Saturday, May 29, 2010

Further on a previous post

Tuhon grapples my student Mike in the Philippines

I’ve been getting a lot of email questions regarding my post about dumog. The majority of these inquiries come from people who are familiar with Tuhon Gaje’s dumog or jujutsu (Japanese and Brazilian) and are wondering how and what we’re applying from Silat Kuntau Tekpi. I’ll share some thoughts here.


Unless you’re just rolling around for fun with a game partner, I don’t think there is much from Tuhon’s dumog that can be applied in a jujutsu-style grappling match. My student Panday knows a lot more about these things than I do, so if I am mistaken I hope he’ll correct me. It seems to me that the BJJ or JJJ is more concerned with jockeying for and establishing some kind of “position” and then going for the submission hold or choke. Whereas, dumog should begin with Pangamut (striking techniques) and then the opponent’s weight is loaded onto a joint -such as the shoulder, elbow, knee, or often the neck – before his weight and yours comes crashing down on that joint, against the hard ground.

The closest thing we do to anything that would remotely resemble Japanese Jujutsu is Cambod, which involves grappling against the opponent’s limbs. However, unlike jujutsu, instead of locking-stepping-throwing in a circle (like koto gaeshi) Cambod more involves wrapping the limb and using it to “collapse” the opponent’s body into your follow-up strike. That’s the best explanation I can give without a video, and we won’t be posting any videos. The bottom line is that I think you can play pretty hard with Jujutsu and both guys can still be friends at the end of the day. The more you resist against dumog or cambod, someone is going to be injured.


My SKT teacher Omar Hakim as well as my friends in Malaysia would tell you that Tekpi is a “War Art” and is not meant to be adapted for sport on a theoretical or technical level. Some Malaysian Silat methods such as Sendeng and Lian Padukan are based on pukulan (hitting) and others like Silat Kuntau Tekpi are more oriented toward kuncian (locking). But how is a Tekpi kuncian different from a jujutsu lock? Although each of the buah kuncian (locking techniques) from SKT make use of the opponent’s limbs and/or torso, the real secret (in my opinion) is how to lock a guy from his center, so that he is entirely immobilized. I remember at one point during my training, Omar had me in an extended arm lock, yet I couldn’t even lift my foot off the ground. When I remarked about it, he related how his Silat Kalimah teacher in Malaysia had done the same thing to him – and Omar’s a big dude!


If you are lucky enough to study Silat Kuntau Tekpi and have people of different sizes and body types to train with, you may eventually discover what I’m talking about in the above paragraph. Then, you’ll know how it feels to lock an opponent from his center so that he can’t move or step out. Then, if you know enough buahs, you’ll be able to do this regardless of whether you are in front of him, side to side, behind him, etc. There’s a relatively simple “trick” to learning this principle (which upon second thought I’ve just deleted from this article…sorry!). Once you understand this, you should be able to accomplish this same thing in your dumog applications. The result will be that your dumog locks and throws will be more efficient and explosive, and you will reduce your “counter-ability” to a huge extent.

Well, there you have bit from my perspective. For those of you that wanted to know if/how you can apply dumog and Silat Kuntau Tekpi in your next cage fight or grappling contest – sorry. I don’t even want to know how to train that.


Anonymous said...

Greetings Guro Jeff

I agree with you that methods intended for combat/warfare should not be adapted for sports.

Too many people seem to believe that the measure of the effectiveness of a technique is how well it works in an MMA fight. On the other hand, I would like to see how an MMA fighter faces down a group of armed gangsters trying to cut him to pieces.

Anonymous said...

Not all MMA fighters study just empty hand techniques. I use to stereotype all MMA fighters and believe that was all they knew (Muay Thai, BJJ, Wrestling, etc) until I started studying Kali with other people who are MMA fighters. I no longer assume this.

I'm sure MMA fighters that study Kali and Silat would have a higher probability of surviving a knife attack then an MMA fighter who doesn't cross train. These fighters know what works and what doesn't work in the street.

guro jeff davidson said...

I can't speak for the first commentator, but I understand what you're saying. For the record, I have absolutely nothing against MMA or MMA fighters, and I would no sooner expect an MMA fighter to take on multiple, armed aggressors than I would expect a Filipino Force-Recon Marine to square off in a ring against Chuck Liddel with "ring rules".

There are several MMA guys that seriously train with me, and there are a lot of Kali/Silat guys that couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag against anybody, yet they think they are tactical killers just because they study a particular Art. It's less about the genre and more about the practitioner, right?

If anything, my own sense of frustration is when folks confuse apples and oranges.