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Saturday, 6-May-2006 02:13


Pencak Silat or Silat ("fighting by using techniques of self-defence") is a Southeast Asian martial art with roots in the culture of the Malay World. This art is widely known in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore but can also be found in varying degrees within countries such as Thailand and the Philippines amongst others. The art has also reached Europe, and is especially popular in the Netherlands, where it is as popular as karate is in the United States. It is estimated that there are hundreds of aliran (styles) and thousands of schools. Many of the aliran find their origin in the observation of wild animals fighting. "Harimau" (Tiger) and "Helang" (Eagle) are some examples.

There are four main aspects to pencak silat:

The "Mental-Spiritual" aspect:
Pencak silat aims to build and develop personality and noble character.
The "Bela Diri" (self-defence) aspect:
Self-confidence and perseverance are very important.
The "Seni Budaya" (culture, art) aspect:
Culture and performing the "art" of pencak silat is very important. This combines Pencak Silat with traditional music and costumes.
The "Olahraga" (sport) aspect:
This means that the physical aspect of pencak silat is important. We try to have a sound mind in a sound body. Competitions are part of this aspect.
There are full-contact (Pertandingan=Competition) fights, as well as form demonstrations, for one (Tunggal), two (Ganda) or team (Regu) persons.
The styles and schools of pencak silat differ from each other with regard to which aspects are emphasised. It is thanks to the sport and self-defence aspects that this sport has become popular in Europe. However, many believe the essence of Pencak Silat is lost, or watered down, when converted to a sport and therefore still focus on traditional or spiritual forms of Silat, not strictly following the PERSILAT way.

Pencak Silat is a system that consists of sikap-sikap (positions) and gerak-geri (movements). When pesilat (silat practitioners) are moving (when fighting) these sikap and gerak-geri change continuously. As soon as one finds an opening in their opponent's defence, they will try to finish the opponent with a fast serangan (attack).

Pencak Silat has a wide variety of defence and attacking techniques. Practitioners may use hands, elbows, arms, legs, knees and feet in attacks. Common techniques include kicking, hitting, tripping, sweeps, locks, takedowns, throws, strangles, and joint breaking.

The pesilat, or silat practitioner, practices with jurus. A jurus is a series of meta-movements for the upper body used as a guide to learn the applications, or buah when done with a partner. The use of langkah (steps), or lower body meta movements teach the use of footwork. When combined, it is dasar pasang, or whole body flow.

Pencak Silat has developed rapidly during the 20th century and has become a competition sport under the PERSILAT rules and regulations. At the moment Pencak Silat is being promoted by PERSILAT in several countries on all five continents. The goal of PERSILAT is to make Pencak Silat an olympic sport. Apart from the official PERSILAT line of making Pencak Silat a competition sport, there are still many traditional styles practising old forms of Silek and Silat.

PERSILAT (Persekutuan Pencak Silat Antarabangsa, the International Pencak Silat Federation) is promoting Pencak Silat as an international competition sport. Only members recognised by PERSILAT are allowed to participate at international competitions.

At the moment some European national Pencak Silat federations together with PERSILAT have founded a European Pencak Silat Federation.

In 1986 the first Pencak Silat World Championship outside of Asia took place in Vienna, Austria.

In 2002 Pencak Silat was introduced as part of the exhibition programme at the Asian Games in Busan Korea for the first time.

The last World Championships 2002 took place in Penang, Malaysia in December 2002.

Bersilat is the word given to the act of doing silat.

