The Theory and Principles of Pukulan Cimande Pusaka Pencak Silat
The Physical part of the Art can be roughly divided up into 11 major principles, (Sa-Belas Sila) 1. The principle of penetration. 2. The principle of continuous flow with camouflage. 3. The principle of adhesion. 4. The principle of bamboo (the whip and ricochet hitting). 5. The principle of off timing including mental, visual and auditory. 6. The principle of compacting (the secret of Kilap or thunder bolt strike and poison hand blows). 7. The principle of the thorn. 8. The principle of decoying (which includes indirect hitting). 9. The principle of destruction. 10. The principle of body armor. 11. The principle of trapping. There is no one principle that is any more or less important than the others and in order for the system to work as a unit it must contain all of the above. Of course there are other parts of the system that can be listed but you can't do it correctly without even one of the above. We have also not listed the Tenaga Dalam (Inner dragon mental concepts which must also be mastered), but that is the subject of my other books, Fighting Magick One and Two. In all West Javanese systems that I have seen (in their original form) the backbone of the physical system is put in a series of upper body movements called Jurus. In the context of Silat these can be likened to a form, but only using the upper parts of the body. When a baby is born it uses its hands and arms before it uses its legs, so in considering yourself a baby to this art, it is felt that it will be easier for you to work on these parts of the body first. Some teachers only teach a static defense at first to the student. That is, the student is taught to stand his or her ground against a variety of attacks including multiple attacks. This was explained to me this way. When a beginner is first confronted by an attack, the inexperienced can feel very heavy in the legs and may be too scared to try and do a lot of moving around, so the upper part of the body is trained first, in order to impart a degree of confidence, then the footwork is taught. It is much like a baby learns, first he uses his hands and arms and then learns to walk. Some Cimande teachers start the students doing Juru drills sitting down first. We call these Jurusans or techniques from the Jurus. I have seen some teachers who make a big deal of the fact that they always teach their students to face a moving attacker right away. This is backwards. You must first develop absolute precision and timing and skill so your body knows what is right and what is wrong. Then by degrees you increase the
Along with the actual physical movements that compromise each Juru there is an overall theme or attitude as it is termed that characterizes each one. Therefore he decides not to show it to his students. I am just illustrating what I don't wish to happen to the system I am teaching. Many of them moved differently and I believe it was because the master of the system. There have been teachers in the USA who have and are teaching Pencak Silat without real Jurus. The body and the arms and legs must be placed in the exact correct position over and over until skill is obtained. In any case these Jurus form the foundation for Pencak Silat and contain all of the movements and attitudes of the system. If you attempt to train in this manner all you will wind up with are sloppy techniques because all you are trying to do is keep from being hit in any way you can. I have -seen this happen with a teacher who left many others teaching his art after his death.
. Each session try and increase your efficiency and speed. etc. To illustrate this we shall examine kilap lightening bolt footwork and hard block strikes. a heirloom. Cimande (as in the Cimande River) is the flow. Penetration Penetration is the ability to close within striking range of the opponent. done in the spirit of Juru one therefore it was Juru one. So the Jurus are a coded system to teach the student both the physical sides and esoteric side of the art. Teaching from the Jurus are termed Jurusans. To illustrate this rather unusual concept let me give you this explanation. Now even though it does contain a set series of particular movements that serve to identify it as Juru one. In this matter all of the Jurus in the system have an attitude or spirit. with the hope that all Silat practitioners and teachers can appreciate the benefits of and beauty of all our systems. Continuous flow The translation of the name of this form of Pencak Silat. so to speak. and Pusaka is Heirloom. anytime in a fight which the opponent is dropped by a series or even a single aggressive movement by the practitioner it is said that Juru one was used. However with no Jurus to hold everything together it might not be long before the system is nothing like it was supposed to be. and the proper way of striking the opponent so that the body target is broken or put out of action. So start slow with a stationary opponent gradually increasing his mobility until your skill level begins to deteriorate and then slow back down until skill is again obtained.mobility of the attacker until he is doing whatever he wants with speed. remembering that these techniques can be very painful to your training partner so make sure he or she is protected when going faster. This can create a problem down the road for this reason. This is not meant to put any one or any style of Silat down. It does not matter if not even one of the formal movements was used. you just can't look at this and figure it out. The result can resemble a sloppy slapping contest. it is important to examine the preceding 11 principles as they must also be found in the Jurus." etc. Before we get to the actual Jurus themselves. Pukulan is Hitting. If he is teaching the Jurus anyway then the students still have the original concept even if he does not stress it. Suppose one teacher does not really like a certain move that the founder placed in the system. backbiting that we can all do without. or not taught at all. in the context of the system means a system that hits like continuous streams of water and is valuable and old. Because Silat is a fighting art it seems to have an overabundance of "My style is the best" and "I started all Silat in the USA. or the Jurus were not emphasized. Juru one is considered a Juru of destruction. it was. It is an aggressive forward penetrating series of attacking movements. And of course hit your opponent in any way you can.
