Thursday, October 8, 2009
WEAPONS IN GAYONG
I am so busy lately. I got three professional projects and one research to be done by the end of this year. Our Silat Seni Gayong class has started since 3 weeks, and seems this year we have new motivated students, with certain of them come from other martial art schools.
Who doesn't know Cikgu Mufti Ansari? He was the first one who came in France in the late 80's, and taught Silat Seni Gayong in many places in Europe, after having the permission from the late Mahaguru to do so. Since we exchange many news between us, I learn and understand many things. One of his message is about the Sundang Lipas: A double edges Bugis sword. The Bugis warrior were known to be the sea explorer. So this kind of sword was practical since it is carried on their back during their works on the ship. Compared with it's "cousins", the Parang (machete) and the Pedang (sabre), Sundang Lipas is a weapon that not used to block during the battle. It is taught only to the experts, as it needs a very fast movements, in escaping, approaching and striking the enemy at the same moment. Even though through his simple explanation, I think I understand what he's trying to tell me. After years of training the weapons, Yoi, Selayang Pandang, and so on, we finally allowed to learn the Sundang Lipas. The point is not learning the technics, but rather learning the "Seni" itself....
Other weapon that he explained is the "Serampang". Only certain of the old masters still know this kind of weapon. It exists in two forms: Serampang Laut (Sea Halberd) and Serampang Barat (West Halberd). This weapon was especially designed to fight against many enemies during the battle. More the enemies come, the better it serves!
There are many weapons that must be revealed. Many of the Gayong practitioner knows only the principal weapons like Simbat, Pisau, Keris, Parang, Lembing and Cindai. There are many things to be learned from the 'old' Gurulatihs (those Gurulatih who learned directly from the late Mahaguru) before it is too late for us!
I have been criticized many time by certain people, of being crazy in learning different types of weapons in Pencak Silat generally and in Gayong especially. They said that, once you are good in Silat with the bare hands, you don't need to waste your money and time to learn the "unpractical" weapons, that do not exist anymore. They talk about the Self-Defence, the close-combat and the street-fighting. I simply replied to them that, it is my passion, to learn all of this stuff. It develops my combat skills and the fluidity of my martial movements, of spending hours for traditional weapon trainings. It doesn't mean that those who learn traditional weapon don't know how to fight in the street. In the contrary, those who learns diferent types of weapons, are better and more intelligent, as he learns to know how to use the different objects in different situations. In a simple word: a real fighter!
Learning various type of weapons in Pencak Silat reminds me a lot to Ninjitsu: The art of war from the invisible assassins called "Ninja". What a coincidence, that many of my students here said that Gayong has many similarities with the Ninjitsu! (many weapons, devastating bare-hand technics, using the environment during the battle etc...)!!!