Nowadays, everything is going so fast. Everyone needs speed. It seems that we have a shorter time than our grandparents had in the old days. This situation happens everywhere, and applies to the all nation and races. With the technology, one task that used to take more time to be accomplished, is done in far quicker than before. This included in martial arts training. In the traditional way, people practice martial arts all along their lives. They started at the early age, and continue repeating the movements from generation to generation. In Malay tradition, one must have trained for years, "Bertapa" (meditate) in a remote place far from people, and been tested by many kinds of nature before becoming a Pendekar, Guru, or Pendita.
When the technologies created the movies, people see the new trend of learning the martial arts: The Self-Defense. In the traditional martial arts, we feel the influence of cultural, religion, ritual and believes from it's birth place. There is the traditional form of movements (Jurus, Gerakan and Asas), and also choreography (Pentas) which is consistently repeated by the practitioners. It is a long term training, and the purpose is not only to know how to fight, but also the education from the Master to his students, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Self Defense (Seni Beladiri) is one part of Martial Art. All of the traditional way of training like low Kuda-Kuda (position), Jurus (fixed steps) and traditional weapons practices are all considered as not suitable during the street fighting (combat dans la rue). It concentrates in one lesson only, which is how to survive the knife or stick attack, (arms locks, with the Tonfa or not etc.) and minimize the damage to us while maximize the effects of our strikes to the enemy.
Personally, I find that taking a Self Defence class is good, but only for those who has already the basic traditional martial art (Pencak Silat, Wing Chun, Karate, Varma Kalai etc...). This will enlarge the our view, and make us know more our own martial arts! Those who are already used with the martial arts, will find the self defense concept is easy and simple, but is practical. But for those who has never learned any martial art before, by the end of the class, he would, if he's good enough, to survive any knife attacks, but he won't be able to develop the technics to a higher level. One traditional martial art teacher can teach the self defense, and be a good fighter whenever he wants, but a Self Defence teacher would be a good fighter, but do not know any traditional weapons applications and will find himself "closed" with his style. What is the joy of having thousands students, if we don't use that chance to educate our students morally? What is the professional links to be compared with the personal bonds?
Seems there is the need for this kind of lesson, I start to teach this in our new class at the heart of Paris. This Friday would be our second class. I will start with traditional Silat Seni Gayong class, and will alternate it with the Gayong self defense technics like the all the Pecahan, Buah Peluk, Buah Cekik and Buah Pukul. A new approach to Anak Gayong in France.