Many hundreds of books could be written and filled regarding Silat styles, Kun Tao styles and the interaction of these two extensive arts commonly referred to as Kun Tao Silat. Silat styles generally are indigenous to the islands although they have flavors in them from all over the far east including from India. Kun Tao styles are of Chinese origin and the literal translation of Kun Tao from Cantonese to English is Fist Way.
In the Indonesian archipelago you can find art forms that are purely Silat and there are art forms that are purely Kun Tao. More often than not there is some degree of mixture between the two arts. Sometimes this is acknowledged by the practitioners and sometimes it is not. When the mixture is evident (usually when the mix has more than 25% from each art) then the mixture is generally acknowledged because it is somewhat obvious to other martial artists of either style. As a result these styles are more and more often becoming known as a Kun Tao Silat style. Clear’s Silat is a Kun Tao Silat style and is officially recognized as such by other senior practitioners of the arts.
Many years ago, in order to help new students gain an understanding of the Kun Tao expression of compression and explosiveness along with the overwhelming attacking movement of the art I chose to place 8 basic movements that are found in most Kun Tao styles in Phase I of our program. These movements are also found and used very effectively in Silat and particularly in our Silat but in Silat the energetic expression of these movements is noticeably different than in most other arts. Please understand. An elbow is an elbow but there are many different ways and timings of when and how to use an elbow. My teacher and mentor Uncle Bill (Willem de Thouars) tends to say “different flavors”. Part of the idea being that they are all still flavors even though different.
The movements in our Basic 8 move set include body compression and release with extreme forward machine gun type attacking with whole body weight to over run into and through the opponents position. Included are 2 primary punches, 2 elbows, 2 knees and 2 kicks. I will detail these in the next post.
keep up the Good Training.