Malay Martial Arts - Silat Headline Animator

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Secrets of Keris

Before I explain about the secret use of a keris, let's see the part of keris.

part of keris


Kris is the function of each part. Aring (ekor cicak) actually functions as "protection" the grip, was pierced by a dagger of the enemy during fighting. It can also be used as a weapon when the enemy captures our hands.

When the enemy grabbed our wrists

Stabbed his arm with aring

Aring piercing will hurt the opponent

when the enemy release his grip.. and quickly sliced his arm. ended with stab wounds to his neck.


Hulu Keris ( kris-handle) usually carved beautiful and there are also decorated with precious stones. Huluu actually had a secret battle. Hulu keris are usually made from other types of wood functioning as a medicine as "kemuning" (click the link to know about kemuning trees). Apart from that it can also hurt enemies.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tekpi Martial Arts Weapon


Malay nation's wealth of cultural treasures can not be separated from the influence of foreign cultures that can fit with the culture in Malaysia , one of the contributions of these cultures is Tekpi. Tekpi is a weapon that is widely known in the Malay martial art but is not a real weapon of Malay culture. Because that's actually very difficult to find tekpi in Malay heritage museum.

This weapon sai weapon similar to the Japanese culture. These weapons allegedly developed by Chinese settlers hundreds of years ago. Own characteristics different from most typical Malay weapon.

Tekpi most likely derived from the Chinese region, but the fighters Malay in Malaysia, Indonesia, and adept at using tekpi archipelago whose use is different from the sai in karate. In the Chinese martial art of self tekpi almost was not found. Tekpi also not found in the numbers Wushu. Chinese martial arts film also never displays tekpi or sai.

Tekpi is a weapon that is widely used in many Malay silat martial arts match. For example whacky positioning Malaysia as a weapon tekpi second choice after the kris, or Kuntau Tekpi using tekpi as the main weapon.


Silat type kuntau almost similar to the movements hard and effectively in Kuntao China (China). This is a natural thing due to the influence of Chinese civilization is very large in Southeast Asia.

The middle of the hilt is sharpely curved in line with the blade. The head is shaped like a fly and is used for punching. The two forks that falls on both left and right pointing straight down and with it ends pointing slidely out, is used to obstruct other weapons. The main function of the Tekpi is for defence against attacks by sharp weapon. The Malay community was named the center as batangtekpi while the left and right arm as sampir. Upstream end (kit form) known as matalalat or bungalawang. tekpi length is 15 inches by 20 inches.

Malay Silat in the world, there are many martial arts organizations to use weapons tekpi. Among the Lian Padukan, Gayong, Kuntau, Silat Melayu Asli Sejati,  etc.

Basic Tekpi

Basic Training Tekpi 1

Basic Training Tekpi 2


Counterattack Tekpi 1

Counterattack Tekpi 2

Counterattack Tekpi 3

Counterattack Tekpi 4

Counterattack Tekpi 5

Counterattack Tekpi 6

 Counterattack Tekpi 7

CAUTION! Training without the guidance of the master will cause injury or death, then seek the true master

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Silat Kuntau Tekpi


Seni Silat Kuntau Tekpi is an authentic Malay art of self-defense and is an effective form of defense for the individual and the society at large. It has existed since during the reign of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin Shah, a monarch of the Malaysian state of Kedah in the early 19th century. It was pioneered by a palace warrior, a panglima (governor-general) named Panglima Taib. This style was taught only amongst the governor-generals and palace guards and warriors to counter the incursions of the Siamese and other state enemies of the period.

Panglima Taib passed on Silat Kuntau Tekpi to his daughter, Siti Aminah, who was known in her days of glory as the ‘Srikandi Kedah’ (Warrior-Maiden of Kedah). This style was then inherited by her son, the late Tuan Haji Zainol Abidin bin Endut and in turn by his son, Haji A. Sani bin Zainol (known as “Cikgu Sani”).

The primary weapon of this style is named the Tekpi, a three pronged metal truncheon also known as the “King of Weapons” which has been proven to be able to counter all bladed weapons.

This silat style has very specific methods that is difficult to be modified aside from strikeforms and tight trapping forms. All movements and deflections are compatible to the natural movements of a human being, young or old, male or female.

