Sunday, October 5, 2014

You're called a Guru? When a new student enters a class, one of the things a student sometimes gets confuse with at the start is the Term "Guru" this word sometimes summons up images of a monk like figure, who lives in a completely holistic world, free of all the trappings of a modern society, a place where money, work, family, stress etc doesn't exist for him. Some students sometimes place this concept of their own making onto the role of the teacher, and then get upset when he or she cannot live up to that role, often expecting more of the teacher, then they themselves would prescribe to do. 

However in our art the word Guru is used to describe the manner in which a student is taught. The concept of my and my seniors who teach, is instead of giving intensive technical instruction, the student learns and develops through combat experiences. At the beginning, the student simply has to copy, what he / she is shown and then as he / she becomes more confident, they can bring their own expression to the techniques. By learning through combat experiences, the student will develop greater skills, which they can use in a rapid changing environment of the street. They can adapt quickly if a technique doesn't work, and move to another, because they face that problem in class. The student learns to think and be constantly interacting with danger presenting itself.

This concept of learning at the start, can be very hard for some adults, who are used to be told what to do, and not have to think themselves, buts its the core learning ability of children, and something which we push away to the deep inner core of our brain as we leave childhood behind. To understand Silat or Kali, all we have to do is go to class, watch and repeat and with a good teacher, he will guide you, in times when its needed and in others he will let you learn by your own mistakes.. So if your concept that the Guru will be like the image below, you may be disappointed as you won't find that in our class. But if your concept is the Guru will be a ordinary person like yourself, who will help you to the best of his abilities by creating the best learning environment for you, then the benefits from training will be great...We have weekly classes for Children, Teenagers and Adults if interested, send me a message or call / text 087 9956569

Monday, May 26, 2014

An interesting concept that society has towards violence, that it is ok for a woman to be violent towards a man, and even maybe even funny or amusing. Violence is wrong no matter who uses it. 40% of domestic violence in relationships is towards men, who often feel not able to reach out for help because of embarrassment. We need to change as a society that any violence is unacceptable, and lay down the foundation, where men of all ages including young teens, can approach and be supported .

Friday, May 2, 2014

A project (Sea of Fusion) that started almost 18 Months ago, is now just a few days away. When I started my Silat journey, just under 30 years ago, the idea was to develop an Association, where people of all ages and ability could come together to train and learn the South East Asian Arts of Silat and Kali. We have never turn anyone away from attending our classes, and everyone no matter their skill level or ability to pay, were always welcome and help. That is something which a few students in the past should remember, there were accepted openly by me, when they ask to join, and given every opportunity to learn, and I along with the other teachers always tried our best. I have always believe the art should be open to all, and everyone treated equally. We now have the largest silat kali group in Ireland with just under 300 members of all ages training weekly at one our classes. We have introduce Silat and Kali to just over 4,000 teenagers in the past year In schools, and youth clubs, giving them their first taste of these beautiful arts. We have programs where age no matter what it is, is not a barrier to learn, nor is money. And yet all of this was done, without receiving any Government or fellow club support. This is a testimony to the great students and teachers in our group.

The Sea of Fusion Festival was my concluding gift to the South East Asian Arts and Community in Ireland, before I move to my new role inside the Association (which I'm very excited to be doing, and allowing others to take up my existing role) I wanted to give a gift to the community in Ireland who claim to teach these art. An opportunity to come together, share, train and experience these Arts together in an open brotherhood. The festival was open to all teachers, who wanted to teach, the door was open to all students who wanted to train. From my own expense, I paid and invited over some of the best teachers in Europe and America, teachers who have never taught here before, so that the festival would have something for everyone. I would love to been able to bring more for this festival, but I was limited, in money available. The festival has been share in the media continuously since Sept 2013. The event has now students coming from 3 corners of the World, well wishes and beautiful messages of best wishes from teachers of different styles from over 40 countries have pour in, wishing us the best for next weekend. Mail like this are heart warming. So it was sad to see at different stages over past couple of months(and this will be my only negative moment) to see Irish students who were attending the festival, being contacted and being asked not to go, and encourage to go to other seminars, and other students calling me, saying they love to go, but their teacher would be offended if they went. I call this small group of guys now the ABL (Anything But Liam) lol To tell a student they can't go, is putting your ego ahead of the students benefit. At the end of the day I have always kept an open door. My goal is for the art to survive for the next generation.

