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.