Pencak Silat is a martial art originating from West Java, Indonesia. The word Pencak is orignally from Java and refers to the martial arts of that area. Pencak Silat began as a secret family martial art taught only to family members and select chosen within the village.
It has now been made available to the general public and is even taught in the public school systems, beginning with elementary school. Silat refers to the actually fighting, or the application of the fighting techniques. Throughout the island of Indonesia there are over 1,800 styles of Silat with each style depicting the origin and the ethnic group of that area. With their own characteristics, no two styles of Silat look the same.
The three major styles of Pencak Silat are; Cimande, Cikalong, and Syahbandar. Cimande has simple, effective applications with the selup move as its trademark.Cikalong is known as an effective evasion and taking down system. Most of the Cikalong moves are quick and light for those purposes. Syahbandar is named after the originator. Silat techniques used fast and light footwork to enter into combat range and trap the opponent's legs.
The hand techniques are soft and supple with a rapid and flowing strength. When the Silat practitioner begins movement, he does not pause nor is his movement obstructed. Using water as a prime example, the Silat practitioner will flow towards, over, and envelope the opponent with rapid strikes and traps.
Even as a combat system, Pencak Silat is performed in major functions such as weddings and rice harvest celebrations. The fluidity of movement and supple techniques often make Pencak Silat resemble an intricate dance, ingraining the system into the Indonesian culture.
With it's roots planted firmly into the foundation of Indonesian society and quickly gaining popularity throughout the world, Pencak Silat will continue to enjoy strong growth.