Aliran Satria Naga

Aliran Satria Naga

The Aliran Satria Naga is a free confederation of Silat practitioners and instructors who have their roots in the legendary New River Academy of Santa Cruz, California. While each instructor takes personal responsibility for their teaching, there is a strong tradition of sharing and respect between each of us. We look to each other for both help in perfecting our art and to fulfill our duties to our students, such as rank testing in the higher levels.

Aliran Satria Naga means in the tradition of the Dragon Knights. Aliran means a tradition or style. Satria means a warrior or knight, especially, in this context a holy warrior. Naga is the dragon spirit, which in Indian/Indonesian myth brings the rain.

The Myth

The power of a myth is not in the actual events of the time but in the deeper, essential meaning of the story. There is an old and very obscure myth (we have only ever run across one reference to it) from which we take the name Aliran Satria Naga.

During the last days of the Majapahit Empire a group of men known as the Walisongo (nine saints) moved to ease the transition from the old Hindu tradition to a new Muslim one. Each of these Sufi Masters had spiritual responsibility for a certain part of Indonesia and each had different skills and karamat (spiritual abilities). These Masters saw that in this transition there was a very great possibility that what was good and valuable in the old culture would be lost because of the fervor of belief found in the new religion. They decided to act to preserve all that was valuable in the old culture. Under the guiedance of Sunan Ampel, they took a group of young men and women and formed them into a militant Order called the Satria Naga (Dragon Knights). It is said that the pattern of this order came from Sunan Ampel’s father, Shaykh Ibrahim Al Samarkandi, who had been initiated into one of the orders of Futuwwah (Mystical Chivalry) before he had immigrated from Central Asia. Each of the young dervishes was trained in the arts and sciences, in medicine, mathematics, astronomy, music, poetry, in yoga and meditation techniques, and each was trained to master level in the arts of personal combat (Silat) so that they could preserve their lives and so preserve the arts they had been entrusted with. After the fall of Majapahit these men and women became teachers and helped to reintroduce the skills that they had preserved.

While we do not claim to have any direct connection to the Satria Naga of old, we, as they did, try to preserve what is good and important in the Silat arts that have been given to us. We believe that the best place to store the accumulated wisdom of humanity is not in books, which can be lost or misunderstood, but in the living hearts of dedicated men and women.