List of Silat styles
Pukulan.com The largest collection of working Pukulan, Pencak Silat and Kuntao links on the web. Pukulan.com
Silat Tuo Minangkabau- Traditional Dance, Healing & Martial Arts of Sumatra, Indonesia. Headed by Sh. Bapak Waleed of the International Silat Federation of America. Silat Tuo includes the silat styles of Seni Silat Haqq, Kumango Silat, Pauh Silat, Lintao Silat, Sterlak Silat, Harimau Silat, and Minangkabau Silat among others. Website
WaliSongo Silat- Traditional Indonesian Pencak Silat, combining comprehensive groundwork, strikes, grappling & weapons. The kembangan (flower dance)plays a central role in this system. Headed by Guru Ma Prem, and taught by Pendekar Steve Benitez in London.Website
Tapak Suci - Putera Muhammadiyah is a well-known silat aliran. It's spreading over the world especially through Indonesian immigrants in Netherland or through Muhammadiyah branches all over the world. The typical style of Tapak Suci are red uniforms and Islamic way of philosophy. Nowadays, The Perguruan Tapak Suci is one of the biggest perguruan in Indonesia. Tapak Suci Europe Website
Persatuan pencak silat inti ombak//Inner wave Pencak Silat - Indonesian Pencak Silat base on mataram and madura style teach internal and external aspect of human body by Guru Daniel Prasetya
Persatuan Gerak Badan (also knows short as PGB or Bangau Putih) was founded in 1952 in Bogor and has branches in Europe, North America and the Middle East
Silek Tuo and Silek Harimau - traditional old styles from the Minangkabau people in West Sumatra meaning "Old Silek" and "Tiger Silek"
Pencak Silat Pertempuran - A silat style composed of Pencak Silat Pamur and Sterlak Silat primarily. Other Indo-Malay silat influences include: Seni Bela Diri Silat Jati Wisesa, and Raja Monyet Silat. It translates to Combat Silat.Pencak Silat Pertempuran Website
Perguruan Pencak Silat Padjadjaran Nasional - Traditional west-javanese styles are combined in this aliran, the European branche is represented by Eric Bovelander.
Pencak Silat Gerakan Suci - An evolution of Pencak Silat Mande Muda
Silat Mubai - Muslim Silat
Silat Zulfikari - Martial practice of the Qadiri Rifai Tariqa
Pukulan Bongkot - a Silat style
Maphilindo Silat - a Silat style founded by Dan Inosanto to honour his Silat teachers. It is composed of styles from Malaysia (Ma), the Philippines (Phil) and Indonesia (Indo).
Pukulan Pentjak Silat Serak (or Sera), a system founded by Pak Sera of the Badui tribe and expanded by Mas Roen and Mas Djoet. Several regional variations exist.
Paguron Penca Silat Nampon, Martial art with double functions, self defence and the usage possesing the characteristics of Inner Energy. Nampon - Syahbandar - Kari - Madi movements basically returns each opponent’s attack, pull,push and return with a counter attack. Founded by Nampon 1932, The major study consists of 10 steps , mixing the combination of various body movements and the waves bursts of the senses, thus developing into an art of defence. The uniqueness of Nampon-Trirasa , it possesses 2 chracateristics; the reflexive movement of self defence with the movement of art performance. Commonly known as Ibing Penca Silat. website
Soempat Silat- Pak Tisari Majoeki, founder, developer of the curved rattan stick, Lineage holder Maha Guru "Pak Vic" de Thouars.
Bukti Negara, a modern, modified style of Sera designed by Serak lineage holder Pendekar Paul de Thouars. The name Bukti Negara means "witness to a nation," reflecting Pendekar de Thouars' gratitude to the art of Serak, and to show that Bukti Negara is the art that is the witness to Serak. Because there are myriad restrictions on who can study the parent system of Serak, Pendekar de Thouars modified Serak to create Bukti Negara in order to expose an ever increasing audience to the art. This most humble but amazing person, Pendekar Paul de Thouars realizes that the art is greater than himself, and proves this through his everyday living. He has not, and will not cash in on this art - keeping it instead pure and not wasting any effort within.
Kuntao Silat combines Kuntao and Silat, as taught by Willem de Thouars.
Perisai Diri - An ideal martial art for those who want to learn both a unique and effective system of self-defense. Established since 1955 in Indonesia by Pak Dirdjo.
Cimande- along with Sera (monkey style) Pamacan (tiger style) and Trumbu (stick fighting) are styles of Pencak Silat founded by Embah Kahir in the late 1700's in West Java. These arts still exist in some villages located on the Cimande river, including the village of Tarik Kolot. Today there are over 300 variations of Cimande.
Pukulan Cimande Pusaka- A style of Cimande descended from Mas Jut, taught by Pendekar William Sanders. This style includes the original Embah Kahir arts from Tarik Kolot village.
Seni Gayung Fatani - a Malaysian style originating from the Fatani Province in Southern Thailand. One of the four reputedly largest silat school of Malaysia.
Gayung Malaysia - One of the four reputedly largest silat school of Malaysia.
Silat Cekak - A different kind of silat. It is more to defensive-type of silat because it applies 99% defending technique and only 1% attacking technique. This silat does not have any Bunga, Langkah Gerak or Kuda-kuda. The movements or counter-attacks of this silat is quite unpredictable because it doesn't apply Kuda-kuda in its movements. One of the four reputedly largest silat school of Malaysia.
Silat Lincah - One of the four reputedly largest silat school of Malaysia.
Silat Teralak Asli - One of the lagest silat in Kelantan.A different kind of silat because its more spesific in 'tapak' to defent the skill and very fast movement to step forward when attacking and defending.Its more to 'terlatah' in counter-attack.
Pencak Silat Mande Muda - Created by Uyuh Suwanda in 1951 and continued by his son Herman, Mande Muda is a composite system from West Java. Composed primarily of Cimande, it contains elements of over 20 systems, principally Cikalong, Syahbandar, Harimau, Pamonyet, Kari, Madi, and Serak. website

Silat systems outside of Southeast Asia
(Alphabetical listing)


AMOK! is the name given to a system of martial arts, grounded in eskrima, silat and Filipino Martial Arts. The AMOK! system was created, refined and developed by Tom Sotis, the head of the International Blade Fighters' Guild.
Piper System or Cape Knife Fighting- A blend of Malay Silat brought by slaves ( Malay, Indonesian and Javanese) in the 17th century South Africa and the fighting system ( stick, club, shield, spear and dagger) of the Zulu warriors. The martial arts has now degenerated into a criminal knife system.

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