A Personal Philosophy

Jim Ingram.

Mr. Ingram has been teaching Amerindo Pentjak Silat in the U.S. for over 40 years.   This is his philosophy below.

During my years of teaching Pukulan Pentjak Silat, I have taught just about every type of person - privately or in mixed groups, old and young, men and women, boys and girls.   I have learned to get my point across by using the most direct, simple language, backed with understandable examples.

A martial art is not a game to play or something that has been handed to you.   It is an acquired discipline that becomes a strong builder of character.

The most common questions people ask are, "Which martial art is better?" or "What type of Silat is most effective?"   Well, to me, these are improper questions.   It would be as if I were to ask, "What is more important - air, water, or earth?" They are all important.   They are all vital.   If you are suffocating, you must have air.   If you were lost in the desert and dying of thirst, then a pool of fresh water would save your life.   If you are drowning, the earth could be your lifesaver.   You must draw upon these three elements for self-preservation.   They are the necessities of life.

Wanton violence and killing are against every law in martial arts and against every law in nature.   As humans, we are the only beings who kill needlessly.   We are the only species that destroys things on a whim.   The rest of the animal world will only kill for food or protection.   Pentjak Silat training is geared to the philosophy of nature's way.

All students should have a clearly defined understanding of Pentjak Silat training.

Following are seven requirements for becoming a proficient practitioner of a martial art:

1. Have faith in your selected martial arts system.   If there is doubt in your system, your interest will diminish and you will not achieve mastery in it.

2. Respect your chosen teacher, who has sincerely accepted you as his student.   Recognize his knowledge and ability as being worthy of emulating.

3. Concentrate during training.   Strong discipline will accompany a more rapid mastery of the art.   Close mental concentration will intensify physical strength.

4. Cultivate patience during training.   Your goal will be reached in good time by properly applying yourself.   A calm endurance and self-possession will also aid in resisting potential provocations.

5. Practice coordination during training.   The ability to move and adjust harmoniously and instantly to any situation will provide a more immediate mastery of the art.

6. Practice as much as possible, not only in the training school but also at home.   Every hour of practice will deepen and solidify your basic foundation to prepare for a higher level of training.   Consistent practical performance or application of knowledge leads to certain proficiency.

7. Acquire confidence in yourself through your art.   This state of mind implies a cool self-reliance under any circumstance.   It offers the assurance of poise and imperturbability in the face of danger.

Pentjak Silat is known for its graceful and almost effortless movements.   The beauty and grace of this art transforms like lightning into one of the most effective ways of self-defense.   I do not teach Pentjak Silat as a sport.   I teach it for self-defense that is suitable for people of all ages.   Learning Pentjak Silat teaches self-confidence, awareness, and courage.

"The individual knows what he (or she) is."

"The one who speaks does not know.  The one who knows does not speak."

"I am just a guide to the knowledge, but you are the teacher of yourself."

When a teacher dies, a world of knowledge is lost forever.   That's why I have no secrets.   For as long as my students live and teach, I will live.

Jim Ingram
Amerindo Self-Defense System

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