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Maen Pukulan Jiencin

Filed under: , by: Donny

In the past, silat wasn't a widely recognized word to describe the indigenous martial arts. People (in the Sunda area) called it maen pukul, which literally translates as maen: playing and pukul: hit or to hit.

About two weeks ago, a heavy rain drenched the pavillion with woven bamboo walls located in the font of Book Cafe in Duren Tiga Street, South Jakarta, where a group of people were gathered. Lightning streaked across the skies creating a foreboding atmosphere.

Kretek cigarettes and glasses of hot coffee were served and it was as if the cold and damp gradually receded as the talk about the history of Jiencin (one of Betawi's silat schools) began to flow. A middle aged man known as Muhammad Nurdin seemed to be unaware of the inclement weather outside as he sipped his hot coffee. His hands were flowing animately, describing a combat situation.

Based upon hearing the name Jiencin, it would be understandable if one were to conclude that the founder of the style (or the guru besar) was Chinese. This however, is not the case, for maen pukul Jiencin is a pencak silat style from Betawi.

"Jiencin was my father's nickname, the late Haji Husein bin Haji Utsman," said Nurdin (known affectionaly as Bang Udin) who is the current inheritor of the Jiencin silat style.

When he was younger, H. Husein was more commonly known as Bang Encin, however after completing his pilgrimage to Mecca, he became known as Ji-Encin. (Ji is a shortened form of Haji and Encin a variation of Husein).

"Maen pukulan is the Betawi terminology for pencak silat. In the past, people here were unfamiliar with the term 'silat', they called it maen pukul," he said.

According to Bang Udin, maen pukulan Jiencin was a style that spread and grew energetically among the youth of Betawi. During this period, silat was used in the fight against the Dutch occupiers.

Husein himself was no exception to the norm of the day, as he volunteered a portion of his life to participate in the revolution to free the motherland of the occupier by joining Tentara Keamanan Rakyat (TKR - transliterate to Soldiers for the Security of the People and translates to The Peoples Security Force).

As a member of the revolutionary guerilla forces, the young Husein moved from village to village and from district to district with his unit. Consequently, the places he became familiar with included the areas of Bekasi, Tambun, Karawang, Cikampek, Cikarang, Bogor and Ujung Kulon in Banten.

During his journeys, Husein had the opportunity to meet many well known silat stalwarts, capitalizing on these frequent exhanges with silat personalities from whom he was able to glean and internalize new ideas. "It was rare that the process didn't begin with them testing each other's skills, one against the other," said Bang Udin.

From the personal experiences he accumulated, and supported by talent and intelligence, Haji Encin was able to successfully fuse silat moves and principles from a number of pencak silat styles, which included Cingkrig, Bandul, Beksi, Suliwa and Gerak Rasa, to become a unique silat without a name. "Consequently we called the style Jiencin as that was his name," he said.

Upon his return to Jakarta, the providence provided by his experience and wealth of knowledge made him a respected figure by friend and foe alike in the areas of Kampung Baru (now known as Warung Buncit), Duren Tiga, Tegal Parang, Pancoran and Mampang Prapatan.

There is one note-worthy principle that this style firmly adheres to. Haji Encin always advised, don't ever sell, but if other people want to sell, then we buy, which is a metaphor for, don't go looking for an enemy, but if we are confronted by one, we don't run.

"The adherence to principle combined with the good-will he commanded, as well as having never been defeated, helped to enhance and elevate his already considerable reputation," said Ahmad Fikri who is the head of the Jiencin style.

Haji Encin was born in 1922 and died in the year 2000. A number of his sons and students continue with his lifetime effort to expand the style, which has its headquaters in Mampang Prapatan XV No. 20, Duren Tiga, South Jakarta.

Jiencin's 12 jurus are characterized by their hard and fast hand work. "Each strike and move has to be filled with power," said Bang Udin. Additionally, the body's movement should also be hard and fast.

In the early stages students are taught to develop and hone the skills of striking jurus (with the hands), defensive footwork and "ngeles" or the ability to evade an attack. In the latter stages they exercise to develop rasa, which functions to hone reflexes to anticipate an adversary's attack.

Even as a combination of styles, the Jiencin style contains a complete and comprehensive technique including an arsenal of strikes, locks, blocks, evasions and elbow strikes, with the exception of kicks. It doesn't have kicks, but does include knee strikes to the groin and leg sweeps.

As well as learning the arts of self defence, the Jiencin student learns amalan (morality). The method is by performing routine invocations of prayer before physical exercise and breath development with prayer chanting after exercise. "These activities are relevant to the purpose of the school, which is to strengthen Islamic faith," said Fikri.

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On September 7, 2013 at 3:07 PM , Anonymous said...

Ass Bang.kite mau belajar nih.kite kudu kemane nih,abang yang ngajar juga bang?