Use & Learning of Pentjak Silat

Discussion in 'Silat' started by khafra, Feb 22, 2002.

  1. khafra

    khafra New Member

    Anybody ever seen any form of Pentjak Silat used? I know there's plenty; I kinda wanted to learn the lion form when I noticed that the stances used look a lot like Spiderman, which is kinda cool. But then I decided that was a bit of a superficial reason to learn a martial art, plus I've never seen a teacher of the style, or even seen the style used.
    Has anyone else out there ever seen a demonstration of it?
  2. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    I've been studying Pentjak Silat for 7 years. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of systems which fall under the name "Silat." It's a term that's used from Malaysia, down through Indonesia, and into the Southern Philippines. "Pentjak Silat" (or "Pencak Silat" - same pronunciation), though, usually refers to Indonesian systems. In the Southern Philippines they refer to it more commonly as "Silat" ... in Malaysia, they use the term "Bersilat" which literally means "to do Silat."

    I'm a bit biased, of course, but what I've seen of Silat is pretty awesome.

    My educated guess would be that it was a tiger form, not a lion form, that you saw. I say this for a few reasons. First, I've never heard of a lion form of Silat ... not a huge reason because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of systems of Silat I've never heard of. Second, and in my mind a more compelling reason, tigers are not indigenous to anywhere that Silat was developed. The animal systems I'm familiar with in Silat are tiger, monkey, bat, snake, and water buffalo (some try to mimic the animal, some are merely associated with the animal because of its characteristics). There are quite possibly more ... but I would guess that, as with these, they would be animals that are indigenous to the areas in which the system developed.

    The roots of Silat are unknown and predate any recorded history but many consider the roots of Silat (as it is today) to lie in the Majapahit empire. This was a Hindu empire which included Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and more ... it was a pretty big empire. So Indian martial arts certainly had a hand in the evolution of Silat. What's not known (to my knowledge) is whether Silat began in the Majapahit empire or if there was a previous martial art (or many) that the Indian martial arts influenced during the time of the Majapahit empire.

    From what I've seen I'd say that the two most commonly found systems of Silat in America are Mande Muda and Serak (or one of Serak's "child" arts such as Bukti Negara which were derived from Serak). Mande Muda is a composite system which pulls elements from many systems of Silat. These 2 are certainly not the only Silat which can be found in America. A couple of others would be Seni Gayong (a Malaysian system) and Pukulan Tjiminde.

    I'm not sure I've answered your question. But hopefully I've given you some useful information ... or given you something to found further questions on :)

  3. khafra

    khafra New Member

    Quite so! That was quite an answer, and a springboard for more questions. I know the art was developed some place muddy (thus the extremely low stances for stability), and I really don't think it was tiger... Can't remember the untranslated name, though. It'd probably be really hard to find in the US, anyway. Thanks for all the further info, I'll look into it.
  4. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    That sounds like Harimau from Sumatra. Harimau literally means "tiger." I'm betting that's what you saw. Sumatra is, as I understand it, hilly and muddy so if you get in a fight, you're probably going to end up on the ground anyway so they just start there :)

    It may have been (if this rings a bell) "Minangkabau Harimau" ... "Minangkabau" is a reference to a particular group of people in Sumatra.

    However, there are other tiger systems of Silat such as Cimacan and Pamacan ("macan" is a Javanese word for tiger).

    Harimau and Pamacan are systems which Mande Muda draws from. There are some people in America doing Minangkabau Harimau under Guru Richard Crabbe de Bordes.

  5. Kendo_Cougar

    Kendo_Cougar New Member

    Is Silat indonesian Karate style??
    I never heard of it, just since i was new around this Forum.
  6. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Well, the word "Karate" is Japanese/Okinawan in origin. So, technically, Silat isn't "Karate" at all. Silat, though, is an umbrella term used to describe many of the martial arts systems from Southeast Asia ... just like "Gung Fu" is an umbrella term for many Chinese systems and "Karate" is an umbrella term for many Japanese/Okinawan systems.

    There are hundreds, if not thousands, of systems of Silat.

