Silek Tuo Pagu Pagu (STPP) is a martial art system or philosophy of offence and defence rather than being an exacting style. It calls to answer the challenge of our natural world. In other words, it enables one to respond in any given situation. Pagu Pagu is the home village where Guru Edwardo Guci’s clan come from, high up in the Singgalang Mountains close to Bukittinggi, West Sumatra. With Ed’s research and training in over 10 different styles of Silek Minang he found a very clear connecting line that ran through all of them. He synthesized Silek Tuo Pagu Pagu in 1995. Rather than give the style a specific name he chose to follow the old conventions. Silek Tuo simply means Old Silat. Silek Tuo can be traced back many centuries according to written Minangkabau history. Guru Ed has followed this naturalistic line while paying homage to his roots at Pagu Pagu.
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:
Johnny Silmon (London – UK)
Mark Young (North Yorkshire – UK)