Last month, I attended my first Silat seminar, run by Maul Mornie of silat suffian bela diri. It was possibly the most enjoyable seminar (martial arts or otherwise) I have ever attended.
So, what is it? Silat Suffian Bela Diri is a Bruneian martial art (about the only one I've heard of, at that). It is the family art of Maul Mornie, who took the seminar. From my impression, it is an integrated weapon/weaponless martial art. By integrated, I mean that the core principles of the art are the same regardless of whether there is a weapon or not, and that the same body structures are used in empty and armed conflict. Maul seems to spend a lot of the year travelling from country to country running seminars in the art.
Things I enjoyed:
- 6 hours of doing nothing but physical partner-based training
- the core principles and techniques are congruent with the core principles and techniques of my karate, so I was able to pick them up well, and not have "culture shock" as my body tried to do unusual things
- using a knife, and actually looking at the range of motion/ability to damage that an edged weapon has
- the directness of it all - no stuffing around, just short (time-wise), sharp, efficient technique
- the pedagogy - I felt the seminar was structured well, we were exposed to the core principles of the techniques we were doing, the reason and intent behind all drills was well explained, and change was introduced at just the right pace for me throughout the day.
I will definitely be going back again, and highly recommend Maul's seminars.