29 April 2017

Nothing can stop you

"Jika jihadmu sungguh, maka pembuka kunci musuhmu adalah patahmu, tapi patahmu dituruti matinya."

In silat, when someone applies a lock onto your joints, you have very few choices. One of them is to find a way to slither out of the lock. Another is to move his centre of gravity to create slack.

However, when the lock is very tight and surrender is NOT an option (your family is in danger, your ummah needs you), then you commit a sacrifice move by forcing against the lock and possibly dislocating your joint or breaking one of your own bones.

If your struggle is just, it is a worthy price to pay, just as the sahabi who lost his arms, one after another, yet continued carrying Rasulullah's war banner to rally the fighters' spirits.

After the break, the ensuing pain and adrenaline rush is channeled into a decisive killing blow (possibly even suicidal) against your now confused opponent.

If you truly believe in what you strive for, then nothing will stand in your way.

Jantan|Betina: Silat Body Linguistics

In silat, the surface of the human body is divided into two parts: Jantan and Betina.

Anatomically, jantan is the dorsal area of the body. It is where bone is closest to the surface and normally has more body hair like the tops of your forearms, the elbows, the shoulders, the back, the spine, the tops of the thighs, the knees, the shins and the tops of the feet, the cheeckbones, the forehead and the back of the head.

Betina is known as the ventral area where the nerves and arteries are closer to the surface like the palms, the wrists, the underside of the arm, the armpit, the chest and abdominal area, the genitals, inside of the thighs, the calves, the eyes and the face.

Most silat styles teach you to attack the ventral areas as they tend to incur the highest damage, while the dorsal areas are to be avoided as they normally contain hard weapons like the fist, elbow and knee.

Relevance to body language exists in the belief that the more we trust someone, the more we allow them into our ventral area (opening up). The more we distrust someone, the more we close up with our ventral areas. This comes from growing up and learning physical rewards and damage from childplay.

As a child, you realise that impact to your ventral areas (falling face down, getting kicked in the genitals, bumping your inner thigh on a table corner) hurts more than impact to dorsal areas. Thus, when you protect yourself, the instinct is to cover up as much of the ventral as possible.

Even without learning martial arts, a person being beaten will curl up into a ball to expose as much dorsal and protect as much ventral.

Silat Mind|Body Training Philosophy

In many martial arts, including silat, there are aggregated forms intended to provide a structure to the movements of the human body, to add physical and psychological limits to the person.

But the body already has a structure and its own limits. There are the bones, the joints, the muscles that connect them and their ranges of motion. Thus, what these forms really do is just add an artificial structure with artifical limits onto the practitioner. Which is why silat is well-known for its formlessless before form. Exploration and expression rather than recession and repetition.

The body should be allowed to move through all its possible articulations and record its own sureties of each limit and potential it possesses. Not only the body, but also the mind and the soul.

Guru Idris bin Alimuda of Silat Firasah often stresses the education of the mind before the body. It is considered normal in traditional styles for the master to reorient the thinking of the student, to remove misconceptions and prepare them for a more holistic view of reality.

To do the opposite (i.e. train the body first), would result in a useless outcome. The limits of the physical structure is further limited by what exists in the mind. Thus, the mind has to be reformed first before imparting physical techniques.

Without this prerequisite, physical training but be fruitless. The only products you get are robots.

Traditional Silat Melayu, or what they now term Silat Kampung (sometimes Silat Bunga/ Pulut), was a holistic personal development tool that took much longer and depended on closer master-student relationship.

It took the students' current abilities and familiar movements (fishing, farming, weaving, wood carving, etc) and built on and adapted from those already present neurological pathways to have the student 'create' their own silat style. This was exemplified in the Karate Kid wax-on, wax-off scenes.

So, what is meant by training the mind, doesn't bypass the body, but that it goes in via the body to create an awareness which then regains control of the body.