Brief History of Pencak Silat
What is the definition of Pencak Silat?
The official name used to indicate more than 800 martial arts schools and styles spread across more than 13,000 islands in Indonesia is called “pencak silat”. However, this is actually a compound name consisting of two terms used in different regions. The word “pencak” and its dialectic derivatives such as “penca” (West Java) and “mancak” (Madura and Bali) is commonly used in Java, Madura and Bali, whereas the term “silat” or “silek” is used in Sumatra.
The ambition to unify all these different cultural expressions in a common terminology as part of declaring Indonesia’s unity and independence from colonial power, was first expressed in 1948 with the establishment of the Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia (Indonesian Pencak Silat Association, IPSI). However, it could only be realized in 1973 when representatives from different schools and styles…
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