PSP Combat Principles
Principles can be broken up into several different categories. For instance, combative principles, physical principles, spiritual and philosophical principles, and training principles. All principles of a given system must be unified and wholistically work together. That is what makes it a system versus random material.
Combative Principles are those principles which are concerned mostly with tactics and strategies.
"Langkah Dari Batuan ke Batuan" - Literally, stepping from stone to stone - sometimes said as "batu ke batu"
The point of this principle/philosophy hopefully is obvious, but if not... Stepping from
stone to stone is a way to get across a river or from one point to another until you reach your
destination. It is not literally about stepping from stone to stone (though that might make for
good footwork skills eventually). To continue, when in a combative situation, because it is
dynamic and changing, you have to be able to take "one step" and then once the opponent responds
you must look for the "next stone" to step to. It is the idea of continuous change in response
to what is available. Being adaptable and looking for solutions rather than getting stranded on
a stone in the middle of the river.
All combat is relational
This is probably one of the most important principles to understand. You cannot effectively
"defend" yourself if you do not understand the relationship between yourself and the attacker.
Everytime the attacker moves or you move, the most appropriate angles and opportunities for
counters change. You must be able to recognize that and adapt accordingly. Likewise, if there
are multiple attackers, the situation is constantly changing. A sub principle to this is:
combat is a 1 to 1 ratio. Every time your attacker changes or you change, the situation
changes, therefore, you have only one movement to an attackers one movement to apply any given
technique. Your system of combat must reflect this or you will always find yourself unable to
apply your techniques. Additionally, you must understand the techniques and be adaptable enough
to change a failing technique mid-stream. Your system needs to be built to do this. If you think
in terms of music it is a beat for beat and at the most you may get one and a half beats to
perform a technique.
Do not focus on your hands alone or your feet alone or your body alone. Use it all, varying your
attacks and the tools used. This makes it difficult for an attacker to build a defense once a
successful attack has begun. On the other hand, using the same attack over and over allows an
attacker to strategize and counter. Additionally, use the whole of your arsenal whenever possible
and make no absolutes about the effectiveness of a tool or movement.
In line with that, sometimes, what could be wrong most of the time is actually right! There is an appropriate application for any movement and any response within the dynamic of combat. There are times when things that are less probable WILL absolutely work and may be the best thing to do at that momemnt. So do it man! Do it!
Using everything can also apply to using the environment, found weapons, and generally sneaky or confusing tactics. "Look! A bird!"
Reaction bad. Action good.
Reactions are said to be one of the primary ways that a fighter works. People constantly
talk about programming your reactions as though there is no other way. The positive to having
good reactions is the ability to defense yourself when surprised. On the other hand, working
strictly from a reactionary or defensive attitude means that you are always responding to what's
coming as an after-the-fact issue. In reality, you want to work from reaction to action. In
other words, moving from defense to offense. Anytime you are working in defense mode you are
behind on timing. Change that and work in Offensive mode. Steal back the timing as quickly as
possible. Train to act. Not react. Pencak Silat Pertempuran's structure core is about stealing
Don't fight. WIN!
When in combat seek to find a way around the fight. Don't stand toe to toe but use angles
from every direction to enter in and defeat an opponent. Clashing is fighting. Win.
Use ALL ranges and heights
Be able to move in and out when it is appropriate and be able to change attack heights at
will, mixing this with the use of various tools. Attack high to hit low and vice versa.