Twists of Silat | Malay Martial Arts - Silat

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Twists of Silat

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Many countries in Asia are known for their traditions and customs. These customs and cultures have are represents different forms of arts, architecture, dance form and martial arts. Most of the martial arts that are known to the world include Tae-kwondo, Judo, Karate, kung-fu and kalaripayattu. However, Silat, a martial art of form of south-east Asia is an elegant yet dangerous that is gaining acceptance.

Silat is a traditional Malaysian martial art form which is based and developed on the observations of animals like tiger, eagle and monkey. Years ago, this was practiced among many tribes in the Malay islands and they used this skill during the wars among the different tribes. During the colonial rule of British, Dutch and Portuguese, the practice of Silat was banned for avoid overthrown by a group of fighters. Therefore it was practiced in privacy by the locales. Post the World War II, the Malay people started their struggle for freedom and finally got independence. The ban from Silat was lifted and this marked the rebirth of this martial art form.

This form of art has many styles and each has some specialty associated with it. Silat schools come under the gamut of a national organization specially framed for this purpose.

There are various forms and styles of Silat but the most practiced one includes- joint manipulation, animal-based techniques, bladed weapons, and combination of others. The Malaysian region boasts of having more than one hundred styles of Silat. It is also said that approximately 20 percent of the Malaysian schools trains in various forms of Silat. This martial art form is considered to be an act of self defense, a way to achieve healthy and fit body. The interest in the martial art has been increasing among people as it not only teaches you discipline but also equip you with techniques to defend yourself.

It might be not be easy to trace the origin of Silat due lack of historical evidence. However, one can dig out the past with the help of oral historical records. It is said that this martial art form originated in the 7th Century in Sumatra Island. If fables are to be believed then it is understood that this technique was formulated by a women who once saw a fight between a bird and a tiger. After observing the combat she taught the techniques to her spouse and this is how it started spreading its root. This story has variations depending on the region where it's narrated.

The traditional clothing of the Silat comprises of a top and pair of loose pant along with a sash. This martial art form in practiced in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, and some parts of Thailand and Philippines.

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