Opening and Closing Circles:
Formal latihan, belt tests, and retreats are ritually opened and closed.
The “opening” (pembukaan) circle is led by the head pelatih or most senior trainer or student present. Members gather in a circle in order from the trainer’s right hand side around the circle from most senior member or holder of the most advanced belt to the newest students and people not wearing belts.
People must be wearing silat ‘whites’ in order to participate in the circle. Shirts must be tucked into the waistband of the pants.
The opening ritual usually involves a grounding breath, a bow, and recitation of the membership oath.
If the latihan was formally opened with a circle bow, there will also be a formal closing circle. The same guidelines apply as in the opening.
Anybody in the room who is not participating in the opening or closing circles should stand during the ritual and maintain a respectful silence. After the closing circle, the soja is extended to everybody present in the room who stood outside the circle.
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