There was much activity in Michigan as well as elsewhere throughout the country as Bapak Waleed returned from his extended tour and research into the culture, traditions and adab of West Sumatra, Indonesia. This involves studying the ancient civilization of the Minangkabau, a very old matrilineal society that still exists today. The same day he arrived, he conducted a special class, and that evening began an intensive Silat Training Retreat which was held in various locations throughout the city including Island Park. Students came from across the United States to train with Bapak Waleed in the pristine outdoor location. Bapak began the day with a walk through the park reminding everyone of the importance of connecting with nature. He explained the different realities of insight and the affects on one's senses as they are applied.
Bapak Waleed then led his students to a pavilion in the park that resembled the traditional indoor/outdoor Minangkabau training facilities of West Sumatra. These also serve as shelters and performing arts theaters for Silat Randai, other traditional dances and Seni, the arts. These arts incorporate musical performances with traditional instruments and drums. After the area was cleansed, and preparations made, Bapak began the ceremonies and training. He explained about Adet and Adab, how one should enter that space of light. Together, they were stepping through some the oldest lankas and steps. Throughout the warm up Bapak also showed some of the defensive and offensive practical applications of the systems. Many patrons of the park were attracted by the movements and music and came over to share their appreciation and express their interest to Bapak Waleed.
Then Bapak moved the group to a more open area to have the students engage in the Silat 'play'. He led them through the traditional opening and salutation movements that precede the actual play. The play then commenced and the students had the opportunity to experience how the movements flow together. This also gave them a chance to see the practical side of the movements more clearly and to feel how to interact with another player. They also learned and experienced some of the traditional movements of Silek Minangkabau.
Afterward, Bapak Waleed led the students into the water for more stepping and play. He also showed several traditional postures from Silat Tuo, Silat Minangkabau, and Silat Seni Haqq. At the end of the day, the students were tired but there were smiles all around. Everyone expressed their gratitude to Bapak Waleed for traveling a great distance to see them and for sharing with them the experience of Silat Traditionale and the culture of the Ancient Minangkabau civilization.
Please enjoy the pictures from the session below, and as always more footage is available in the members section.
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