The ancestors of Indonesia have had martial arts called ‘Pencak Silat’ a long time ago. The movement in Pencak Silat emerged as a result of creation from imitating the movement of animals that exist in the natural surroundings. Here are some Pencak Silat martial arts from Indonesia.


1. Silat Cimande

‘Silat Cimande’ is one of the oldest martial arts which has been handed down from generation to generation in the village of Cimande for decades and even hundreds of years. The origin of Silat Cimande has three different versions, but begins with a merchant family named ‘Khaer.’

The first version tells that Abah (Father in Sundanese) Khaer who just got home from trading was annoyed and worried because his wife did not go home when it was already midnight. Upon arriving at home, Abah Khaer immediately slaps his wife but can easily be avoided. The attack from Abah Khaer was increasingly full of anger and eventually he fell tired. He asked his wife where she got the movement. His wife explained that she was late for observing a tiger fight with two monkeys. The movement was then taught to Abah Khaer. From then on, he could defeat the robbers who intercepted him when trading and started to build reputation in the martial area.

The second version tells that Abah Khaer is an expert of ‘Maenpo (Silat in Sundanese).’ He is believed to be the descendant of a special war teacher for the Kingdom of Padjadjaran. After taking refuge from Kampung Badui to Cimande, Abah Khaer promised to smooth Maenpo and use it for humanity.

The third version has little written evidence and clearer place. Abah Khaer is a trader who often travels to several areas especially Batavia. On his journey he often encountered robbers and wild animals. Because of the natural challenges he faced, there were streams of movement following the animals he encountered on the journey.


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In essence, Silat Cimande is a type of martial arts that relies on empty hands to defend and not to attack the opponent. The movements performed serve to exploit the human limbs as God’s grace and the use of traditional weapons (rod or sword) is limited as a symbol of recognition that the human body, especially both hands, has its limitations.

Before studying Silat Cimande, there are several codes of ethics called ‘Taleq,’ which must be understood and kept in accordance with the values ​​of life and in harmony with Pancasila. The main stance of Silat Cimande is Kelid, Pepedangan, and Tepak Selancar. ‘Kelid’ is a movement that rests on the hand to fend off the opponent’s attack blows by dropping it. ‘Pepedangan’ is a movement that rests on the foot and uses a weapon that is a sword. ‘Tepak Sancar’ is not a movement but art which is only used for the show with accompaniment of musical instrument in the form of Tetabuhan. ‘Tetabuhan’ are two large drums and two small drums. Silat Cimande has many advantages that can help the health of the body by providing priority to strength. The motion coordination and flexibility can also pump heart to work optimally.


2. Merpati Putih

‘Merpati Putih’ is a cultural heritage of Indonesian ancestor which was originally a family of royal palace inherited from generation to generation. Beginning with Raja Amangkurat at Kartosuro Central Java, Merpati Putih was finally allowed to be disseminated with a view to be developed for the country.

Merpati Putih is an abbreviation of the sentence which is a philosophy of the College that is ‘Mersudi Patitising Tindak Pusakane Titising Hening’ which in Indonesian means ‘Seeking to get Truth with Tranquility’ so expect a member of Merpati Putih will align heart and mind in all actions.

Merpati Putih training emphasizes the martial arts aspect without weapons or bare hands, and uses the power in original man with the technique of breathing. In ordinary people, the original power can be seen and used only when the person is in a state of urgency. For example, climbing a tree when chased by a dog. In a state of normal or non-urgency, the person does not believe that he has climbed the tall tree. Thus, in Merpati Putih, it is taught how to use the extra human power in normal time, whenever and wherever.


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Apart from energy of the body, vibration energy generation in Merpati Putih can also be taken from nature like from Earth (soil energy also very old trees), or even energy from Space (stars energy, sun or moon).

In recent years, Merpati Putih which contains energy and vibration has been investigated further in science and developed also for the treatment and for the benefit of the blind, so that they can read, distinguish and recognize colors and can facilitate all other activities. In addition, the vibration of Merpati Putih is able to detect nuclear faster than the tools used by the National Atomic Energy Agency. Vibrations also continue to be tested to detect hidden drugs in cars, individual bags, cabinets, and many places. As a result, it successfully demonstrated the location of the drug storage. Since 2010, the government utilizes martial arts to become a searching team. Until now, Merpati Putih is becoming more than a sport that continues to be developed to help other aspects of humanity.


3. Perisai Diri

Martial arts established in Surabaya, East Java by R.M. Soebandiman Dirdjoatmodjo or Pak Dirdjo was originated from Keraton (royal palace in Javanese), Yogyakarta. Not satisfied with martial arts that he had, Pak Dirdjo began to wander to various regions in Indonesia. In the middle of his journey, he met Yap Kie San, a Shaolin martial arts from Tionghoa. Being accepted as student of Yap Kie San was not an easy matter. Various trials and tricks he ran with diligence so that Yap Kie San finally touched to accept Pak Dirdjo as his student. With provisions obtained during wander, Pak Dirdjo began to formulate his knowledge for Perisai Diri College.


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In ‘Perisai Diri,’ effective and efficient martial techniques that are fast, precise, and hard are being taught. The practical method in Perisai Diri is the practice of ‘Serang Hindar,’ which is not found in other martial arts schools. In this exercise, it is taught how to attack and avoid the most efficient, fast, precise, agile, swift and wise. Although faced directly with the opponent, the possibility of injury is very small because it is equipped with basic principles in the conduct of attacks and avoidance. Little risk on the method of this attack then has given birth to the motto of “Smart Self-Defense Arts Without Injury”.

In addition to empty hand martial arts, Perisai Diri includes weapons techniques with mandatory knives, swords and toya. With the mastery of three compulsory weapons, namely blade representing a short weapon, sword representing a medium weapon, and toya representing a long weapon, Perisai Diri fighter is trained to be able to leverage various tools around him for use as a weapon. The technique can be developed for additional weapons, such as machete, celurit, trisula, spear, abir, samurai sword, ruyung, rotikalong, teken, gun, bayonet, baton, umbrella, fan, etc.


By Pricilia Angela, ASEAN Correspondent from Indonesia