The Pencak and Silat exists mainly of behavioural studies of various animals.
For example the way they move, attack and defend. It is a creation of the people
of Indonesia like any other associated cultural experiences. Take, for instance,
the language, folk dances and the shadow plays (wayang) with the matching
Pencak Silat performances are guided by rhythmic music. This is called ‘kembang’,
which means ‘flower’. The clothing is based on traditional local costumes.
Throughout history, intruders of the Indonesian Islands brought weapons to the
country. As reaction Indonesian people also invented arms, which nowadays still
are used in the performance of Pencak Silat. The weapon types differ with every
Originally, the self defence art is more based on meditation than on the actions
themselves. Still meditation is a fundamental element. Besides meditation,
religion is very important in the Pencak Silat.
Some modern people use a keris in performing pencak silat. In history however,
this was not allowed. Because a keris is no defence or fighting weapon. It is a
symbol, based on a meditation, which is especially made for a certain purpose
and sometimes also for a particular person. In the old days, the keris was made
and shaped by hand, without fire. It was very difficult to make. A keris was
held, for example for healing or for the protection of a house. It was kept on
an honoured place in the house. Nowadays the keris is made like any other iron
subject. During the period of Majapahit and Dong On Dynasty the keris was
wrought iron. In that time, some of the keris were made without
initiation. That kind of keris could be used in a play or in a fight.
Padepokan Pencak Silat Indonesia is the world centre of Pencak Silat. Padepokan
is a Javanese term which means a complex of houses on a relatively large area
provided for learning and teaching a certain knowledge and skill. Padepokan
Pencak Silat Indonesia is a padepokan with national and international scale. It
was opened on April 20, 1997. It has all facilities like various training spots,
a stadium, a hotel and a library.
The only international organization of Pencak Silat is the
which was founded in Jakarta on March 11th 1980. PERSILAT is an
acronym of the International Pencak Silat Federation. The principles of
the PERSILAT are: brotherhood, unity and honouring each other. Not discriminate
nationality and religion. The organization is non-political. Basically, every
national organisation of Pencak Silat can become a member of PERSILAT, either
the one which has been recognised or that which had not been recognised yet by
the national authorised body. Even any Pencak Silat organisation which has no
qualification yet as national organisation can become member of PERSILAT if it
is considered worthy to represent its country.
A training at Padepokan
A practitioner of Pencak Silat is called pesilat. In 1991 the third congress of
PERSILAT determined a code of conduct of the worldwide Pencak Silat man, which
was called TRIPASETNYA PESILAT. In 1996 the fourth congress of PERSILAT changed
it and determined the new one which was called IKRAR PESILAT, meaning the
promise declaration of the Pencak Silat man to himself. The complete text of
IKRAR PESILAT is:
Pesilat is an individual who has a noble mind and character.
Pesilat is a man who honours his fellow men and loves friendship and
Pesilat is a man who always thinks and does positively, creatively and
Pesilat is knight who upholds truth, honesty and justice and is
test-proof in facing any ordeal and temptation.
Pesilat is a knight who always accounts for his words and deeds.
The four values of Pencak Silat, that is ethical, technical, aesthetic and
athletically values, which are also the four aspects of Pencak Silat, that is
mental-spiritual, self-defence, art and sports aspect, lay the basis of the
growth and development of Pencak Silat into four branches, each of which has its
own purpose in its performance.
Self defensive Pencak Silat techniques is the original source of the techniques
of the other branches of Pencak Silat, while the techniques of the other
branches of Pencak Silat are derivation and modification of the techniques of
self defensive Pencak Silat. So when it is needed, the Mental-Spiritual Pencak
Silat, the Artistic Pencak Silat and the Sports Pencak Silat can be
refunctionalised as Self defensive Pencak Silat.
The performance of Mental-Spiritual Pencak Silat is emphasised to the
impartment of the value of ethic, that is the value of the philosophy of noble
mind and character in the form of symbolic techniques, without nullifying the
values of technique, aesthetic and athletic. This Pencak Silat has the purpose
to strengthen the ability of self-control in the performance of Pencak Silat. So
it is also called as Self-controlled Pencak Silat. Mental-Spiritual Pencak Silat
is not autonomous and is usually brought forth in the opening of the other
branches Pencak Silat performance.
The performance of Self defensive Pencak Silat is emphasised to the value of
techniques to defend oneself effectively without nullifying the values of ethic,
aesthetic and athletic.
The performance of Artistic pencak silat is emphasised to the value of aesthetic
to show the beauty and harmony of Pencak Silat without nullifying the values of
ethic, technique and athletic.
The performance of Sports Pencak Silat is emphasised to the value of athletic,
to gain and keep physical skill, fitness and adroitness as well as sports
achievement without nullifying the values of ethic, technique and aesthetic.
Thus, all of the techniques in each branch of Pencak Silat have ethical,
technical, aesthetical and athletically values as an integral unity. However, one
value which is the basis of its branch, gets special focus.
Explanation of Pencak & Silat