Zenshida'i Silat (formally, Cimande Pencak Silat-Serak dari Zenshida'i) is a flow-oriented martial art. Though originating in the Cimande Pencak Silat lineage of Willy Wetzel, Zenshida’i Silat itself was created by Joshua van Asakinda, who began his martial arts training in 1995 under Gale Shotsinger, a successor of Willy Wetzel's. During fall of 2007, he traveled to China, where he began to study the Mahayana, a religious fusion of Buddhism and Taoism. Years passed, and he continued to venture abroad, spending time in Italy and India, in order to continue his study of spiritual traditions, which had an immense influence upon him. During these years, he also began to expand his martial skills through IRT bladed combatives under Brian van Cise in Las Vegas, Nevada, and finally fulfilled a lifelong dream of studying in Indonesia when in 2015 he traveled to Bali in order to train in Bakti Negara Pencak Silat under Gusman Wiranata.
The martial arts are but one aspect of Zenshida'i training, as the Zenshida'i follow the Indonesian tradition, which holds that the martial arts have a four-fold aspect: The martial arts are physical, cultural, tactical, and spiritual. Zenshida'i training includes all of these aspects, as none are sufficient in and of themselves for the cultivation of the warrior spirit in the western world.
The Zenshida'i philosophy is founded upon a very simple principle:
Where there is adversity, there may be overcoming; Where there is overcoming, there may be enlightenment.
Where there is no adversity, there can be no overcoming; Where there is no overcoming, there can be no enlightenment.
For this reason, conflict is a gift, and an opportunity for self-cultivation. The Zenshida'i view the martial arts as a crucible, and as a rite of passage, by means of which the individual may grow stronger, and learn to find stillness in the midst of suffering. This is the path of liberation, and the singular defining characteristic of religion.
The Zenshida'i methodology is archetypal: basic fundamental principles are taught, and then the student is forced to express these principles according to his own natural development. This applies both to the teaching and to the training: In either case, the student must take the principles within himself and allow them to grow in his own way.
Silat is, among all martial arts, perhaps the most concerned with natural flow. For this reason, Zenshida'i Silat is not as directed towards particular forms as it is towards developing the ability to express fundamental principles in new ways, and to do so naturally and spontaneously. Combat, after all, is chaotic; forms quickly break down. And so each class involves four aspects of instruction, which correlate roughly with the four-fold aspect of the martial arts: the physical aspect, the cultural aspect, the tactical aspect, and the spiritual aspect.
The Physical Aspect The physical aspect develops the body-mind, and entails stretching and strengthening exercises, and various forms of physical conditioning.
The Cultural Aspect The cultural aspect develops specific techniques in informal environments, and entails development of body mechanics through forms, practical applications of specific techniques. and, finally, "the dance" (tari, in Indonesian). The Tactical Aspect The tactical aspect develops all previously learned principles, and entails sparring, rhythm shifting, and strategic thinking skills.
The Spiritual Aspect The spiritual aspect develops stillness, spiritual power, and sensory and quasi-sensory perception, all via meditation.
The Zenshida'i utilize a nine-step ranking system. Rank is dependent upon focus, will, and conviction, and is measured by years of study. Though the Zenshida'i hold firmly to the belief that all have the right to defend themselves in any capacity necessary, either with or without weapons, still it is a brotherhood, and so ranked training is open to men only.
Joshua van Asakinda Zenshidai.Silat@gmail.com +1-330-314-4170