Monday, August 31, 2009

KERIS : Malay's Honor

Keris is one of the main lesson in Silat Seni Gayong. The different between an 'official' Silat, which is taught only to the selected knight and warrior under the permission of Sultan, and the people's Silat, is that whether there is any Keris or not as one of the lessons. I'm not saying that a Silat school who doesn't teach Keris cannot be considered as a good one. But what i'm telling is, to know Silat, one must learn Keris in a proper way. Silat Seni Gayong is one of Silat school that has a clear "sanad" until the legendary Hang Tuah and his brothers, Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu.

Keris is Melayu. A Malay cannot be separated by his Keris. Once you drop the Keris, you die, as the Gurus say. Some Silat specialize in Tongkat (stick/staff), some in Golok or Parang, some in Tekpi and so on. But it is quite difficult to find a school that really specialize in Keris. What I saw how the school of Bakti Negara, a Pencak Silat style from Bali, Indonesia, or some Kali school in Philippines that also use Keris in their technics, are completely different with the way we use in Malaysia.

Preparing the line before going into the water

The use of Keris in Malaysia, is full of Adat and Adab. Adat is the tradition and way of life, while Adab is the good conducts one should behave. Keris must not be manipulated as sword or knife. It is double bladed, and hold like a pistol. We can't use it to block any attack, but rather smashing, striking, stabbing and cutting the vital nerves, and escaping while attacking the opponent.

Seni Keris

In Silat Seni Gayong, there is the Asas (basics), Gerakan (Jurus/movements), Senaman (exercises), Elakan (escaping), Serangan (attacking), Tikaman (way of stabbing) and Buah (the counter attack technics). Once a student finish the syllabus, traditionally one must perform the Khatam Keris (graduation) at the beach. A student must bring a black feathers cock, and make some glutinous rice and Malay cakes. The night before the ceremony, student must train and show what they have learnt by using a wood-made Keris. In the morning, they must enter into the sea, circulating a certain distance, and throw their wood-made Keris as a significant of their separation with the "training" Keris. It is now the time for using a true steel Keris for the combats!

Master Tok Mail was giving his blessing to one of the student during the ceremony

Not every Master of Silat Seni Gayong has the Ijazah (permission) from the late Mahaguru to perform the ceremony. Moreover, there are certain Masters who refuse to do the ceremony, even though they have the permission, for the reason of not creating the false perception of the local people. Sometimes, it is better to avoid it rather than to answer to the medias!

The latest Khatam Keris ceremony was done at Melaka, with the cooperation of PSSGM Melaka and PSSGM SELANGOR. Master Tok Ismail Jantan is one of the MAHAGURU's student who has the authority and his blessing to perform the rituel. All credits to the photographers. Thank you for sharing...! ;)

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