whats this

Discussion in 'Silat' started by flippedout6, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. flippedout6

    flippedout6 New Member

    hey guys - umm can someone exactly tell me what silat is ???
    i looked at all the styles in the forum but i jst dont know what it is
    i asked all my friends and they dont know what or where it came from

    so can someone tell me what it is :confused:

    thanx :)
  2. butterfly_knf

    butterfly_knf New Member

    Hey I really think you should read this forum section more often:D

    + Silat is originated in Java and based on their cultural belief (The Kebatinan). One of the most one is Setia Hati. Silat also concerns to spiritual energy (as of 'magic') and the many similarities with this style can be found in Kung fu.

    The biggest weapon in Silat is it foot work variations (But when I think of it... many of Ninjutsu feet movement draws in Silat pattern).

    Hmm... It's a bit hard since I 'm a Silat practitioner who receive it as tradition, and sharping my skill through other MA style.

    But from what I learn, it seems Pentjak Silat was made to create a 'invicible-immune' condition on your body to repel all attacks (weapon, etc)
    It happens in Silat, yes, due to the subject worship to their religious act. Some might say it has the work of occultism (which is true-in certain aspect though) and it focus more on your spiritual side. Since in war, bodily use and 'prayers'/bacaan (sentence indicated to kesaktian) is the deadliest weapon.

    Yes, that's a part. But I'm sure you'll hear alot more if you stick at this sectin more often.
  3. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Here in America, the two most prevalent systems of Silat are Serak (or its "child" art of Bukti Negara) and Mande Muda. Then you'd have Mustika Kwitang and Silat Seni Gayong. Then individuals here and there teaching a variety of other systems like Cimande or Harimau.

    The term "Pencak Silat" is like the term "Karate" in that it's an umbrella term. Just as there are many systems of Karate, there are many systems (hundreds and maybe thousands) of Silat. The term encompasses systems primarily from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the southern Philippines. And there is a lot of diversity among the specialties of the various systems.

    Harimau, for instance, specializes in groundfighting. Rikasan specializes in joint locks and breaks. Cipecut is a flexible weapons system.

    The one thing that has been common among all the Silat that I've been exposed to has been a particular attitude or mindset. It's very aggressive in nature. Very much a mindset of, "You may kill me but I'll die firm in the knowledge that, if you don't die too, you'll be maimed for life."

    As far as the spiritual/magical side that butterfly_knf spoke of, here in the U.S., these aspects aren't seen very frequently. Though it's certainly still an aspect of it. It's not nearly as heavily emphasized as it is in southeast Asia - at least, that's the impression I've gotten.

  4. krys

    krys Valued Member

    Silat is a a form of combat art that is traditionally found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Southern Thailand and the Southern Philippines.
    There are about 850 kinds of silat in Indonesia, 600 in Malaysia, 30 in Singapore, more than one hundred in Mindanao (Southern Philippines).

    In the Philippines some silat styles originate as family or clan practices and some because of territorial influences.
    In Mindanao, if your parents do not know anything about the art, then you don't even bother to look for the art. No one will just teach it to you because the art is usually hidden.
    Mindanao's practices are quite different as against how the silat forms are more openly practiced in Indonesia and Malaysia.

    There are soft and hard forms in silat.
    The hard form is used specifically for fighting when one is generating power for an attack.
    A lot of concentration is needed when you use the hard form to issue strength, so this is only done when it is necessary....

