|Jim Ingram's Amerindo Self-Defense System
- Our Philosophy
- Origins of Our Silat System
Jim Ingram's system of self-defense is largely based on the Indonesian martial art of penjak silat.
Penjak Silat, or silat for short, is a martial art that is actually indigenous not just to Indonesia, but
also to Malaysia, and the Southern Philippines. In Indonesia it is called Pentjak or Pencak Silat. In
Malaysia it is known as Bersilat. In the Southern Philippines it is called Kali-Silat. Variations of the
art are found throughout Southeast Asia.
The word Silat originated from the Indonesian word Kilat, which means lightning. A practitioner's
goal is to reach a skill level where one strikes his opponent with lightning speed. Our teacher
often says, "A strike should be felt, not seen."
Like most martial arts, silat training helps develop discipline, and helps build strength and
character. Like other martial arts, it has strengths and weaknesses. We do not claim to have an
answer for all situations that one might encounter. It is not by any means, the "ultimate", the
"deadliest", and "the best $39.95 martial arts instruction you can buy on tape".
Our emphasis is on the effective development of martial skills for survival. Silat, as we practice it,
is about self-preservation. We are not concerned with looking impressive. We are, however,
obsessive about effectiveness. The practitioner strives to be flexible and adaptable to any
situation, but most of all, the goal is to survive a life-threatening confrontation.
Origins of Our Silat System
Silat has been around long before Columbus and Magellan "discovered" the New World. Silat's
history can be traced back to the pre-Christian era when land bridges still existed in Southeast
Asia. The art has survived primarily because it works. Pentjak Silat lives on because it is like an
heirloom, passed on from father to son and on through succeeding generations. It is an eclectic
martial art influenced by the Chinese, East Indian, and the Malays.
For additional information on the history of Pentjak Silat, click here
Other terms used to refer to Pentjak Silat include "Main" in Indonesian and "Spel" in Dutch.
Mustika Kweetang is one of the Silat systems taught in the Amerindo Self-Defense System. It
is a combination of two systems, one coming from an Indonesian Muslim Priest named Mustika
(Pentjak Silat), and the other coming from a Chinese trader named Kweetang Kiam (Kuntao). This
combined system was passed on to Oom Jim from William Loreo.
Another style incorporated into the system is called Pukulan Japara, from Oom Jim Ingram's
father, a former Chief of Police in Indonesia. This system is characterized by a progressive, direct
method of attack. It has been tried and tested in the streets of Jakarta, in the back alleys of
Singapore, and with Oom Jim's own experience as a Dutch commando in the Korean War. The
Amerindo System, as with other Silat systems, makes use of close quarter combat in stand up
fighting or on the ground (Harimau). It incorporates strikes, throws, locks, and finishing moves.
Current curriculum includes:
- Mustika Kweetang
- Pukulan Japara
- Pukulan Serak (Maurice de Thouars and Dolf DeVries)
- Tjimatchan / Harimau
- Setia Hati or Es Ha
We crawl before we walk and we walk before we run; and so it is with learning Silat.
A student starts out learning footwork. Shortly thereafter, the student learns what to do with their
arms and their hands. We then combine the two elements to make them work together. At higher
skill levels, the student is taught how to flow from one technique to another depending on the
energy one receives from the opponent. People vary as to height, speed, stamina, and strength.
Consequently, we teach timing, zoning, and economy of motion to compensate for these
Our practice of Silat focuses on Bela Diri. Bela Diri refers to the self-defense aspects of Silat.
Pentjak Silat basics start with Djurus and Langkas. These form the foundation of the system.
Djurus refer to the upper art, which involves all movement from your torso to your head. Langkas
refer to the lower art or more simply "footwork", which consist of geometric patterns on the ground
that help you maintain your balance as you perform your djurus. Djurus combined with langkas
result in Bunga or fruit/flower. Literally, all the practice and hardwork bear fruit resulting in
"applications". The "applications" are what you use for fighting and self-defense.
We also practice Sambuts extensively. Sambuts are techniques for countering an attack.
Emphasis is placed on finesse rather than power. If you are using power or brute force, you are
not practicing Silat. Silat is made functional by having knowledge of human anatomy, physics,
physiology, and psychology. Over time, the practitioner acquires skills on closing the distance
between himself and the opponent, the application of timing concepts, the use of body torque,
avoiding strikes by parrying and zoning, and efficient delivery of counterstrikes.
Very often, even for the most advanced student, we go back and review the basics. The basic
techniques are executed in the same manner, regardless of age or level of expertise. The only
difference lies in the advanced student's greater appreciation of the possibilities and the potential
that lies within the basic techniques and the djurus.
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November 18, 2008
April 17, 2003