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Another Amazing List of Indonesian Martial Arts

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In this world, there are plenty of reasons why we should prepare ourselves for the dangers that wait for us. There are people out there who want to do anything to get the things they wanted in incorrect ways like robbery or even killing. Once, the people use martial arts to defend themselves from the colonials attack back in the colonial era. People on that day were able to do moves of martial art, with the famous one, Pencak Silat.


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With those martial art skills, they can defend or strike a foe with hands and legs movements. But now, people are still doing it to maintain their traditional culture. You can find a lot of martial art schools all over the country. You can even join in their session. The martial art in Indonesia is not only Pencak Silat, but there are a bunch of them out there that you can see on the list of Indonesian martial arts below :

1. Pencak Silat

The first one on the list of Indonesian martial arts is Pencak Silat. This one is a kind of martial arts in Indonesia that is very popular and actually has some varieties. Actually, on the list, many of martial arts that will be mentioned below are just the variants of Pencak Silat. However, the Pencak Silat tradition is the real traditional martial art of Indonesia that came from the culture of Melayu.

Aside from Indonesia, Pencak Silat actually known by many neighbor countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and also Brunei Darussalam. On each country, Silat may have different variations. The name Pencak Silat was started since 1948 as a medium to unite all forms of martial art in the country that are growing mainly the land of Java. Until now, the tradition of Pencak Silat still exists in some areas in Indonesia.

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2. Ameng Timbangan

The next one on the list of Indonesian martial arts is Ameng Timbangan. Ameng Timbangan is a form of Indonesian martial arts that is known for its balance of movement, distracting movements, and also avoiding the foe’s attack. From that, this Ameng Timbangan can be said to be a defensive action towards an attack that has the goal to fight without harming the enemy.

How is that even possible? Let us tell you about the history about this Ameng Timbangan first. The Raden Anggakusumah, the founder of Ameng Timbangan, tell us about the harmony and aligning motions to perform three main actions, parry, distract, and finally conquer. With those main points, you can even drop the opponent without him realizing it.

3. Tarung Derajat

If you see at the picture, you can find similarities between this Tarung Derajat with other types of martial arts such as Taekwondo or Karate. They even use the uniform that just looks exactly the same. It’s considered to be the full body martial art that is very practical and effective. It was created by Achmad Dradjat which develop the technique of Tarung Derajat based on his experience on street fighting back in 1960.

However, the Tarung Derajat martial art is officially recognized as national martial art. It’s also used for training the TNI Angkatan Darat or The Indonesian Army. The moves in Tarung Derajat are really aggressive with intend to attack via punches and kicks. There are even some techniques of boxing that can be found within. Even when they meet each other, they will say “BOX!”.

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4. Merpati Putih

We consider the martial arts as assets of the country. For example, there’s Merpati Putih or The White Dove in Indonesia. This one is included as bare hand martial art that mostly uses inner strength. That’s why we can see the members of Merpati Putih can do so many unbelievable things such as breaking stone blocks with their elbow only.

For your information, the Merpati Putih was started to become a thing back in 1955. Even though it still exists in this modern era, the Merpati Putih still needs development and harmonized with science and technology. The meaning of Merpati Putih is the acronym of Javanese words “Mersudi Patitising Tindak Pusakane Tising Hening” (Always looking until finding the truth with peace).

5. Silek Minangkabau

As mentioned in the information above, there are martial arts that come from many areas of the country. The Java island has its own special martial arts, so does the people who live in Minangkabau, West Sumatra province. They have something that called Silek Minangkabau. It’s the traditional martial art that brought through generations.

There’s a fact of Minangkabau people, a thing they always do even today, wandering. Usually, the people who live in a village would wander to the cities, looking for better fortune. This is the hundred years old tradition that they still do. When you will go somewhere new, you’ll need preparations first, especially to defend yourself in the harsh cities. That’s why Silek Minangkabau is very important to them.

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6. Perisai Diri

As you may know already, there’s a lot of variants of Pencak Silat. Like this one for example, the one that should be included inside the list of Indonesian martial arts named Perisai Diri. This martial art is one organization of martial art that also included as a member of IPSI (Indonesian Pencak Silat Association). It’s also the official organization under KONI (Indonesian National Sports Committee).

The Perisai Diri is also one of ten martial art schools that have Historical School title because having an important lore in the history and development of IPSI. However, the Perisai Diri was first founded back on 2 July of 1995 in Surabaya, East Java. The founder was Mr. RM Soebandiman Dirdjoatmodjo, the son of Paku Alam Keraton. He’s also a nephew of Ki Hajar Dewantara.

7. Cimande

The silat Cimande is one form of Pencak Silat that having some martial art schools in Indonesia and even in foreign countries. There’s a lot of version about the founder of Cimande Martial Art. But all agree that the actual founder was Abah Khaer or Great Grandpa Khaer. But, many people still don’t know the origin about him and how he formed Cimande martial art.

But, many people do know him as a respected fighter. In 1760, he firstly educated his students about Silat movements. Two of his students were Mbah Datuk and Mbah Jago from West Sumatra. Those two created another variation of Silat named Silek Minang. So, we can say that this Cimande martial art is actually the older brother of Silek Minang, even though there are different stories about that.

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8. Bakti Negara

The next one the list is Bakti Negara. This martial art was created by one of the National Heroes, I Gusti Ngurah Rai. But then, it’s officially founded years later in 31 January of 1955 by some Balinese warriors, like Ida Bagus Oka Dewangkara, Bagus Made Rai Keplak, Ida Bagus Oka Sahadewa, Anak Agung Rai Tokir, Sri Empu Dwi Tantra, and also Anak Agung Meranggi.

This martial art uses the Hindu Dharma philosophy which came from Tri Hita Kirana people in Bali. Actually, the martial art of Bakti Negara has some similar aspects with those that exist in the land of Java like in Cikalong, Cikaret, and Cilembang. But, with its further development in Bali, the elements of Bali are like more thicker and having some specialties that really different.

9. Gulat Benjang

In the Tanah Pasundan or Sundanese land, there’s a martial art named Gulat Benjang. The Gulat means wrestling in English, so you can expect pretty strong moves from it. However, the Gulat Benjang actually uses some Roman elements in the fight. But the difference, in Gulat Benjang they focus on the attraction rather than the actual wrestling sport.

You should remember that no ordinary people can enter the fight freely. They should be competent and willing to take serious risks such as broken bones and other serious injuries. Not only that, some Benjang athletes even completed with dark magic to increase their strength. So, if you want to enter, you should be extra prepared and careful.

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Of course, aside from those Indonesian martial arts, there are others on the other regions of this country. Because of that, we already prepared numbers of them on the other list that containing the rest of them right on the info below :

  1. Sampyong
  2. Ujungan
  3. Tongkat Master
  4. Kuntau
  5. Setia Hati
  6. Mepantigan

So, the list of Indonesian martial arts ends here. As you can see, Indonesia is not only rich in natural resources, but the people even have ways to defend themselves by learning the technique from those martial arts moves. With learning some martial art moves, aside from defending yourself from harm, you can also maintain the Indonesian tradition at the same time.


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Kategori : Education