Martial Arts for American Schools

Since a nation’s schools should reflect its real priorities, and since the United States is unquestionably the most violent country in the world, with two military occupations in progress, drone-assassins patrolling skies all over the planet, and a military budget greater than all other nations combined, it’s only natural that President Obama should include early-childhood training in the martial arts in his overhaul of education in America!

After careful consideration of the martial arts of many nations, and with all due respect to masters of karate, kung fu, surma stickfighting, evala wrestling, tinku, maculele, okichitaw, bakom-vacón, bojuka, chun kuk do, limalama, sli beatha, kbachkun boraan, kalaripayat, lathi, malla-yuddha, mukna, thang-ta, sumo, gwonbeop, kuk sool won, shippalgi, ssireum, subak, yusul, muay lao, tomoi, lethwei, naban, tegumi, buno, dumog, pangamut, yawyan, cheena di, lerdrit, baobom, vovinam, cuong nu, and kalinda, I finally settled on silat as a foundation for martial arts in American schools.

You can find a good introduction to the fundamental theory of silat in “Deathscapes of the Malay Martial Artist,” by Douglas Farrer. The first challenge of silat is understanding “(berseru) the shadows of the potent dead.” This begins with “the disjuncture of deathscapes.”

At the end of his or her training a silat master “lives in the cemetery in a mud hut walled with human skulls, devours human flesh, faeces, and dog’s urine, and consorts with menstruating prostitutes.”

And nobody wants to fight a cannibal who lives in a cemetery and drinks dog’s urine!


  1. Also from  “Deathscapes of the Malay Martial Artist”…

    My rejection of collective representations is influenced by Gell’s Art and Agency in which he eschews Saussurian semiotic interpretations of art, in favor of reading the art object in terms of what it does, rather than what it represents (Gell 1998: 6). In order to accomplish this Gell adopts Peirce’s (1991) tripartite scheme of ‘index’, ‘icon’, and ‘symbol’.


    According to Kapferer “[t]he dynamics of rite in the context of embodiment involve not only the playing out of structure but its creation-the point that Turner stressed in his work, thus countering a static Durkheimian representational orientation that has clogged much anthropological discussion of rite” (2004: 41).

  2. include :

    1. How to operate a killer-drone.

    2. How to duck and cover.

    3. How to beat up all the other kids, take their lunch money, and give their money to the ROTC guy at the end of every hall.

    4. How to assemble an M-16 fully auto.  

Comments have been disabled.