Silat is mainly a Keris art (see photo gallery), though many other weapons are also taught in the syllabus (see history & articles). However, the empty hand applications are taught first to all beginners.
Classes start with the basic forms –
These are the basic forms in the style. They teach the basic techniques of the style, including stances, punching, kicking, rolling, and break-falls.
The hand drills range from stepping through drills, similar to those found in Karate, to sticking hand type drills, similar to single hand and double hand chi sao from Wing Chun, teaching sensitivity and trapping. The Silat hand drills are extensive enough to form an art of their own, and are made more combative as the student progresses. They incorporate the exclusive Silat limb destructions, which make the art so hard to beat.
Buah – Basic Techniques
Literally the fruits, these partner techniques are the basic defenses and counter attacks of Malaysian Silat. They would be comparable to the more advanced techniques of Karate one step sparring. They are the “fruits” of the basic training.
Pecahan is the breaking open of the fruit. It is basically an extension of the Buah – a combination technique designed to teach both defence and attack in a more realistic environment. They enable the student to be able to defend and attack from any position, whether standing, lying or even mid throw. Unlike some other martial arts, Silat teaches the students to fight back and respond to the techniques of their opponents.
Langkah are basic footwork drills that form the basics of any attack or defence. Silat works from a dance-like set of moves, which are the Langkah. They are designed to enable the practitioner to reach a position that is at the same time beneficial to himself, and places the opponent in some difficulty. Punching and kicking combinations are also incorporated at a higher level, as well as different stepping patterns and rhythms.
The traditional Play of Silat is the evolution of the Langkah and techniques into the art of fighting between two combatants. It is the honing of the skills learned in the previous stages into an effective fighting system. At this stage the movements are still somewhat predetermined.
This is the next stage on from the seni where the training becomes more akin to sparing while still maintaining the form of the style. In this section, we now incorporate combination striking drills to make the Gerak more systematic, and easier to teach.
More advanced techniques as well as Conditioning, Ilmu Batin, and Weapons are taught to suitable students at a later date.
As well as the Martial Arts training, you will be taught up to date sporting training methods, and correct stretching methods, drawing from our Chief Instructor’s professional training as an Osteopath, and from his personal experience of working with International athletes.
Students are recommended for grading by their Instructor as and when they see fit (and adhering to minimum time limits). The Chief Instructor holds these. Level 5 grade is that of Apprentice Instructor, and successful students are awarded a certificate to that end. The Chief Instructor of the B.S.A awards these grades. There are three additional grades to reach full Instructor level, which will require additional training. Apprentice Instructor certification will be renewable yearly to ensure standards are maintained. This will include inspecting the Apprentice Instructor’s teaching in his/her own club environment. Full instructor grade will be renewable every three years. Should the students fail to maintain standards either of technical proficiency or behavior, certification and recognition will be withdrawn. Entry onto our courses recognizes the right of the instructor to withdraw certification and recognition.
Silat Terms and Terminology
In Malaysia the Maha Guru is the head of the system. It literally translates as master teacher. There is only ever one in a system. The last Maha Guru in Malaysia is Maha Guru Datok Haji Omar Din bin Mauju. He is the personal teacher of Glenn Lobo. At the time, he said that he only has one personal student, despite having had a million students under his supervision.
Comes from the term Pandai akal, which translates as clever mind. It is a term used to denote a fighter almost a veteran of conflict. One who has fought and come through. A skilled fighter and warrior.
This is a veteran. A warrior.
This is the chief instructor for an area- state country or region. Paduka Glenn Was appointed Ketua Jurulatih Kanan for Europe.
Wakil is an Islamic term for a Deputy, Representative or Agent. It was described to us that as Wakil, Paduka Glenn Spoke for and had the authority of the Maha Guru when he wasnt there. It is regarded as a very important title and position in Silat.
Our Grading System
The grading system that we developed in Europe, gives students targets, similar to the normal grading. There are grades to be achieved before you are allowed to progress to the next grade. Maha Guru in Malaysia has vetted this system.
Together with my senior students we examined the techniques that I had learned, and put a structure to it. We have tried to build a system that gives progression, where one technique can build onto a previous one. We also have made drills to teach skills. I have often been taught on the Nike principle- “Just Do It”. That is OK when you have 20 or 50 people to follow. When you are trying to explain it, because you are the only one who knows what you are talking about, it is virtually impossible to teach. The drills are to teach some of these movements. Once the skills have been learned in the drills, I also try to make them an aerobic exercise to give a cardiovascular workout. We also work on speed drills, and such like to develop all-round fitness, while still working in our art. The principle is of sport- specific training. Because of my professional experience in sport, working with two of Britain’s top athletics clubs, and then professional courses, I have acquired some experience in training. I put this into practice in my club. I also have specialist knowledge in areas like stretching, through my work with elite athletics and rugby and football so again, take that information from my work to my sport.
I believe in training for contact. My first silat teacher used to say that you train full contact to the body, and 1/2 or 1/3 contact to the head. That way you get used to getting hit, without the brain damage. Obviously you work up to it. The first time I got hit in the street, two things went through my head: the first was “I haven’t got a glass jaw”, the second was “I’ve been hit harder in training”. So I didn’t freeze or get scared, I just switched into training mode.
After much deliberation, we worked to include the various styles and techniques into a cohesive system, where the styles and techniques would seamlessly blend into a recognisable comprehensive fighting system and style. We like what we have created, and it continues to develop. We hope you will to!!