However it must be stressed here that to do the entire Art correctly the Pencak and Silat must be integrated as one with the mental portion of the training. away and just out of reach of the blow. Then the knee and elbow form the next two circles. So in this matter the term Pencak means movement. etc. There are many different styles of Pencak Silat that come from all of the various islands in Indonesia. no matter what they do or how they move. so not to move out of effective range. Although the term Pencak Silat is never found separated in Indonesia when referring to the Arts each does have a separate meaning and one could conceivably emphasize one element of the Art over the other. the furthest circle is at the apex of the foot. fist. Lankas (footwork) which help make the Kembangen (flower dance which is comprised of free form fighting movements against multiple invisible attackers) and also encompasses the mystical and magickal sides of the Art. Each circle defines the sphere of influence exerted by each weapon in turn. the key behind all of the Pencak and Silat of the system. Without this flow the Jurus are lifeless robotic forms which will only hinder the practitioner. In the same manner a person might practice only against different types of attacks without having been taught the Jurus or Lankas and only be practicing the Silat portion. The term Silat refers to the actual self defense applications. This could cause us to leave the opponent's space and so would be contrary to the principle of adhesion. Our goal is to always be inside this area which we defined as taking his space. once entered into. leaning the body back. This then is the real secret and key to the correct applications of the Jurus. and a circle is drawn around the foot. and elbow. fist. The Principle of Bamboo In our Art we do not back up under normal circumstances. At any rate. depending on the teacher. This space is defined as the four concentric circles. Some opponents will even turn and run under a vicious assault into this area. No matter what he does. This is accomplished with the use of flowing movements. In other words each circle fully surrounds the person. the next at the apex of the fist. This extreme proximity is kept until the opponent is felled by the initial blows or sweeps. lies in that all of the movements must of a flowing nature. knee and elbow. Most fighters will try and back up so they can try and obtain room to fire their kicks and punches. However to be the complete system both halves must be taught and practiced.Pencak Silat is the general name given to all Indonesian Martial Arts. knee. the end result is the opponent is felled and then followed directly into the ground with finishing techniques. Much like Chinese Arts are known as Kung-Fu. and or the use of the python animal mannerism techniques for breaking locks. allowing the movements. principles and attitudes of each to mold the movements. With the flow they are the Art. Adhesion This refers to the ability to enter into your opponent’s space. However the upper part of the body or one of the legs may be leaned away or moved in such a fashion that the person did not really retreat away from striking range and out of the opponent's space. Crowding a person like this makes him very nervous and severely limits the conventional fighter’s means to attack you. These boundaries define the attacker’s space. So one could conceivably just do the Lankas and Jurus but do no real fighting drills and be only stressing the Pencak portion. As the
. We prefer to flank and evade but actual rearward movement is minimized. is the ability to stick inside this area of your opponent. foot. real fighting. Although they must be taught one at a time to allow them to be absorbed easier the real practical use of them comes from ability to imperceptibly flow from one Juru into the next. The Jurus. which are formed when a person stretches forth both their arm and leg to its full length. The adhesion.
