The Nomenclature of Combat
As you delve into the study of Gerakan Suci, you may be overwhelmed by learning strange movements and a whole new language to explain them. There are several reasons for this.
Every science has a nomenclature of its own. Whether you are learning astronomy, wine making or machining, the techniques of that discipline demand a specialized language. Gerakan Suci chooses to use the Indonesian language for the names of it’s practices. The first reason is to tie the art philosophically to the culture which developed it.
The second reason is one of practicality. If the art only had six punches, two kicks and one method of stepping we could use numbers. However, Gerakan Suci has 14 stances, 10 stepping patterns, 26 punches, and 18 kicks. We have found that it is more efficient to teach the jurus and kimbangan if we use the names of the movements rather than a series of numbers.
At first this may seem to double the work necessary to learn the art, but as you progress you will find that learning becomes easier because you have a specialized language to explain your movements.
Spirituality and Internal Practice
When many people think of the spiritual dimension of martial arts, Pencak Silat in particular, any number of miraculous feats come to mind; for example, breaking iron bars and pushing an attacker over without touching him. All of these things may be possible, but this is not the goal of Gerakan Suci.
There is contained within the movements and practices of Pencak Silat volumes of knowledge important to the advancement of the student as a warrior and as a peaceful member of the community that go far beyond simple parlor tricks or feats of super human skill. It is this knowledge, wisdom and understanding that we seek. This is why we call ourselves Gerakan Suci; Sacred Movement.
Our teachers state that before any significant personal spiritual growth can take place, one must raise his or her energy beyond a certain threshold. While it is not neccesary for this energy to be generated through physical activity, we have found it to be one of the more effective methods.
Our aim is to be better people, to evolve and enlighten ourselves and to develop a personal relationship to the Divine. Our method of accomplishing this goal
is as handed down to us by the Qadiri Rifai Sufi Order. As travelers on the path of Sufism we open our doors to all who love God and invite people to a personal relationship with the Divine, by whatever you call Him/Her/It and however your practices bring you together.
This paradigm of martial practice happens to fit very tightly with the tenets of Sufism, but we encourage people to participate regardless of which spiritual path they choose to follow. We only draw a distinction between Believer and non-Believer. If you attempt to love the Divine more than you love yourself, then in our eyes you are a Believer, no matter what principles you work with.
God is One, the distinctions are ours.
Ilmu is an Indonesian word which means “to know” and refers to any body of organized knowledge. Ilmu in Indonesia usually refers to practices to promote super human abilities such as not being cut by a knife, eating razor blades, bending an iron bar with your throat, etc. Gerakan Suci eschews such associations in that we teach nothing that is forbidden or questionable under sufi spiritual law. The most important knowledge we can learn is to trust our intuition and focus on our relationship with God. Anything else we recieve is a gift and a blessing. That said, we do teach such skills as proper breathing, and yoga. These are known as kebatinan.