Why sarong and gi trousers?!?!

Discussion in 'Silat' started by slipthejab, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Recently having viewed a Silat tape... I believe it was one of the Panther Productions tapes... I noticed that there was a western guy teaching Silat and he was wearing what is essentially a sarong over his gi trousers. :eek:

    This was also brought up by Mighty McClaws thread about the cost of his Silat uniform - I mean really... a sarong costs next to nothing. Yet why do all these people train wearing a pair of trousers underneath?

    What's the point? :confused:

    Why not just train in a sarong and get rid of the trousers? :confused:

    It looks foolish and who in their right mind would wear a sarong and trousers as well? :confused:
  2. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    :) I don't wear one whilst training.

    But...they come in handy for strangling and choking :eek: Yes really, there are specific fighting techniques using a sarong :confused:

    Anyway, you gotta have somewhere to stash your kerambit ;)

    Sarong and no trousers! Sounds a bit Scottish to me! Doesn't bear thinking about for groundfighting.....
  3. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Hmm - to me it strikes me as funny to wear trousers with a sarong.
    In Thailand you'd get laughed out the door wearing trousers under a sarong!

    I mean back in the day did Silat practitioners wear trousers and a sarong?
    Or did the trousers only come about with Indonesias exposure to the west?
  4. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    Yep, it's the traditional way.

    Looks OK with the proper baju silat but I have to admit it can look a bit daft on a Western dude over jogging bottoms :D

    Also the pattern and the way it is tied can denote lots of stuff too
  5. Monyet Nakal

    Monyet Nakal Valued Member

    Well, baju silat are very difficult to find (at least I don't know of anywhere in the US to get them if you know of a source please share it) so we tend to have to make do with gi bottoms and sweat pants.

    Maybe my experience is limited but I've rarely seen traditional pencak silat practiced in sarong only (western or Indonesian pesilat) and as for whether they were worn "back in the day?" Well "back in the day" they didn't use lots of training products or methods that we have available to us today.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2006
  6. Silk Road

    Silk Road New Member

    Kiai Carita posted somewhere on how the shirt and trousers came into use in Indonesian society.

    As I’m sure many of you have noticed, very few westerners can wear any kind of ethnic garb and not look completely absurd. I have seen whole silat classes of white people in sarongs, box hats and shiny white reeboks, I wanted to laugh so hard I hurt myself (I’m white too, by the way)

    I myself either wear a sarong or loongi around the house instead of a bathrobe. As for silat training, loose pants, a loose pull-over top, and bare feet are the way to go. It is traditional for men to have their head covered during silat training, so for westerners a bandana makes more sense than a box hat or blongon (sp)
  7. serakmurid

    serakmurid Valued Member

    Aye, and its mighty cold up here in central New York in the winter! :D
    The pants keep us northern pesilat warm, I wear a pair of black sweat pants and a sarong over it. :rolleyes:
    Hormat and peace.
  8. tellner

    tellner Valued Member

    Which is traditional sarong, jacket and hat or "what I wear all the time"?

    According to one of IPSI's scholars, O'ong Maronyo, what we consider the silat "uniform" didn't come about until very recently. Until then most people practiced in what they usually wore - often pants and a shirt. Look in older photos such as in Draeger's book and that's usually what people have on.

    On the other hand, it's become customary lately and is required for many competitions.

    I would look really silly dressed like that so, like most people in the classes I take and the classes I teach it's street-wear or sweats and a t-shirt. There's the added advantage of knowing that you can fight in what you wear every day. No need to change into special clothes.
  9. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Looks comfy to me.
  10. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter


    A sarong over a pair of gi bottoms?!?!!
  11. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Don't work so hard to state the obvious. :rolleyes:

    Interesting there have been many studies done on this by anthropologists and sociologists. One of the recent books that I read on the Batak peoples goes into great detail on the symbolism and social rank denoted by different styles of dress - often a mixture of traditional and western garments. Both for men and women. I can't say for sure but I would imagine that this probably applies to most Indonesians not to long after the Dutch arrived.

    Anyone know anymore?
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2006
  12. silatliam

    silatliam Valued Member


    Hi Slipthejab

    If you look at Donn F Draeger book "The Weapons and fighting Arts of Indonesia" you would see a number pf photgraphs where Silat teachers are wearing sarong over trousers. If you go the website www.cimande.com you will see Pendekar MaMa wearing sarong over trousers. I can also send you pictures on Pendekar Jaffi and Pendekar Herman Suwanda and Guru Razak Othman all wearing sarongs over trousers just to name a few. There many videos of Indonesian Gurus all wearing Sarongs over trousers

    Maybe on a beach or in bed you might wear a sarong with nothing else underneath (but we wont go there unless slip the jab means something else) ha ah only joking but in all fairness its common enough in Silat circles and probely counted the norm now to wear Sarong over trousers.

  13. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Interesting. Do you know if this was always the case?

    Or is was this something that was a result of cultural inluence from the west?
    The reason I ask... and yes I know it's a very different culture... but the Thai's, Khmer's, Laotians and many other SE Asian and S.Asian cultures also wear sarongs. Yet none (that I'm aware of) over trousers. They would think it was rather odd... for them it would seem a bit redundant.

    Is/was there a practical point of wearing a sarong over trousers? Or did it just evolve as part of the fashion/culture of Indonesia with little to do with pragmatism?
  14. Garuda

    Garuda Valued Member

    This is how we dress in our school:

    For regular training and everyday use we just wear our pencak silat trousers and long sleeved shirt with or without a sash or just a t-shirt (whatever you prefer). Only for special occassions we wear trousers with a sarong over it, etc.

  15. silek

    silek New Member


    In our school, training is usually practised with a pair of exponents circling around the gelanggang attacking each other while the other students and guru sitting around observing the 'fight'. It is not like a group of people having simultaneous traning of jurus, langkah or buah as can be seen in other schools.

    For our school, wearing sarong over trousers are compulsory for the pair while they are in action. The same rule applies with wearing something to cover our heads like songkok, ketayap etc for the pair. The new pair replacing the old pair must also be properly dressed. Other students (and guru too) may have good times like drinking, smoking in the gelanggang, arriving late or going home early but when they come in to replace the old pair in action, they must be properly dressed.

    This nothing to do with discipline as understood in modern context. It is more to do with old discipline known as 'pantang larang'. This pantang larang has been practised from the old time and it is believed those who fail to comply with it may suffer some kind of bad luck. I was told that a student who did not comply it way back in Indonesia went crazy. How true is the effect of this pantang larang is not known but it is strictly observed until today even by the gurus.

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