Principles of the Blade

The video above shows how the 6 principles are applied in combat with Rhayn Jooste

Since ancient times from Japan to India, China to Europe, Indonesia to the Americas; as those who practiced any blade art knows, all if any techniques regarding a blade long or short should be based on a solid foundation of principles and strategies. Unlike competitive sport or tournament fighting, a blade offers no forgiveness nor 2nd chances, trading blows or the attitude of "I can give back what I receive" does not lead to a bruised face or cracked bones, but severed arteries, limbs or painful death. The fundamentals below maybe found in other arts, some arts maybe more and some maybe less, depending on their needs, community and environment.

Through knowledge past down from one generation to another, there are 6 fundamental core principles, keeping in mind that if the fundamental did not work it would not have reached and emphasized heavily to the present generation.

The core fundamental of "blade principles" in Silat Suffian Bela Diri are below, do not confuse principles with techniques and know that it cannot be effectively utilized without proper strategies.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Understand that the best defense against a knife or any life threatening confrontations are by avoiding them, PERIOD. But due to the unpredictable human nature some if not most violence cant be avoided by choice, if it is then there wouldn't be any abuse, rape, murders, wars etc. The principles are only to be applied when all other options fail, when avoidance is not an option, only when your life or the life of those close to you are in the balance, only as a last resort.


Control Your Emotions

Keep calm and relaxed, do not tense both in training or in reality. You fight how you train, if you train tensed then that is what you will do when reality strikes. In training, it is not easy for an individual to relax when learning or doing a new technique for the 1st time. That is normal, with experience that will go away. There are quite a few reasons why people tend to tense their muscles; one of them is because they anticipate the pain or the fear of pain when or what if a blow lands. Most people think by tensing up their muscles they will become more solid, more stronger and the resistance to pain will be higher, this is far from the truth.

Tensing your muscles do not help at all, One, by being rigid it enhances the pain; Two, it slows your movement and reaction, by constricting unnecessary muscles your movements tends to be grounded and delayed, delayed movements leads to telegraphic movements, it also results in pausing or freezing, a big disadvantage when confronting a blade.

To achieve a state of calmness and relaxed, one should have have a clear mind and a good conscience free of fear and guilt. A clear mind and a good conscience can only be attained through repetitive training with a partner, being an honest and good training partner and person in general.

Only by being calm and relaxed both physically and mentally can you disrupt your opponent's will and momentum in a confrontation.

Familiarize Distance

Basic 3 fighting ranges in regards depending on the size of blade used; Long range, mid-range and short range. This ranges does not yet include the ranges of projectiles, empty hands, trapping or grappling, etc.

Different ranges requires different strategies and techniques. Which range you fight in depends on the size of the weapons used, your reach against your opponents reach. If you have a shorter weapon, and your opponent has a longer weapon, your reach should be shorter if compared to your opponent. Therefore, both of you have different fighting range and strategies.

By knowing your range, you can apply your techniques effectively in it. This is where footwork (langkah masuk), feinting (pelapas) and baiting (sikap pasang) plays its most important role, attempting to enter and position yourself in the most advantageous and strategical position to your opponent.

Counter Without Delay In The Shortest Path

Do not have the mentality of being defensive, action beats reaction. Counter by cutting the path of attack suddenly and without delay. Do not waste time waiting for a strike to block it then counter. Strike on the 1st sign of opening with intention, precision and suddenness so he will not be able to recover.

To do this you do not have to be faster then your opponent, by understanding timing and body mechanics your opponent will not see what is coming. Shorten the distance of your blade travel by keeping it strategically positioned at all times. As these principles emphasize heavily on blade techniques, therefore its not about the speed that the strike travels or how hard it lands, its how soon it gets there that's important.

Throw away all complicated maneuvers and techniques. Its aesthetic values may be excellent but efficiency is questionable.

Guiding An Incoming Force

As in our 3 basic hand jurus all incoming attacks are guided rather then stopping it with strength. Relying on strength to overpower an opponent is a very bad practise as strength declines with age and what would you do if you meet someone stronger than you?

Keeping this in mind it is not advisable to meet an in-coming attack head on, though it cannot be avoided at times, it is important to practise timing and learn how to apply force at an angle to the incoming attack to disrupt it, guide it or dissolve it.

Using The Weight Of Your Body

The force of a blow coupled with the weight of your body rather then your arms alone will create a big difference in how soon you can end a confrontation. Using your hips as a guide, lower your elevation on a downward blow, rock it forward on a thrust, rock it back on a pulling and upward blow, twist it on a circular blow. Our centre of balance should be maintained to avoid off-shooting or be thrown off balance in the process.

Win If You Can, Cheat If You Must

Rules are made to control chaos, the only rule to keep in mind when dealing with an opponent is to keep him in your control, do not fight symmetrically with him, meaning do not fight his way, always be at an advantage. This is your ONLY rule, but it should not be written in stone, be prepared to break your existing rules and make new ones as you go along. Keep it to your advantage, its not about being fair, its about winning and surviving it 100%. Most of us have families and people who care about us, not doing what is necessary because that's not an "honorable act of a warrior" is not an option. If you think, in a life and death situation, there are certain things that your attacker wouldn't do to you just because you wouldn't do it to him, then you have a problem with reality.


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