Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Truly Great Guru

 I had a discussion with a fellow Silat teacher, where I asked "Why do you consider your Guru to have been one of the greatest?"  Below is his (slightly edited) wonderful answer.  The only editing I did was to remove the name of the specific teacher and system.  Why? I don't want to make this about a particular style.  Just read the words and understand - JD

"I think he was great teacher because he had a mastery of his skills that were amazing, incredible strength through low postures and movements that would astound you. He made it look simple then you tried it and went Wow. He could break down difficult material in segments and make it easy to learn difficult material, most of all he understood how westerners think, so he could relate the material.

He and his father developed an extraordinary set of drills that are answers to lots of unconsidered knife attacks. He used to say the untrained guy with the knife is the one that kills you because, he doesn’t have set of rules he's been trained that you can consider and counter. He comes from all over. The movements were designed to break down various angles and roots of motion. Amazing and complex material.

He was also a compassionate man and did much for people less privileged in his country; provide tuition and transportation money for kids to go to school that would not have had the opportunity otherwise. He was one of the true pioneers of bringing Harimau to US and he would teach us. He believed it was important for us to understand his culture and see the art and beauty of Indonesia and its people. He also had a great sense of humor. 

One of the saddest days in my life was my father passing, one of the next saddest was getting the news that my teacher died. He was a guy that seemed bigger than life. He would walk in start teaching, was prepared knew where he was headed, never looked at a note. One of the great days of my life was being named an affiliated teacher of his art." - Tim

Friday, May 17, 2013

Silat Melayu Comparison

Below is a very brief breakdown of several styles of Silat Melayu found in Malaysia, compiled by my friend and brother Mohd Nadzrin Wahab:

Silat in Malaysia can generally be classified into styles that emphasise training in one of three aspects of Silat technique or a relative balance between them: Kuncian (locking), Pukulan (striking) and Buangan (throwing). They also have relative weapons training to develop or complement the empty handed skills.

1. Silat Telapak Nusantara
Technical breakdown- Locking: 33%, Striking: 33%, Throwing: 33%
Weapons- Keris, Pedang, Parang, Kain & Tongkat
Master/ Instructor- Ustaz Saiful Muhammad in Negeri Sembilan
2. Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9
Technical breakdown- Locking: 33%, Striking: 33%, Throwing: 33%
Weapons- Keris, Kerambit, Tumbuk Lada, Tongkat
Master/ Instructor- Guru Azlan Ghanie
3. Silat Sendeng Haji Hamid
Technical breakdown- Locking: 5%, Striking: 90%, Throwing: 5%
Weapons- Pedang, Tongkat, Tumbuk Lada, Tekpi, Keris
Master/ Instructor- Guru Jamaludin Shahadan
4. Silat Kuntau Tekpi
Technical breakdown- Locking: 50%, Striking 10%, Throwing: 40%
Weapons- Tekpi
Master/ Instructor- Cikgu Norazlan Abdul Wahid
5. Silat Kalimah
Technical breakdown- Locking: 40%, Striking 10%, Throwing: 50%
Weapons- None
Master/ Instructor- Guru Eusoff Ali (aka Pak Jauhari)
6. Silat Setiabakti
Technical breakdown- Locking: 10%, Striking: 80%, Throwing: 10%
Weapons- Tongkat, Parang, Kerambit
Master/ Instructor- Guru Dahlan Karim

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

 Iyansan o ro nle*
O ro nle
Iyansan o ro nle mi’Oya
Obibni aye wu
Mbo kole ‘ya
Bembe ara wa, Ayiloda, bembe ara wa
Oya mesan e nu
O le le
Ase ke ‘se
Aya aro bo
Aya ara bo

Oh Mother of Nine, you gush into the house
You gush into the house
Oh Mother of Nine you gush into the house, breath of the Tearer
Foremost among Women who swells the World
Come not to burst the Home
Stoutness of Thunder comes, Revolver who twists to create, Stoutness of the Revolver who twists to create
Tearer of Nine, you clean
She is strong and capable
Homage finds homage, authority hails authority
The Wife of Thunder arrives
The Wife of Thunder arrives

* Translated from Yoruba by Jeff Davidson.  Dedicated with Love and Respect to my Mother.