05 February 2008

Fight Quest - Pencak Silat Review

Here's a review of the Fight Quest - Pencak Silat episode by a good friend, Azizul Ismie Mohd Puad (a.k.a Djambu), a pesilat currently studying medicine in the Ukraine. Visit his blog here about life as a Malaysian student in Odessa.

"I watched the episode after successfully downloading it from the internet. The line was quite bad, but I managed to download it after a few days of trying.

"This time, a pair of white guys [Jim and Doug] go around the world to learn the various martial arts from each continent. They reached the nation of Indonesia and studied the art of silat under guru Rita Suwanda and guru Dadang.

"In the end, they have to battle with the champs of pencak silat [or maybe the champs from Perguruan Silat Mande Muda] The episode is absolutely better compared to the Human Weapon: Silat episode [The History Channel].

"I say this because this time, the program managed to get their facts straight. No made-up stories to spice up the show. Just plain, true and simple facts. The training session also looks more gruel and demanding even though I'm quite sure that the secret training ground is not so secret [if it's secret, it won't be shown on tv right?].

"I loved the part when Jim says that he can't really get the 'art' part in 'martial arts'. At least, he admitted it and tried. I also loved the part when guru Rita Suwanda expained why the hand movements are done so and so and the difference between the guarding pose [as explained by Jim].

"Still, the guarding pose is used in Mixed Martial Arts bouts to protect the face but in pencak silat tourneys, the face and neck are not to be hit. In one of the training sequences, Ddoug accidentally hit his opponent's neck causing him to gag.

"But later he got his fair share of pain when his foot hit the other guy's elbow and began swelling like 'a zombie in a movie'. The fight scene in the end also was more fair compared to the Human Weapon episode because this time, they fought in a proper ring, proper attire and with proper juries.

"Human Weapon: Silat episode's final fight was supposed to test the white guy with 5 vs 1 but it was really 1 vs 1 with 5 guys, one after another. [In the end the white guy passed. I'm sure if it's really the final test for Silat Gayong, the guy would have failed]

"Even though Jim and Doug lost their matches, I think guru Rita and guru Dadang have done a great job in promoting silat to the world".

Thanks for letting me pinch the review djambu!


Anonymous said...

eventho i havnt watch it yet, based on ur review i think this one sounds more silat-ish. 8)

amirulhusnitekpi said...

my opinion after seeing both human weapon and fight quest is that fight quest specified on just one silat, pencak silat mande muda, which IMHO have done justice in the presentation and explanation of the style specifically and pencak silat indonesia in general, whereas human weapon potrayed 4 styles of different background and history; seni gayong, lian padukan, lok 9 and harimau johor, that also IMHO caused confusion in the potrayal of silat in malaysia in general.

i heard or read that human weapon producers got the idea to make a silat episode in Malaysia from cikgu Shamsuddin's book. Then why didn't they just stick to seni gayong?? they could have gone to gurun to train with Pak Andak Majid, to alor setar with cikgu Badek and Hj Hussin, to Taiping and Selangor or Wilayah with Gayong Malaysia and to Melaka with Gayong Pasak.

imagine if they would just potray seni gayong, then they can come again to Malaysia to make an episode on Sendeng (sendeng malaysia,sendeng asli,sendeng 2 beradik etc), an episode on Harimau (harimau johor, harimau melaka, gayung harimau etc), an episode on Buah Pukul (buah pukul mersing, lian padukan, gayang lian, gayang 5, tok perpat etc), an episode on Gayung Patani (gayung fatani, melayu asli, melayu jati, silat tua etc) and an episode on silat warisan panglima kedah (silat kuntau tekpi, cekak malaysia/hanafi, kalimah, pikum, palintau etc) to name a few.

what do you guys think??


djambu puadovich said...

i think the fight quest producers are more prepared and took a lesson from the bad impression made by human weapon...
that's why d fight quest guys went to learn silat mande muda indonesia but in d end fight in a standardised pencak silat ring, juz to be fair.
IMHO, it's better for local producers or silat enthusiasts to produce or document the varieties of silat styles in malaysia. easier to communicate wit d old masters and locals are more familiarised wit all d pantang-larang or taboo issues...

linkaran said...

I have seen it twice, I enjoyed it but I am (still) not impressed. Anyway my respect for Doug and Jim I sure that the ps training has added some different point of views toward martial arts.