Curriculum

Lineage

Gerakan Suci is based primarily on the Suwanda Family art of Pencak Silat Mande Muda from West Java, Indonesia combined with the practices of Sufi Chivalry from the Qadiri Rifai Sufi Order. Of the 25 styles of Pencak Silat that make up Mande Muda, Gerakan Suci chooses the following as the core of its curriculum: Cikalong, Cimande, Pamonyet, Harimau, Rikhisan, Sabandar, Nampun, Ulin Nafas, Maen Po and Benjang.

Gerakan Suci translates from Bahasa Indonesia as “Sacred Movement.” This refers to the concept of lankah baraka or “stepping with the blessing”. Outwardly, this means to be on time with your attention and your techniques. Internally, it means to move in sync with the physical and spiritual laws of the Universe. By practicing the drills and techniques of Gerakan Suci with diligence you can internalize these principles into every action. This will become evident over time with persistent practice, regular study, and proper guidance.

Gerakan Suci is an art that, if treated with the proper respect, will lead you into many levels of self-discovery. Even though Pencak Silat is relatively new to the West, there are many fine masters and teachers throughout the United States seeking to spread a true understanding of this deep art. If you can commit the time and attention to learning the concepts as presented, you will develop the ability to enter any situation, whether a fight or a seminar, and have an understanding of what is happening and how to respond appropriately.

Styles within Gerakan Suci

Cikalong

Developed in 1800 by Mohammed Kosim by combining Cimande and Sabandar, Cikalong was developed mainly as a response to Cimande. Cikalong is a high stance, long arm style that follows an opponent’s energy, evades and punishes, and works mainly from an opponent’s outside line. Much attention is focused on the attacker’s joints and nerves—especially the elbows, shoulders and knees.

Cimande

The practice of Cimande develops the quality of courage—kuat hati in Bahasa Indonesia—which translates as “strong heart”. This is the quality of mind and spirit that enables one to face danger and your fears with self-possession, confidence, and resolution.

Cimande is one of the foundation styles of Gerakan Suci. Named after a mountain village in West Java. The style is ideally suited to situations with wet or unstable footing, such as fighting in rivers, rice paddies or cluttered back alleys. A Cimande stylist seeks to stop an attacker with fast, powerful blocks and leg sweeps by damaging the hands, arms, lower legs, and head.

Training emphasizes conditioning of the forearms and the shins. Many styles of Pencak Silat have been developed in response to the Cimande style.

Our jurus Cimande are based on those currently practiced in Mande Muda with the addition of jurus from Cimande village. Although most of the jurus can provide both conditioning and reflex training, they are designed to be practiced in clusters to work individually on one or the other.

Training consists of three parts: conditioning, reflexes, and recovery. A single session should focus on either conditioning or reflexes with a recovery period afterward that is appropriate for the workout.

WARNING: Do not practice these jurus without proper supervision from a certified instructor. Without guidance it is possible to severely damage your bone and soft tissue. Gerakan Suci is not responsible for the results of improper training methods. Outside of supervised sessions students should practice the jurus as solo drills for precision, breath development and memorization.

Pamonyet

Pamonyet is a monkey style from Cirebon, West Java. A Pamonyet stylist is very unpredictable in action, going from laughing to screaming in one beat. It is a leaping, springing style often starting from an erect crouch. Most of the higher level work is done while in a trance.

Harimau

Harimau is a Sumatran ground fighting style based on the movements and tactics of the tiger. Harimau uses twisting leg grapples and lower body strikes to bring an opponent down.

Rikhisan

Rikhisan is primarily a defensive style based on Cikalong that uses locks, grapples, holds and arm traps to disable and subdue an opponent or to escape subdual. The focus of the jurus is on joint manipulation and destruction. This is accomplished by a combination of rapid application of pressure applied to a series of joints such as wrist and elbow with proper body alignment and breath.

There are a practically endless number of variations of these techniques. The ones presented within the Gerakan Suci teach the concepts so that it is possible to extrapolate other techniques. Each wrist jurus is first practiced with two hands on one joint, and then progresses to using one hand on the wrist and one on the elbow (or shoulder).

Sabandar

Sabandar is characterised by quick trapping movements done with the whole arm, particularly the elbows and a wide, sliding stance.

Ulin Nafas and Nampun

There are many styles of Ulin Nafas which means “to play with the breath.” Similar to Chi Kung and pranayama, the jurus consist of movement patterns tied to specific breathing exercises. Many also make use of mantras and mudras during the movements. The styles practiced in Gerakan Suci are helpful for developing timing, balance, calm and stamina among other traits.

Nampun is a style of Ulin Nafas that focuses on hardening the body under attack. The jurus are called mengkuatan, “to make strong.”

Maenpo

Maenpo is a Sundanese term that means “war play” but translates more loosely to “forgot to kill.” Each style has it’s own maenpo drills that are a form of sparring that ingrains the tactics of that particular style under duress. For example Cikalong Maenpo focus on evasion and high-speed, intercepting strikes against an aggressive opponent, whereas Cimande Maenpo is more formal and sees two practitioners grabbing and kicking or striking each other with ferocity.

