Monday, April 20, 2009
Silat is such a big tent that the only thing some of the styles have in common is that they are from the same part of the world.
The seminal work on silat in English is Donn Draeger's Weapons & Fighting Arts of the Indonesian Archipelago. There are various versions of this around, you can probably pick up a used version in trade paperback. He has a couple other books on the subject, like Javanese Silat, but they are just okay.
O'ong Maryono's English version of his book, Pencak Silat in the Indonesian Archipelago is good.
You can download Ian Wilson's thesis from the Murdoch University School of Asian Studies, in Western Australia (2002), The Politics of Inner Power: The Practice of Pencak Silat in West Java. Wilson lived in the country and speaks the language.
Most of the books and tapes out there have some use, and though I'm not too impressed with some of the Paladin Press stuff, my teacher did a video for them on Bukti Negara, the daughter art Pendekar Paul and his senior students created, drawn from Sera. It's good for what it is.
Paul did an eight-tape series on Bukti, but I haven't seen it for sale on his site for years. Might find it used online somewhere.
There is material out there on some of the blades -- best books on the keris are from Holland, with a Dutch/English side-by-side text and hand-glued in pictures, but they are spendy: De Kris, by Tammens, three volumes.
Best guy to see for buying the hardware lives in Australia, Alan Maisey, there's a link to his page here.
Lot of YouTube stuff on the kerambit.
Also Bobbe Edmonds silat videos on YouTube are good. He spent some time in the old country training, knows his stuff, despite the fact he came down with yesterday's rain.
Best general work on weapons: Traditional Weapons of the Indonesian Archipelago, by Albert van Zonneveid. A coffee-table sized book and also expensive.
You can get Maha Guru Plinck's vids from Joe Daggy, at Lexington Films:
And, of course, you can order my e-book, But What if I Did This?! and get a PDF for $5, if you don't already have it. Just click on the PayPal button up there under the header.
There are bits of history and philosophy on our art ladled into my musings ...