Friday, July 04, 2008
Principles of Silat Sera Plinck
First principle is, the art is much easier to do if you have six arms and four legs ...
Actually, the illo is from the section on Sera Principles, on Guru Plinck's site. Written and posted there by Todd and Tiel.
It's interesting to read, in that if you know much about the art, you won't have any trouble making some sense of the article. But if you aren't one of us, it won't mean anything really useful at all. In cases of applied movement, the map is truly not the territory. I don't know anybody who ever learned how to swim sitting on the edge of the pool reading a book on the various strokes. You gotta get wet.
As I was looking for some tidbits to send to a few of the newbies in our class, I came across the Djuru Topics, only a few of which they have had a chance to learn yet, but that also reminded me of how much of what we do is so very simple and basic. Sera as we practice it, is not a complex art. There are combinations of things that can look complicated, but they aren't when you know what goes into them.
"Simple" does not equal "easy," of course, as I have said many times before, but simple is the heart and soul of what we do. We don't have any jumping-flying-spinning-triple-
sommersault kicks in our toolbox. Most of what the advance class does most of the time is the same as what the beginners do most of the time, at least insofar as the root movements are concerned. The principles of swinging a baseball bat are the same for a Little League player and the National League home run leader. It's a bat, you try to hit the ball with it, nothing complicated at all. Practice a lot, pay attention while you do, you tend to get better.
A whole lot -- even most -- of what we believe you need to know to do this stuff in a useful manner is covered in the twelve topics. I'm not giving anything away by posting them here:
Djuru - Topics
1. Receiving (4 ways)
2. Giving (5 ways)
3. English (corkscrew)
4. High Line
5. Low Line
7. Trapping (window)
10. Back up (attitude)
And just to be fair, I need to say that our djuru forms are only the upper body; the legwork, we call "langkas," and while both are usually learned together and lumped under the term "djurus," we do consider them in different lights. You need both, but you can practice djurus sitting in a chair, most of them. The langkas come into play on the various geometric footwork platforms, and technically, you can do them without the handwork, too. Might be more semantics, that, but it's how we consider it.