Ramridge Primary School, Turners Rd, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 9AH.
The British Silat Association takes its principles from one of the old Malay warriors Hang Jebat. Our tenets are humility, honour, respect, dignity, loyalty, brotherhood and friendship.
Silat is known by different terms around the world.. in most of South East Asia it is known as Seni silat, and in Indonesia and the rest of the world as Pencak silat. Seni means “art”. Some systems teach Silat without the Seni. One of the most respected old Silat masters said that Silat without the art is not Silat, but is merely fighting. Malaysian Silat practitioners place a great deal of importance on this aspect of the system, and on how to incorporate it into real fight situations. They say in Malaysia that it is called Seni Silat– the ART of Silat rather than Silat Seni, because the art is more important than the fighting.
The BSA was founded around 1986 by Kru Abdul Razak (Jak) Othman. He was then teaching Pancasila Gayong Harimau. When he was deported, he left control of the BSA with Guru Glenn Lobo, who remains in charge till today!
The British Silat Association was the FIRST silat association in Britain. You can be assured that the instructors have received proper instruction in a recognised style of silat from a recognised teacher/ Guru/ Master. There are many styles of silat in the UK, and many associations. We cannot attest to the validity of anyone else’s credentials. There are many people who receive a certificate from someone after little training, or from someone not qualified to teach, or some just buy their certificates, or get given titles because they come from rich or important families. You can be assured that isn’t the case with the BSA. All our instructors have earned their grades through hard work and discipline.
There are 4 major styles in Malaysia, Seni Gayong Malaysia, Silat Cekak, Silat Gayong Fatani, and Silat Lincah. Lincah means fast. It is a fast moving, aggressive art. There is little bunga- flowery movements- in the art, with the emphasis being on combat. Many or most styles of silat have an element of dance where the movements are performed to music. Because Lincah is a fighting art, we do not have this aspect of silat. From my training in Malaysia, I found that there were lots of techniques in Lincah, but little structure, so I set about creating a system that I could teach here. The result is a basic system with 6 BUAH, and 6 pecahan for each buah.
The idea is that there are some more complicated techniques as you progress, but also some more effective and quicker ones. I aim to teach people body mechanics and principles of movement through the various techniques. Basic techniques and forms consist of the usual punching and kicking. From that the student moves on to the buah. These again are basic techniques, done on an attacking opponent. Once these have been mastered, the pecahan are taught. These are effectively add ons to the buah, or ways out of them, going into more complicated maneuvers. Buah in Malay means fruit. Pecahan means to open. The buah are the basic techniques, but you only get the essence of the fruit once you open it. They are the options that the style gives you. You don’t have to use them all, but the full repertoire gives you a style of movement. That is what STYLE is about. Dancing is dancing, but the samba is different to the waltz
The grading system there is also a little difficult to transpose to Europe. I believe that in Europe there is an expectation of belts, and grades, akin to Karate and TKD, so when you have a style that has only a few, it doesn’t give students the feeling of progress and progression.
Our Grading System
The grading system that we developed, gives students targets, similar to the normal grading. There are grades to be achieved before you are allowed to progress to the next grade. Maha Guru in Malaysia has vetted this system.
Ramridge Primary School