Training with Us

We are a friendly club with members of all ages and abilities. There is no set uniform for beginners, but all students whether children or adults should wear loose fitting tops, some form of tracksuit bottom and comfortable trainers. In time you will be required to purchase the club uniforms, and protective equipment, to ensure training remains safe for all. You would be well advised to bring bottles of water for the breaks in between each section of the classes.

Beginner & Intermediate Class

Every Thursday: 19:00 - 20:30
Open to all
Ramridge Primary School, Turners Road North, Luton, LU2 9AH
Family discounts available upon request.

Advanced Class

Thursdays continuing from Beginner class.
Attendance by instructor invitation only.
Finishes 21:30.


1Our Grading System
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, or so many it os ridiculously complicated, it doesn’t give students the feeling of progress and progression.

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.

So, together with my senior students, we examined the techniques that I had learned, and put a structure to it. We have tried to build a system that gives progression, where one technique can build onto a previous one. We also have made drills to teach skills. I have often been taught on the Nike principle- “Just Do It”. That is OK when you have 20 or 50 people to follow. When you are trying to explain it, because you are the only one who knows what you are talking about, it is virtually impossible to teach. The drills are to teach some of these movements. Once the skills have been learned in the drills, I also try to make them an aerobic exercise to give a cardiovascular workout. We also work on speed drills, and such like to develop all-round fitness, while still working in our art.

The principle is of sport- specific training. Because of my professional experience in sport, working with two of Britain’s top athletics clubs, and then professional courses, I have acquired some experience in training. I put this into practice in my club. I also have specialist knowledge in areas like stretching, through my work with elite athletics and rugby and football so again, take that information from my work to my sport.

I believe in training for contact. My first silat teacher used to say that you train full contact to the body, and 1/2 or 1/3 contact to the head. That way you get used to getting hit, without the brain damage. Obviously you work up to it. The first time I got hit in the street, two things went through my head: the first was “I haven’t got a glass jaw”, the second was “I’ve been hit harder in training”. So I didn’t freeze or get scared, I just switched into training mode.

Later on while training in Holland with Pukulan Madura we developed the principle of “the more we like you the harder we will hit you!” The principle is that training for reality means you have to realise that its not a pleasant scenario. Once you have understood that, as a sign of respect for you and dare I say affection ;-) we aim to train you in a manner that will give you a better chance to manage the physical altercation.
2Do you use weapons?
At our academy we don’t use weapons at an early stage. They are used at a more advanced level once we are sure of the ability of the students.
3How long does it take to become a black belt?
That totally depends on how much you train. It takes 4-5 years (training twice a week) to become a black belt, providing you pass every grading examination.
4When do I buy a training suit?
It is recommended that you purchase a suit when you are sure that training with us is for you. We have a few different options, so we use a t-shirt to start with, and the uniform comes later as we develop into more advanced techniques. As soon as you're ready for a suit please speak to the instructor and you will have one for the next lesson.
5What if I'm unwell or have an injury?
Please ensure that you inform the instructor that is teaching you and that you have taken the correct medication. If it is a long term illness then you must inform the instructor as soon as possible. We try to work round any long term injuries if possible, so that you can still perform to your maximum ability and capability. It is recommended you don’t miss sessions even if ill or injured so you can still learn by watching, and don’t miss any new instruction.
6I'm not very fit or flexible - will that be a problem?
A lot of people think they will get fit and THEN come training, but that’s the wrong way to do it!! Our training is built around progressive development of skills and fitness. Training with us will get you fitter in a relatively short period. We don’t force you to train beyond your fitness levels but encourage you to push yourself. You can work at any pace that suits you and as you get fitter you will notice your stamina improves!!

While we work on improving flexibility, it isn’t a major concern! Our art is focused on self-defence so we use low kicks mostly. Flexibility will help you with life and sport in general but isn’t essential for this art.

Our Classes

Silat Terms & Terminology

Maha Guru - In Malaysia the Maha Guru is the head of the system. It literally translates as master teacher. There is only ever one in a system. The last Maha Guru in Malaysia is Maha Guru Datok Haji Omar Din bin Mauju. He is the personal teacher of Glenn Lobo. At the time, he said that he only has one personal student, despite having had a million students under his supervision.

Pendekar - Comes from the term Pandai akal, which translates as clever mind. It is a term used to denote a fighter almost a veteran of conflict. One who has fought and come through. A skilled fighter and warrior.

