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.

20 June 2013

Passing on a legacy

Once known as a hamlet of warriors in colonial times, Jampang village is now striving to pass on that legacy to its younger generation. 

The sun shone brightly one Sunday in the village in Parung, Bogor. Dozens of children wearing black-and-white uniforms swarmed onto a field to learn and to practice the traditional Indonesian martial art known as pencak silat. Teachers soon led the pack and showed the students a few moves, followed by the students’ echoing shouts under the scorching sun.

The practice sessions are part of weekly activities in Kampoeng Silat Jampang, a training center of traditional martial arts in Indonesia.

The country, with its diverse cultures and ethnic groups, is home to what has been estimated to be 150 variations in style. Different provinces even have their own self defense traditions. The Minang kabau in West Sumatra have silek harimau, the Sundanese have their cimande style and Bali has bakti negara. Some of those fighting methods have even gained reputations on the global stage, with their popularity reaching Australia, the US, Europe and Japan.

The self-defense technique got another boost from the success of the action movie The Raid, which features Indonesian actors performing pencak silat.

But despite the global fame, it is still a challenge to maintain the pencak silat tradition in the midst of modern society.

This has occurred in Jampang, where the heirs of the Betawi folk hero of the same name are believed to reside and are struggling to preserve the art.

According to local legend, Jampang was a warrior from Sukabumi, West Java. He was a good fighter and used his skills in pencak silat to battle against Dutch colonialism. On his way to Batavia (now Jakarta) to confront the enemy, the man was believed to have sojourned in what is now called Jampang, where he taught local people fighting skills.

A few hundred years later, Jampang’s legacy is now under threat, according to Saptadji, 47, who was one of the teachers at Sunday’s training session and the head of Kampoeng Silat Jampang. He said that youth in the area these days seem to have lost interest in pencak silat.

“They prefer to watch television or play video games,” said the man.

The current situation is much in contrast to the past, Saptadji explained. In the old days, pencak silat was more than a self-defense technique but a way of life, as almost all the people in the village, both young and old, knew how to fight.

This strong cultural influence can still be traced through family histories, with almost all locals interviewed for this article explaining that their ancestors — either fathers, uncles or grandfathers — were pencak silat fighters.

Saptadji himself is the nephew of Sukarna, who is believed to be a sixth generation descendant of Jampang.

In attempts to pass on the legacy of his predecessors, Saptadji with the support of private foundation Dompet Dhuafa, initiated Kampoeng Silat Jampang in 2009 to revive the fighting tradition in his village.

One of the programs is free pencak silat training for everyone.

Saptadji said more than 1,000 people, mostly under 18 years of age, had joined.

“Most of them are residents of Jampang,” Madroi explained.

In order to expand, fighting lessons are not only given on Sunday at Kampoeng Silat Jampang’s headquarters at Rumah Sehat Terpadu Hospital for the poor founded by Dompet Dhuafa in Parung. Trainings are also offered at schools in the form of extracurricular activities.

Dompet Dhuafa representative Moh. Noor Awaluddin said the program had so far entered 17 schools in Jampang subdistrict.

Apart from regular exercises, Kampoeng Silat Jampang also holds an annual festival. The latest Kampoeng Silat Jampang festival was held at the beginning of November, which coincided with the program’s fourth anniversary.

The event is a major gathering for traditional Indonesian martial arts groups. Saptadji said different self defense clubs attended the last festival to show off their unique skills and styles.

In the long run, Awaluddin hopes that Kampoeng Silat Jampang will become a new center for the development of the ancient self defense method in the country, standing side by side with the existing martial arts hub at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, or perhaps replacing it.

“I hope in the future Kampoeng Silat Jampang will become the destination for people interested in finding out about traditional Indonesian martial arts,” the man said.

Currently, Kampoeng Silat Jampang is the training ground for four different martial arts groups (Satria Muda Indonesia, Pancer Bumi Cikalong, Perisai Diri and Beksi Traditional Haji Hisbullah) and targeting two more (Tapak Suci and Merpati Putih), he said.

Joining Sunday’s training session was the Satria Muda Indonesia group under the leadership of Saptadji, and Perisai Diri, believed to be the most popular Indonesian fighting group, with memberships extending to Europe, Japan and the US.

One of the Perisai Diri members is 16-year-old Bella Oktaviani. The senior in high school may be the perfect example of a Jampang village youth who helps to preserve pencak silat. The long-haired girl said she started with Perisai Diri one-and-a-half years ago through an extra curricular activity at her school.

