Pencak Silat

Pencak Silat is a hybrid Indonesian Martial Art that incorporates striking, grappling and weapons.  It is predominantly practiced within the Southeast Asian countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore and falls under the umbrella name Silat. The viewpoint of this Martial Art is extremely practical as can be observed from its name.

Pencak - the essence of training

Silat - the essence of true fighting and combat

These must coexist as one is seen as useless without the other.


The essence of training and true combat
Raden Wijaya
Country of Origin
Primary Focus
Striking, Joint-locks, Takedowns, Throwing, Weapons
Self-defence, Spiritual


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Brief History

Although, there is not much documentation on the origins of Silat, it is accepted that this Martial Art was born out of a need for self-defence against rival tribes and animals which inhabited ancient Nusantara.  Warriors and hunters alike were trained in combat techniques and weapons to ensure the survival and defence of their Malayic tribes.  It is acknowledged that many of the techniques employed in Silat is derived from the close observation of animals such as the crocodile, tiger, snake, and eagle.

The roots of Pencak Silat trace back to the ancient kingdoms of Indonesia.  The Royal Guards and members of the Royal Family were trained in this art to protect the welfare and sovereignty of their kingdoms.  Although Pencak Silat was used exclusively within the royal circles of Indonesia, the art later evolved and found its way to others who further developed it and passed it down from generation-to-generation by oral tradition and practice.




Pencak Silat, like many other Martial Arts, is multifaceted in its approach to training and cultivating the Martial Arts practitioner:

  • Mental and Spiritual – develops the character of the Martial Artist by instilling righteous qualities.
  • Self-defence – focus on self-protection and the protection of others. The technical skills are developed to overcome an aggressor during conflict.
  • Sports – provides practitioners with the forum to compete and demonstrate the various forms of the Martial Art.
  • Arts and Culture – celebrates and honours the culture from which Pencak Silat hails through dance forms, music, and traditional attire.

The training goals of Pencak Silat is targeted at developing the practitioner holistically so that their minds and bodies are prepared for combat as well as other challenges in life:

  • Physical Conditioning – rigorous physical training is required to build strength, stamina and flexibility.
  • Forms and Techniques – mastery of the various striking, throwing and locking forms and techniques.
  • Sparring and Partner Drills – once the practitioner develops strong proficiency in the forms and techniques, sparring and partner drills are incorporated to learn how to apply these successfully in real life situations.
  • Self-defence Strategies – situational awareness, de-escalation, conflict avoidance and counterattacks
  • Weapon-based Training – trains coordination, timing, and accuracy with weapons such as swords, sticks and knives.
  • Mental and Spiritual Cultivation – discipline, focus and respect

pencak silat forms


The Martial Art in Practice

Pencak Silat is a multidisciplinary Martial Art that involves striking, grappling, and yielding of weapons.  This Martial Art is characterised by close quarter fighting.  Practitioners of Pencak Silat aim for maximum agility and speed to overwhelm their opponents through quick and efficient pressure point strikes.

Pencak Silat practitioners also aim to take control of their opponents through a variety of grappling techniques which range from simple to advanced holds.

Techniques are applied from a low stable stance and foot work aims to be deeply rooted for maximum power generation during striking, and control during grappling.  Every part of the body can be used as a weapon and, similarly, every part of the body is subject to attack.

pencak silat headlock



  • Harimurti
  • Silat Tuo Minangkabau
  • Pencak Silat Tenaga Dasar
  • Tapak Suci - Putera Muhammadiyah
  • Persatuan Pencak Silat Inti Ombak
  • Silek Tuo and Silek Harimau
  • Pencak Silat Pertempuran
  • Bunga Cantik Pencak Silat
  • Perguruan Pencak Silat Padjadjaran Nasional
  • Pencak Silat Qutuz
  • Pukulan Bongkot
  • Pukulan Pentjak Silat Serak
  • Merpati Putih
  • Paguron Penca Silat Nampon
  • Bakti Negara
  • Bukti Negara
  • Perisai Diri
  • Cimande
  • Pukulan Cimande Pusaka
  • Pencak Silat Mande Muda
  • Silat Kalimah
  • Silat Angin
  • Gayung Malaysia
  • Gayung Combat
  • Silat Lincah
  • Silat Cekak Malaysia
  • Silat Teralak Asli
  • SilatIkhtiar
  • Seni Silat Bongsu
  • Maphilindo Silat
  • Poekoelan Tjimindie Tulen

 pencak silat weapon

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