This silat style emphasizes defense when attacked but allows for pre-emptive attacks when absolutely necessary. It comprises several deflections with 21 buah asas (basic strikeforms), 21 buah kemahiran (skill building strikeforms), 21 buah makanbalik (recounters), 7 pukulan tekpi 1 (single tekpi strikeforms) and 7 pukulan tekpi 2 (double tekpi strikeforms).


SENI is a spiritual method taught at the intermediate level. Completion is only done at the Tapak Gelanggang Puncak Gunung Ledang (the training platform at the peak of Mt. Ophir in Malaysia).

SILAT is the physical movement that comprises deflections and attacks for self-defense.

KUNTAU is the hard movement applied after diplomacy fails with the enemy.

TEKPI is a weapon and is the symbol of this silat style.

Mission & Vision

1. To breathe new life into and reintroduce a cultural heritage of the Malays which is almost forgotten by the new generation.

2. To inculcate the spirit of appreciation and love of the Malay culture.

3. To inculcate the spirit of the warrior within the self of pesilat to counter all forms of transgressions.

4. To prevent the decline of morality of youth and their involvement in criminal activity.

5. To combat all forms of fallacy and superstition and to strengthen one’s conviction.

System Characteristics (the “Combat Formula of Silat Kuntau Tekpi”)

      •The beladiri (self-defense) phase of training has three components: the counteroffensive entry, the off-balancing throws and finally the locks and/or incapacitating finishing strikes.

      •The entries teach the student how to counterattack while their opponent is still attacking.  This way the force being generated by the opponent is deflected while the student steps in with a counteroffensive strike.  The effect is like two cars in a head-on collision, with only the attacker being injured.

      •The “crash” entry is designed to physically and mentally unbalance the opponent.  The entries lead directly to off-balancing throws.  The Silat Kuntau Tekpi practitioner then proceeds to throw the opponent in such a way that the fall itself disables the opponent so that no further follow up is necessary.  Your body-weight + your opponent's body-weight is combined so that the opponent falls on an intentionally exposed and vulnerable joint, thus immediately incapacitating the opponent upon landing.

      •Finally, the grounded opponent is either locked so he can be apprehended or he is struck since he is positioned in such a way that he cannot prevent the attack.

System Overview

The Silat Kuntau Tekpi system syllabus is divided into five levels, with the first two levels focusing on self-defense (“beladiri”) and establishing a strong foundation in ground fighting.  The third and fourth levels of the syllabus introduce the student to the “Tekpi” and its sophisticated application against single and multiple opponents who may be armed or unarmed.  The fifth and final level of the system teaches the spiritual and internal aspects of the art.

The Tekpi.Org core syllabus consists of 42 lesson modules.  Beginning students will be taught the 21 buah of Level One and the 21 buah of Level Two.  The core syllabus is rounded out with the teaching of the pelebat form and the Senaman Tua (Silat Conditioning) exercises.  This core syllabus can be completed in six months to one year of instruction, and it is intended to leave the student with a complete and comprehensive system of self-defense.

Levels Three, Four and Five are only available to students who elect to become instructors.

Video from Persatuan Seni Silat Kuntau Tekpi Malaysia

For more information visit

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Effects on Children Attitudes From Silat Martial Arts Training

Silat is the national martial art in Malaysia. The system of silat training methodology is based from the human geometrical movements and patterns.  The techniques that laid in silat training system are practical and useful to children too. Children will gain more benefits than adults when they train silat. This is because the body structure will grows and compatibles with silat training system. Thus, children will gain more flexibility, improve muscle strength and fitness level, and also will develop perfect silat technique due to the nature of training.

However, the best part is children will gain more positive effects on their self-esteem and intrinsic manners. This is because the main objective of Seni Silat Malaysia is to produce a noble and positive individual that can contributes to develop a strong nation. Here are the explanations of seven effects of silat training on children attitudes based on the seven important activities in silat martial arts training system;

1. Respect.
The children will learn this attitude on the first day they come to silat class. The silat guru will teach them that they need to show a sign of respect or ‘hormat’ to the silat guru every time before starting and ending the training sessions.

