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Old 31st August 2009, 06:32 AM   #13
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 338

I am very interested in looking into how Moro Silat differs from modern eskrima/arnis.

As a practitioner of Filipino Eskrima and of Indonesian Silat, I can definitely see the difference between those fighting systems. The Eskrima style I learned was from my instructor's family style, updated by him after he studied Lameco Escrima under the late Edgar Sulite. Escrima/arnis/kali, at least under the lameco school of thought, covers a series of ranges hence the name (which is short for 'Largo, Medio, Corto' or 'long, medium, short' range). Generally the stances in modern FMA are practiced standing up on both legs, shoulder-width apart. There is a focus on footwork (like many, if not most sword or weapons based fighting systems) and there seems to be no shortage of stabbing motions taught for the use of bladed weapons. Trapping/sticking/checking hands also seems to be a common thing being practiced among us arnisadors as well. Our strikes tend to be quick and we focus on optimizing the efficacy of our strikes: in power, recorvery time, and where we aim for to be more effective. A strike like the Abaniko, or 'fan strike' as many call it, seems to be one that comes to mind to characterize what I have described.

As opposed to that, the indonesian-based Silat I've practiced (Indonesian Mande Muda and some bruneian silat suffian bela diri) has a focus on what it deems effective but the focus differs. There is a focus on range, but also a focus on stances. Silat practitioners train to fight standing up, kneeling with one knee down, on both their knees, and in many instances sitting down as well. I was taught that this was because many areas, depending on where the style of Silat is practiced and was fought, there was rougher terrain. To fight standing up in a muddy area or area where there was loose soil would meant that sometimes you would need to fight if you slipped and fell down, because your opponent would not hesitate to strike while you were down (nor should he hesitate). To prepare oneself to fight in a compromised position, then, could be seen as a necessity depending on the area. I've also noticed that as opposed to the more quick, rapid recovery strikes of escrima, Silat prefers an array of wide sweeping motions in their weapons strikes intended for deep penetrative cuts. Longer blades have none or close to no use of stabbing motions in contrast to escrima, although shorter blade training in silat does focus a lot on stabbing.

Does anyone on here practice Moro Silat? How do the weapons application of your arts differ from what I have described that is common among Indonesian Silat and Filipino Arnis/Escrima?

(As a side note, I know many people have some hangups about how authentic the term 'kali' is, the general consensus being 'not at all', but many arts under the 'kali' banner are just as effective as any art labelled under the name of escrima or arnis that I have seen. Is Pekiti Tirsia any less effective since it changed its name from Pekiti Tirsia Arnis to Pekiti Tirsia kali? I think not and in that respect I have no prejudices about the name. If it's effective it's worth learning in my opinion. Although from a historical standpoint I understand your concerns about its now widespread usage.)
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