Monday, November 15, 2010

Class Notes: Silat Melayu

Keep them on their toes...

I decided to post some notes from our last class.

Each class includes a lesson in Theory, and then proceeds to hands-on Practical Application. The theories presented are taken from my discussions with notable Silat Melayu instructors from disciplines such as Silat Kuntau Tekpi, Silat Cekak Hanafi, Silat Kalimah, and Silat Abjad. 9 times out of 10, this section will begin with the words “Nadzrin says…”(!)

The physical part of the lesson will usually focus on a particular buah, petua, weapon, or drill such as Silat Pulut, and of course the basic training form of SKT known as Pelebat. I like to have students perform the buah time after time without a partner. This way, I can correct and hone their movement without the “accompaniment” of a feeder. If a student really understands the buah, I should be able to see it clearly in his solo movement. We also like to look for the source of a particular buah within the Pelebat.

In this week’s Theory we looked at the sequence of Petua in regards to our own movement, and then demonstrated how this sequence is exactly reversed in order to affect a kuncian that “kills” the opponent’s movement. We also examined how one should be able to re-purpose a grappling buah for striking, and vice-versa based on understanding these principles. This led to some very interesting pecahan.

We focused on two buah in particular: Radak Maut and Kera Sumbang. There will be no photo illustrations for this post. If you would like to learn these techniques, then please apply to your nearest Silat Kuntau Tekpi instructor.

Buah: Radak Maut


We’ve seen and practiced a version of this buah a few years back from a Sumateran system. The initial step was the same. The tangkis was ‘hard’, and the takedown (or pull-down) brings the opponent over your front leg, down to under you between your planted feet. Note that the orientation of your feet and torso remain fixed throughout the buah until the end. When the opponent is on the ground, you’re pinning him under your rear knee.

In the Sumateran variation, you must keep a good bend in the front knee. Pull him towards you to break his balance and then ‘trip’ him over that knee.

In the SKT version, the step and the tangkis are for the most part the same as above. However, during the takedown you pivot 180 degrees on both feet, so that you finish the buah facing the exact opposite direction from where you began. You should end in a semi-crouch, with the shin of your rear leg pressing into the opponent’s ribcage.

There’s no need to ‘muscle’ the opponent to the floor. Once you’ve seized your respective targets with the hands, use your body weight and momentum from the pivot to accomplish the takedown. It requires less strength than the first example.

Buah: Kera Sumbang

This buah is one of my personal favorites, but it can be tricky. If you think about it, we use this takedown all the time in different variations. Let me make the following suggestions: First, you may take a small initial step out with the left foot before the right foot moves into position. Don’t step in as deep as you do on Radak Maut.

Now, I have found that if the left hand pulls the opponent backwards from the forehead, you’ll “lose” him as you pivot. Instead, try to turn his head from the corner of the chin toward his left shoulder and then pull ‘down-and-in’ as opposed to ‘back-and-out’. Imagine how you would take him down if you were hooking his neck with a tekpi or a knife in pakal grip – do the same with your left hand. Then if you really want to be cool (and I’m sure you do) make sure to hack him as he falls – instead of after he’s already on the ground.

If you’re still having trouble getting the hang of the takedown, try it using the entry from Patah Seni.


kemanga said...

nice... but then, don't be too cruel :-)

guro jeff davidson said...

Salaam and thanks Coach!