2. Discipline. The ‘bunga silat‘ (the children learn how to master the defensive and striking position in silat) will develop the silat fundamental movements and positions that required the children to be discipline and patience in every step they learn. It also will develop other good attitudes such as calm, careful, neat and competent in each field they participate.

3. Self-assertive. The ‘jurus silat‘ (a discipline that develop the striking and defensive skills either with single or multiple strikes to the aimed enemy body) training will also develop the children to be obedient, balance, positive, assertive and confident in anything they involve in the future.

4. Courtesy. The ‘belebat silat‘ (to receive the strikes either from single exponent or multiple strikes from multiple exponents) training will encourage the children to develop the strategy on how to receive strikes from the opponent. Indirectly this activity will develop several positive attitudes such as caring, loving, responsible, creative, and faithful towards their sparring partner or even towards the opponent.

5. Patriotic. The ‘tapak silat‘ (footprint movement or step-pattern on the floor) training system is a training that develop the children skills on how to regulate the foot pattern of silat movements on the floor. This activity will enhance the children spirit and determination from heart to their mind. Thus, they will inherit the positive attitudes such as innovative, honesty, sincere and determination from this silat training.

6. Chivalry. The ‘buah silat‘ (the method to strike or to receive strikes in order to counter-attack either with single or multiple opponents) is the training loves by many students. They will learn many techniques in self defense that can help them to build their chivalry and warrior attitudes.

7. Integrity and high nationality spirit. The ‘tempur silat‘ (the fighting or combat action in silat) training will enhance children performance in sparring either one on one or in group fight. The positive values (brave, teamwork, integrity, high nationality spirit, and agile) gain from this activity will develop children self-esteem particularly in leadership.

Thus, it is important for you to understand the changes that will occur in your children once they start learning silat lessons. This is because once they understand and follow all the programs in silat training; they will become more adventurous and wanted to know more about silat particularly in self defense. The silat martial arts training activities will indirectly upgrades children intrinsic values. The positive attitude is the most matter in every silat exponent besides their silat skill. Moreover, the objective of silat education is to develop a noble and charismatic warrior that can contribute something to his or her country either in competition, education, business, or anything that bring good values to the country.

Original article :

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Blade Work (Kris)

And so as the blood poured from the cut tendon in my foot, I ask myself... what did I learn.

The blade was designed simply to cut as it evolved from the caveman’s rock flint into metal it spawned various forms. From Europe’s kingdoms of heavy swords to China’s fast, light waited spears to Japan’s sharp elite katana, the blade is constantly changing its shape but never its form.

The martial arts systems of today are generally practiced unarmed but almost all fighting styles used a weapon originally before adapting an open hand approach.

 The blade is an extension of the hand aiding the practitioner’s skills in combat, the fight is determined on distance, be it arms length or up close the blade is the foremost efficient weapon in fatal combat.

The Roman short sword known as ‘the sword that conquered the world’ is said to be the most effective sword in battle, due to its size and adaptable use, this blade works on the inside as well as capable of killing at a distance.

It is the compact size and sharpness of the common knife blade which makes it so devastating in its application. A full length sword is only as effective as its handler, its weakness lies beyond its hilt, once the opponent has managed to get passed the blades length the sword is obsolete.

Its handler is disabled by holding onto the weapon whilst their opponent is free with a knife blade to stab and cut with full dexterity and utilizing their other combative tools such as legs, arms, knees, head, elbows and body manoeuvres without being hindered by a long blade in their hand.

Despite the flamboyant blade display’s shown by various martial art systems today, in truth a practitioner needs only to place the blade in the way of oncoming attacks to cause damage.

The most important use of the blade is placement and the awareness of your own weapon, to know where it is directed and where your body will be in relation to it, only then will your hand and knife act as one.

The blade of Indonesia known as the keris was said to have been constructed by enlighten priests, these empu (blade smiths) not only crafted the weapon but they also performed rituals upon it, making it a spiritual matter, the term keris comes from the Malay meaning dagger.

Pendekar Scott McQuaid with a Keris

Sculptures of the keris that date back more than 400 years have been found in central Java’s Chandi Borobudur where it is known as kujang. The Javanese refer to this keris as tosan Aji (magic metal) the most famous recognizable design is the wavy blade Sarpa Lumuka (snake in motion).