Anyway that enough negativity, as the Event is happening and its going to be a fantastic weekend of Martial and Brotherhood fun. I'm so looking forward to meeting some new brothers in the Art and to train with great teachers. I would like to thank the various Martial Arts groups who are attending. I do want to thank Alan Walsh and Paul Nally for the help over past couple months in Lucan and Paul Casey in Firhouse, who all help take the class work load off me, so I could focus on getting the Festival organised. I like to thank Paul Byrne for his work on the festival website. I like to thank deeply Domhnall MacAodha, Robert Scott and Denny Hughes for the great help they giving me in their support of this Festival, without these 3 it simply would not have happen. Finally my good wife and son, who share my joy, but also hear me moan, but most of all sacrificing the time with me, so I could make this happen, and believing in me and giving 100% from the start. Nothing like this has ever been done before in Ireland, and I glad I had all of you guys to make this happen.

Now my final demand, for all of you attending the Warrior camp and Festival and Culture Evenings, you simply have to do one more thing.. Have Fun.. Laugh... Share.. create new friends and develop a little bit more as a Warrior and don't forget the chair for Denny lol See you all next week !!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You Can always Run by Guru Liam
Running is the answer many Instructor’s come up with, when it comes to giving advice on how to deal with an attacker, who using a weapon, especially a blade. While this advice is very true, and practical, it’s definitely not a strategy that will work all the time or even the majority of times.

Way to often, styles of the New modern Martial Arts claim the upper hand by saying, we teach all 3 ranges of Combat Striking / Grappling / Ground Fighting and proudly proclaim that’s all you need. These 3 ranges do work together very well, however if you add in the Knife Concept, suddenly the mix doesn’t work so well. The knife (Blade)/Stick (Blunt) concept changes everything. While before, a student may condition them self to take hits, wrestle to submission etc… they can’t condition themselves to take the damage a weapon will inflict. In a split second, you could be facing losing your life. Many of the techniques and concepts which sit very comfortably with the originally 3 range mixed, now can put you in a position where, there actually putting you into true danger, by increasing your chance of getting serious damage, by making stupid mistake / or false conception of how to deal with a blade.

So what is the answer to Knife Defence that is given by these group, well it usually follows the following common responses on social media. 1. You Don’t need Knife Defence, as you won’t get attack with a blade. Well that’s not really true, a lot of young males who get involved, in serious aggression usually may have to face a weapon of some sort. 2. What we do in empty hands, can simply be translated to a weapon response. Yes that’s true if you’re system that you’re learning has come from a weapon system like Silat or Kali. These system specialise in weapon defences. If your training system hasn’t got a proper influence from a weapon system, then what you are using won’t work as effective as the theory, you have work out in your head. 3. No defence is needed, just get the Hell out of there. That is 100% correct, don’t mess around with any silly Martial Arts technique, get the hell out of there, fast and keep running. So what’s the problem with that piece of solid good information? Surely everyone knows that, and will Run or would they?

I regularly teach teenagers during the day at schools, and so when we get to this point of Self Defence training, where we doing Knife defence, when question of what they would do, they usually give the answer of running away. I say “Yes, that correct, but how fast can your Mother Run, or younger sister, or maybe imagine in a few years, your 3 year old child, how fast can they run? Would they be able to out run an attacker? What about if you were in a lift? Or in a close room? Or standing at a urinal? Or putting your shopping into a car? Or maybe you out with your girlfriend/boyfriend and you’re face with this danger, or the both of you going to run at same time? Same directions? When real true fear and shock hits you “Usually by this time, the realities of needing to learn some knife defence skills / concepts might hit home. Thinking you can always run, is simply denial of the true facts, about realities of weapon attacks.

 If you learning a Martial Art for Self Defence you need to find a teacher or a style that understands the concept of a blade or blunt weapon, and how it can truly co- exist with all the other ranges. You need to learn the core essentials of the how to deal with a weapon attack, and try to think how can you not just defend yourself, but also your love ones. If you’re claiming you learning an all rounded, all range Martial Arts and not learning weapon defence, as you don’t believe it’s needed in a modern society, with increase violence is needed. Or if you believe that running is answer to everything, than I truly wish you the best with that thought. Nothing new needs to be re-invented to learn weapon concepts as these concepts already exist in Silat and Kali.  In these arts, all ranges, all possibilities, all situations are thought out and the student is develop to learn through training experience, to best equip him/her for the street.

I hope this article might give you some food for thought. If you like more details on what we do send me a message or e-mail

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I want to thank all the students who attend my Urban Silat Combat Kali adult classes this week and donated to the Philippines Disaster Appeal that we were running. We just have a small group of students who seem to have a big heart. We have been given the gift of learning Silat and Kali from South East Asian, so if was only right when the time came to give something back. I'm very please to say we not only reach our target but went by it and raise €200 which will be sent off tomorrow morning. Well done guys and thanks for the support.

Friday, October 25, 2013

One of the stick arts that we teach in Urban Silat is the Kanching Stick sometimes known as the lighting bolt stick. It get this name by the painful strikes, that can be delivered to the attackers body from very short range. The kanching stick can be used in all 3 ranges and each range has a corresponding hand grip, with varied techniques which can be used with that grip. The main range however is the close range which uses a lot of snake striking techniques. You can use it to thrust / stabbing way, you can use it in a slashing way, you can even use it to lock up your attacker. The kanching also can easily be replaced with a torch or bottle water for example, making it ideal for anyone to learn to help defend themselves, as they could use any similar item, to help defend yourself. More info at

Friday, July 26, 2013

A great end to the week’s urban Silat training in Sheldon Park last night. Not a single person didn't leave class last night drench in sweat, with a big smile on their face. Everyone came with an attitude of wanting to learn which is vital in creating the right energy in class.

Class started with co ordination drills and from the speed drills, student practising freelance, where they could flow from one drill to the next, mixing drills up, going up / down, left / right at will. Great way to produce fast reflexes. From this into 3 partner pad work drills to help increase footwork awareness. Then into slap off techniques, which help students deal with aggressive attackers who slam into you at full speed.

Second half of the class students work on the Ular ( Snake ) Kicks from Toe point, to Shear kicks, Dragon (Heel) Kicks, Rising Snake ( Brilliant Double Kick) and finish the kicks off with Real Snake (Back Groin ) Kick. The class finish on Kilap hand strikes this is the ability to deliver multiple strikes with the same incoming energy. With practise most students can learn to hit 5 to 6 times per second, with more experience students getting 8 to 10 hits per second. These wouldn't be light hits but snapping powerful destructive blows that cause a lot and I mean a lot of pain.

Understanding snake system means understanding how to fight in close / zero range and using your body in a way to develop energy in its strikes (arms or legs) this is unique training, and students need to spend a lot time in this range, as tbh it’s a very scary range to be in, and the urge is to grab and hold the attacker, which at best leaves you both in even status, but more than often leaves you vulnerable to the attackers on going strikes or his co-attackers. Learning to destroy an attacker at this range is a great weapon in your arsenal, and one that the Ular Cimande system brings to the fore. Look forward to next week training where the journey continues

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Principle of Penetration – Superior / Inferior Angles of Attack In Urban Silat we referred to the principle of penetration to the ability to penetrate our attacker defences and go straight to the source i.e the attacker’s body, head, groin etc.. any part which will stop the attacker ability to fight is the principle of penetration, but in the article we will talk about two angles, the Superior and Inferior. The superior is when you veer off to the side of the attacker strike (sometimes known as the female triangle) what make the superior angle is the deep penetration of movement which ends up with you almost behind the attacker. This is the best angle for all you strikes abilities are in range and can be use, and the attacker organ and weak points are open. The attacker has to turn / change direction to continue attacking and so that brief moment you have an opportunity to re counter or run away. This is our chosen angle. However sometimes this option isn’t open and we may to have to veer to the inside of the attacker’s strike. This is called the inferior angle. The main reason is that you are bringing yourself into full range of his other strikes and so you in a dangerous position, we call it in Urban Silat “No man’s Land” or Zero range. It is vital to immediate strike or block your attacker. The first thing you need to deal with is your attacker momentum, by using impaled techniques which cause a lot of pain, or limb destruction both of these are good ways to slow down the attacker. It’s important to be instantly aware of the second strike and be ready to block, or if the attacker is bit slow, move his body into a position where he can’t employed the second or third strikes as effective as he would like. On both of these angles you need to constantly deliver multiple strikes to rendering your attacker unable to continue his attack. For more information on Urban Silat classes, training, workshops, dvds and online email or join us at

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Knife Reality v Knife Fantasy

After watching a clip today, i thought i would pen a few words on what I saw. To often knife sparring or fantasy techniques are put out there as a form of knife defence.

1) Knife sparring or duelling is not like the street. In the street, an attacker is going to move in fast and hard. The vast majority of the time you probley won't even be able to see the blade, and when the attacker moves in he will strike, and strike until the job is done, you will be pull, maul, clinched into a close range, and if you don't control the attacker knife arm you will not come of well, he will pummel you with strikes and it just takes just one of these strikes to end your ability to defend .. which brings me to next point.

2) Do not put one of your hand behind your back, whatever advantage you think you get by saving your free arm from getting cut, will definitely be overcome 100% by the ability of the attacker to cut the rest of your body at will. If it came down to it I would rather get my arm slash then have a knife stuck into a vital organ. Your free arm is not call your " Life Arm" for nothing. By having both arms protecting your body you simply increase your chance of survival then against one. Your free arm, can help control, guard and protect you. Maybe in the days of old with swords they might be some sense to have one hand behind your back, but not in 2013 against a knife or self-made weapon.

3) Never and I mean never ever.. ever.. turn your back on a knife attacker, or in fact any type of attacker, this is simply the worse, life threatening and most stupid thing you can ever do. I was watching a clip today where a knife expert turn his back 5 times on the attacker, completely exposing his back. The only exception to this rule is when you are running full force away. But spinning around exposing your back to an ongoing aggressive attacker is a one way street to meet your maker.

This is one of the problems with internet warriors and master, because they not testing what they do, and need to make up new material to keep the online student paying, always moving the goal posts, to keep money flowing. The teacher drift off to fantasy land to impress the students. Saying this new material is the most secretive, and has never taught before, is simply a clever marketing promotion, which engages the human ego, to believe there being showing something special. Believe me there are no secrets. Everything in combat that is functional has already being created and relive thousands and thousands times before. Thou there maybe is a reason why some techniques were not taught before, simply it doesn’t work in reality.

As a teacher myself i have a loyalty to my students to make sure what they learn is correct and practical, and when needed it will help them. What I teach is basic, very very simple and i will spend time on making sure the student can do it and in real time. I will make sure they can master one thing right then teach them 10 others that they can't perform in a stressful environment. There are many good styles of knife defence out there, do your research, make sure the teacher knows what he talking about and make sure you know the difference between fantasy and reality. Because the last place you want to learn the difference is in the street..

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Inside our Pukulan Cimande System it is made up of a number of subsystems which each student will learn the technical aspects and the combat mannerism of. One of these is Monyet style for beginners and Kera for advance students. One of the core concepts of this system is the Decoy stances.

There are seven of these Stances, Horizantal, Vertical, Rib Opening, Tiger Cat, Roof Hit, Buddah and Back Open Decoy. There are use in a rapid moving forward manner, blending in with shielding and Bungai. Each decoy by it's very nature is offering a false target or opening to funnel in the attacker strikes to a kill Zone, where the defender can trap, lock or destroy the attacker ability to strike.

In this clip Guru Robert Scott is showing the Rib Opening Decoy and one of the many combinations that a silat student will develop from within to deal with an attacker. The student is taught to flow at will, against the attacker energy. In this particular clip Guru Robert is trapping the attacker, than learning to flank, and take the attacker to the ground. The Monyet and Kera systems, both operate in mid height and close to or even on the ground. The use of Elbows and Knees are often employ along with grabbing and tearing with the hand. Guru Robert teaches in Ballymena, classes are also available in Letterkenny, Firhouse, Walkinstown, Lucan, and Dundrum

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Are you a true 21st Century Warrior ? You might be surprized

Are you a true 21st Century warrior ? You might be surprized.
After class last night, we were having a chat about people perception of what a warrior is. Going by the Internet there a number of people who would have you believe their some type of hybrid of Spartacus and Bruce Lee patrolling the highways at night protecting the innocent, and heading off to battles and wars at a moment notice lol Those very same guys are probably tucked up in bed this morning having a nice snooze, with mammy down stairs making the breakfast, a far cry from their internet identity.

 But in reality, is that how you see a warrior ? A walking collection of weapons, 6 pack, long hair, muscle bound, cool and collective it's no wonder many men find themselves in a rut, frustrated and depressed. This type of warrior may have lived in the past, but today that image only really exist for most of us in our xbox / t.v. digi box or somewhere in the back of your mind.

A warrior of 2013 comes in many forms, he / she may be the Father / Mother who reaches out and comforts his child, holding his hand or giving a hug to surround the child with love and support. He goes to work, his new battlefield and deals with all kinds of pressure for prob little money or thanks, but he continues for he has to support his family. A warrior today deals with the pressure of having to pay crippling mortgages and banks. The raiding hordes of yesterday replace with men in grey suits. The warrior continues as he has to keep a roof over his family. A warrior today supports his partner, with companionship, each looking after each other needs, dealing with each and every issue together. A warrior today looks after his community, helping neighbours, friends, becoming active part of his local community and a integral though smal lpart of his country needs, he still pays his active part. A warrior today tries to live a good life by showing honesty, empathy and compassion, he tries his best, and when he makes a mistakes, he get up, dust himself down and tries again.

So where are these warriors? Well you may be one of them, We are surrounded by them, they are the nurses, the shop keepers, the teachers, the farmers, the club coach. They are Fathers and Mothers. They are friends, you call in the middle of the night. They are even the lollipop woman, who helps your child cross the road. We are all warriors inside, each of us have a role to live and an important part to play, and even though you may not know it, to someone else you are a warrior to them. Have a look at the two photos, each showing a true moment of warriorship and be proud of who you are. Each one is a true warrior.

I hope you enjoy this article and it might give you a few insights into your self. Please feel free to comment or share.. Liam

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Understanding the Jurus

Urban Silat - Understanding the Jurus.

In Urban Silat from our Pukulan Cimande side we have 18 standing Jurus, which form the foundation for our Cimande training. These 18 Jurus are divided into Male Odd numbers and Female Even Number Jurus.

At the start, the Jurus offer a solo training format for the student to practise at home and in class to develop correct movement. The student will focus on developing the techniques on both sides of the body, before adding footwork covering the four directions, sometimes knows as Lanka Umpat. The Jurus flow continuously and blend with the footwork. The next stage of training is adding the Low and High gate to the Jurus. This means doing the Jurus in a low posture and high posture, and then adding off timing movements to the flow, through hand slapping, decoying and stomping which helps increase the power of the hit.

As the student advances they begin to add in the animal mannerisms and elements to the Jurus, which all helps the Jurus become fully alive and a perfect unison between student and Jurus. From here the student adds his own flavouring to the Jurus, and begins to add different weapons to the Jurus.

Outside of Solo training the student can practise the Jurus against another student, developing the combat applications, which on Jurus one (The Father Jurus) teaches students the first two blocks as shown in clip, buka a opening move against a punch, and the delivery of punches and elbows. So you can see each Juru has many levels and we havn't even touch the internal aspect. Jurus are like icebergs, what you see is only really the tip, as much more depth lies within the Jurus, just out of sight. If you like the clip and this small post then please join us at or share the post.
Training is available for all levels from complete beginner to Martial Artist

Saturday, January 5, 2013

How to say Goodbye

"How to say Goodbye "  point has come up to me a number of times, and I thought it could be the topic of first article for 2013.

 There are certainties in life, death and taxes as the saying goes but for martial arts teacher the third one is students come and students go. For some the journey of them training in a class can be short and others in can be long. The relationship between the student and teacher can also be very different. For some there nothing share between the two except money and service, while other teachers teach, in a more open, friendly and martial arts brotherhood way. Depending on the way these two relationships are, corresponds to the way you should say goodbye.

 If the relationship is simply about you pay and get a service, there probably no need for a good bye, other then making sure, you have paid up to date and given the proper notice of time to cancel according to your teacher requirements.

If the relationship is a good one between you and your teacher than these simple steps are a good guide and a honourable way to do things. 1) Tell your teacher directly and in person you are leaving in . If this can't be done then phone and talk, please don't do it by text or email, or even worse don't even let your teacher know (AWOL) or your teacher finds out second hand, it's soulless, disrespectful and means you didn't value your time with your teacher. He may be disappointed (least that's better in him be happy you going lol ) but he will respect that you took the time to tell him. Remember.. and this is always overlook by many " Your teacher accepted you, with all your faults, into his class and took the time to help you settle in, and tried his best to help you" he didn't have to do this but he did accept you ! 2) Make sure you give your teacher a bit of notice your intentions about leaving. Don't wait till a training payment is due and tell him then. Most teachers now have to commit months in advance to hire hall, pay insurance, make them selves available to teach etc.. by giving your teacher a bit of notice of what happening with you and your training, your teacher can make arrangements to look for another student. Most teachers have to budget for their clubs especially nowadays, and so by your actions you can suddenly change the budget, placing short term hardship on your teacher or club. Remember if you were in a job and your boss said to you, at end of today you no longer working, what kind of stress would that put you under. Teachers nowadays are under the same pressure, so try and give some notice, allow your teacher the time so he can either re adjust the budget or find a new student.

Now I know people today are more self center and don't care about others, but if you find yourself in a place where you have to leave training, these simple steps can help the process and does shows, even though you cant continue training you do respect what you learnt.. As a teacher myself I know how much it hurts inside when you put time into a student who claims they wants to learn and he just walk away without a thought. While others who stop training the proper way still remain friends outside of martial arts and may even return at some point. It parts of the martial arts process older students give way to newer students. Try and do the decent thing, no matter what style your teacher teaches, if you enjoy your time, and your teacher has tried his best for you..

Good luck to all the students and teachers of all styles in 2013

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Belfast Combat Kali Workshop Feb 2013

Urban Silat - Combat Kali is coming to Belfast for the first time on Sat 2nd Feb 1pm - 4pm the Europa Hotel, Penthouse Suite in Belfst City Center.

Get to experience the Combat Art of Kali with Guru Liam. Training will cover the Valencia Lameco Hold Up Module, which teaches defences against all types of Hold Ups from various angles and ranges, against Weapon (Blade / Blunt) and Empty hands. Also cover will be Street defences techniques against most common form of street violence.

The Workshop is open to all ages, beginners to advance. The workshop is pre book only and if you need further info please check the event facebook link or e-mail You can book your place at the Workshop online through Paypal.
Price is £25 and if you complete novice we now offering a training equipment package of two training sticks and training knife for £10 for any student taking part
Belfast Kali Workshop

Monday, December 3, 2012

Kids December Gradings

To all Parents of our Kids Classes - Kids Silat Grading this Friday 7th Dec 2012 in Sheldon Park Hotel Conference Center. Kylemore Road, Walkinstown. Map is available from

Direction by Road from M50 take the exit at Red Cow for city Center, go 1km to your reach Traffic Light Cross roads. On Right will be Kylemore Luas stop. Turn Left and drive by McDonalds for approx 250m Hotel is on right..

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Power of the Slap

Urban Silat Street Defence Tip #1 - The Power of the Slap
When it comes to defending yourself, Simplicity is the key. Without proper Martial Arts training complex techniques will not happen, as shock, fear and surprize will take over your body and mindset. One of the most simple techniques is “Slapping”. It’s one of the techniques, that most people completely underestimate, or think to "Girly". That may be the case if the technique is not done properly, and you only using the shoulder muscle to develop power to hit with. But I'm talking about a big open hand, full power slap to side of the face, with your full body weight and body mechanics from your ankle to the shoulder behind the strike. This type of full body Power Slap will instantly shock the attacker, and give you that split second chance to escape, and get the hell out of there. If the first slap is not enough then you can easily follow up with another slap with same hand or other hand, or a elbow, or one of the old favorites a Knee strike to the groin.