Guru Mazlan man stood in a neutral stance, hands at his side, feet side by side, a natural and relaxed stance, which is the starting point of all Silat Kalam movements. I threw a punch at his face. He blocked my punching arm, knocking it skyward. Next, he drove his knee into the tendons at the back of my knee joint. He was only going at a quarter speed, but the pain was incredible. After 50 years of martial art practice, the Guru was perfect. In every movement, I could feel his bones cutting through my flesh and digging into my nerves.
He placed his shin bone against the back of my knee and leaned forward. I had no choice but to fall down, on one knee. Next, he stomped down hard on my calf muscle which was flat on the ground. Then he backhanded me in the face, and I fell backward. My body was completely locked. My own natural skeletal structure had betrayed me. The only way I could stand back up was if the Guru removed his foot from my calf muscle and then reached a hand down, to help me stand.
This was Silat Kalam, an art designed to completely subdue an attacker, but never to be used as an attack.
“I breathe because of God. I drink because of God. I eat because of God. I practice Silat because of God.” This is a portion of the mantra which Guru Mazlan Man had the students recite on a daily basis. He explained his philosophy this way. “We must remember that we only do things because of God. And if we only do things because of God, we will not do bad things. You cannot say, I steal because of God.”