Sculptures of the keris

Indonesia’s fighting system Pencak Silat originated from West Sumatra in the 7th century, the pesilat (silat player) adopted the keris in their silat, warrior tribes such as the Batak and the Minangkabau have shed blood using this pocok (blade) in many land disputes. The application of the blade is in stabbing rather than a cutting motion, warriors soaked warangam (arsenic) onto their blades. When the keris was thrust into their victim it was then snapped at the top of the fragile handle leaving the blade entrapped in the body. The victims die a slow death as their intestines explode within.

The keris is a blade noted for its spiritual powers, the blade was sometimes forged from fallen meteorites, believing the weapon would poses a cosmic universal power. The blade varies in its size, it has played an essential part in Indonesian and Malaysia culture, worn today for many ceremonies including weddings but was also once a weapon for execution. The condemned knelt before the executioner, who placed a wad of cotton on the subjects shoulder area. The keris was then inserted through the material and into the shoulder down through the heart. Upon its withdrawal, the cotton wiped the blade clean. Death was quick... as it should be.

                                                                                                                                   opening ceremony

The keris continues to be shrouded in mystery with tales of deaths being caused by simply thrusting the knife into a victims footprint, the blade is a symbol of serenity, respect and simplicity. These are the virtues of the mind.

During the writing of this article I suffered a knife injury, this highlighted the reality of using a live blade, although I do not condone the use of sharp weapons to others I still remain true to my teaching... ‘If it’s not real, it will not work’.

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single one and the life of the candle will not be shortened, knowledge never decreases by being shared.

This article was published in Combat magazine, 2007


With superior qualities in both mind and body, we must look to the origins that surround the fighting arts. The martial arts have always been here, shrouded in mystery and tradition, they come from the lands, history, people, environment and culture.

In the Shaolin Monastery in northern China a wandering Indian monk is said to have introduced eighteen exercises to the Chinese monks that later became known as the ‘Eighteen hands of Lo-Han,’ today’s kung fu derives from this. The Shaolin monk attire certainly reflects the Indian influences with the sandals and beads with both countries practicing Buddhism.

The Chinese elements formed the art into the flamboyant, colourful and skilful fighting method that we know today. The attractive flow of kung fu is much like their written word ‘cangy’, to write traditional cangy is an art in itself, using the inked brush to create wide and narrow lines in one continuous brush stroke, like the Chinese food it is attractive with a colourful appearance that has hidden ingredients. Kung fu students dedicate extremely long hours into their practise, much like the Chinese way of working life; there are no nine to five shifts, they can open from seven a.m. and close at midnight and some even beyond.

The Chinese calendar celebrates its new year with an animal representing each year in the cycle of the twelve animals there is the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and boar. Each animal has its own strengths and personality some kung fu systems have built their structure around some of these chosen animals.

The Kung fu practitioner attire is non-restricted like their flexible fighting style. Silk materials resemble the lightness of air and water with the flapping long sleeves creating the flow of waves in front of their opponent before crashing into it’s hard deadly rocks being a punch or kick.

The Chinese language be it Mandarin or Cantonese has a very rhythmic sound, from high pitch to low, its pace alters in a brief moment, this can draw comparisons to kung fu attacks that perform with high and low strikes and postures with sudden bursts of energy.

Japan’s oldest and most popular of martial arts Karate-do translate from their country quite literally, Karate was born in Okinawa. The fighting style dates back to the eighteen hundreds but it’s official introduction ‘karate-do’ (way of the empty hand) wasn’t introduced until 1912.

Mainland Japanese influences completely dominate the combat art as we know it today, the crisp white uniform reflects the purity of the Japanese way of life. Whilst other attachments to the uniform are generally black, this symbolises the balance they are striving towards in life, the Yin and Yang aspect.

This black and white element can be seen in the raw fish meal sushi, one of the most popular dishes of Japan, sushi is very simple and basic in its appearance but the lay out of the food has a philosophy that not only warrants its meaning but also aids the consuming of it. This black and white balanced theme flows through Japan not only in colour but also in its practice, the country moves as a unit oppose to individualism their strength lies in their unity. To make an executive decision on the spot is difficult for them, in triumph they are rewarded and honoured but in defeat that are immediately outcast.

