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Old 31st August 2009, 09:10 PM   #17
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 338

Originally Posted by David
I am unaware of anything called "Moro Silat". AFAIK "silat" is not a term associated with the Moro arts. I'm i wrong about this?

The Moro martial arts are referred to as either "Silat", "Kuntaw"/"Kuntao", or a combination of both. The names of the style come from the tribe (for example a silat player from Basilan would practice "Silat Saudara Yakan" at home). I've heard that calling it 'filipino silat' is incorrect as they never swore allegiance to king felipe of spain and would rather have it referred to as 'mindanao silat' in general terms. Calling it 'Muslim silat' is also incorrect AFAIK, as many seem to acknowledge that the art was there before the arrival of the muslims. For discussion purposes I will call it Moro Silat to describe it as the art of the bangsamoro people. A big difference between moro silat and indonesian silat is that It's more of a private affair in mindanao rather than a nationally acknowledged activity like in indonesia. The teacher-student dynamic is more individual and less group lesson focused and generally the styles passed down are between family members. In this respect it is very difficult to find an authentic Silat/Kuntaw teacher, much less find one who would be willing to teach outside of his bloodline or extended family. As a result I have seen very little of these styles, but have seen enough to draw certain conclusions.

The Moro martial arts seem to have a closer relationship stylistically to that of Indonesian and Bruneian Silat. Footwork is similar to indonesian silat, as are some stances when comparing to how different modern Arnis is. Blade movement seems, superficially, more similar to bruneian Silat. Again, these are conclusians I have drawn from observing what very little I have seen of Moro Martial Arts.

The Moro martial arts seem older and more traditional to me, whereas visayan/luzon based escrima/arnis has a lot of european influence. The footwork in modern arnis is very similar to styles like Portugese Jogo De Pau. I may be digressing from the main topic, but as a side note I should add that Jogo De Pau is very recent, having been first recorded in history around the 1910's. It's a long stick art primarily, with a significant portion of training dedicated to short stick work in place of a sword, much like Arnis. here is an example of some Jogo de pau sparring. The basic strikes, blocks, and footwork seen in Arnis can be seen here as well, although arnis' footwork is less linear and more angular because of the S.E.A. influence. Arnis also employs the use of 'sticky', or trapping hands: possibly the influence of the chinese/taiwanese martial arts or perhaps even Indian martial arts with their use of a katar in the non-sword hand. We move in similar ways when we have a knife or no weapon in the non-sword hand.
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