Silat: Sparring and Exoticizing
WARNING: RATED NOT FUNNY
Through a selection of quotes from the archives and technique videos, i'm going to draw two conclusions about silat:
1: There's quite a bit of exoticism in silat that noone seems to have noticed. We have quite a bit of "Check out the deadly cannibal arts of the little brown people" that reduces indonesians to a caricature in the western mind, rather than human beings.
2: The majority of silat techniques are sport legal and the claim that their takedowns cause irreperable damage on the way down is suspect.
Quotes divided into two sections. The actual commentary is below the quote section. Quotes found through searching on silat AND headhunt*, sparring, deadly, maiming, etc.
Section 1: Claims about technique
The slam might hurt but it's not intended to damage you long-term, whereas Silat throws (though the term takedowns fits better than "throw") are likely to involve some "If I throw you like that, you're going to **** up your knees, bwaha!"-element.
I have to say that the silat I practice starts off in the ground, and is AWESOME there. Rivaling ANY MMA/BJJ groundfighting I have seen.
I've found Pentjak Silat to be pretty good, but it would be somewhat hard to spar with because it is very much geared towards breaking people.
'The Silat I have been shown reminds me of Ba Gua done 'spikey' and with a 'Im going to kill you' attitude.'
Section 2: Amatuer Anthropology
i dont need to get someone on the ground to execute grappling techniques. actually in silat, the intention is to destroy the enemy WITH the takedown. contorting and controlling his body so he falls in a bad posture (ukemi will not save you) or interupting his fall in various ways is the silat style of 'break-fall'. no sport,no mercy. there are certain maneouvers that you can even train very well, simply because they are so destructive, that is hard to control them and not injure your partner.
KJM sorry it took so long to get back to you. Cun Ton/Kun Ton/Kun Taw etc. are Chinese Indonesian martial arts. They were develope by the Chinese communities that settled in Malaysia and Indonesia and to some extent in the Philipines as well. They are generally no nonsense martial arts and very eclected. Each teacher will continously modified or add techniques to the original system. It was meant for combat so your life depended on it. The back drop on these arts are due to the ethnic strife in the region. Its a very volatile and viloent area of the world. Not only you have ethnic cleansings/pogroms and the like you have cannabals and headhunters to deal with. You have conflict over relgion as well- between Muslims, Christians, Pagan relgions, Hinduism and so forth.
The fact is that the basis of a great deal of IMAs and FMAs is defending against multiple armed attackers. Why? So that when Balu-Balu and his buddies from the next village over decide to come over and visit your village with the intent of taking your women, your food, and your head, you and the other home villagers might have a chance to defeat them. That's why the grappling aspects of these arts don't emphasize a lot of groundwork and teach you to get back to your feet as soon as possible.
Now, assuming we lived in world where techniques that are too damaging to be actually sparred will come to you when you need them (PROTIP: We don't and they won't), this might be an actual arguement.
However, as we'll see in my brief dip into the well of high comedy that is silat video on the web, the majority of these techniques are sport legal. Yes, I am aware of sport silat, but considering that it's basically point sparring with takedowns, nobody cares.
All but the nut slapping would be legal in MMA, the majority in even amatuer pancrase. The sweeps and locks, while somewhat gimmicky, would be legal in almost every grappling comp.
Number three seems to counteract my case, yet again if we consider MMA, I can see everything but the final hilarious cockwaving/spitposing being legal. The wrist twist to gimmicky omoplata/choke combo would be legal in sport jiujitsu.
Majority MMA legal. The takedowns are without exception sport grappling legal. The only possible illegal technique would be the stomping. By the way, these are the first silat clips I have seen where even token resistance is included.
As we can see, these techniques are not nearly as dangerous as they're made out to be (nevermind the fact that takedowns which can't be sparred with have universally proven to not work).
Anyone with counterevidence that shows silat takedowns which actually tear you into two distinct pieces like the android in Alien should present them, but it must include pictures and/or video.
The second thing I find wrong with silat is the exoticism displayed by many of it's practicioners. In addition to the quotes above, try searching for Chas' posts on Rec.Martial-arts.
Practicioners seem to be constructing this image of indonesians as roaming bands of fremen, deftly knifing rival clan leaders and taking their heads with a blood curdling cry. In other words, it reduces indonesians and the indigenous people of that archipelego to objects, useful only in that they are "vicious little bastards", little brown exoticized demons who hide poisonous animals in their specially stretched foreskins and sharpen their teeth to points.
It's very similiar to the yellow fever exoticism in east asian MA, but with an added dose of "deep in the fetid jungles of the amazon/orient" pulp adventure novels from the turn of the century.