Karate moves in a very linear fashion, the attacks are direct and calculated; although the art has many blocks and defensive skills there is a kamikaze undertone in their attitude.

From Thailand the old kingdom of Siam, as it was once known, a deadly fighting sport was created from military training, the art known as Muay Thai later developed in the west and was renamed kick boxing.

This 2000-year-old sport reflects the Thai people’s fighting spirit in a country surrounded with poverty disease and corruption. For those with little or no education the fastest way to earn a good wage is either to be a prostitute or become a muay thai fighter. For the many fathers that fight because of their large families the prize is nothing more than a means to put food upon the table, titles, trophy’s and glory are no substitute for cash in hand.

In the cities and shantytowns across the country, muay thai is practised, boys begin their training young and dream of becoming the local hero’s; much like western children idolising premiership football players.

In the adaptation from muay thai to the popular western style of kick boxing, many of the deadly moves endemic to the hardship of an average Thai person’s life have been removed.

The elbow and head strikes are banned because of the instant damage they can cause, most kick boxers have career’s and jobs to go to everyday and they have to turn up to work still conscious and alive!

During the seventh century Indonesia’s fighting art known as Pentjak Silat ( in Malaysia is known as a Pencak silat ) was developed on the island of Sumatra and later spread to Java blending the different influence’s met upon its journey, spawning over a hundred and fifty distinct styles that we have today.

The meaning of Pentjak Silat or Pencak Silat is ‘lighting foot work’, the art uses both armed and unarmed techniques. Many people are hypnotised by its graceful movements that relates to the culture’s dancing, known as the kembangan (flower dance). The art utilizes its movements from nature, particularly the terrain that can be an essential part of the make-up in some silat fighting systems. Animals have also influenced various styles such as the tiger and eagle they have been the kernel teachers to the warrior’s of the Indonesian Islands.

The Pentjak Silat style resembles the peoples way of working many have described the people of Indonesia as Asia’s version of the Jamaican’s, comparing the laid back approach to everyday life, this is clear to see in silat’s soft, relaxed appearance to their adversary. Their expression and body language show a fearless attitude with a calm hypnotic manner. However once the battle commences the silat player will suddenly wake from their sleeping state and will move with great speed and the commitment to finish the job hence the opponent. The Indonesian people are naturally born fighters, fighting for land and their independence from the Dutch, they named the capital of the country Jakarta (victory city). Like most developing third world countries some of the Indonesian people struggle everyday to make a living, to feed their families, be it in the city pushing karts of food products to sell or in the country planting vegetables in the fields, they work hard and show the dedication and intention that the silat fighting art demonstrates in battle. The silat attire is generally black and simple in its look as the fighter cares little for their robes as it is not the uniform that will win their battle. The trousers are cut short above the ankles, this relates to the work in the rice paddy fields to avoid getting the bottom of their garments wet everyday.

The silat practitioner’s relaxed posture is a trap to lure their opponent into the hard crushing limbs that have been constantly tried and tested over the years of training, this comparison is to the workingman that has hardened to his trade over a repeating labour for many years. Whilst other fighting arts concentrate on disabling and controlling the opponent in self-defence the silat player moves with the intention to kill and secure their existence. As martial artist’s we must understand the country, its people and their lives. A fighter may be flawless in their technique, but if they have not felt the climate or stood upon the soil of the particular country the art originates from they will never fully understand the purpose or meaning behind their art.

The content of this article could not have been written without the guidance and knowledge passed onto me by the names that follow. Special thanks to:

    * Pendekar Paul Bennett
    * Guru Richard Crabbe de-Bordes
    * Ratih (Shirley)
    * Luqman Ismail
    * Sensei Robert Lawrence


This article was published in Martial Arts Illustrated magazine, 2004.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Silat Gayong

      Silat gayong is an art of self-defense. I t is a defensive art. an art for stopping wars nor creating  them. Gayong is not merely about self-defense; it is also a way to develop the self--belajar mengenali diri (becoming a better person so that one may serve humanity). Gayong is a tool to strengthen relationships among mankind. It is a great way to develop and to increase physical fitness, flexibility, mental conditioning, discipline, and self-confidence. The philosophy of gayong is strongly related to the Malay adat istiadat (Malay cultures and traditions), morals, adab (respect), and the teaching of religion. Religion is the inspiration, motivation, and guidance for high-quality behavior. It is a mark of peace and harmony.

