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Journal of Asian Martial Arts - Articles
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Indo-Malay Martial Traditions: Aesthetics, Mysticism & Combatives, Vol. 1

By James Wilson, Mark V. Wiley, Kirstin Pauka, Ph.D., Philip H.J. Davies, Ph.D.



Indo-Malay Martial Traditions: Aesthetics, Mysticism & Combatives, Vol. 1
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Indo-Malay Martial Traditions: Aesthetics, Mysticism & Combatives, Vol. 1

Many Indo-Malay martial arts are kept private, taught in secluded areas away from the public. These are arts of the older tradition, developed when combative knowledge was valued for its use in protecting the sanctity of life. 
          This two-volume anthology brings together a great collection of writings by authors who dove into the deepest realms of Indo-Malay combatives. They offer readers a rare viewing of martial traditions that is usually hidden behind social shrouds of secrecy and a clannish quest to preserve their own martial art.
          For the lead chapter in Volume 1, Dr. Philip Davies masterfully details the complex social milieu in the Indo-Malay martial tradition, focusing on the Chinese arts referred to by the ambiguous term of kuntao. His writing underlines the importance of martial arts to specific social groups, and what and how these groups practice these combative forms.
          As an initiate into the art of Bimi Sakti, James Wilson's chapter illustrates how beliefs and practices interwine, especially with the animistic roots of Indonesia. The influence makes Javanese silat unique in practice as well as social standing.
          A main ingredient in Southeast Asian silat styles is kebatinan: “the science of the inner.” Mark Wiley’s chapter discusses how the blend of ancient animistic beliefs and mystical religions have given a psychological charge to silat’s methods as a source of mystic power.
          Dr. Kirstin Pauka’s chapter reports on a rare celebration—the Pauleh Tinggi ceremony. This three-day long event occurs only when the social needs arise and may not occur again for decades. Silat performances by individuals, pairs, and groups are the primary features and go on throughout each day and night. Descriptions of the mental and physical sides of the silat performances offer readers a view of a martial tradition in which combative skills flow from an inner mystical guidance that flows through the movements. The psychic state is embodied both the art as well as social relationships.
          All who are serious about the history and practice of Indo-Malay fighting arts will enjoy this special anthology, volumes one and two. We are very fortunate to assemble the works of these highly qualified authors. We hope reading will provide information you seek. Although the availability of studying under a true silat mater is nearly impossible, the chapters here will certainly add direction and inspiration for practitioners. 

Author Bio:

Philip H. J. Davies, Ph.D., received his degree in sociology from the University of Reading in England, and a postgraduate certificate from Brunel University in London. He is the cofounder and director of the Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies at Brunel University. Dr. Davies began studying Kuntao Matjan under Richard Kudding in 1981 and continues to train. Kuntao Matjan, from Central Java, combines Indonesian pencak silat with a form of Southern Chinese tiger-style gongfu. It was brought to the West by the late Dutch Indonesian master Carel Faulhaber and is currently headed by his closest student, Richard Kudding. The UK representative is Dr. Davies. The art is recognized with the International Pencak Silat Federation in Jakarta.

Kirstin Pauka, Ph.D., received her degree from Justus Liebig Universität in Germany and is now a professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She has served as an associate editor for the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, and authored four articles dealing with Indonesian martial arts. Other works include Theater & Martial Arts in West Sumatra: Randai & Silek of the Minangkabau (Ohio University Press, 1999) and, on CD-ROM, Randai: Folk Theater, Dance, and Martial Arts of West Sumatra (University of Michigan Press, 2002). Dr. Pauka practices Japanese taiko drumming and trains in aikido, taekwondo, and silek.  www.ohioswallow.com/author/Kirstin+Pauka

Mark V. Wiley, B.A., received his bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Drexel University. He began martial arts training in 1979 and has focused on Cabales Serrada Escrima under Grandmaster Angel Cabales. As an author, Wiley’s works include Filipino Martial Arts: Cabales Serrada Escrima (Tuttle 1994) and Filipino Fighting Arts: Theory and Practice (Unique 2000). He has worked in the publishing field, including Tuttle Publishing and CFW Enterprises, and now is self-employed with Tambuli Media.

James Wilson, J.D., Dip. Ac./Lic. Ac., has a dual juris doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center (juris doctor and master of science in foreign service) and is a licensed  graduate of the New England School of Acupuncture. Fluent in Bahasa Indonesia, he went to Indonesia to study a pencak silat style called Bima Sakti under Guru Besar Pak F. L. Siswanto in Central Java.


Product Specifications:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • What is Kuntao? Cultural Marginality in the Indo-Malay Martial Arts Tradition, by Philip H.J. Davies, Ph.D. 
  • Chasing the Magic: Mysticism and the Martial Arts on the Island of Java, by James Wilson, J.D., Dip. Ac./Lic. Ac.
  • Silat Kebatinan as an Expression of Mysticism and Martial Culture in Southeast Asia, by Mark V. Wiley, B.A.
  • The Pauleh Tinggi Ceremony in West Sumatra: Martial Arts, Magic, and Male Bonding, by Kirstin Pauka, Ph.D.

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