Crack Bones in Holland – okay, that was not the official title. But the conditions were right. With Niki and Marcus, Alex and Patrick we went to Amsterdam on the first weekend of October. More precisely to Hoofddorp. To the silat seminar with Master Mornie. This promised to be exciting, because Maul Mornie has meanwhile achieved worldwide cult status.
But Amsterdam does not only consist of canals and bicycles, but also traffic jams, construction sites and diversions through rather uniform suburbs. And so we were discreetly two hours late for the first day of training on Saturday. The seminar was organized by the Dutch SSBD group. Participants came from all over Europe. And the dojo (Gym Satria Muda) is obviously also a classical Silat dojo with many faces, which you can see their roots in Southeast Asia. In any case, it was packed and after a few minutes we were right in the middle of the action.
The first day – too fast
I had previously asked my teacher Niki whether my level of knowledge was sufficient for a seminar with Maul Mornie. I don’t know why he confirmed that. Anyway, we were right in the thick of it in the cold start. And the first units I felt slightly overstrained, because Maul demanded a permanent change of partners to train basic drills. And that’s quite challenging when you’re still unsure about how things are going. Many of the participants obviously had little previous knowledge of silat as well. And when two such movement dyslexics meet, there is a wild muddle in terms of arm and leg. But you want to look good when the master looks! What paid off, however, was Niki’s physical and contact training. It doesn’t matter if forearms crash into each other. At least not me :-). Sometimes the people opposite looked a little bit … surprised.
Maul worked out some drills and let us practice them in numerous variations. This teaching of different ways to counter an attack is typical for Silat. Perfect in itself, but due to the many participants and the very different level of knowledge, it often went much too fast for me. As soon as I had understood one procedure halfway through, the next variation came. And the next partner.
Magic Maul Mornie live
Of course it was a pleasure to see Maul Mornie in action. It was fantastic to see with what certainty this Silat master moves, always positions himself ideally to his counterpart and has an answer to every situation. The footwork perfect, the structure bombproof and the techniques lightning fast and extremely effective. In addition, the very special way in which Maul captivates his audience (or his followers): reservedly, respectfully, with humour and without big words. Exactly this contrast of absolute skill, deadly techniques and at the same time respectful and restrained handling is what makes Maul Mornie so fascinating. He still smiles charmingly when he has twisted off your head and sprays the blood. You feel like you’re in good hands! Video of the seminar in Holland
It didn’t come to that. Everyone remained (almost) intact. And I slowly got an idea about the SSBD family. Because although I would have liked to train the techniques to get them into my dim skull, the permanent changes also had something good. You get in contact with almost everyone. And the people who dedicate themselves to martial arts at this level are really something special. They all go crazy together, otherwise you don’t voluntarily beat each other up like that. But at the same time extremely open and affectionate, warm and respectful. What fascinated me so much in Niki’s training group in the distant Kalletal, I experienced here on a new level, because here everybody was like that.
Training finished, found a place to stay overnight at a silat friend’s place and “enjoyed” Ethiopian finger food: I decorated our improvised sleeping place in the middle of Amsterdam by intensive forest work. When I looked into the broken faces of my comrades-in-arms the next morning it was clear: I have to move into a single room next time.
The second day – at the end
On the second day of the seminar we were able to practice the drills, which had the motto “Attacking Flow”, in pairs with more time. This was very helpful for my learning behavior. And especially with Alex and Patrick I had two great partners, who seemed to have little patience with the older and a little bit sluggish and slow colleague. In addition, we were strengthened by “big Alex” and Marina, who had joined us the night before. But at the end of the seven hours, after countless throws and ground contacts, I had the feeling that I would not be able to get up even once. Only Niki and Marcus were still in top shape and fresh. But when I looked through the hall I was reassured: Most of the other participants were also flat, not only my condition was at the end.
Not easy to draw. Of course it’s crazy to see Maul Mornie not only on YouTube, but live in action. But I’m a little out of the age of fan screams and autograph hunts. As with most seminars, it often happened too fast for me. So I prefer to train with Niki in Kalletal and learn the techniques in small groups and then in depth. My skills are not (yet) sufficient to be able to perceive and appreciate the subtleties that Maul Mornie offers to the experts.
But it was a very special pleasure to spend more time with “my” boys than just the few hours of training. As well as being allowed to absorb the spirit of the SSBD family. And it will be exactly these two elements that I will enjoy at the next seminars by and with Maul Mornie.