Dacayana UK

The MYTHS OF SILAT by Paduka Guru Glenn Lobo

While looking to write this article, I looked up what other myths there are.. Oh my Lord!! I will talk more about the current myths, relating to how it is practiced and where it applies rather than which mythical animal taught it to which mythical human on which mythical island. 

The first is that Silat is a “closed door” art. There are styles of every art that are only taught to family, or close friends. When I started Lincah, their constitution stated that it was not allowed to teach Lincah to non-Malay, non-Muslims.. They changed the constitution to allow me to train officially. Several Dutch Styles have this closed-door mentality maybe others in Europe, but I have never experienced this in the home countries. But if you go to Indonesia, several of the larger styles like Setia Hati, Perpi Mataram, Perisai Diri, and in Malaysia with Seni Gayong, and Silat Lincah, they have tens of thousands of students. This isnt closed door, secret, by invitation or any other such rubbish. The closed door perspective is to feign exclusivity and scarcity, thus raising the value to you. Cheap salesmanship. 

There are several styles who won’t teach non-Muslims, even here in the UK. 

Let's address the Muslim issue straight off as well. Silat is NOT a Muslim art. It originates in Asia, from the largest Muslim country in the world, so my (Muslim) teacher described it as an art done by a lot of Muslims, not a Muslim art. I have had many people come to me to learn more about Islam and leave rapidly because they won’t learn from a non- Muslim. Their problem not mine. 

SILAT IS COMPLICATED. Language is complicated, but you can keep it simple. The average number of different words used in the New York Times is apparently about 900, with 10,000 being the number needed to be fluent. 

Some styles claim to have over 18 million technique options- more than 10 LIFETIMES of training. You will NEVER be fluent in that kind of style if you try to learn them. 

It really depends on the style of Silat and the teacher- you can add jargon and levels of complexity in the language used to describe the art and techniques. Essentially Silat is a battlefield duelling fighting art. If you haven’t got stabbed, the technique worked. I often hear or feel people add techniques and drills and forms to keep people paying for seminars, and classes etc. You don’t want a Student learning all your techniques do you?! Well.. Of course you should!! My Maha Guru said I had learned 99% of the system. They made sure I learned it ALL, so I could go and teach it with a full understanding of their art. 

SILAT IS HARD TO LEARN. That also comes back to the jargon you use. I don’t. We refer to what I do as Simplified Silat.. There is no jargon or terminology to confuse you.. Punch, step, kick punch sweep. Rinse repeat. It can be a HARD art- Pukulan was. It wasn’t hard to learn, it was hard to endure the intensity of the training. But I have trained 3-4 styles in foreign countries with a language barrier and have mastered them.. so you don’t have to do that! 

A few years ago a Silat teacher told me that training in Holland was really dangerous, and you may get killed if you went there to train. I went anyway, and was surprised at how lovely the people were. Silat people aren’t all monsters, but some want you to think others are, so you won’t leave the comfort of their direct debit form. 
Lineage in Silat is one of the more important things, as many styles, especially in Europe and America have a lineage that originates in the West. 

Silat, well, the style and manner that I am trying to teach you, is a SIMPLE style of martial art. It is founded on Basic mechanics and movement. It has little in the way of mystical and mythical. We have limited jargon, so you can spend your time training, not arguing about the derivation or spelling of words. If you want pizzazz and a cult like movement- we may not be the people to train with.. But if you want to train a decent simple no frills style with decent honest people with a verified lineage and history.. There is none better.