Monday, August 24, 2009

An In Joke

If you aren't a student of our particular martial art, Silat Sera, these vids won't mean anything to you. If you are, put down any liquid you might be holding -- I'm not gonna buy you a new keyboard. You have been warned.

Don't you love the mechanics of this first vid? If you push directly along a line whereupon both feet are planted, that will be against a strong stance. If you direct your force downward -- as is obviously being done here -- that just roots the stance even more.

If you change the push so that it is upward, and slightly angled against the line, and apply more force, as is being done after the student's arm is lowered, you take the weight off the lead foot, and against somebody holding themselves rigid, it's relatively easy to move them, even if they don't help.

Whether the student being demonstrated upon raises or lowers his arm has nothing to do with anything, least as far as physics and biomechanics are concerned, this is to say, zip, zero, nil, nada, bupkis.

Unless, of course, he is holding onto Wonder Woman's invisible ship's hawser when his arm is outstretched.

You have to be careful putting this stuff up where people can see what is really going on.


Dan Gambiera said...

Words fail me.
And that doesn't happen very often.

Steve Perry said...

Those of you curious, a short explanation:

The terms, "base, angle, leverage" are used to explain a core concept of our martial art. The principle has been there from the git-go, but the terminology and method of teaching it thus came from Maha Guru Stevan Plinck. (One of his great skills is absorbing something not particularly well-explained, then doing just that, in a manner much more easily understood.)

I won't belabor the concept, but it is interesting because it has been co-opted by other teachers who now want to claim it for themselves.

I have it from students longer in the art than I that Guru Plinck has been using this since before I started training in it. The first time the idea showed up anywhere that can be verified was in the Bukti video he did, shot around '96 or '97. Shortly thereafter, I wrote the concept into the first Net Force book, probably about 1998, since the book came out in '99.

No mention of it in public anywhere before that.

After that, why, that base-angle-leverage notion sprang up in other places quick as mushrooms after a tropical rain. They had it all along, but it had been misplaced, you see, so after seeing it mentioned, they went and dug it out, dusted it off, and held it up -- ours, they said. You got it from us because we had it all along. We never mentioned it before, because ... uh, well, because ... because we didn't, okay?

Back when I was engaged in some fierce online debates about silat, I had occasion to exchange emails with several teachers from another branch of our art, and I made it a point to ask them what it meant to them.

They didn't have a clue, because they had never heard it before ...

Nobody want to help the little red hen grow the wheat, grind it, bake it into bread, but they are happy to help her eat it ...

Jay said...

I first heard the term about 2001 and was told who originated it and if I bring it up in class, I give credit (as with all things I pass along) where credit is due. Even though I have not met Guru Plinck, I respect the knowledge and the source.

Dan Moran said...

Link appears to be broken, FYI.

Steve Perry said...

Of course, Jay, but you're one of those disgusting honorable guys ...

Nobody minds the term being used -- it's a neat and concise way to explain a principle. It's when somebody doesn't give credit where it is due that is irksome.

Steve Perry said...

Dan --

I think the server is down. It was working last time I looked, few days ago.

Dan Gambiera said...