Silat Fighting Multiple Opponents
All serious styles of Pentjak Silat teach the student to consider multiple opponents. The student maintains the awareness of these multiple assailants while participating in solo training exercises or with a partner. Many styles consider a minimum of three enemies and build up to exercises involving five to seven enemies.
A great deal of Silat technique is a mix of grappling and hitting. The grappling is a “loose” type of grappling where the moves are used for take downs, off-balancing sweeps, and tying the opponent up momentarily.
Even in the intricate and deadly holds of the Buah Kunchi of Malaysian Bersilat, the trainee can still quickly dissolve the hold in order to engage another assailant.
Being able to disengage from one person in order to move to another is essential in fighting multiple opponents. The trainee is not so committed to applying body pressure and leverage where he cannot make an immediate escape.
Hitting is used to tenderize and soften up the assailant before going into these intricate and complex techniques. This grappling / hitting mix gives the trainee flexibility and adaptability to meet the changing situation, whatever it is, that he finds thrust upon him.
As the practitioner finishes off his assailant with a take down and follow-up, he immediately crouches, covers, and assumes the “on guard” stance and posture combinations of his particular style, because another attacker may be on his way in.
The assailant that he just took down may not be finished after all. He may have been able to take all that punishment or as in many styles of Silat, he may be feigning his hurt condition, hoping the student drops his defenses and he can surprise re-attack.
It is important to take the assailant seriously at all times; that he is always dangerous even when down and especially when practicing in order to build this attitude so it is a habit. This cautionary awareness has resulted in the overkill principle, which seems to be prevalent in all types of Southeast Asian self-defense.
This being the repeated use of follow-up techniques after the assailant has been thought to already have been taken out. Experience tells Silat people that one or two strikes or breaks seldom finish the job at hand, therefore, for safety purposes, a variety of backups are built into the trainee’s reflexes. Each backup technique has its own back up!You might also like: