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What is Pencak Silat ?


Pencak silat or "fighting by using techniques of self-defence"is an oriental martial art with roots in the culture of the Malaysian peoples. This art is widely known in Indonesia and Malaysia and in these countries we can find dozens of aliran's (styles) and thousands of schools. Many of the aliran's find their origin in the observation of wild animals in their fights against other animals. "Harimau" (tiger) and "Monyet" (monkey) are some examples.


Pencak Silat is more than just one of the many martial arts. Four aspects play an important role:


  1. The "Mental-Spiritual" (mental and spiritual) aspect: Pencak silat builds and develops the personality and noble character of oneself

  2. the "Bela-Diri" (self-defence) aspect: By mastering the Pencak Silat self-defence techniques we study techniques that can be used to protect ourselves and others. Self-confidence and perseverance are very important.

  3. The "Seni Budaya" (culture, art) aspect: Culture and performing the "art" of pencak silat is very important. We try to combine the beauty of the Pencak Silat movements with the traditional music and costumes.

  4. The "Olah Raga" (sport) aspect: This means that the physical aspect of pencak silat is important. We try to have a sound mind in a sound body. Also competitions are organised.


The styles and schools of pencak silat differ from each other with regard to those aspects that are emphasised. It is thanks to the sport and self-defence aspects that our sport became popular in Europe.


Pencak Silat is a system that consists out of Sikap's (positions) and Gerak's (movements). When pesilats are moving (when fighting) these sikap's and gerak's change continuously. As soon as one can find an opening in the opponent's defence then one will try to finish the opponent with a fast Serangan (attack).


In Pencak Silat we have a wide variety of defence and attacking techniques. 
For defence one can use techniques to repel an attacker or to evade or block an attack. If we want to attack then we can use our hands, elbows, arms, legs and feet. Some used techniques are sweeps, locks, etc. 
It is the great variety in techniques that makes Pencak Silat a well-balanced sport.

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