The terms Silat, Penjak Silat, Kali Silat, Kuntao Silat, Langka Silat and Bersilat are all terms used to describe the devastating and brutal martial arts of the South East Asian Archipelago. Silat can be found in the Southern Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Southern Thailand and Southern Burma. Many traditional practitioners of Pentjak Silat are very hard to find and teach their arts in secret. However, there is one style of Silat that exists that is cutting edge and geared for the reality of the street, known as Maphilindo Silat.
Maphilindo Silat is the term given to describe Guro Dan Inosanto’s personal combat system. It was designed and developed in the early eighties to honour and give recognition to the many Silat instructors that Guro Dan had the honour & privilege of training under. The word Maphilindo itself can be broken down as; Ma – meaning Malaysian, Phil – meaning Philippines & Indo – meaning Indonesian. These are the three main influences that Guro Dan used to develop this incredible art.
From Malaysia, Guro Dan borrowed and incorporated from the art of Bersilat, he studied and learnt this art under Guro Nik Mustafa for a period of two and a half years. Guro Nik Mustafa taught a combination of Lyncha Java Silat Betaga and mixed it with what they refer to as Gayong Harimau, which is very different from original Harimau. Guro Dan considered him to be a very knowledgeable and talented martial artist.
From the Filipino martial arts, Guro Dan studied extensively under Grandmaster John Lacoste who taught Guro Dan the arts of Kuntao Silat, Bersilat, Langka Silat, Panantukan, Dumog & Pananjakman. Guro Dan also studied under Tuhon Leo Gaje in the arts of Mustika Kwitang and Majapahit Silat.
Lastly from Indonesia, Guro had the pleasure of training under: Pendekar Paul de Thouars in Bukti Negara Silat, Pak Victor de Thouars in Serak Silat, Guro John Dejong in Menangkabau Silat, Pukulan Silat Senang and also elements of Serak. He also studied under Eddy Jafre from the Indonesian island of Sumatrawho taught Guro Dan four different Silat systems including: Pangian Silat, Harimau, Cimande & Sendeng. Lastly we have Pendekar Guro Besar Herman Suwanda and Guro Besar Rita Suwanda from the Mande Muda system of Silat. Mande Muda contains elements of twenty different Silat systems including but not limited to: Cikalong, Syahbandar, Harimau, Pamonyet, Kari, Madi and Serak.
One of the most notable differences of Maphilindo Silat to the more traditional Silat systems, is the structure itself. Traditional Silat although very efficient and effective, is geared more so towards either, muddy or jungle terrain whereby low stances and flowery hand motions are very prevalent. Maphilindo Silat although having a traditional lineage, has been modified to suite the environment of western culture. In other words, the system has been developed to work from a kickboxing structure… this is the key.
Like any great system, Maphilindo Silat has three components; an entry, a follow up and a finish. The art of Panantukan or Filipino boxing is a major contributor to Maphilindo Silat. Most of the entries found in Maphilindo Silat come directly from the art of Panantukan. The efficiency of the Panantukan hand techniques as entries is what makes this art ideal for the street. Once we enter, this is where we begin to surgically dissect our opponent with a brutal flurry of hand combinations, elbow techniques, off balancing and wrenching techniques then finish them with any number of vicious takedowns, all geared to end the fight as quickly as it started.
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