In the Indonesian martial art of Pencak Silat Mande Muda, the concept of pecahan is very important. Pecahan (pronounced PEH-cha-hahn) means "fragment". In explaining this idea, the late Pendekar Herman Suwanda used the analogy of "broken glass". When a glass is thrown to the ground, there are numerous physical variables that come into play. It would be impossible to determine the exact number and shape of the pieces that would result from such an act.
The term "pecahan" is used as a metaphor to describe the many variables and possible outcomes of a self-defense situation. Each time a practitioner is attacked, his or her response must be tailored to compensate for variations in the opponent's movement, the terrain, etc. The original game plan may change several times during the course of the fight.
This is pecahan. While this principle is not unique to Mande Muda, it is in stark contrast to those martial arts which focus on rehearsed responses to specific attacks. Practicing combinations can be a useful tool, but one must be aware of the limitations of standardized responses and be able to deviate from these when the glass doesn't break the "right way".