Benjang

Benjang is a traditional Sundanese wrestling style that is not Pencak Silat.

Affiliate Styles

Pencak Silat Mande Muda

Guru Besar Ibu Rita Suwanda, Guru Besar Pak Dadang Gunawan
Pencak Silat Mande Muda is the Suwanda family martial art. Although created by Guru Besar Uyuh Suwanda in 1951, it has its roots in very ancient and traditional styles of Silat. This art was promoted widely throughout the United States and the world by Guru Besar Herman Suwanda and continues to expand under the guidance of Guru Besar Rita Suwanda and Guru Besar Pak Dadang Gunawan.

Silat Kuntau Tekpi

Cikgu Muda Omar Hakim, Cikgu Lan
Silat Kuntau Tekpi is a Malaysian martial art that originates in Kedah, a State in Northern Malaysia that shares its border with Thailand. Silat Kuntau Tekpi traces its roots back to 1556 when it was first taught to the Sultan of Kedah. Prior to 2005, Silat Kuntau Tekpi was a closed system that had never been taught outside of Malaysia.

Silat Kuntau Tekpi is actively being practiced by, and taught to members of Malaysia’s Special Branch Units—both in the Military and Police—and undercover narcotics agents.

Pencak Silat Satria Muda and Silat Sunua

Pak Haji Sufian and Guru Muda Steffan Thimmes
Satria Muda is a style of Harimau Silat from West Sumatra and West Java that trains the practitioner to be comfortable taking their opponent down and fighting on the ground. Modeled after the tiger, the movements are deceptive and precise.

Ansari Qadiri-Rifai Tariqa

Shaykh Taner Ansari, Shaykha Anne Muzeyyen
Sufism is a process of attaining closeness to the Creator through love, which is attained by purification of the ego. The AQRT is a traditional, Islamic order whose origins started with two great Saints of early Sufism: Abdul Qadir al Geylani and Ahmed ar Rifai. Our Tradition is one of inclusiveness and of welcoming. As Sufi poet Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi (circa 1200 ACE) says:

“Come, Come whoever you are, wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come even if you have broken your vows a thousand times, Come, come yet again.”

Self Defense

Tactical Mindset

From a tactical viewpoint, one important thing that distinguishes Pencak Silat is that at its core it is a knife fighting art. There are a multitude of regional variations from village to village but several common elements can be found in most Pencak Silat styles.

First is that because of the equatorial heat in Indonesia and Malaysia personal armor—even for soldiers or knights—is unheard of.

Second is that large portions of the population traditionally carried blades, from work knives and farming machetes to ritual weapons such as keris and kujang. This lead to the development of an art that is evasive, deceptive, and punishing.

Respect the weapon, attack the attacker.

Because Gerakan Suci places a strong emphasis upon defending against weapons it is important to understand that the weapon isn’t the problem, the person wielding it is. As such, most techniques involve avoiding damage from the initial attack by evading and checking the weapon and then disabling the attacker. If too much attention is put on either just defending against the weapon or concentrating solely on the attacker then a tactical imbalance occurs, usually to the detriment of the defender.

The Three Leaves

The three leaves from the tree of conflict are Avoid, Defuse, Neutralize. When confronted with the possibility of a physical conflict you must take the moral high ground. Self defense begins before you ever come into contact with an assailant. You must measure your response to the threat and determine the difference between a fight and combat.

A fight is usually about egos and pride. Combat is about personal and familial safety.

Principle #1 Avoid

Avoid conflict by not being there. Hone, develop and then trust your instincts. If it seems like a bad situation, take your loved ones, your pride and your toys and leave.

Principle #2 Defuse

If you cannot avoid a conflict, do everything in your power to defuse the situation. Take control by using your words and offering possibilities other than violence.

Principle #3 Neutralize

If you have truly done everything in your power to avoid and defuse then you have the respon­sibility to neutralize the confrontation now. If you are in fear for your life then all bets are off, but if a bloody nose will end the aggression, then let that suffice. Apply just enough force to stop the attack and protect yourself. No more and no less.

Assume for all practical purposes that self defense is illegal in the United States. Someone can assault you, you can defend yourself with reasonable force and there is a very real chance that you will end up being prosecuted for hurting your attacker. This is a sad state of affairs, but unfortunately a true one. This is why the majority of the Gerakan Suci training is focused on the concept of avoid, diffuse, neutralize.

Curriculum

  1. Fitness
  2. Fundamentals
  3. Drills
  4. Applications
  5. Self-defense
  6. Mindfulness
  7. Traditions

Methodology

  1. 10K Repetitions
  2. Big, Strong, Fast, Light
  3. Toughness, Ferocity & Grace
  4. Intention, Attention, Presence
  5. Dasar (elements)
  6. Jurus (principles-based forms)
  7. Kimbangan (dance forms)