    In our traditional filipino silat it is 80% groundfighting and 20% standing techniques. In a split of a second you can oerthrow your opponent.
    There are fatal leg movements in silat like stomping, kicking on the knees, sweeping, turning and scisors on the leg, hip and neck. Then there is locking which is difficult and dangerous because the applications are direct and you can break the neck in a split of a second. The movement is always evading.. Then there are cross, letter U, Y, C and diagonal movements. Aside form this there is the strike to fatal points in the body.
    Our silat asli and saudara systems specialize in catching-locking.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2003
  5. flippedout6

    flippedout6 New Member

    thanks guys
  6. Fist Of Legend

    Fist Of Legend New Member

    hello. I practice Harimau style and have done Manyang and Pamor Badai in the past. I guess you got all the answers you needed? If you got a question about one of these 3 styles you can always ask, I think none of the guys here in the forum who practice Pencak Silat have done these. (can be wrong he ;)) greetz
  7. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Actually, I think most everyone here who's done Silat has done some Harimau - but then, from what I understand, Harimau is one of the most prevalent systems of Silat in the world - even in Indonesia, many Silat systems have incorporated Harimau into their system for their groundfighting.

    But I think you're right in your assumption about no one doing Manyang or Pamor Badai :) Those are much rarer (at least in my experience).

  8. krys

    krys Valued Member

    We use some kind of tiger claw-leaping techniques, but it is more for standing fighting. Harimau is a very common name for silat systems in Malaysia-Indonesia, there are many harimau systems different from the sumatra minangkabau harimau..
    (Gayong-Harimau,......), and they are not necessary associated with ground fighting.... Many systems of Borneo and the southern Philippines actually use the sweeping motions of the crocodile for groundfighting...:)
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2003
  9. Cain

    Cain New Member

    So as I understand "Silat" means a broad range of styles sorta like Kung Fu right...?

  10. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    If you mean sorta like the term "Kung Fu" then, right. If you mean Silat is sorta like Kung Fu then you're partially right - depends on which system of Silat you compare to which system of Kung Fu as to what similarities and differences you'll find.

  11. Cain

    Cain New Member

    Yeah I meant just the kind of term "Kung Fu" is used, I used to think Silat is one system itself did'nt know there are so many styles of Silat :eek:

  12. pesilat

    pesilat Active Member

    Yup. And then you've also got all the "macan" styles like Pamacan and Cimacan that are also "tiger" styles and could conceivably also be called "harimau" styles (if named in a different regional language).

  13. ICT

    ICT Shaolin Malay Silat

    Long before the Christian era, according to Indonesian historians 1500 years B.C., it was the inhabitants of Tongkin and Annan (modern day Vietnam) who, due to various reasons, explored and settled on the current Indonesian islands. These explorers were more highly developed culturally than the indigenous peoples of the island groups now known as Indonesia. To this day one still finds evidence of the Dongson-culture. The original inhabitants were very primitive and darker in skin color as can be found today on Madagascar, Irian Jaya (New Guinea) and other Melanesian islands. The small groups of Vietnamese immigrants who later established themselves on these islands formed alliances, intermarried and formed the first true and oldest recorded kingdom, Kutai in southeast Kalimantan, in 400 A.D.


    A little over two hundred years later a great empire arose: Sriwijaya which stretched out over all of Indonesia and into parts of Thailand. This was in the years 650 to 1300 A.D. A kingdom was established, having its cultural center on the banks of the Nusi River. During this period between 650 and 750 A.D. a mighty temple was built in central Java called the "Borobudur" the largest Buddhist temple ever built on earth, with an unknown technology and considered today, as one of the "7 wonders of the world". The most notable ruler of this empire was Ratu (king) Balaputradewa (856-860 A.D.) the son of Ratu Samaratungga of Mataram (eye of God) who was a practitioner of Buddhism. It would seem logical that the Visayans who traveled over to Indonesia from India through Burma were much better armed and trained in warfare than the immigrants of Vietnam or the peoples of Indonesia and therefore were able to effectively rule this empire for so long. Their contribution to Indonesian culture is still evident today in Bali and in the common usage of various terms such as "guru" from the two words "gu" (one who dispels) and "ru" (darkness) in other words a wiseone or teacher.


