Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Gathering of Old Silat Masters in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia

On Sunday December 14th 2003, cold wrapped the city of Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia. On this evening a historic meeting took place, in front of the Bung Hatta Palace. For the first time in history, 79 pendeka (Masters) of Silek Tuo (Old Silat) gathered together to demonstrate and share with others the Ancient Art of Pencak Silat. Various practitioners of bersilaturahmi unveiled the beautiful nature of Silat as well as its effectiveness in combat. What is more astonishing, all pendeka were above the age of 70. However, to the observer, these masters radiated with the energy of youth and fitness, yet would act with humbleness and compassion demonstrating the wisdom learned from studying the art of Silat Tuo.

It was startling that with over 200 in the attendance, only one femaled pandeka emerged from the crowd. This female pendeka, Inyiak Upiak Palatiang, being of the age of 104, yet still continuing to spread the Minang tradition. Inyiak's grandchildren's children were also in attendance.

Inyiak demonstrated Silat Tuo Gunuang. Her movement was lively, her gaze was sharp and was always on the alert. She parried attacks with swiftness, precision demonstrating control in all aspects of engagement. When opponents engaged, with lightning-fast movements, Inyiak caught, twisted and locked the oppoents, all with one movement. Inyiak gave the honour, the demonstration ended. Noisy applause, the sign of the salute and amazement.

The "speed and the movement of Inyiak revealing Silat astonished witnesses whom believed the woman to be of the age 30 or so years. In fact Inyiak is 104 years old. Extraordinary and astonishing, said H Indra Catri, the observer and the Information Section Head of tradition art and Padang City Communication.

Inyiak is furthermore not difficult to locate, as her residence in the Kubugadang Village, the Batipuah Subdistrict, Nagari IV Koto, the Flat Land Regency is known by everyone.

That morning Inyiak was resting sembari, after cleaning her house. Sit lesehan, Inyiak said fully the spirit, from time to time demonstrated the movement parried with her supreme steps, both in the position stood and in the position of the re-flooding in the floor.

Inyiak still was carrying out the everyday work in the house, in fact to the paddy-field, weeded rice. The memory, listening, and her sight obviously still normal and sharp.

Inyiak said, Silat was one of the Minang tradition kinds that often had an interest taken in by the community. Silat in the external looked for the friend, while, internally, in her heart looked for the Lord. The intention is, Silat training was the site for the silaturahim, the strengthening of friendships and building of associations. Whereever people traveled they would mentioning the name the teacher, always giving respect to each other, treating each other as family, all Silat practitioners being related. Therefore, it was very rare to have fights (antarkampung, interregional) amongst each other.

Therefore, Silat practitioners looked for the Lord, their intention being how to bring oneself closer to Him. This helped make people aware of themselves as well as the environment and community. If one intended bad they brought wrong-doing upon themselves and their community. Thus, Silat established honor, chivalry and compassion amongst the various communities.

Inyiak explained:

"Therefore, in the procession bersilat, descended to the arena, prayed to the Lord and the upper safety of the Prophet(s) to that main."

The pupil that wanted to pursue knowledge of Silat then must fill the condition, for example to have the Good Intention and the "clean heart", not to strong-gagahan (arrogant).

Must be remembered, Silat not to kill the person, but killed faults someone, like evil-minded, envy, bad the idea, socks jagoan, et cetera. In the long run, the pupil of Silat will be close to the Lord.

According to Inyiak:

the superiority of the Silat of the Minang tradition was in the fluid-movement of the reflex that like lightning. At the time of the opponent drawing their knife, the kick or our movement of the hands has nested in vital points on the hands of the opponent so as the bladed weapon can not be drawn.

"Whatever the weapon, including bullets that were fired, not the strange matter in the Silat of the Minang tradition." Be as fast as bullets took off, again faster the hands caught these bullets. Someone who better understood knowledge of Silat could fall like cotton or alighted in the leaves like cotton, explained Inyiak.

Accompanied by his child afterwards, Mawardi (58) and Zulfachri (42) alias Uncu, Inyiak agreed to what was explained by his child. The "current Silat Tuo in Minang enough, tens." Some of them, that currently are taught and inherited by Inyiak, were to parry the Mountain (Marapi), said Uncu.

Inyiak Upiak Palatiang is not only one of the women champion's of Silat still living andl continuing to bersilat, but also Inyiak is anartist who has created hundreds of poems (saluang) and show/performances of randai (theater performances featuring traditional Minang cultures, music, dance, stories as well as the movement of Silat). In fact, Inyiak also a person known as a pendendang.


Blogger ISF STAFF said...

This article was copied from the official website of the International Silat Federation of America, www.SilatUSA.com.

This article was translated from Indonesian to English by ISF STAFF, with the expressed permission of Ibu Inyiak.

To see more pics of Ibu Inyiak and Bapak Waleed, please visit the official website: www.SilatUSA.com


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