Friday, February 11, 2011


My teacher likes to say that your silat is only as good as your legs, and at our most recent class, we once again learned that our legs aren't world-class when it comes to being fit. Not national-class. Not even neighborhood-class ...

In working with multiple attackers, one must spend some time learning evasion, i.e., getting the hell out of the way. At the same time, pure evasion only does so much, especially if you are in an enclosed space and can't, like Elvis, leave the building, thank you very much.

Part of our silat is to be sneaky and to cheat, and part of that is to gull somebody coming at you into thinking you are going to zig when you are going to zag. This is one time when a relatively slow back- or sidekick can be made to work–the attacker leaps in and impales himself on your foot because his speed added to yours surprises him: You are going that way, but your kick is going the other way. Once he is committed, that can be an nasty oops!

We have been working with an abbreviated version of the Djuru Sepok form, which requires level changes and low, wide and cross-stepped siloh stances, sempok, depok, going to the ground, and such. The lower the stance, the harder it works your leg muscles, and it's not just pure strength, but more about stamina. And flexibility. 

You watch a tennis match and one of the guys is in his early thirties, sometimes the announcers talk about how his legs are gone, he's over the hill. Yeah, he still has a game, but he runs out of steam after a couple of sets. He stops chasing the ball.

When you are twice that age, stamina becomes a real factor. I can put ten plates on the leg-press sled and push them for a couple sets. But a few minutes in a horse stance, front, then turned left, then right, burns more than just moving the iron for a couple minutes. Once your legs start to quiver, it gets to be a real act of will to stay down ...


  1. It's funny how this happens but I was about to write about this very thing on my blog this morning. I was working something new to me into my Juru last week and after about forty minutes my legs started to scream pain.

    I think this was mainly because I was so intent on doing the juru right, I kind of spaced out on what my legs was doing.

    A Special Forces guy said to me years ago, weak legs equals a weak soldier. I watch DVDs of Guru Plinck, repeating over and over again, your silat is on as good as your legs but being slow it takes actual mat time to get the message across.



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  3. Whoops that should read: your silat is only as good as your legs are stong and limber.

    There should be a juru for correct spelling!

    Blast, Key board issues.