       At one time, gayong was taught only to select people. I t was nor until early 1942 when, on the Sudong island village of Singapore, inhabitants were worried about an attack by the Japanese army and the secret of gayong became more widely known. The incident was the first step in making gayong available to the public. From the Sudong island, gayong spread to other vicinities such as the island of Seking, Bukum, Sebaruk,  Sekijang, Sembilan, Semakom, and Damar island. It spread throughout the Indonesian islands as a way to protect thc villages horn pirates.

Today, gayong is widely practiced in Malaysia and Singapore. The art is being caught in schools, colleges, to the armed forces, and to the Royal Malaysian Police. I t also plays an important role for younger generations. Gayong has become a way to educate and introduce good character, discipline, morals, and ethics. It inspires the youth of Malaysia to appreciate the legends of the nation, the culture and tradition, and the achievement of freedom and liberty. Gayong has trawled beyond Malaysian society to Australia. Kuwait, Tunisia, Vietnam, France, Europe, and now to the United States.

History of Gayong

Seni gayong silat, or more correctly pronounced in the Malay language silat seni gayong, is believed to have originated from the Bugis tribe in the Sulawesi island (also known as Celebes island). The original name of silat seni gayong was silat Seni Sendi Harimau. It is believed that gayong has existed since the era of the Malacca's sultanate in the Malay Peninsula in the late fourteenth century during the empire of the Sultan Mansor Shah. In 151 1, during the intervention of the Portuguese in Malacca, Tun Biajid, son of Laksamana Hang Tuah and his followers employed silat to protect the Malay empire and its people. Gayong continued to spread from one generation to the next, and later to the grandfather of Meor Rahman, Syed Zainal Al-Attas, who lived in the era of Pendakar Dato Bahaman and Mat Kilau in 1700. Malaysians considered Dato Bahaman and Mat Kilau as freedom fighters during the British occupation of Malaysia. At that time, mostly the Bugis people of Makasar studied gayong silat . These were the people that brought gayong into the Malay Peninsula.

            The mahaguru of silat seni gayong was Dato Meor Abdul Rahman. He was the descendent of Bugis and Arabs. His great grandfather, Prince Daeng Kuning (Dacng meaning prince of royal Bugis), was a famous warrior also known as Panglima Hitam (The &lack Warrior). Daeng Kuning was recognized as a descendent of the family of warriors identified as pahlawan gayong. Pahlawan gayong was a famous warrior, highly intimidating, and respected by the public in Makasar, Riau, Siak, and all of the surrounding islands. History indicates that the Malay legendary warrior Hang Tuah inherited gayong, which was ultimately passed down to Dato Meor Abdul Rahman.

            Daeng Kuning traveled from Sulawisi island to the Malay Peninsula sometime after the year 1800. He traveled with six of his dose relatives. They were Daeng Jalak, Dacng Celak, Daeng Merawak, Daeng Mempawah, Daeng Telani, and Daeng Pelonggi. In search of a better life, they all went their separate ways throughout the Malay archipelago. Some moved to the state of Kedah. others to the states of Pahang, Johor. Terengganu, Selangor, and Malacca. Daeng Kuning settled in the state of Perak, married Princess Raja Patani, and decided to reside in the village of Air Kuning. They had a son named Penghulu Che Ngah Tambak who later had a son named Uda Mohd Hashim, the father of Meor Abdul Rahman. Daeng Kuning died in August 17, 1875 in Taiping, Perak. It is documented that seni gayong undoubtedly came from the lineage of the Bugis royal family:
  • ·         Prince Daeng Kuning (The RIack Warrior)
  • ·         Penghulu Chc Ngah Tambak
  • ·         Daeng Uda Mohd Hashim
  • ·         Dato Meor Abdul Rahman 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Headlines