“I wanted to learn about self-protection and through this program I have so many new friends,” said the girl who participated in the Pencak Silat World Championship in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, this year.

The program’s good influence on the young seems to have encouraged many parents to enroll their children in the Kampoeng Silat Kampang training program, including 35-year-old Lilis Kartika, who enlisted her 7-year-old, Muhamad Arravi, in Satria Muda.

“The main thing is so we don’t lose what we had,” said the woman, who is a native of Jampang.

The mother of two explained that her father and grandfather were pencak silat masters in the village and she said she was eager to see her son follow in the steps of his predecessors.

However, it turns out the program has strayed from its original mission of preserving the tradition. But in a good way.

Self defense skills, international recognition and soon financial benefits are on the list of good things coming from the efforts to save pencak silat in Jampang.

During an interview with The Jakarta Post, Awaluddin revealed Dompet Dhuafa’s plan to develop a local home industry to produce martial arts weapons and accessories.

“We want to support locals in the production of daggers or silat costumes,” he said.

This kind of support, Awaluddin added, is expected to improve people’s living standards in the region and give residents strong reasons to continue preserving the tradition.

And good things lead to other good things. That is the lesson from Kampoeng Silat Jampang with its effort to preserve the pencak silat tradition, which in the end brings wider benefits to the whole village.

Sourced from http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/12/05/passing-a-legacy.html

19 June 2013

I disgraced silat and my family: banned Singapore athlete

Sport and family are everything to silat fighter Saiedah Said.

Since she was five, the former national athlete has trained, fought for and coached at the Al-Haq silat club founded by her late grandfather, Haji Hosni Bin Ahmad. Saiedah’s uncle is Hidayat Hosni, head coach at the Singapore Silat Federation (PERSISI).

Both her brothers, aged 27 and 21, are well-versed in silat – with the younger, Elyasak, a two-time Southeast Asian (SEA) Games athlete. So when Saiedah was handed a two-year ban for failing a dope test earlier this month, the ex-world champion felt she had committed the unthinkable.

“I brought down silat,” the 28-year-old told Yahoo! Singapore after a training session with her club at Kaki Bukit Community Centre.

“I brought down my family,” she said, choking back tears. Saiedah first tested positive for the illegal substance sibutramine, a weight-loss stimulant, at the National Pencak Silat Championships in April. After a second urine sample sent a month later confirmed the result, the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Committee slapped the 2005 Sportsgirl of the Year with a two-year suspension.

During this period, Saiedah will be barred from taking part in any sport as an athlete or official. The Class E (65-70kg) gold medal she won at the tournament will also be forfeited.

It was a nightmare the petite, 1.57m-tall silat exponent never saw coming. The competition was meant to be her comeback from retirement, following a prolific run of five successive SEA Games outings and a bountiful haul of medals and accolades.

After calling time on her career in 2011, Saiedah signed on with the Singapore Civil Defence Force in August last year. For six months, the section commander at Tampines Fire Station left the world of martial arts behind, but could not resist the lure of competing once again.

So she jumped at the chance to take part in this year’s national championships – despite a severe and nagging pain in her lower back. Saiedah could not pinpoint the exact cause of injury – only that she’d tried everything she could think of to get better. But neither painkillers nor multiple massage therapists helped, and as the competition loomed, her condition worsened.

‘Thought it was nothing’ Saiedah’s mother, Kamariah Hosni, grew desperate as she watched her suffer. The 52-year-old turned to jamu, buying the traditional Indonesian herbal medicine from a friend who imported it from Malaysia.

The acquaintance had claimed that her product, labelled “Jamu Kampong”, was good for relieving pain. “If your daughter is in agony, whatever you have, you just give to her, right?” an emotional Mdm Kamariah told Yahoo! Singapore. Jamu is popular among the Malay community here, according to Saiedah.

In 2008, a jamu product branded “Lami” was found by Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority to contain sibutramine, an appetite suppressant used to treat obesity. Both Mdm Kamariah and Saiedah said they were unaware of this. “Maybe I’m not the reading type,” said the unfailingly polite Saiedah, who shared that it was her first time taking jamu. “But we thought it was nothing, just eat (sic).”

It never crossed Mdm Kamariah’s mind that the jamu would contain anything illegal. “On the bottle, it just says the ingredients are herbs, nothing else,” said the mother of three. The packaging of the supplement, as provided by Mdm Kamariah, is written in Malay and lists ingredients such as rhubarb, ginger, honey and other natural extracts. Saiedah is now certain the “Jamu Kampong” she took was the source of the banned substances that she tested positive for.

