Silek Tuo Pagu Pagu (STPP) is not just a rigid martial art style but a dynamic philosophy of offense and defence, designed to tackle the challenges of the natural world. This system empowers practitioners to respond effectively in any situation that may arise. Rooted in the village of Pagu Pagu, nestled in the Singgalang Mountains near Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, STPP was developed by Guru Edwardo Guci after extensive research and training in over ten different styles of Silek Minang. In 1995, he synthesized the art, choosing the name Silek Tuo, meaning Old Silat, in alignment with traditional conventions. This historical lineage can be traced back many centuries, as documented in the written Minangkabau history. Read about it in this article.
The Evolution of Silek Tuo Pagu Pagu and Guru Ed’s Influence
Guru Edwardo Guci’s profound understanding of the naturalistic approach has played a significant role in shaping Silek Tuo Pagu Pagu. By paying homage to his roots in Pagu Pagu, he has kept the essence of the art deeply connected to its origin. The system embraces adaptability and responsiveness, providing practitioners with a comprehensive toolkit to navigate the intricacies of real-life situations. Guru Ed’s expertise and synthesis of various Silek Minang styles have streamlined the art into an efficient and versatile martial system. Silek Tuo Pagu Pagu embodies the essence of the past while embracing the present, making it a potent martial art for self-defence and personal growth.
With the goal of enabling one to respond and react appropriately to any attacks Silek Tuo Pagu Pagu utilises numerous principles and methods.
Firstly, if viewed in light of martial movements in the Minangkabau arts, there are patterns dominant in their ‘play’, namely:
Silek with upright position
Silek with a low position
Silek crawling position on the ground
Silek with sitting position (silek duduak)
As such S.T.P.P utilises all of these ranges/environments the enhance its own combat effectiveness. The beginning stages of training centre around the developing of the Gelek (twisting/coiling). Gelek is the basic movement in Pagu Pagu which focusses on hip and feet rotation. It is a foundational avoidance movement in order to evade, capture the attack, counter, lock, break and paralyze or kill. Its development begins with learning the Ampek-Ampek or four-four pattern which is performed both seated and standing.
Once this foundational principle has been understood the training then continues on to teaching five series of attacks and counter attacks, called “induak – induak”. These sequences are designed to train the silek player to be able to defend himself in numerous combative situations. In practicing the five “Induak – induak”, a student very quickly develops the correct reflexes and other neural responses which eventually will allow them to defend against all kinds of attack scenarios.
Once a student is competent in all five Induak, both as the attacker and defender training will then move into the realm of free flow play. This is called ‘Bagaluik’. Image two tiger cubs honing their skills with endless attacks and defences via ‘play’ as they often do. In a similar way bagaluik helps to hone and fine tune the silek players’ skill-sets as well as ‘feeling’; that subtle ability to sense pressure or change and act accordingly. The advancement of this free play is to heighten a players’ senses through ‘dark’ training and also their balance via ‘slippery’ training.
Plans are currently underway to systemise some teacher training programs however this will be limited as Silek Tuo Pagu Pagu is not an art that can easily be transmitted without hands on face to face contact.
Outside of Indonesia, currently only:
Guru Declan Cummings (Florida – USA)
having completed the system is authorised to teach the full syllabus of Silek Tuo Pagu Pagu, while the following individuals are authorised to teach up to the ‘Induak-Induak’ level:
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