With the Content release 1 from martial codex today you will learn deeper about Pencak Silat start with what is kaedah
Article supplement for it
written by : Charles Brandon Stauff
What defines a martial art? What principles dictate qualities we associate with a given type of martial art? Is it culture? There are extant martial arts from many cultures in Asia, Europe, Africa, and there are even American martial arts such as Capoeira and Tire Machèt. Here we run into a problem with classification. If a martial art, such as pencak silat, has evidence of influence from many cultures can it still be considered Indonesian? Of course it can, because cultural influences such as professions, rhythm, religious beliefs, and dance movements affect Silat movements and make it different than Chinese wushu or Spanish fencing. A long-term study of martial arts will also reveal that these many styles from diverse cultures possess many mechanics in common with each other. Styles within a region may also differ from each other, there are hundreds of different kinds of pencak silat in Indonesia for example. Is it the profession of the founder(s)? Martial arts for the battlefield have a different approach than civilian dueling arts or styles used by criminals or those on the fringes of society. The professions and culture of the people who start a martial art frame the aspects of combat that are emphasized in that art. Fishermen will fight differently than aristocrats; the weapons, nutrition, cultures, and everyday activities of each profession will lead to different philosophies about combat because the objectives are different. Someone fighting to feed their family might move differently than someone fighting over a matter of honor, or another fighting to conquer.
There are many theoretical influences on a style’s movement and emphasis. Here we propose a working definition, that each art’s movement is defined by its philosophy. Here is a brief list of philosophical tenets:
“I come to you with only karate, my empty hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles, or my honor, should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong, then these are my weapons, karate, my empty hands.”
“Using no way as way. Having no limitation as limitation.”
“Malandragem and Mandinga” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capoeira#Malandragem_and_Mandinga
“Largo, medio, and corto.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filipino_martial_arts#Basic_tactical_ranges
Each of those outlines a martial art. Experienced martial artists will recognize some of the tenets outlined above as belonging to American Kenpo, Jeet Kune Do, Capoeira, and Filipino Martial Arts. The last one may be unfamiliar to the reader, it is the defining philosophy for a style of Pencak Silat, a martial art that is part of Indonesian culture. Many people define styles by regions and superficial movements that make them forget the core of defining a style lies within the defining philosophy (referred to in this article as Kaedah). It is Kaedah that forms the core of a fighting style and governs its motions.
The development of a style is influenced by the environment, occupation, disabilities, postures, rules of engagement, and preferences of its creator. A common error occurs when players take this to be their Kaedah and blindly follow their training and muscle memory, making decisions from habit. Many styles of Pencak Silat operate under a certain degree of secrecy, keeping their Kaedah secret from others when they demonstrate in public. Knowing the Kaedah of a style allows you to read and predict the movements of that style, because it forms the root and foundation of a martial art. No Kaedah is perfect, and understanding an opponent’s Kaedah will allow you to take decisions from them. Because of this, silat players will use Kembangan, or free-flow movement to camouflage their original Kaedah. This secrecy allows the silat player to preserve his or her most effective movements, making them more difficult to defeat in a real fight.
A common error with beginners is that they will learn multiple styles, mixing the motions together according to personal preference. Without a deep understanding of the Kaedah of each style being practiced, they will hurt their training. This can be likened to mixing wine with beer or vodka. For example, both Wing Chun and Boxing use punches. Wing Chun emphasizes using body structure for power in striking. Boxing emphasizes punching from the waist. Kaedah or defining philosophy runs much deeper than this. Using different underlying philosophies without understanding could be disastrous.
In the hope of helping other martial artists to better understand their art, and its Kaedah, we are publishing the Kaedah of Persatuan Pencak Silat Inti Ombak (IOPS), a silat organization with deep roots in the cultures of Central Java and Madura. Recently we have revealed our techniques using motion capture technology with Martial Codex (www.martialcodex.com), and are concerned that the practice of only the techniques will not lead to a transmission of the entire style to the student. Therefore, we are publishing this article to help explain our philosophy and facilitate the teaching of our art through this wonderful new technology.
Kaedah is an Indonesian term, which roughly translates as “method” or “way.” It refers to the rules or philosophy that governs a martial arts system’s motion. For some silat styles this may be expressed tersely in a single phrase such as: “fight without getting hurt” or “circle defeats line”. The Kaedah of IOPS can be distilled down into wave behavior. In our movement, our philosophy, our daily life we strive exhibit the three fundamental properties of a wave:
In the front as a leader
In the middle as a balancer
In the back as an advocate
When translated to our movement and method of self defense. Inti Ombak’s kaedah consists of five central tenets:
If possible, escape or avoid confrontation. The knife is an extremely deadly tool. Dealing with an armed opponent should not be taken lightly, as any momentary mistake can result in injury or death. The best defense is the event never occurring in the first place, either through situational awareness or escape. If one cannot escape, use footwork to move to an advantageous position.
- Avoid altering motion to accommodate a knife. Always assume an attacker is armed with a knife, react the same way whether they are armed or unarmed.
- Protect your vital areas; such as the head and neck, groin, as well as major veins and arteries. Taking this to heart also gives you the mentality to attack an opponent’s vital areas, because you are always taking them into account while they may not be.
- Immobilize or kill the opponent as quickly as possible, avoid entangling yourself with an attacker. Finishing a fight quickly reduces the danger to yourself or others, and makes it easier to deal with multiple opponents. Immobilization is preferable but not always possible, respond according to the situation.
- In every situation, there is a way to return to the first tenet: escaping to an advantageous position or avoiding further conflict.
As you watch our techniques and motion; in one of our classes spread throughout the United States and Indonesia, our demonstrations on social media sites, or while going through our techniques in depth on Martial Codex (www.martialcodex.com), keep these rules in mind. For your own training, contemplate your style’s philosophy and let it guide your movement. Transmit understanding of your Kaedah to your students. Analyze the motion of others in reference to their philosophy and don’t become overly focused on superficial movements.