so the blows can not be perceived. The Principle of Compacting Compacting is composed of various ways that one blow is redelivered in very short arcing and chopping methods almost immediately without withdrawing it. as the strikes are very difficult to see. The Principle of Off Timing The flowing effect in this art produces an effect of invisibility. These strikes can either rip the skin or snap a bone depending on the body target and the part of the body used to strike with. Also it produces a certain fear in the opponent because it off balances his perceptions of your time and space and intentions. Sometimes these types of hits are referred to as the torture strikes that just precedes the final felling impact. This concept is what sets this Pencak Silat apart from many others. The harder you are attacked the more damage is done to the attacker. Every movement is performed with fluid relaxation until the moment of impact at which time the body is tensed and the feet. snappy actions that do not let a fighter set up to your rhythm. No regular blocks of any kind are used. Everything that comes into our space is impaled on the thorns of our body. This leads to the ultimate conclusion of virtually no movement (perceptible) to the blows and actual energy transference from the practitioner to his opponent. This method of developing increased power with decreased motion is one of the main characteristics of the system.opponent's blow reaches its apex of movement and begins to be withdrawn for the next strike. This will be more easily explained with photographs later.
. We strike everything that is thrown at us. However in arts that move in a rhythmic flowing manner the defect is often that the person can be timed by an experienced fighter and then the flow becomes readable. The Principle of the Thorn One of the symbols of this art has been the rose. These fast short blows are often accompanied by kicks in a like manner and are categorized under the heading of Kilap or thunder bolt strikes. This is also done by slapping actions to the legs with the hands and the forceful stomping action on the ground with the feet while hitting and moving. as they can be in an art that visually chambers each blow. This is accomplished as a piece of bent bamboo would spring back under pressure and follows the opponents kick or punch back to them striking them before they can react From this snapping action also comes the effect of the whip which is used in all of our blows. It is either a hard bony weapon. It has been referred to as poison hand blows. It lures you in with its looks and then impales you on its thorns. muscle or bone. the principle of adhesion again takes over and the part of the body that was bent away springs back. This results in a snapping whip crack type blow. It also allows for very rapid series of blows to be delivered in blinding speed with painful results. The off timing produces a smooth flow interrupted by fast. are snapped down forcefully to connect solidly with Mother Earth. and even the person being hit often does not know how or from where the blow came. short. which are slightly raised up on the balls of the feet. like an elbow that is directed at a soft body target or a joint is struck to either destroy tendons.
Hence you could almost classify this under the destruction principle. elbow. So for instance if the target was the head. if all you want to do is escape). you could first strike to the groin causing the attacker to bend forward from the pain. which will lead to the physical destruction. Also arms and legs are often trapped in a
. With this in mind everything is aimed at disabling the arms. When moving in range a prime objective is the stomping action delivered to the attacker's feet. and the attacker's base. By striking the opponent in such a manner that disrupts this triangular base. Destruction can sometimes also mean the destruction of the opponent's balance. So that even if you did not have time to pick off an attacking blow the very position you are in will give you protection. or halted in movement. For each opening a counter to his strike is built in. fist. shins and knee joints. The aggressive mode of decoying. One foot on the apex. In doing so the idea is not only to destroy the bones in the feet.) The Principle of Destruction While the thorn principle is used on incoming weapons (much like modem star wars type strategy) the principle of destruction is also a part of our counter attack and is aimed at removing the attacker's appendages from being able to strike you or escape you ( or chase after you. in the way that you hold your hands. As he bent forward he would run into the blow to the head that was the main target. Usually the trap consists of a simultaneously delivered type blow. namely his ankles. which is completely hidden from target. For instance in an upright fighter the feet must always correspond to be in a triangular position. nerves. etc. The secret to this type of fighting comes from the combination of the flow with the off timing and the body armor principle so the attacker never knows when you are actually decoying him. or is it really a good time to strike you? Now this is the passive form of decoying. the other on the far comer (this creates balance on the third point and is also the space that one can fire blows out of with a degree of balance).The Principle of Decoying To decoy is to purposefully open yourself up in a manner that appears desirable for the attacker to strike at. moving you into the other horn as the buffalo whips its head in the other direction causing its momentum to collide with the momentum of the victim giving great devastating results. The Principle of Hit Trapping In this art the main goal in trapping is to quickly destroy that which has been momentarily captured. quickly change to the desired one (This differs from a camouflage blow. In effect this is a subtle form of mind control as you are setting up a fight in a manner in which the opponent's reaction has been predetermined along with the results (counter). Indirect hitting can also start a blow to one target and then as the person sets up for it. The Principle of Body Armor This relies on the integrity of your fighting position. It is a manner of always being covered. not often mentioned is called indirect hitting and it implies never starting out a blow aimed toward the actual intended target. so it is a trap. The main reason that it has its own classification is a point of great importance. your height and manner of moving. Its principle is based on how a water buffalo strikes. wrist. They move their head in one direction and the first blow hits you. but with full knowledge that he will strike here. preventing his escape until the felling blows are delivered. but also to trap him. his balance is destroyed making it possible to drop him to the ground finishing him off. Hence the term body armor.
