Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Slice and Dice
So, we have been continuing to concentrate our silat practice on the short blade -- short here being sheath or folding knife-length and not Bowie knives or swords, which get utilized differently. We are not yet refined in the techniques; however, we are beginning to develop a flow, albeit a somewhat ragged one.
The core of the upper body motions are in the techniques which give our art the first part of its name -- Pukulan Pentjak Silat Sera Plinck.
For those who don't know what this is, the closest visual image I can offer is that these are motions that look something like the driving wheel of a locomotive. The eccentric rod attached to the wheel is not centered on the axle, so there is a piston-like effect as it moves. In pukulan, the motion of the arm is similar; however, it can be quickly reversed, or canted from vertical to horizontal or in between.
We use practice knives so as not to fill up the local hospital's ER, and several of us utilize a chef-grade silicone spatula, which is much kinder to the player on the receiving end than a standard hard-plastic traning knife. Against those, one tends to develop a nice set of small bruises after each session, on the forearm behind the knife hand, and on the torso ...
One also learns very quickly that against somebody several inches taller and with a longer reach, like say, Edwin, who I believe can touch the ground with his knuckles whilst standing on a box without bending his knees or his hips, that staying outside and clashing blades gets you stuck no matter which grip he uses. (Edward, aka "Orang," must have relatives in Borneo or Sumatra who still live in trees. And he likes one of those long black training blades, about which I spoke earlier. And did I mention that he started silat when he was knee-high to a grasshopper and that he loves knives?)
Running away or going in are the options in such a case; if you can't do the former, you need to do the latter or you get to be long-pig tartar ...
Never a dull moment.