Pencak Silat ('Silat') is the generic term for the indigenous martial arts of the Indonesian/Malay archipelago, which includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Silat has played an important role in the history and culture of Indonesian and Malay peoples. Traditionally, Silat formed part of the education of all young men, and was an integral part of a boy's path to manhood.

The combination of the words Pencak and Silat into a compound word was made for the first time when an organization uniting all Pencak and Silat perguruans (institutions) in Indonesia was founded in Surakarta on 18 May 1948.

Silat employs natural body movements and develops balance and economy of movement in each individual. It can be practiced purely for sport and fitness, for the aesthetic beauty of the art or for the chance to learn one of the world's few remaining complete traditional martial arts systems.

Silat enhances and strengthens self-awareness, self-discipline, integrity, responsibility, loyalty and cooperation amongst its practitioners. When taught by a qualified teacher it offers an opportunity for students to develop physically, mentally, morally and spiritually.

The organization of Pencak Silat around the world consists of individual countries that have their own national federations incorporating individual schools/clubs, and an international federation, Persekutuan Pencak Silat Antarabangsa (PERSILAT), that is the ultimate authority on Pencak Silat and is responsible for the promotion and development of Silat around the world. Most countries in which Silat is practiced will have one organizing body (national federation) that will encourage the development of genuine Silat in that country and will be a member of and be recognized by PERSILAT as the official Silat organization for that country.

The founder members of PERSILAT are:
• Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia (IPSI)
• Persekutuan Silat Kebangsaan Malaysia (PESAKA)
• Persekutuan Silat Singapura (PERSISI)
• Persekutuan Silat Kebangsaan Brunei Darussalam (PERSIB)
In addition to the four founding members there are national level Pencak Silat organizations/associations/federations that are recognized by PERSILAT in countries around the world.


Pencak Silat is another martial art stemming from the Malay & Indonesia heritage. It translates to “fighting by many techniques of self defence” and has four main components - mental spririt, art & culture, self defence and sport.

Pencak and Silat have the same meanings and are integral parts of the culture of the Malay ethnic group, who are the native inhabitants in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam.

The whole aspect of Silat is evaluated and all elements are crucial during competition. It can be practiced purely for fitness, aesthetics or with martial arts focused. The large varieties of techniques that can be used in Pencak SIlat encapsulate its uniqueness.

Pencak Silat is an art of self-defence inherited, preserved and promoted by the people of South East Asia region from their ancestors since centuries ago. It translates to “fighting by many techniques of self-defence” and has four main components:
A. Mental-Spiritual:
The performance of Silat enables the practitioner to achieve inner peace and spiritual balance to control body and mind.
B. Self-defence
The performance of skills to defend oneself effectively.
C. Art & Culture
The aesthetic beauty of movements coupled with other elements of arts such as traditional music, costumes and cultural ceremony.
D. Sports

The performance of SIlat as a sport to gain physical fitness and sports achievement. Silat as a martial art is effective system of self-defence using equal emphasis on both upper and lower limb techniques. It involves punching, kicking and dropping of the opponent.

In recent years, Pencak Silat has transcended into many countries outside South East Asia including Holland, Germany, Italy, South Africa, France, Japan and more. The sport has since become a part of many people’s lives and a vehicle to bring people closer. Pencak Silat is well known in many countries outside South East Asia including Holland, Germany, Italy, USA and Japan.

• It promotes overall physical fitness in cardiovascular (stamina) strengthening, flexibility and general health.
• It is easily learned and adopted as “ Sports for Life” and promotes healthy-living.
• It is admired and cherished as a traditional art form and widely practiced in cultural ceremonies.
• It equips participants with an all-rounded art of self-defence in any situation.
• It instills a sense of responsibility and discipline in students.
• It cultivates social values such as social interaction, team spirit, sportsmanship.
• It helps to release tension, lower stress levels and instill a positive mindset.

Match Category
• Combat confrontation of 2 Pesilat from 2 different teams
• Elements of self-defence such as striking, blocking, take down and sweeping techniques are used.
• Pesilat competes only in their stipulated weight categories (Please refer to the tables below)
• The match consists of 3 rounds of 2 minutes of combat and 1 minute break each, respectively.

Match Scoring System
• There are a few ways of winning in the match category:
• By points system: the winner is the one who accumulates the most points, after 3 rounds
• The other ways of winning are by TKO (technical knock out) by walkover and disqualification.

