Katja and Arne's travel stories

23.02.15 Bakti Negara Silat


A good night’s sleep makes me a better person. You and me both, right? We are going to train Bakti Negara today, and we’re super excited.

We change hotel today and take our belongings and check out from Echoland bed and breakfast. It’s been a good place to stay, but the size of our new room trumps everything.

We get a cab, the same one that picked us up from the airport, and start the journey. It’s ninety minutes to training starts, but you never know how’s traffic is around here.
We just pop in and out the new hotel to leave three out of four bags and go from there to the training.
We stop by a banana wholesale on the way and buy a big banana pile. They’re all still connected to the branch and are easy to carry. They will make for a good supplement while training.

Our teacher Bagus Jagra Winata was already on the mat stretching when we arrived two minutes to ten. He was everything you can wish for when you hook up over the internet and don’t really knew what you’re getting. That said, our good friend Heikki spent time here not so long ago and helped us pick the place. That is a good recommendation as any.
We spent the first minutes talking about the place, about Bakti Negara and then where we come from and what we want to train. We have would like to look into footwork, foot trappings and locks both up and down, and some weapons training. Time will show if we can cover all subjects.
We started with some nice footwork drills, moved on to foot trappings and kicking before taking a short break. From there we did upper body trappings and movement and counters to locks. Swoosh! That’s the sound of two hours of training. Completely drenched in sweat we’re happy and wind down by getting some Silat terminology, the training philosophy of Bakti Negara and the values they represent. It’s interesting to hear about how the competitons with set rules have made an impact on the heritage to a degree where it’s not usable in a street fight. Sounds like any other sport/martial art you know? Pencak Silat is a terminology that I’ve heard lots of times.
What I didn’t know was that Pencak means “soft”/open hand/pattern. Like we know from Karate and other martial arts where forms/katas are being used. Silat means fighting/”hard”. Learn something new every day.

Since there is not taxis roaming this area, Bagus takes us to the closest Taxi stand. We appreciate that as it would have been a long walk. With our big stick of bananas, a backpack and sweaty clothes we get a ride back to the hotel. Damn, this was fun. We’re back tomorrow at nine for another two hours. Bagus teaches classes, police, security and Bank Personell later on the day, leaving the mornings for the likes of us.
A forgettable lunch on the restaurant across the street, save that Katja got some lime juice for her no poo hair. A new thing will be tested today.

Lime juice

Lime juice

Acting as dispenser I help with the lime juice project and it’s deemed a instant success.
We unpack and unwind before we walk down towards town. There’s some things we need to buy and Bali holds a better variety and quality than most other places we’ve visited.

While walking we get a connection with Claes Johansson, our good friend and one of the instructors at the Peaceful Warrior camp. He and a couple of students, Mats and Emma, are installed on Kuta beach and will watch the sunset there. We jump in a taxi and get there five minutes before the sun sets in the ocean. Not that we can see it for the clouds.
It’s really good to see Claes again. He’s a great guy we’ve had loads of fun with. We sit on the beach taking for a while before moving on to get dinner. We talk and enjoy ourselves until it’s time to head home. More Silat to be done in the morning.

Emma, Mats, Claes and I

Emma, Mats, Claes and I

On our way back Katja spots a sunglass store as is finally able to find a pair of training sunglasses. We’ve been looking for ages and tried all kinds of brands and models. Finally the right once were found, and when the shopping gene of Katja kicked in I vetoed and we went home.

We got off at the supermarket round the corner for the hotel to buy oatmeal, milk and cereal for breakfast. We’re in the store with two minutes to spare before closing. We made it though and will praise our luck come tomorrow morning.

There is no doubt that some plant food, such as oatmeal, is more economical than meat, and superior to it in regard to both mechanical and mental performance. Such food, moreover, taxes our digestive organs decidedly less, and, in making us more contented and sociable, produces an amount of good difficult to estimate.

– Nikola Tesla

Author: arnber

Humongen! The big guy! The man, the myth, the legend! And then theres' me. The nice guy in the house. The man without cooking skills, but with five stars on the Playstation. Boss at work, relaxed at home. What you see is what you get. Life is good. I choose it to be.

3 thoughts on “23.02.15 Bakti Negara Silat

  1. Hi there can you tell me the name of the place you trained at? I wonder where is a great space and teacher in the art.

    • Hi. We trained at the Bakti Negara Headquarters. It’s in Ganga Bakti Negara, about 20 minutes from the center of Seminyak. I think it’s wise to contact them first by phone to make an appointment. The training was excellent, and highly recommended.

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