Indonesia’s Martial Art : Pencak Silat

February 1st, 2015 | by TheJourneyMagz
Indonesia’s Martial Art : Pencak Silat
Cultural
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The art of silat was created and firstly developed in the islands of Java and Sumatra. It is an art for survival and practiced throughout Indonesian archipelago. Centuries of tribal wars in Indonesian history had shaped silat as it was used by the ancient warriors of Indonesia. Silat was used to determine the rank and position in old Indonesian kingdoms.

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In modern usage, pencak and silat are seen as being two aspects of the same practice. Pencak is the performance aspects of the martial art, while silat is the essence of the fighting and self-defense. It is often said by practitioners that there can be no silat without pencak, on the other hand pencak without silat skills is purposeless. Contacts with Indians and Chinese was further enriched silat. Silat reached areas beyond Indonesia mainly through diaspora of Indonesian people. People from various regions like Aceh, Minangkabau, Riau, Bugis, Makassar, Bali, Banjar, etc.

Silat was used by Indonesian freedom fighters during their struggle against the Dutch colonists. Unfortunately after
Indonesia achieving their independence, silat became less popular among Indonesian youth compare to foreign martial arts like Karate and Taekwondo. This probably because silat was not taught openly and only passed down among blood relatives, the other reason is the lack of media portrayal of the art.


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