Macan and Harimau

Discussion in 'Silat' started by zakariyya21, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. zakariyya21

    zakariyya21 Valued Member

    Can someone tell me the phillosphical differences between the Harimau and the Macan.
  2. kunderemp

    kunderemp New Member

    Salam, Zakariyya,

    Basically, both of Harimau and Macan means Tiger. 'Harimau' is more widely used while 'Macan' is used in Java Island (by Javanese, Sundanese, and Betawi). Other than both of words, the Sundanese also used other word to describe tiger, 'Maung'.

    Just a bit of disclaimer, I'm not a practitioner of any of Tiger Silat. What I am going to write here was simply an observation from a far. I might be wrong so it is still better to ask the practitioner of the style himself.

    Silat Harimau is usually refer to Tiger Style silat in Sumatera, especially Minang. There are also Silat Harimau in other region in Sumatera like Bengkulu. There is possibility that Silat Harimau found in other region in Sumatera has link to Silat Harimau in Minang considering Minang men has obligation to 'Merantau' (take journey). Another theory given by one of my friend was, when Padri war happened, some of practitioner of Silat Harimau take refugee to other region.

    It was said, the complete form of Silat Harimau actually involved a mystical element and I heard, some school in Bengkulu still preserved this mystical element although they rarely show it to outsider. However, from some separated interview I read, two famous teacher of Silat Harimau from Minang (and both of them had student worldwide), told that in their youth, they didn't want to learnt the mystical element and prefer the physical one.

    Harimau itself was honoured in Minang and they were considered as Inyiak (grandfather).

    Now, about Macan,
    I'm not sure whether there is 'Macan' style in Javanese Silat. The tiger movement in Perisai Diri came from Minang, if I'm not mistaken. There is, however, a family wresting style in Madura called 'Akeket Macanan'. It used to be taught only for family but now, one of the practitioner has opened it for public.

    In Sunda (West Java), there are a lot of tiger style as in Sumatera and each of them use different term, e.g. 'Pamacan', 'Macan', or 'Maung'.
    Again, as I said previously, I am not practitioner but from what I saw, it seemed the Sunda tiger style was more slow and rarely jump or leap. And some of the Sunda tiger style are not in crouching position but standing position.

    One of the practitioner of Sunda style told me that, in Sunda tiger style, the practitioner did not try to imitate the outer characteristic of tiger. Instead, the practitioner imitate the inner characteristic of tiger. In online discussion, he also mentioned that his family style consist of different level where the basic level taught the practitioner to be a beast and then later it will become human.

    I heard similar story from other Sunda tiger style. Their style used to make the practitioner behave like a beast when fighting and then, one of the elder changed it to more human form. They even drop the name 'Maung' from the style name and changed it to 'Budi Daya' (means culturized).

    Tiger itself is also honoured in Sunda. The millitary in West Java used Macan as its simbol.
    Sundanese often associate their legendary King, Prabu Siliwangi, with tiger.
  3. zakariyya21

    zakariyya21 Valued Member

    wa alaykum salam Kunderemp

    Thank you for this insight.

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