    Always at war with the Sriwijaya were the kingdoms of east Java. Under the leadership of Ratu Darmawangsa in east Java during the wars to repel invaders, one can find evidence of combat and self-defense techniques (980 A.D. – 1017 A.D.). An alliance was created by Darmawangsa with prince Airlangga, son of Udaya of Bali, when Airlangga married Darmawangsa's daughter. When Airlangga became Ratu (1019 A.D. – 1042 A.D.) the techniques of Pentjak Silat became clearly more formalized and refined. The fighting techniques of Pentjak Silat were further refined during the periods of the following Ratus:

    Ratu Dhoho (Kediri).

    Ratu Joyoboyo (1135 A.D.- 1157 A.D.)

    Ratu Tunggul Ametung (1222 A.D. - 1292 A.D.) ruler of the Singasari kingdom who's wife was the famous princess Ken Dedes. It was at this time that an exceptional personality suddenly entered into the area neighboring the Singasari kingdom named, Ken Arok. It turned out later that he was not Javanese. Ken Arok was interested in contacting powerful wizards and seers. He traveled with Empu Gandring a Hindu-wizard who taught him all sorts of crafts (black arts, witchcraft). On Ken Arok's orders Ratu Tunggul Ametung was assassinated with a "Kris" (the mystic blade of Indonesia) provided by wizard Empu Gandring, and given to the assassin. The assassin was then immediately put to death by Ken Arok, who then took Ken Dedes as his wife and ascended onto the throne becoming Ratu of Singasari. This then was the beginning of the most famous empire in east Java the Mojopahit.

    Mojopahit (1293 A.D. - 1470 A.D.). Here we see the test of Pentjak Silat under the leadership of Ratu R. Wijaya with the help of Adipati Arya Wiraraja. These two men led their armies against the dreaded forces of Sih-Pe, Ike-M'se and Kau-Sing, Generals under the command of Emperor Kubilai-Khan and drove them back. This and other victories expanded the Mojopahit empire until, under the rule of Ratu Hayamwuruk it encompassed all of the Indonesian islands and Malaysia. It was Gajahmada who during this period created an elite army of specially trained warriors called the "Bayangkara". Mataram (1586 A.D. to 1755 A.D.) was the last recognized kingdom or government, with its capital city named Pasar Gede (Kotagede). Therefore we can see that Pentjak Silat had many influences in its evolution as a fighting art, from the intermarriages with Vietnamese and Visayans, in warfare, exposure to trade with other countries such as China, as well as to Hinduism, Buddhism and eventually Islam.


    As temples and pagodas were built to honor various religions, and as the priests and monks from India and China prayed, lived and worked within the walls of these structures, it became necessary for them to defend the very creations they had built and decorated. The decorations on the temples and monasteries were often made of gold and adorned with jewelry. The monks then were not only craftsmen and artisans but also became masters in defending and preserving their work from vandals, thieves and robbers. The priests and monks were often very refined, cultured scholars, who acted as advisors and were employed in the service of kings and princes. It is not surprising then, that in order to preserve their martial arts, the monks would teach only the aristocracy or members of the nobility. Many of the principles of fighting were also tested and refined by the warrior class. It wasn't until much later that the "commoners" were able to learn and utilize the martial arts for their day to day needs. The name Pencak Silat was, until the 17th century, relatively unknown. It is a combination of a Javanese term "pentjak" which implies an art form or artful expression, with a Malaysian word kilat or "silat" which means lightning. Therefore the implication is that of lightning fast application in combat. Over time many styles developed, often named after a village, river, forest, an animal or legendary hero. The words "pentjak" and "silat" are also thought to be derived from the Chinese words "pong-cha" (to deflect) and "sila-te" (to perform with the hands). The influence and contribution of Chinese Kung Fu and Kun Tao ("fist way") on Pentjak Silat can therefore not be ignored.


    It has been through the continued efforts and contributions of "Indos" who immigrated to the United States that Pentjak Silat continued to receive recognition on a global level. Through the pioneering efforts of men like Pendekar Willy Wetzel, Pendekar Willem A. Reeders, Bapak Guru Besar Rudy ter Linden, Bapak Guru Besar Jim Ingram, Sigung Bapak Guru Besar Willem de Thuoars, Guru Art Rhemrev, Guru Richard F. Durand, Guru Rudy Kudding and others, Pentjak Silat has been popularized in the United States.


