American KunTao Silat

American KunTao Silat has seven levels of progress to GuruMuda; six to Practitioner.

American KunTao Silat was born in Marin County California in 2000. Steve Gartin had been teaching KunTao Silat for over two decades, a system he founded with Chas Clements in 1978 comprised mostly from Indonesian silat and Chinese KunTao learned from the de Thouars Brothers. This, however, was a very difficult system for Americans to learn due to the very low stances and brutal training. American KunTao Silat maintains the first three levels of KunTao Silat as a foundation and builds upon that base with internal KunTao as taught to Steve by Great GrandMaster U. Un Surya (Bill Chang)  finishing off the American KunTao Silat combat arsenal. Thus American KunTao Silat maintains the combat effectiveness KunTao Silat is renowned for by adding the Internal power mechanics of Bill Chang Style KunTao to the phenomenal Dutch/Indonesian silat foundation while providing a systematic approach to learning characterized by Steve’s Constant Training philosophy.

Level One: LegWork & HandWork – First we train the stances, so they can be incorporated into the daily life and movements of the student.  Basic HandWork is then added to the stances and incorporated into movement drills.  The Inner Circle Greeting and the American WarmUp are also learned at this level. 

Weapons   Traditionally, the blade is the weapon of choice.

Level Two: Djurus Satu – First Form Having practiced the stances and hand movements from Level One, the student now begins to study the first traditional choreographed form which carries the combat knowledge from the Indonesian lineage and provides a means of personal practice any where and any time. Djurus Satu is very direct, explosive and offensive.  The best defense being a strong offense, Djurus Satu teaches effective self defense understanding and training.

Level Three: Lanka Dua – The Flower   Non-confrontation is sometimes the most effective way to deal with aggression.  It takes longer to develop and even longer to refine, so the student receives the initial training early in their KunTao Silat development.  

Level Four:  Chang Style Internal KunTao Basics. With a firm foundation set in silat, the American practitioner now moves into the world of internal mechanics as practiced by the Taoist arts in Indonesia. Chang Style prepares the practitioner for power generation in an entirely different manner that can be applied to the forms in previous levels as well as levels to come. 

Level Five: Internal Kuntao   With the preceding elements now developed, the Internal mechanics  provide a solid base for hitting, grappling, tearing, ripping and smashing techniques and training methods and another level of applying the legwork and hitting tools.

Level Six: Internal PoQuaZen – With hands and legs now integrated, the student now develops circular motion strength and mobility of uncommon proportions.  The Dragon provides enlightenment in movement unlike any animal. Circular movement, precision hitting with furious speed and the use of body levers are now added to the student’s arsenal of martial skills.  Timing, precision and control are honed in this level. 

  • At this point, the student has reached Practitioner Level and can continue practice for a life time without ever needing further instruction, although seminars and workshops will always be available. When the Student becomes a Practitioner a world of options opens.  The parent arts of KunTao Silat and over a hundred classical forms are available for deeper study and the Practitioner is urged to experiment in the areas of their interest and ability.

Level Seven: GuruMuda {Young Teacher}

This training prepares a Practitioner to teach.  We find many who currently teach come to us with the desire to teach the Family System from the beginning of their training.  In such a case, the elements of teaching are built into that Student’s training from the start and the testing procedure requires application of the forms and training exercises.

There are Three Ways to Join the Guru Certification Home Learning Course:




Current GCC Members can subscribe to the Inner Circle for fast-track training options: https://www.kuntaosilat.com/product/basic-inner-circle-subscription-gcc-members-only/

One Response to American KunTao Silat

  1. Profile photo of Forrest
    Forrest November 26, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

    This is a real treat. And its just the beginning!

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