Who's Who in
History of Silat
Pencak Silat or Silat ("fighting by using
techniques of self-defense") is a Southeast Asian martial art with roots
in the culture of the Malay World. This art is widely known in
Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, and Singapore but can also be
found in varying degrees among the Malay-affiliated communities in
Thailand. 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.
are four main aspects to pencak silat:
1. Mental and spiritual:
Pencak silat aims to build and develop personality and noble character.
One must use their training to focus their mental and spiritual energies
during combat situations or dangerous emergencies.
Self-confidence skills and perseverance skills are very important.
Without them, your skills are reduced.
3. Culture and art:
Culture and performing the "art" of pencak silat is very important. This
combines Pencak Silat with traditional music and costumes.
This means that the physical aspect of pencak silat is important. We try
to have a sound mind in a sound body. Competitions and intense training
are part of this aspect.
There are full-contact matches, as well as form demonstrations, for
single, double or teamed.
To be simplified, seni silat or
pencak silat are based on 4 parts:
2. Self defense
The styles and schools of pencak silat differ from each other with
regard to which aspects are emphasized. It is thanks to the sport and
self-defense aspects that this sport has become popular in Europe (to
give evidence of this, the character of Ulrich Stern from Code Lyoko
practices the art on occasion, and utilizes his skills in battle).
However, many believe the essence of pencak silat is lost, or watered
down, when converted to a sport and therefore still focuses on
traditional or spiritual forms of Silat, not strictly following the
Pencak silat is a system that consists of sikap-sikap (positions) and
gerak-gerik (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 defense, they will try to
finish the opponent with a fast serangan (attack).
Pencak silat has a wide variety of defense 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 djurus. A djurus 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. This is common to most
Asian martial arts and called kata in Japanese.
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. 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 practicing
old forms of Silek and Silat.