Sunday, June 9, 2013


In our version of silat, there is a fair amount of blade work. A lot of it is with short knives, which we can define here as in the 4"-8" range. Some of it is with longer blades, and currently, we are playing with a machete-length blade (using sticks), of 18-24." Last class, we decided on the spur of the moment to do this, and most of us hadn't brought our practice blades, so we used sticks from Guru's yard. 

 I have a cut-down bokken from Cold Steel, courtesy of Edwin, of a dense and hard plastic that can do battle with an axe handle and survive. Would that I had it at class: the trimmed axe handle Todd used killed two of the wooden sticks I was using in a ten-minute stretch. Busted in half.

The main point here is to not think of this as a stick, but as a short sword, and to always keep your edge and point in mind. A stick is not a blade, and even though they may be utilized in a similar manner at times, the sword is a more efficient and effective weapon. You can use it like a stick, but you can also slice and dice and stab. Better,  else you'd have seen the Knights of the Round Table or the samurai or the vikings all armed with cudgels and not long swords, katana, or battle axes ...

The problem with practicing a weapon you aren't apt to really use is that you need a fair amount of time in grade to get even minimally adept with it. If you were carrying such a thing on a daily basis you could unhusk it and wave it about at odd moments to burn in the moves. Carry a tactical folder, you can practice pulling it from your pocket and opening it in places where nobody is watching. Walk into the mall sporting a sword on your hip, there isn't going to be any place where somebody won't be watching you, and maybe some of them will be police with hands on their sidearms ...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Black Steel

 Balinese Wedung, above;
Keris pejet, below.

Enlarge the image above and look closely, 
you can see where the hot steel was pinched with 
thumb and finger tips ...

Alan Maisey's latest keris catalog is up. If you have a hankering for Indonesian steel, have a look.


So, a few of us went to Guru's house yesterday morning. Did a workout, and then the dump-truck with four yards of clean sand arrived, and we shoveled and spread that around. Not exactly a sand-pit, because it's on top the ground and will eventually migrate down the sllpe to the chicken yard, but it does create a surface upon which we can fall and roll and do ground work. The combination of that and the slant of the ground makes for interesting footing. 

Plus Guru's granddaughters and cats love it ...