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Thread: Silat

  1. #1
    ChiSau Guest


    What is the general opinion of Pentjak Silat? It looks like some brutally effective stuff, and it seems to be getting more and more press in various publications lately.

  2. #2
    Kyoshu Guest
    I have a friend from Indonesia that did Pentjak Silat and he says it's not much different from Karate.

  3. #3
    Sihing73 Guest
    I have done a little Silat, I still like my Wing Chun [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    I guess on a very basic level you could say it is like Karate. However, I think Silat is more fluid and also will fight lower to the ground. Silat also uses weapons as an integral part of its curriculum. I also believe there is a mystical or spiritual aspect to the practice of Silat not found in Karate. There is the use of totems or ank can't spell what I am tryign to say. But in essence there is a mental aspect which involves taking on the characteristics of certain animals and also in blessing certain objects to be used for specific purposes.

    I found many of the movements to be quite direct with a no nonsense flavour to them. It is definetly a "fighting art". Not much sport to true Silat. The emphasis is on fighitng and being able to utlizie the techniques quickly. As I said a lot of ground level stuyff, from what I've seen.



  4. #4
    ChiSau Guest
    Thanks for your post, Sihing73. It is actually the more esoteric, mystic side of Silat which you mentioned that I am more interested in. In the (relatively) limited amount of written material on the shelves regarding Silat and Kuntao, particularly Donn Draegger's terrific Weapons and Fighting Arts of Indonesia, there are references to hypnosis of one's opponent, deep trance states that turn the practioners into unbeatable berserkers, and even cursing!

    Unfortunately, these are only cursory descriptions without much detail. Now I'm not saying I necessarily buy all of this, but I am interested in exploring outside of the reaches of conventional martial arts (which is not to say I plan on cursing anyone, mind you, even assuming this is for real!).

    Sorry if this drifts a bit away from the topic of streetfighting, but if anyone has any info or insight into this stuff it would be appreciated. And please share if you have any other information on more ordinary things like who are good teachers, styles, lineages, and techniques of Silat.

    [This message has been edited by ChiSau (edited 06-16-2000).]

  5. #5
    Kymus Guest
    I have taken a few classes in Silat. Once I get some more money, I am going to continue it. Silat is nothing like karate. It is unlike anything I have ever seen or taken quite frankly. ChiSau: if you are looking for good instuction in silat, my Sifu has 2 video tapes out on Maphilindo Silat which is a system of Silat Dan Inosanto created to honor all his masters. go to for more information about silat.


    "Crosstraining is the key"
    ~Sifu Rick Tucci~

  6. #6
    Monkey Guest
    I once saw Paul de Thouars demo silat techniques and he looked nothing like Karate.
    He was very smooth and flowing and circular. The closest thing he looked like is Paqua.

  7. #7

    The problem is this:- Saying "what is Silat like?" is like saying "what is Kung Fu like?"

    There are MANY systems of Silat and yes, some DO look like Karate. Many though are much more fluid & VERY effective. As with many arts you have to be selective & get past a certain amount of "fluff" to see the real stuff but it's well worth it!


  8. #8
    mild7 Guest
    hi all! I'm new to this forum.. a friend just sent me the link.

    Just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth on Silat. I've lived in Malaysia for most of my life(in fact, I'm living here right now) so I can only comment on the Silat that I've seen here.
    Silat appears to be an effective art(but then again, I believe all arts to be effective when done and applied properly) but it does'nt seem to be very much different from gung fu and karate in a lot of aspects.
    Of course, it has it's own unique aspects, such as weapons(kris, cindai jantan etc) and fighting to music.
    The thing about Silat is that it seems to be a little overrated in the West, while other arts that can offer just as much are looked down upon.
    This is ironic as over here, silat is in turn looked down upon and generally regarded as more of a "dance" than a fighting art(Of course, this is not neccesarily true).
    I've always found it amusing that Silat is often labelled as a brutal, to the point type art especially in the States. This is not to say that it isn't, but I've always seen it on the same level as gung fu. Silat has a lot of forms work, a lot of esoteric dance like elements and other things. It is ironic that jkd has been inclined towards Silat as it fits in very well with the "classical mess" Bruce Lee was talking about.
    Anyhow, I think Silat is a very worthwhile art to learn, but it is a little overrated.

  9. #9
    MonkeySlap Guest
    Some Silat is overrated, some does look like Karate. Silat can be a very broad term, and just like here in the US there is a trend towards turning it into a sport.

    After 20 years of Chinese, Japanese and Philipino arts I have recently started a study of Pentjak Silat under the VDT Tjabang (School). These guys are very serious, and will test you for a while just like a good Chinese school, don't expect the main course right away. I just made it to the appetizers - and they are delicious. Great stuff. Check it out at WWW.SERAK.NET

  10. #10
    JerryLove Guest
    There are several hundred styles of both Pentjak Silat and Kuntao. The Pentjak styles are native to Indonesia and vary from extremely brutal to styles designed for ritual performance at weddings. Kuntao is very much a blending of Chineese and Indonesian arts.

    They vary from ground arts (Harimau) to Serak which was created by a man with one arm and a club foot.

    I have seen Silt under Willem DeThaures (Serak-ish, founder of Bukti Negara), Chiku Madgid (Head of the Seni Gayong system), Guy Savelli (very fond of whips) and Richard Clear (who has two decades of internal Chineese arts influencing his cirriculum).

    They are typically (that I have seen) brutal, direct, and well considered.

  11. #11
    Minang Guest
    Pencak Silat... hundreds of styles are scattered over the many islands of Indonesia. Low, high, soft, hard, hands, legs, grasps, throws, weopens etc. etc. For each field(s) of interest there is a Silat style. The most internationally known styles originate from Java most of the times. I myself train a Sumatran style of the Minangkabau. The Sumatrans call their Silat "Silek". The book of Dreager, mentioned in an above posting is worth wile taking a look at for more Silat-info...

  12. #12

    Malaysian Silat

    Check out
    for info on one of the most effective arts around. The teacher is exceptional, the techniques are incredible.

    Any info, you can email me at

    Looking to carpool to location from NYC weekends.

  13. #13
    phantom Guest

    Do all styles of silat share the same basics?

    Same as topic. Thank you for any insight that you could give me concerning this.

  14. #14
    JerryLove Guest
    No. There is a great amount of variation between Silat styles. There are some generalities that can be made the *often* apply (about equivilent to the "norther kicking, southern punching" generilization in CMA) , but nothing that is universal.

    Jerry - Clear's Silat

  15. #15
    Chris McKinley Guest
    Bet you guys didn't know that Kevin Bacon was a Silat teacher, did you? He's right there on the home page of Jerry's website, puttin the hurt on some guys. :P

    Credits to Braden for the discovery.

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