    "Catur Gatra" (The Four Aspects of Pentjak Silat)

    1. Mental/Spiritual
    2. Seni (cultural/artistic, dance)
    3. Bela Diri (self-defense)
    4. Olah Raga (sport)

    Mental Spiritual: The control of the body and spirit. Also the restorative arts are included here. As well as one's behavior in society and in relationship to each other. The mental and spiritual development in Pentjak Silat is aimed at achieving inner peace and spiritual balance. This can be accomplished in several ways. One can find two categories of training; these are natural and supernatural. With natural we mean the tangible and measurable things such as, breathing techniques, forms of meditation and concentration, prayer, the continued development of the five senses and physical body, etc. By supernatural we mean the intangible or immeasurable. These we refer to as "Ilmu Kebatinan" (spiritual knowledge). It is defined as knowledge of the spirit, the mystical and seemingly impossible. There are many Pentjak Silat practitioners who have experienced this for themselves. Other terms used are "Tenaga Dalam" (inner dragon), "Indera Keenam" (sixth sense), "Kanuragan" (magical self-defense), "Ilmu Kontak" (calling upon spirits), telepathy, etc. This mental/spiritual aspect of Pentjak Silat stimulates, motivates, intensifies and expands the practitioner's outlook.

    Seni: (cultural/artform, dance) aspect of Pentjak Silat: These movements were created and designed to hide the fighting/combative elements of Pentjak Silat from any one considered an outsider. The movements of combat were made softer and are today still practiced with some form of percussion instruments accompanying the dance forms. These movements are still based on the performance of the Bela Diri or self-defense in dance form with emphasis on precision and decorative/aesthetic qualities. These are judged on technical quality, choreography, and harmony between the dance and accompaniment of the percussion music.

    Bela Diri: Self-defense and sport categories were created to offset the "Suruan", yet still demonstrate the effectiveness of Pentjak Silat training while preserving life. You see up until 1942 (officially, but still practiced until 1949) the practice of "Suruan", which were underground secret fights/matches, often resulted in death as there were no rules.

    The Bela Diri is pure self-defense in its expression. The techniques are derived from (1) "Jurus" (upperbody fundamentals) and "Langkas" (lower body fundamentals/footwork), also referred to as the mother and father of the Pentjak Silat practitioner. (2) Rhythm, meter and timing. Once these elements are part of the self-expression of the practitioner the techniques become fluid and stimulate self-confidence and spiritual balance.

    Olah Raga: Sport Pentjak Silat was created to stop the death matches and to further the technical development of the Bela Diri in a safer environment. Also to promote sportsmanship in friendly competition. Olah Raga techniques are based on Bela Diri expressions but softened for safety. The competitions or the tournaments are graded according to Gaya (style), Teknik (technique), Taktik (tactics) and Etic (ethics). Olah Raga is also practiced to promote physical strength and conditioning for the overall health of mind and body. Currently there are more than 20,000 Pentjak Silat practitioners in Europe and over 3,000,000 in Indonesia.
  14. flippedout6

    flippedout6 New Member

    hahahaha that took me a while to read
    anyway i think i know what its finally about thanx so much guys :D
    oh yeah its almost thanksgiving in the US
  15. SteveJKDUK

    SteveJKDUK New Member

    When I first saw Silat, it used to really baffle me. It does look a lot different to any of the more popular systems out there eg karate, judo etc. I did train in it along with my JKD, but I don't think my mind was "open" to what Silat had to offer because of the complexities involved in it.

    In the past year or so, I decided to take a closer look at Silat, and I have to say, I really enjoy it now. For me, things have changed quite a bit in the past 12 months. Even though I would say my core is my JKD, I am training hard in learning Silat and grappling.

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