Dacayana UK

SILAT DOESN’T WORK - By-  Paduka Guru Glenn Lobo

Nothing works all the time.. A Ferrari wont do so well going over sand dunes and a sand buggy will lose in a drag race to a Ferrari. Isnt that obvious to everyone? 

So why doesn’t silat work? It’s not realistic; it’s too soft; it’s not practical; it’s too complicated; *sigh* of course. 

Silat isn’t realistic. For WHAT? For fighting.. Ok I have some sympathy for this view, as I believe fighting in Europe is different to some other areas. 

I’ve seen some African stick fighting and it’s brutal. Some of the street fights in Europe, and attacks are not what you expect in a fight or battle or duel. But the SKILLS are easily transferred into that arena, it just isn’t taught that way. Driving is still driving, whether you drive on a road, or a track. It wasn’t designed for street fighting in a Western culture, with laws, and concrete, and a different psychology of fighting- of people who may WANT to fight and do you harm as the perfect end to a night out. Silat for me is a killing art, and that usually spoils a night out for someone. It’s not realistic for a punch up in a pub. Yeah ok. 

IT’S TOO SOFT. It’s a weapons art. You don’t need to be hard to spike someone with a weapon. The movements are soft and smooth, but drawing a sharp blade across your body doesn’t always require a lot of strength. Smooth fluid movement meant that a stick can smash into your face just as hard.

IT’S NOT PRACTICAL... FOR WHAT? Carrying weapons isn’t practical. Yeah but knowing how to USE one means you have a better idea of what someone is going to do to you. That’s important. Some of it I see as impractical- all the styles that go to the floor quickly. I was told, if you are wearing your best clothes, why would you roll around on the floor. I trained in a car park with one teacher- broken glass and dog faeces on the floor, plus vomit and other human bodily fluids.. Thanks, I’ll leave the floor to others. 

It’s too complicated. Some styles may be. But we work off a couple of ideas. Keep hitting them till they fall over; or, Hit, off balance and sweep. Nothing too complicated there really. HOW you hit isn’t even that complicated. Hit from the power base of the hips, keep good mechanics and follow through. 

Just cos we fill in the gaps with something fancy, don’t be fooled that the meaningful bit in the middle doesn’t bite.