The Lost Art of Silat (LA Silat) makes an active and conscious effort to rediscover and use the true values of: Adat(Respect), Hormat(Honor), Warriorship, and Loyalty; values that seem to have been lost by some Silat groups. With a focus on the detailed teaching of fighting principles, LA Silat will uphold the integrity and validity of the Art without compromising self-respect and personal honor. Our purpose is to share and learn, to critique skill level, and to encourage students to develop in ways which maximize their potential to be the best they can be.
History of Pukulan Pentjak Silat Sera/Bukti Negara
The verbal history of Pukulan Pentjak Silat Serak as told to me by Pendekar Paul de Thouars is as follows: Sera was founded by a man named Pak Sera. He was a member of the Badui tribe, of the Indonesian people, referred to as the “White-Robed” Baduis. They were the inner group; the “Blue-Robed” Badui were the outer group. (The White-Dressed Badui natives lived as the nucleus and the Blue Badui surrounded them — outside like a circle) Pak Sera was well known for his wisdom and his fighting abilities. The White Badui people lived in a jungle region which others feared to tread. Since the Badui were well known as warriors, and believed to possess the knowledge of many magical gifts, they were greatly feared and left alone.
Cultural and religious practices mandated a strict, secret code of living, and no one was allowed to penetrate the outer circle of the Blue Badui to contact the inner circle of White Badui. The Blue Badui formed a protective shield around the White Badui, and it was the Blue Badui only that traded and communicated with those on the outside. Pak Sera was a man with multiple disabilities. He walked with a limp and could fight with only one leg and one arm. Through his genius, and ability to see beyond his own eyes, he developed one of the most devastating fighting systems the world has ever seen. Actually, the world has not really seen it. Only a few have had the opportunity, and even less have trained in it. Pak Sera created Sera based on a leverage system of math and science. His timing and structurally sound body levers are extremely efficient.
Pak Sera shared the Art of Sera with Mas Djoet, a member of the inner Badui tribe. Mas Djoet added the Guardian hand system. The Guardian hand systematically has one hand always backing up the other for defense, trapping and striking. It is a simple, complicated, sophisticated and deadly addition to Sera, and truly is an ingenious adjunct to Sera/Bukti Negara.
In time, Mas Djoet met Johann DeVries, a missionary who loved the Indonesian people. They became close friends and Mas Djoet taught Johann DeVries Sera. Pendekar Paul deThouars was born around 1930 in East Java (There are no written records in the jungle) and his training in Sera began around 1936. His Uncle John DeVries was his teacher until his death in 1972.
1985 marks the beginning of the devastating modern Silat art of Bukti Negara. According to Pendekar Paul deThouars, he created Bukti Negara for the elderly, the weak, and those who could not endure the harsh training required by Sera students. Pendekar gave Bukti Negara to the United States as a modern day version of Silat for their very own. He began teaching his own Serak students the basics of Bukti Negara. It would have been a system that only those close to Pendekar could learn. However, Dan Inosanto, a skilled martial artist in his own right, was introduced to Pendekar by Jan (John) De Jong, the now deceased uncle of Guru Stevan Plinck. At that time, Dan Inosanto had already begun traveling and doing seminars all over the country. After training privately with Pendekar in Serak and Bukti Negara, and realizing the value of the art, he began introducing Bukti Negara to the public at his seminars.
Maha Guru Dan Inosanto paved the way for others to teach this deadly Art. Senior Gurus Stevan Plinck, Cliff Stewart, Cass Magda and the Pendekar himself have taught seminars worldwide.
Pak Serak was said to have studied 9 systems of Silat and mastered 3 to help form his own system of Serak. Mas Djut added the Guardian Hand System. Theo Schryn, John De Vries, Ernest de Vries and Ferdie de Vries all learned Sera/Serak, but each taught it a little differently, still without changing the Art itself. Pendekar Paul deThouars added to the Art a Platform Langka , two-man Sambuts, and Bukti Negara. We at LA Silat continue this tradition of enhancing and “upgrading” the System without changing it.
As leaders in the Art may we grow and prosper with only great respect and reverence for all people and things that come into our lives. May all of us have a newfound appreciation for the Art with deeper understanding for what can be achieved now and in the future.
- Pukulan/Poekoelan: Striking with a reason or purpose
- Pent: Exact/Precise
- Jak: Use
- Silat: To Fight
Compiled by Guru Pangkat Tua Clifford Stewart