dats 1 thing fo sho...
say, even the parang lading is made acc to one's measurement, if he's 'not clever' enuf to 'twist' the blade towards his own body (uik? cant' get enuf from hiding it behind d arm?), his ribs area will consequently bleed. urmm..1 of the reasons only credible ppl were given that weapon. Simply not 4 noobs.. d'oh


Mohd Nadzrin Wahab said...

Salam hormat MadMike,

The Lading is given only to those who have contributed much to the Cekak organisation. This is rumoured to be the tradition in Kedah, when the Lading berambu was given to honoured Panglima.

Like the Keris, you can have your own keris made, but to get one from the Sultan himself? That's special.

Thus, Ladings existed as a combative weapon in Kedah, but as both farm tool and weapon in Sumatera. If you had the money, you could get one.

The specific measurements of the Lading are compatible only with the movements and usage in Cekak and not other silat styles.

Any weapon, when held in a reverse grip, will naturally yaw away from the forearm. Because of this, the wrist is forced to bend downwards to keep it against the forearm.

The Lading, however, has a blade that curves upwards at a sharp angle that allows a natural grip to keep the Lading close to the arm, thus reducing the radical weight to nearly zero.

It is assumed that this sort of effect can be replicated by simply measuring the forearm (the way we do for Tekpis), but various other measurements are said to contribute not only to this, but the effectiveness of the weapon itself.

So, I still have yet to prove these measurements serve a practical or simply philosophical purpose. Soon, insyaAllah.

Salam persilatan,

Gemala Kasturi said...

I guess it has to do with the knowledge and a lotsa practise.
Something else here :



kalau tidak silap, kamu ini urid senior cikgu Azlan kan?

Kenal Mahathir...Lok 9 & senaman tua. Singaporean?

Mohd Nadzrin Wahab said...


Kenal Alhamdulillah...


Putat said...

I agree with Hj Jamaludin when he said "Senjata makan tuan,maksudnya tuan tak reti guna senjata" but look at the other perspective one must realize that everything must have an appropriate size for them to handle right?

Ini bukan pasal "tuan tak pandai pakai senjata". Size does matter, with an appropriate size or even affinitive one can handle their weapon better and would eventually 'escape' from so called 'makan tuan'

Just my 2 cents....

Mohd Nadzrin Wahab said...

Salam hormat,

I agree with your opinion. It's ridiculous to assume that someone with the strength of a normal South East Asian could wield a European Broadsword or Viking Axe as elegantly :) as their native users.

Size, weight and grip all matter when it comes to making quick and powerful movements with a traditional weapon.

The point that guru Jamal was trying to make and what Ustaz Saiful holds, is that the mind easily attaches extreme importance to a particular concept. It becomes dangerous when the mind can ONLY accept that concept as true.

My opinion on the Silat Cekak Lading, however, is that those measurements are only relevant to the style in question and its usage. To use the Lading in Sendeng or Gayong would not require such measurements.

So, yes, size is important, measurements are important, but as the old saying goes, a Pendekar is a master not only of his environment, but also his mind.

Salam persilatan,

P.S. To all blog visitors, thanks for making this place a fun place to blog.

aminjabar said...

che lin..
remember me? aminjabar of IIU, second batch CH matric pantai?
tried looking for you for some time..
if you have time, please reply


Mohd Nadzrin Wahab said...

Assalamualaikum Amin,

No worries, I still remember you. I had your handphone number until awhile ago when I couldn't contact it, so I deleted it from my phone.

It's very easy to find me on the net nowadays. I'm here at this blog every day.

Just email me at webmaster@silatmelayu.com and I'll give you my phone number, which has remained the same for the last 3 years anyway :P