But the jamu didn’t help. The pain in Saiedah’s back never went away, and two days before the start of the national championships on 7 April, she walked into the Accident & Emergency department of Changi General Hospital. Doctors could not provide a clear diagnosis, and instead prescribed more painkillers and a physiotherapy appointment in August. Saiedah was also given firm orders to rest. But she proceeded with the competition anyway.

“I fought through pain,” she said. Saiedah went on to win the finals a week later on 14 April. That day marked her triumphant return, but it was also the day she would fail the drug test conducted by Anti-Doping Singapore. She was notified of her suspension six weeks later.

The veteran silat practitioner submitted an appeal last week, after letters from her mother and PERSISI were rejected by the National Anti-Doping Appeals Committee. Saiedah’s friends and family have rallied behind her, and she spoke of strangers approaching to comfort her: “They know that if I wanted to (dope)… I would have done it during all my years of being a national athlete.”

But one person she cannot console enough is her mother, who blames herself for the entire debacle. “I don’t want to ruin whatever she has gained,” said Mdm Kamariah, her voice cracking. “Poor thing, she has to face all this… It’s my fault. I really, really regret giving her the jamu.”

Saiedah is keen to move forward. “I’m going to take this positively, as a lesson learned,” she smiled. “Next time, I’ll read up whatever I want to take.” PERSISI chief Sheik Alauddin agreed, and said the “unfortunate” mistake was Saiedah’s for not checking what she was consuming.

Her next move will depend on the outcome of the appeal. She said: “Maybe this two-year ban will turn me off for life. Maybe it’s telling me, 'this is the end of your career, you need to rest now'.”

“But if the ban is reduced to less than one year, I will come back,” maintained Saiedah. She revealed that she was planning on trying out “one last time” for the 2015 SEA Games squad, with an eye on the regional gold medal that has eluded her. Does she worry that her name is now tainted?

“I don’t care what people might say,” she said. “I want to prove to them that this jamu doesn’t help in any way. I can do it through hard work. I can still win for Singapore.” And in the process, achieve what is of utmost importance to Saiedah Said. “Bring up the name of silat, and make my family proud,” she declared.

Written by JUSTIN ONG
Sourced from http://sg.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/fit-to-post-sports/disgraced-silat-family-banned-singapore-athlete-034841185.html?page=all

16 June 2013

Silat man survives two deep slash wounds in his neck

SIPITANG: Laud Adau is probably a living testimony that miracle does happen. Probably it was also his quick thinking that saved him from bleeding to death when he covered the slash wounds on his chin and neck with a shirt, and survived for about 12 hours before receiving treatment.

The 68-year old silat (traditional martial arts) teacher, who taps rubber for a living, was attacked at his house in Kampung Susuk Sapok at around 11pm on Wednesday and robbed of over RM1,000 cash. Laud is single and lives alone.

A neighbour, who came to clean up the grass near the victim’s house, found him lying at the verandah in a pool of blood, and rushed him to the hospital for medical attention.

His attacker, a local man in his 20s, was however arrested by police in less than 24 hours following investigation and public tip-off in the same village.

“We picked up the suspect near the area at around 5pm on Thursday,” said district police chief DSP Mustapha Othman. The suspect, who did odd jobs, is currently detained to facilitate investigation.

“We have yet to recover the weapon used in the attack and the cash. The suspect is investigated under Section 397 of the Penal Code for armed robbery,” he said. Mustapha said they received a report at around 10am from the district hospital when the victim came to seek treatment. Laud was later referred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the state capital for further treatment.

The victim was hacked twice with a scythe-like weapon. He appeared to be in stable condition when met at his hospital bed. There beside him was his younger sibling.

“My brother is a nice man and I do not know of anyone who has any ill feelings towards him,” said Setia Adau, who was sitting next to Laud’s hospital bed. The 57-year-old said she nearly lost her mind after learning of her brother’s condition, but kept calm by saying her prayers, hoping for the best.

“Only God knows our feelings after learning of the incident, especially knowing that he was attacked while sleeping on Wednesday night. I am just glad that he is stable despite the severe injuries.

“I was told that he could only make some noise when the neighbour called out his name. I am grateful to the Good Samaritan for helping and sending him to the hospital to seek treatment. Only God can repay his deeds,” said Setia.

Sourced from: http://www.theborneopost.com/2013/06/16/silat-man-survives-two-deep-slash-wounds-in-his-neck/#ixzz2WdP2VcpQ