OF SILAT KNIFE FIGHTING:
Techniques of Silat and Kuntao
with Steve Gartin.
One of the great things about being an official
book and video reviewer for several publications is
the opportunity to see the latest material on a
particular topic. Paladin Press is a leader in its
field and has more knife books and videos than any
other company. Though I am familiar with numerous
knife systems, I knew almost nothing about the Silat
and Kuntao systems. This is a rare look at an
Indonesian martial art that few people know anything
Steve Gartin is one of the few experts in the
U.S. in Silat and Kuntao. Silat is a knife based
system, though unarmed applications are also taught.
Kuntao emphasizes moves from various animals such as
the Tiger, the Crane, the Eagle, the Praying Mantis
and the Monkey in their self defense system. I found
it interesting that the beginning of the video
showed some of the techniques that were going to be
covered in the program. Low and behold, the
"universal" knife techniques shown in this video
were the same ones we teach in our Bushi Satori Ryu
and Pro-systems knife programs. They use a lot of
Reverse grip techniques, but they hide the knife in
the palm of their hands in some unique ways.
The entire film was focused on various self
defense moves against an assailant who either had a
knife or was attempting to punch you. Mr. Gartin
would first show how to counter attack with your own
knife in your hand, and then how to perform the same
defense when you are unarmed. They also employ
numerous knife grips related to the animal systems.
Mr. Gartin explained that "without the knife there
is no Silat." However, Kuntao emphasizes that a
knife is not needed to make self defense effective.
One of the many things I liked about this video
is that it showed various knife drills you can do
with a partner to improve your skills. They use a
variation of Wing Chun's sticking hands drills, but
with a unique Indonesian flavor. In Summary, if you
are into the knife arts, this is a MUST SEE VIDEO.
You will get a rare look at a system that is both
effective and practical.
Review by Joseph J. Truncale
Bushi Satori Ryu
P.O. BOX 261, Glenview, IL 60025-0261
Phone/Fax: (847) 729-7681
As advertised in Inside Kung Fu Magazine
HeartLess Monkey Knife
Set of Four DVDs