top of page

Principles of Semangat Baru


Constant forward pressure
Constant forward pressure means what it says. When contact is made with the opponent, and close penetration is achieved, constant pressure is maintained to feel the opponents energy. Constant pressure is applied when striking, trapping, or grabbing the opponent, leaving little time and distance for the opponent to counter attack. The idea is to stick to the opponent once the initial contact is made. Whether or not the opponent’s energy is strong or weak, a Semangat Baru practitioner can feel the opponent’s intention and direct the action to his/her discretion. Without constant pressure, controlling the action would be much more difficult.


Penetration is the immediate charge into the opponent once the confrontation is initiated. This is done to achieve the close range in which most of the techniques are applied. Penetrating the opponent’s space, entering into the heart of the danger, is an essential part of the art of Semangat Baru.


Body Mechanics
The body is divided into three sections or what we call dimensions and two divisions. The basic rule of how the body functions when techniques are applied is when the upper body moves, the lower body stays still, and vice versa. In each part of a technique, the dimensions are isolated from one another. When one part of your structure is weak, trapped or incapacitated, the other dimension will compensate. The first dimension of the body are the upper limbs (from the head to the arms). In most cases a strike or deflection is made with the first dimension. The first dimension can strike, trap, pull, off-balance and apply all sorts of wrist locks and arm locks without the aid of the rest of the body. The second dimension (the area of the shoulders down to the waist) are very important because they act as guideline or reference point for the upper angulation. The shoulder line is the base and all other lines extend from that base. The third dimension ( the area of the waist on down to the feet) is used for sweeping, kicking, pulling, dragging and compressing the opponent Although only two dimensions are needed to complete the takedown and some cases even one, students are taught to use and recognize all three.


Training Kilet
Kilet or “sticky hands” is a basic blocking drill. Strikes are thrown at the student in a forward aggressive manner. The student is expected to block the incoming blows while moving backwards in small increments.


Sambuts are a combination of techniques performed in a set sequence. They are trained with a partner to give the practitioner a sense of position and sensitivity.


Depok and Sempok
Depok and Sempok refer to foot positions relative to your upper body. Depok means placing your foot in front of your body on your shoulder line. Sempok is to the rear. As an exercise, the student is asked to position themselves in a “horse stance” with feet a little more than shoulder width apart, hands in front of the body, in a low position facing forward. The right leg is then lifted off the ground, weight is transferred to the left leg as the right leg is positioned behind the left leg continuing all the way to the ground. This posture (with the left leg folded over the right knee in a sitting position) is called “siloh”.


Sambutan is also known as the counter for counter drill. It involves two opponents in the practice of attacking and counterattacking in a continually flowing motion. For example, an attacker would strike his/her opponent with a punch, the defender would counter that strike by positioning him/herself in a position of control just before the technique can be executed. Immediately, a counter-attack continues until one of the combatants can no longer counter-attack. In the early stages, this drill is done slowly so that the students can learn proper body mechanics and timing, as their skill increases, so does the speed of the drill which eventually leads to sparring full speed. Sambutan was designed to develop a practitioners response to unpredictable behavior from his opponent, the ability to shift the flow of an encounter quickly from defense to offense and vice versa. In time, the practitioner learns that combat effectiveness is not based on vast knowledge of specific techniques, but on principles and timing.


Djurus are forms which symbolize combative motions. Each Djuru was created to express different principles, functions, and concepts.

bottom of page