Pencak Silat itself comprises a multitude of styles, which are very different depending on the region and ethnical groups where each style originated. Common elements of all syles are smooth movements, elements resembling and influencing traditional dance, but also fighting application as self defense.
Pencak Silat today consists of traditional styles still continuing the ancient roots, but also modern styles, organized around the globe, which are focussing on sports and competition elements.
- the mental-spiritual aspect (ethics)
- the aspect of self-defence
- the aesthetic and artistic aspect
- the sports aspect including power, endurance, flexibility and coordination
Many schools focus on different elements in their training, but the above aspects should always be observed.
In times of oppression Pencak Silat was hidden as a dances to survive, which also greatly influence many traditional dances over the centuries. Today Pencak Silat is shows at celebrations and other festive events in a soft and aesthetic way. Training and presentations are often accompanied by traditional instruments like drums, gongs or flutes.
Therefore a national Indonesian committee was founded in the year 1948 - after the independence from the Dutch colonial rule. Its goal was the unification of Pencak Silat and the creation of a common basis for all styles. Result of this development are the Indonesian federation IPSI and the world federation PERSILAT, which are both organising national and international competitions and foster many activities like festivals showing the diversity of this unique martial art.
- EPSF - European Pencak Silat Federation - www.epsf.net
- PERSILAT - Pencak Silat World Federation - www.persilat.org
- IPSI - Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia