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, who was Willy Wetzel's successor. During fall of 2007, he traveled to China, where he began to study the Mahayana, an eastern 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: They 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 no adversity, there is no overcoming. Where there is no overcoming, there is no enlightenment.
For this reason, the Zenshida'i look to conflict as a gift, and as an opportunity for self-cultivation. The martial arts is therefore a microcosm of pain, war, death, by which the individual may grow stronger, and learn to find stillness in the midst of suffering. This is the path of liberation.
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 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, we are not as concerned with particular forms (though we do have forms) as we are with the ability to express fundamental principles in new ways, and to do so spontaneously. Because combat is chaotic, forms quickly break down; naturalness and spontaneity are therefore critical. So each class involves four phases of instruction, which roughly correlate with the four-fold aspect of the martial arts: Formal Training, Combat Training, Rhythm Training, & Spirit Training.
Formal Training: for the development of the body-mind; stretching and strengthening exercises; various forms of conditioning; correlated with the physical aspect of the martial arts;
Combat Training: for the development of the specific techniques in informal environments; development of body mechanics through forms; practical applications of specific techniques; correlated with the cultural aspect of the martial arts; Rhythm Training: for the development of flow and the fusion of all previously learned principles; fast or slow; cerebral training of tactical principles; correlated with the tactical aspect of the martial arts;
Spirit Training: for the development of spiritual power; development of quasi-sensory perception; meditation; the spiritual aspect of the martial arts.
The Zenshida'i utilize a nine-step ranking system, which is divided into two orders, one for masters and one for disciples. Rank is dependent upon focus, will, and conviction, which 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, and will therefore teach self-defense applications to men and women both, still it is a brotherhood, and so only men may be ranked.
Joshua van Asakinda Zenshidai.Silat@gmail.com +1-330-314-4170
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