The techniques can and often do start from an upright position so as not to give away the actual intention of going to the ground. It is often said that one returns to Mother Earth for protection. In practicing Animism it was common. The monkey (Monjet or Kera) represents the element of water with its flowing and changing nature. long ripping and open palm tiger paws type blows. This is a very deceptive and powerful style that devastates the lower extremities of the opponent with powerful kicks. The first is the Harimau for the full supine ground fighting tiger. spiritual influence came from Animism.e. I want to briefly mention the animal mannerisms that make up the system. Fire and Air. painful strikes correspond to the element of fire. Water. Each animal is noted for certain adaptations and each animal represents certain qualities that are allotted to the four different elemental concepts. The upright tiger (Matjan) uses low but off the ground stances. These elements are described in great detail in my two books. slapping and imitation. The Python portion requires the opponent to be entwined in such a manner that either some portion of the anatomy is twisted until it snaps or the opponents head is maneuvered in such a way that he looses balance and crashes hard to the ground with the Cimande practitioner glued to him. and hand weapons and even teeth in a continuous barrage. In the next chapter we will begin to discuss the first ten Jurus in the system and how the above principles apply. The crane is obviously associated with the element of Air. grabbing. which is composed of the Ular Sendok (Cobra) which uses body weaving. Beyond that it is more of a concept of magick (a force that carries you fiercely on its wings striking in the blink of an eye with crushing force and power). Earth. which is more of a low crouch although still standing on two feet. to invoke and allow the animal spirit to posses the practitioner. and the Matjan." The animals contained in this art. i. From Animism we find the original source from where the animal movements were adopted. Often this is combined with actual bites that latch on and remove flesh on the twisting action. and still is. In Indonesia the first mystical. Next is the Tiger.circular type wrap (from the Ular Sawa. The mythical eagle (Garuda) uses some ripping and crushing grabs and descending type blows that come down on you from above. one-legged positions as well as various triangle leaps of defense and offense. This animal represents the element of the earth. The crane (Blakok) provides fast whipping type arm blows. which is also made up of two parts. But before we begin with the Jurus. These are not actual elements as in the periodic table of elements but instead represent concepts of movements and hitting. So the animal fighting characteristics were
. or python snake style) just prior to the violent torqueing action which breaks them. From the monkey we get our Sempok and Depok low cross-legged posture. Its symbol is the King Snake Dragon called the Raja Naga. The step by step photographs should help clarify what is not already understood. These mannerisms allow for super ground fighting. Fighting Magic. with fast whipping blows to soft targets out of any position. Volume I "The Concept is Born" and Volume II "The Means To The End. This bite obviously is also a destructive trap. The other portion of the snake is made up of the Ular Sawa (Python). So the objective is to freeze the opponent just long enough to keep him from escaping the crippling blows which are quick to follow. These darting. The ultimate goal of the practitioner is to blend all of these mannerisms and qualities together as one unfathomable quality. attack and defense. then are the Snake. which causes great fear and panic in the opponent.
first seen in these spirit trances or dances. The practitioner mentally pictures the desired animal. the animal fighting attributes are fully used in all of their viciousness and wildness that this produces. And while it is not necessary to hang from a tree while eating a banana. When doing the correct animal applications this is still encouraged. inhales the projected image.
. which he sees as just in front of him. Then the picture is shut off from the conscious mind as the attributes of the desired animal are allowed to take over.