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Silat, sometimes also called Pencak silat, panchak, or montjak, generally refers to Martial Arts styles that originate from the Malay. These people can be found spread throughout Southeastern Asia, more specifically around Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, and the Philippines. Silat isn't just one style but is used to describe anywhere on up to a hundred different styles, or what they call alirans, and schools. As with many Martial Arts styles, learning silat is not just about fighting. While learning Silat, one learns the mental or spiritual aspects of life, self-defense, the fighting techniques, and the culture of the people the art originated from. For more traditional schools, this includes having a uniform that is based off the Malaysia culture, rather than the Japanese or Chinese one that most people see in Martial Arts. In addition, the schools will have their own "dance," which is composed of movements from their particular style. It is a way to distinguish one style of silat from another.
Silat has a strong influence of learning from the environment. Many of the movements will reflect animals that you will find in nature moreso than some of the other Martial Arts. One of the most important animals to them was the tiger, being seen by the culture as a symbol of importance. Thus, one will find the movements in Silat to be explosive and aggressive bursts of attacks. In ancient times, Silat was as much a part of their lives as any other form of education and prepared young men for adulthood. Because of this, there is a strong emphasis in this art on self-defense. This emphasis is what has made Silat spread through Europe and now the United States. When watching a Silat practioner, one will notice that the artist starts at a much lower stance than most other Martial Arts. In many forms, the practioner will actually go down on one or both knees to gain the advantage. Each step will not only move the fighter but also turn the angle of their body, thus constantly changing and protecting different zones from their attacker. Silat's growing popularity has brought forward several forms within the Western world based on this system. The more known and unique examples of these emphasis the use of small knives, which is one of many weapons seen in a silat arsenal.
by Dancing with Fire May 14, 2011
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An ancient traditional martial art whose country of origin is regularly debated. Malaysia & Indonesia are the countries that the styles of Silat can be traced back to.
The art like any other traditional art encompasses locks, strikes, weapon work & other cultural aspects such as dances, meditation etc.
Has recently seen a big surge of interest in the western world due to popular martial arts shows showing it & films using techniques or styles from Silat (eg Merintau, Taken).
The art has hundreds of styles each adapted to the terrains & ways of the local areas, Gurus are the ''master''-name for those well versed in the art.

MMA is looking at how to encorporate some the grappling aspects to its competitions, however due to the lethal aspects of Silat often including blades &/or gouging, biting, breaking & shattering, it has to be revised and watered down so as to be legal under MMA rules.
The dutch have a shitty sports version that barely resembles the traditional art & looks more like Taekwondo.
Silat is an art that has only come onto the international stage in the past decade & is still relatively unknown
by dum1anddum2 March 20, 2011
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"She said her name was Tangerine, damn the American dream, she all about her fuckin' cream, shake it like a tambourine (SILAT)" -Big Boi -Tangerine
by Garginator December 05, 2011
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