This is not Hollywood martial arts. It is not flashy: you will not need to do a jumping spin kick, do a full split, break boards with your head, meditate on a glacier, or kick a palm tree til it surrenders. (Not that there is anything wrong with doing any of that.)
However, in Silat Club, our goal is to teach you a system of movement that will greatly improve your chances of winning a fight. Our techniques do not rely on muscle, nor athleticism. No matter how strong you are, there is another guy who is stronger and faster. You can fight smarter. Through the study of Serak, you will learn how to connect to someone, move in close, limit their options to hurt you, and damage them if needed. Different people have different pain thresholds and musculature, so relying on your strength or strikes may not disable someone. But everyone's skeleton is very similar. The approach of Serak is to use angles to control someone's physiology.. Through the study of the structures in Silat Club, you can learn to confidently turn the tables on an attacker.
There are different types of fighting. Competitive styles deal with 2 opponents squared off, obeying a set of rules that limit strikes and targets. Competitive martial arts are a great skill set, and excellent conditioning.
Another type of fighting is pre-gun combat, waged with swords and other weapons. Serak's roots are from the powerful Majapahit dynasty, who routed every opponent until the advent of gunpowder. Their martial training was to kill opponents as quickly as possible on the battlefield. They had a phalanx of warriors who did this methodically. In our modern time, warfare is a different process, and that type of fighting is now rare.
A third type of fighting is 'street fighting.' This is what we study. On the street, attacks come quickly, unexpectedly, and with bad intent. There is no referee, no padded floor, no rules. You do not know an assailants intent, what they may use as a weapon, how far they will go to get what they want, or if their buddy is waiting in the shadows to back him up. In Serak training, our goal is to teach you to control the 'lines' of the opponent so they cannot harm you, and you have the opportunity to deliver as much damage as the situation warrants. Also, to increase your awareness of your surroundings.
If you are here, you must share our fascination with martial arts. When I was a kid, our local TV station had "Kung Fu Theatre" on the weekends. They would show those classic Chinese films with fantastic choreography, exotic weaponry, supernatural skills, and cheesy voice overdubs. I thought it was amazing and dreamed of learning these arts.
When I got to college, I found my first 'Sifu,' Steve Gresham, and started learning American Kenpo Karate in 1991. From that base, I branched out into Muay Thai, Kali, Wing Chun, Tai Chi, Northern Kung Fu, Ju Jitsu, Kashima Shin Ryu, Boxing, and a couple others I have forgotten. I was hooked on learning everything I could. Through a JKD teacher (Sifu David Monroe), I was exposed to a few techniques he knew from an art called Silat. These techniques were tight, focused and potent. Soon after we had the pleasure of spending a weekend with martial arts legend, Guru Cliff Stewart. Cliff has enough black belts to cover himself head to toe, however, he said he left them all behind to study Silat. He had a direct and efficient way of moving that seemed to have an answer for any attack without expending much effort.
In 1999, I had the good fortune to discover that one of the godfathers of Pentjak Silat in the USA was living a couple hours away. Steve and I scheduled a training weekend, and before long became acquainted with Pendekar Victor de Thouars (1941-2017). My first day of training was mind-blowing. This art, Serak, was unlike anything I had seen. Instead of the hard styles and grappling I knew, this art would twist up a body, off-balance them, jam their attacks, and finish with brutal elbows, painful locks, or worse, dislocations of the spine. I was so mentally fatigued at the end of the first day, I thought I had to give it up. However, I was hooked, and I could not pass up the opportunity to learn this unique art, which is a hidden treasure. Now, I get to pass it on to you!
Silat Club Online Training:
- Pusat (base) self-defense techniques
- Jurus (upper body forms)
- Langkas (footwork)
- Tendjekan (offensive techniques)
- Senjata (weapons training)
- History of Sera-Serak
- Silat Street Techniques
- Pad drills
- Silat Club Workouts
- and more
Serak (aka Sera, or Serah) is a style of Pencak Silat from Java, Indonesia. The art was developed in the 1800's by a Badui tribesman known as Pak Sera (or Pa Sera). He was a man of short stature, with a 'club' foot, and a short left arm. Despite his handicaps, he mastered 3 Indonesian martial arts and also studied 3 Chinese arts, and 3 Indian arts. From all of these he distilled the most effective and efficient movements. His most senior student, Mas Judt, went on to expand the structures for a person of normal body ability. Another, senior, Mas Roen, added the more offensive aspect passed down through our lineage.
Our goal at Silat Club is to present the structures of Serak to you to build a solid foundation to improve your combat skills. Much attention is given to exact movements of the upper and lower body. The Jurus are the upper body forms that are a toolbox of motion and principles. Some are for crashing and destroying, some are for catching and caging. The Langkas are footwork patterns. Unique to our system is the use of the Pantjar Platform. This grid pattern with grids, diagonals, triangles and other shapes gives a practitioner a map to remember how to move. All of these structures are designed to create muscle memory. Movements done slowly and accurately can be assimilated into the body's subconscious, and put into full-speed action when needed.
Training with Silat Club
Serak has many forms and footwork patterns, so if you are training alone, you will be able to follow along and practice motions and structures. We do encourage everyone to get a friend involved to train with you so you can better integrate the techniques. You will notice that we do our practice slowly and with careful control. When you are extending an elbow, cranking the neck, or slamming someone on the floor, extreme caution must be exercised. These techniques do not rely on force, so the easier you can perform them, the better you will be. We want to keep our training partner healthy and save the damage for the bad guys.
Testing for rank
Those who would like to test for rank in Serak can do so by submitting a test by video. There will be an additional fee for this. More information about this will be announced later.
My mission with Silat Club is to spread the knowledge of Serak around the world. We welcome those instructors who would like to incorporate Silat Club training at their schools, and those who want to simply start up a study group. If you have any inquiries regarding this, please contact us by email.
I have felt fortunate for the last 20 years to learn this rare and powerful form of martial arts. I welcome you to join us on this journey. Whatever skill level you have, beginner, intermediate or expert, you will find something new and unique at Silat Club to add to your skill set. This is an ongoing monthly subscription course. New content is being added all the time, and there is years of great material to learn from the VDT Serak (Puncah Selate Serah) system. Each week you will be notified that the next chapter of your training is available for viewing. Quizzes will test you on terminology, history, and course material. Teachers and marketers can inquire about our Affiliate program.
Your credit card will be charged the same amount each month to continue the course. You can cancel anytime here in your Thinkific portal.
I welcome you, and thank you for being a part of Silat Club. I look forward to meeting you all in person around the world one day.
Guru Karl 'West' Bolz
Visit our YouTube channel and subscribe
Visit our Charlotte, NC school page
I'm Guru Karl Westin ‘West’ Bolz. I got started in the arts in 1991. In 1999 I met Pendekar Victor de Thouars "Pak Vic", one of the legendary brothers who brought Pencak Silat Serak to America. Since then, I have been on a fascinating journey that goes beyond self-defense (and self-offense), and delves deeply into the root of body mechanics and physiology. Serak is an art like no other, with an expansive curriculum that continually refines movement for maximum effect and minimum effort. This esoteric art which would be unknown to the world if not for the lifelong work of my teacher to record it, preserve it, and pass it on. Now, it is my opportunity to pass on this remarkable martial art to you.
Contact Guru West at