Video format: 720×480
This three DVD series by Blaise Loong is an introduction to his personal blend of Silat, which he calls Silat Sabungin. This art features the use of small sharp weapons such as spikes, hooks, kerambits, ice-picks, punch-blades, and short knives. Silat Sabungin is influenced by Indonesian, Malaysian, and Filipino arts as well as the blood sport of rooster fighting in which birds fight to the death with metal spikes attached to their legs.
This DVD teaches the foundation of the blade work found in Silat Sabungin. Blaise introduces the types of weapons used and quickly gets to work teaching all the basic attack and parry movements used with the short ripping blades of the style. From a few simple attacks, Blaise shows how to develop combinations and work spontaneously with a partner.
This DVD further explores the unarmed defensive actions used in conjunction with the blade. The flow between armed and unarmed combat blurs with small weapons like those used in Silat Sabungin. Blaise shows both the similarities and differences between the two approaches as he teaches all the common standup punching and blocking techniques and their relation to small blade weapons. You may have seen all this before on “unarmed combat” videos, but it is put in a succinct manner and linked with the blade in ways which you probably haven’t seen before. More advanced flow and follow ups with the blade are also taught.
The third DVD teaches the integration of effective foot sweeps into the established armed and unarmed combat method, as well as how to transition from standing to ground fighting. The methods shown are all simple yet highly effective. The groundfighting is very combative in nature, and is based on striking, ripping, and breaking; not looking for a tap out victory. Blaise dissects the foot sweep and entries into groundfighting with an eye towards fighting multiple armed opponents, which leads to some different tactics and follow ups than are commonly seen in sport wrestling styles.
The DVD menus were nicely animated and worked flawlessly. The music was original, and consisted of a mix of heavy metal and more traditional folk-style music, all of which was good. The editing was tight, and the montage sequences and slow motion scenes worked in well with the rest of the production to enhance learning.
The DVD’s were filmed in someone’s house, with the first two DVDs filmed in a small room, and the third filmed in the garage. With this in mind, the lighting and sound quality are fine, and I never had difficulty understanding what was said or seeing what Blaise was doing. Not a “Hollywood” production, but so what. Like most people I’d rather have good information with a clean basic presentation rather than a flashy Hollywood-perfect DVD filled with crap!
90% of the training shown was done with live blades, and even from the safety of my couch, I couldn’t help but wince while watching some of the high-speed demos at the end of volume three. Suffice it to say that these guys really know their weapons and their partners, and the level of speed and control they exhibit with live steel is incredible.