What Versus Why In Training

So as the first blog post from the Tinju Bebas summit, I am focusing on what I am working on for personal advancement in the system. I have been skirting the Guru test for many years now. More years than I would proudly like to mention. But those years maybe the requisite amount of time for me. Not to say that anyone else should take the same amount of time, plus or minus. I have often related to anyone who would listen the watershed moment for me in Pencak Silat Pertempuran and with Pendiri Guru Stark which may apply to my current outlook on training and advancement.

Please note that the organization of curriculum was different from the current organization. I was in my first year of PSP and I was testing out of Murid Enam (4) dealing with Kuncian to access Murid Lima (5) Timbilan content. Now it embarrasses me to say that at this time that once I passed a level of instruction I would neglect that level for the newer content, in this case Murid Dua (2) Masukan Kaki specifically. Guru noticed this and stopped my test- highlighting the relationship between the elements of movement, i.e. ales to masukan to tangkapan to pertukaran to pencegah, etc. I immediately expressed frustration, whereas Guru then asked me a question that still guides me today. Guru asked me, “What’s going to happen when you passed everything? Are you going to stop training?” The answer accordingly was no.

So as I train with the intent to test for Guru, it is not about the rank that drives, me but a greater understanding of Pencak Silat Pertempuran. I know I have to exemplify the physical skills sets, Tangan, Harimau-Monyet, and Senjata singularly and integrated. I am currently training in these domains as I teach at basic levels while making connections to higher order curriculum or in simpler terms—the what of PSP. A concurrent amount of my training and instruction is focusing on the mindset, philosophy and/or spiritual aspects, which I reference as—the why of PSP. I have found that any given Murid will fall anywhere on the spectrums of the why (mental/emotional) and the what (physical) often times not at the same place on the respective spectrums. Requiring from me differentiated instruction where there are gaps in ability and enrichment for when a Murid already comes to class with strengths in either of the spectrum.

The why is less tangible than the what or physical, as it represents the mental/emotional approach to what we do physically. As I have spent a greater portion of my time in PSP in the physical realm, I am devoting more time to the mental/emotional, and ultimately, the spiritual realm of PSP. I believe it is as much an important component of PSP as the physical elements. This incorporates the following, but not limited to:
• mindfullness
• situational awareness
• should I versus could I?
• aggressiveness
• playfulness
• baiting

By exploring this aspect of PSP, I gain confidence and fluency in the movement as well as greater creativity to see what could happen and develop my own interpretations of movement. This exploration also increases my faith in my ability when I do go “off drill” or test my hypotheses, sometimes to success and sometimes failure. Both success and failure are necessary to increase my understanding of personal defense and growth in PSP.

Hormat Saya – Bill

Bill D. is the highest ranked instructor within the Pencak Silat Pertempuran organization. He has been consistently training with Guru Stark for over 12 years. He currently offers classes in the Saint Cloud/Harmony area of Central Florida. 



  • Sean Stark
    March 16, 2017

    Great read Bill! To differentiate the three instructor levels and their needs within PSP is an important component to success within PSP. Focusing on the physical is necessary for Pelatih. Focusing on the mental is necessary for Pengajar. Becoming the integration of those two things leads to spiritual understanding, which is necessary for Guru.

    You are moving forward sir!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
25 − 4 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.