roots of Pentjak Silat date back over 2000 years to Indonesia.
This archipelago consists of over 18,000 islands of which
6,000 are inhabited. The principal islands are: Java, Sumatra,
Borneo, New Guinea, and Sulawesi.
in the first century, immigrants from South India began to
settle in Indonesia marrying into the local population. There
were many local kingdoms and various periods of warfare during
which formal martial arts developed.
the 1500s European explorers arrived. The Portuguese were
first in 1527 followed by the Dutch. In 1602 the Dutch established
the Dutch East India Company to organize merchant trade, and
by 1623 had secured a trade monopoly. At various times the
Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and British ruled portions of
the region, but the primary colonial rulers were the Dutch.
objective of the Dutch was domination of the Indonesian spice
trade, and sharp fighting occurred with several Indonesian
kingdoms. As the Dutch prevailed, they brought with them brutal
repression of the population. Under
Dutch rule, the practice of Silat was banned, but it survived
underground and was incorporated into Indonesian dance. As
a result of this union, Silat has a very lyrical, graceful
aspect which belies its true destructive nature.
the coming of Indonesian independence in 1949, many Dutch
Indonesians were forced to return to Europe. Silat was introduced
into Europe in the early 1960s, and by the latter part of
the decade it was introduced to America.
of the fragmented geography of the region, the multitude
of kingdoms, and the need to train in secret under the Dutch,
Silat evolved into hundreds of diverse styles. Many are
taught in secret, and masters are selective in who they
will teach. Some styles originated from the royal houses,
but fundamentally the art is of the peasant farmer as a
way to defend himself and his family. It is an art that
uses weapons common to the farmer including sticks and bladed
implements as well as empty hand techniques.
or Way of the Hornet, is a royal style that originated on
the island of East Java in the village of Sumberpucung. It
is recognized by various Silat organizations, sister styles,
and Grand Masters including:
- Pencak Silat PAMOR & BADAI under
Sepuh Guru Maha (Advisor and Creator of the styles) Dave
- Pencak Silat Serak under Sepuh Guru
Besar (Advisor and Grand Master) Dolf de Vries.
- Pencak Silat Serak under Guru Besar
Maurice de Thouars.
- International Pencak Silat Federation,
and Pentjak Silat USA, AnakSerak under
Guru Besar Dr. Andre KnustGraichen.