  7. slc

    slc Banned Banned

    I have seen a little Silat demonstrated (although I'm not sure which style, I think it may have been White Eagle) from Malaysia.

    The style I saw is similar to Kung Fu, flowing circular movements.

    It looks very impressive.

    As with many of these arts you will be very lucky to find a good teacher in the West so choose carefully.
  8. TkdWarrior

    TkdWarrior Valued Member

    "The animal systems I'm familiar with in Silat are tiger, monkey, bat, snake, and water buffalo (some try to mimic the animal, some are merely associated with the animal because of its characteristics). "

    looks like khafra can become "batman" :D
  9. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    I've only seen silat once and that was Dan Inosanto, he made it look real easy, then I tried and b*****ked it up. Its very different from most other styles I've seen.

  10. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Yes - you did.

    I Know coz i wuz there.

  11. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    I would claim that that statement was self-depreciating humility, but its not...... B*****ks!!!

    The day basically consisted of me watching Dan Inosanto do it, then Yoda tried really hard to teach me it, then he started hitting me in the head...... I wonder why :D

  12. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter


    ---- Teach FF the finer points of the Indonesian Martial Arts.

    ---- Hit him in the head.

    I took the easier option :D
  13. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter


    I resemble that comment!!!! ;)

    Yoda manages 2 insults in 1

    Bows to the master
  14. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Hehe - economy of motion :D
  15. nat

    nat New Member

    Yeah, I'm pretty sure that there is no "Lion" form in any kind of Silat. Every form that I've encountered are based on Indonesian animals, and seeing as how there are no Lions in Indonesia, it probably was Harimau.
  16. Fist Of Legend

    Fist Of Legend New Member

    I do Pencak Silat Bongkot Harimau. It's the style of the tiger. I also practiced manyang stile(wasp) and pamor badai(farmers style). I have to say I find Harimau the hardest style of the tree I did. And I find Pencak Silat a very good martial art cause it concentrates on all aspects of fighting and training. (quite like kung fu I think)
  17. tang_sou_dao

    tang_sou_dao YoU cAnT sEe Me!

    has anyone seen any silat where the practitioner calls upon a spirit which makes them do unbelievable things? a bit like the fillipino trance or something. My dads seen it and i believe him, whether u do or not its up to u.
  18. krys

    krys Valued Member

    I saw some malaysian pesilat do strange things on two tapes after they called animal spirits (crocodile and tiger).... This is a very delicate topic among pesilats as some don't accept these practices according to their religious beliefs and consider it as "black magic" or "sorcery" .....

    Every real silat style has internal practices that are supposed to allow you to do "unbelievable things".... not all make use of spirits......

    What kind of filipino trance are you refering to?
  19. tang_sou_dao

    tang_sou_dao YoU cAnT sEe Me!

    not sure, i referred this to a silat practitioner and i forget what he called it but he said it is similar to where they chant and go into a trance. my dad said there was a name for it in silat but translated into english it means master of or something.
  20. butterfly_knf

    butterfly_knf New Member

    I can say the word 'trance' makes sense...

    First of all, Pentjak Silat itself has two meanings; Pentjak for the 'motion' and 'Silat' for the energy--the inner strength (well- kinda sounds like that).

    Yes, there are some style that use trance as a skill. For example:

    1. it is often use to harbor a spirit of energy so that the person (medium-you might say) received the spirit's ability in that situation. It can be various, though. Whether it is from a person from the ancient past or etc...

    2. The art is trying to contact the physics body with the metaphysics dimension. That way you don't even have to take alot of movement (the most is breathtaking--deep-deep breathtaking :)). So it's kinda like--umm a simulator, you see...

    If you ask why is this happened in PS, then the answer is probably the culture.
    Ancient culture has ancient belief-that connect straight to nature, whether it worshipped nature or living as a part. It seems that this 'trance' ability was made as a bridge from our ground to the higher one, holyness.
    It has a very strong bond to religion, yes it is.

    But then, every MA should.
    Spiritual ceremony and stuff...
    It's the order to restore peace to the heart, right?
    That way, you create more focus.

Share This Page