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Traditional Batin Silat Initiation


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The Indonesian/Malay fighting art of Silat is highly steeped in rituals, traditions, mysticism and religion.

Although highly popular today in its artistic, dance and sport format, some warrior lineages still exist today, which teach the art in its pure and deadly form. The real practitioners are not found commercially, they have no school, no ranking system and don't charge money to teach real students - but the learning process is a highly painful one - but one which really does make the practitioner fearless.

There are many, many styles of Silat, some focus on locks/take-downs, others on agression/rapid strikes, others on breaking joints, but most incorporate what I consider the most deadly floor fighting system.

Although the traditional practitioners are religious and Quranic verses are an important part of the initiation, a number of teachers have taken western students of the last 30 years or so (namely from Holland, as Indonesia is an ex Dutch colony), who have reached impressive (Master equivalent) standards.

The footwork is based on a movement called 'Langkha' which is a 1 metre square set with triangles. Movement is simple but highly effective - mostly walking through the opponent, never retreating. The art specialises in throwing the enemies balance through clever footwork, kicks, positioning and take-downs, and then destroying through hard impact and precision aimed fast strikes or joint breaks.

Here is an entertaining intro - a documentary clip of a traditional initiation for boys...

Edited by shaheediyan
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There's this Silat place near-ish where i live, about a paunhaa to 1 ghentaa drive more or less, and will probably be a bit further from where I will be attending university in September. Thinking to check it out over the summer and see whatsup


the site, silatmedan seems to be down right now though

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Check it out, but make sure the teacher has a verifiable lineage, there are too many charlatons out there nowadays, mixing styles up, and opening schools after attending a few seminars.

More important than a style, is a teacher. If you find a good teacher, or a if you are lucky a real Master, doesn't matter what the style is - as he will teach you the universal priniples of combat. Everyone is a different, initially look around, try things out, and find a style that suits you - i.e. movements, psychology etc you are comfortable with, this will create an initial interest and passion for combat. As you learn, you yourself will discover what the real needs of combat are, and you will know wht to look out for and how to discriminate.

Biggest thing, which I always say, smile, do a continuous ardaas, and Vaheguru will provide.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Laadlu Fauj, google "Uncle Bill", check out if he is near you. If so, check out his American Kun-tao/Silat organisation. He is a Grand Master in the real sense of the word, I would advise taking training up with him personally whilst he is still around (he is getting old), although he has has some top level students who are now Masters in the their own right.

There is nothing like getting trained by a 'Baba'. ;-)

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http://www.santacruzsilat.com/ I'll be living in santa cruz for university starting september, so this maybe the most convenient, provided it's legit


don't think Baba Bill is directly affiliated with any of these, but found these schools while doing my research.

what do you think?

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The 1st 4 are just modernised/organised curriculum style schools, so I wouldn't recommend them, they are more business inclined.

The white crane silat (last link) however seems fascinating, as it incorporates the hard Silat and soft white crane systems and has a grounding in Kun-Tao. I would def recommend checking that out, I personally am a fan of all 3 of those fighting arts.

Talking of white crane, there is a one person in the US who teaches the extremely rare Tibetan Blue Heron Boxing, which is a very old system but very dangerous. But I think those guys are located in Texas.

Contact these guys re training with Uncle Bill:

Contra Costa County: Joe@KuntaoSilat.net

Oakland: Vince@Kuntaosilat.net

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I think the white crane will be a little wishy washy for you if you are new to martial arts, it requires unlocking of the forms (as do most traditional Chinese systems).

I would recommend these guys:


You can learn a decent style of Eskrima here as well as Silat, under one roof. Initially I would say just do Eskrima do loosen yourself up and develop momentum/flow, yo uwill learn some great open hand priniciples from here too. Then move on to the Silat once you are fairly competant (as per your Instructors advice).

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MLOL... that used to the be the case with Nihang Singhs too, left handed people were 'not invited'!

I don't think its a bad thing. People I train with and train are left handed, my main Teacher is left handed (who's Teacher taught him right handed)... we are taught to be ambidextrous, and practice all footwork, movement, open hand and weapons equally with both sides.. this hugely increases the element of surprise and doesn't leave one stuck if the main arm/hand gets injured.

It may actually be a blessing in disguise! Speak to the guys anyway, the real reason he won't teach left is because he is not ambi, hence his schedule gets complicated!

Let me look into some more options.

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