Like every sports, Pencak Silat too has its own set of rules. Breaching in the rules will result in the penalties (as shown)

Winning by Technical Knock-Out>br> • This decision is made if the opponent fails to get up or becomes dizzy and cannot stand upright after ten counts from the referee.
Winning by Walk-Over
• The winter is declared after the opponent does not show up in the arena after three calls.
Winning by Disqualification
• The pesilat fails to be in his/her weight class after the 2nd and final weighing-in.
• Seriously wounding the opponent with an illegal blow.

CLICK HERE to download Rules & Regulations

Sports Artistic Category
The artistic category is divided into 3 different subcategories:
I. Tunggal (Single competitor)
II. Ganda (Double, two in a team)
III. Regu (Team, three in a team)

Tunggal (Single Competitor)
• Executing the correct order of the 14 sets of movements (100 steps) movements consisting of bare hand and weapons Golok (long stick) and parang.
• Movements must be expensive, rhythmic and display strength and stamina.
• The movements has to be completed within 3 minutes and the match is officiated by 5 jurors (referees)
Ganda (Double category)
• Teams perform choreographed movements with attacks and defence elements using both bare hands and with weapons within 3-minute time frame.
• Teams need to display skills in handling weapons and creativity in movements Regu (Team category)
• A team consist of 3 pesilat.
• Executing the 12 set movements (100 steps) in the correct order and complete with certainity.
• Movements are expressive, rhythmic and display strength and stamina
• Teams have to display synchronization in perfect harmony.

Belting System
• Pencak Silat practitioner are taught using syallabus according the belting system.
• Belting systems varies with the different perguruans (clubs) some perguruan use belts while other may confer titles to the pesilat.
• Pencak Silat practitioners are encouraged to go for gradingto upgrade their belts on a quarterly basis. Traditional Pencak Silat
Traditional Pencak Silat consists of 5 main components – Solo (individual), Temour (2 in a team), Masal (3-5 in a team) and theater (5-15 in a team) and Solo Silat Pengantin (Individual).
Pesilat are decked in traditional costumes. Costumes may vary with perguruan (clubs).
Performances are choreographed and accompanied by Gendang Pencak (traditional form of music).
There is no restriction on movements.
There are also competitions for Traditional Pencak Silat in the form of festivals.

• Individual performance
• Performances may be accompanied by Gendang Pencak (TraditionalMusic)
• Pesilat is decked in traditional costume consisting of tanjak (head gear) and kain songjet (a form of woven cloth).
• Pesilat performs the movements using both bare-hand techniques and with weapons displaying richness and creativity in movements.
• Performances are judged on creativity, originality, variations and richness of movements.
• Performances may last for 3 minutes. It will start at the sounding of the gong.

• 2 in team.
• Pesilat is decked in traditional costume consisting of tanjak and kain songket.
• The performance is highly-charged and lasts for 3 minutes.
• The performances are judged on creativity, originality, variations and richness of movements.
• The performance may be accompanied by Gendang Pencak
• A combination of bare hand techniques and weapons are used.
• More than 1 type of weapon can be used during the performance.

• A team performance consisting of 3 to a maximum of 5 performers
• The performance will last for 5 minutes.
• Pesilat is decked in traditional costume consisting of tanjak and kain songket.
• Performances are judged on creativity, originality, variations and richness of movements.
• Both bare-hand and weapon techniques can be showcased.

• This is modelled after a sketch/skit.
• The team consist of 5 to 15 pesilats.
• There are a few recommended themes that the performance revolves around –
1. Non-Fictional 2. Fictional 3. Documentary 4. Historical
• Pesilat will have to be decked in traditional costumes and perform a skit potraying the richness of Pencak Silat for approximately 10 – 15mins.
• The performance may be accompanied by narration and Gendang Pencak.
• Performers are allowed to use props.

Gendang Pencak / Gamelan
• This is traditional form of music originated from West Java, played to accompany pencak Silat Performances.
• Instruments consist of Gendang Anak, Gendang Ibu, Gong and trumpet
• Gendang (double-ended drum beaen by hands) It is a leading instrument. The pengendang (drummer) is the conductor of the gamelan orchestra.

• Saron
A glockenspiel with bronze bar struck with wooden mallet. There are three kins; Saron Barung, Saron peking, Saron Demung.

• Bonang Barung
A double row of bronze kettles resting on a horizontal frame, played with two long stickbound with red cord at the striking end.

• Slentem
Thin bronze bars suspended over bamboo resonating chambers, struck with a padded disc on the end of a stick.

• Tetet (trumpet)
A traditional bamboo flute.

• Gong
Made from bronze, suspended on a wooden frame. It marks the end of the largest phrase of the melody.