Pahlawan - This is a veteran, a warrior.

Ketua Jurulatih - This is the chief instructor for an area- state country or region. Paduka Glenn Was appointed Ketua Jurulatih Kanan for Europe.

Wakil - An Islamic term for a Deputy, Representative or Agent. It was described to us that as Wakil, Paduka Glenn spoke for and had the authority of the Maha Guru when he wasnt there. It is regarded as a very important title and position in Silat.

Terms / Syllabus

Silat is mainly a Keris art (see photo gallery), though many other weapons are also taught in the syllabus (see history & articles). However, the empty hand applications are taught first to all beginners.
Classes start with the basic forms –

Asas - These are the basic forms in the style. They teach the basic techniques of the style, including stances, punching, kicking, rolling, and break-falls.

Hand Drills - The hand drills range from stepping through drills, similar to those found in Karate, to sticking hand type drills, similar to single hand and double hand chi sao from Wing Chun, teaching sensitivity and trapping. The Silat hand drills are extensive enough to form an art of their own, and are made more combative as the student progresses. They incorporate the exclusive Silat limb destructions, which make the art so hard to beat.

Buah - Basic Techniques - Literally the fruits, these partner techniques are the basic defenses and counter attacks of Malaysian Silat. They would be comparable to the more advanced techniques of Karate one step sparring. They are the “fruits” of the basic training.

Pecahan - Pecahan is the breaking open of the fruit. It is basically an extension of the Buah – a combination technique designed to teach both defence and attack in a more realistic environment. They enable the student to be able to defend and attack from any position, whether standing, lying or even mid throw. Unlike some other martial arts, Silat teaches the students to fight back and respond to the techniques of their opponents.

Langkah - Pecahan is the breaking open of the fruit. It is basically an extension of the Buah – a combination technique designed to teach both defence and attack in a more realistic environment. They enable the student to be able to defend and attack from any position, whether standing, lying or even mid throw. Unlike some other martial arts, Silat teaches the students to fight back and respond to the techniques of their opponents.

Seni - The traditional Play of Silat is the evolution of the Langkah and techniques into the art of fighting between two combatants. It is the honing of the skills learned in the previous stages into an effective fighting system. At this stage the movements are still somewhat predetermined.

Gerak - The traditional Play of Silat is the evolution of the Langkah and techniques into the art of fighting between two combatants. It is the honing of the skills learned in the previous stages into an effective fighting system. At this stage the movements are still somewhat predetermined.

To enable students to progress easily we have created some drills, like the langkah, to ensure an easy transition throught he stage of gerak training. These are the boxing/ pukulan/ gerak drills. Initially you will learn techniques, then we teach you to put them together. Like at school, we teach you the basics of reading and writing, then we teach you how to make sentences, then when you arrive you can create poetry and prose. Silat is described as one of the “University” arts to which you go to learn how to develop your skills to the next level. The aim for me is to teach you hor to fell the spaces, to intuitively understand the weaknesses in your opponent and to suppress and control your opponent and the altercation. A friend, Matt Stait, described 3 aspects to the fight- the pre fight, the actual fight and the post fight fight- the legal battle. We concentrate mostly on the actual physical fight. There are legal ramifications and while they are important, we focus on avoiding the altercation but winning it in the shortest possible time if we have to. More advanced techniques as well as Conditioning, Ilmu Batin, and Weapons are taught to suitable students at a later date. As well as the Martial Arts training, you will be taught modern sporting training methods, and correct stretching methods, drawing from our Chief Instructor’s professional training as an Osteopath, and from his personal experience of working with International athletes. Students are recommended for grading by their Instructor as and when they see fit (and adhering to minimum time limits). The Chief Instructor holds these. Level 5 grade is that of Apprentice Instructor, and successful students are awarded a certificate to that end. The Chief Instructor of the B.S.A awards these grades. There are three additional grades to reach full Instructor level, which will require additional training. Apprentice Instructor certification will be renewable yearly to ensure standards are maintained. This will include inspecting the Apprentice Instructor’s teaching in his/her own club environment. Full instructor grade will be renewable every three years. Should the students fail to maintain standards either of technical proficiency or behaviour, certification and recognition will be withdrawn. Entry onto our courses recognizes the right of the instructor to withdraw certification and recognition.

 

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