Malaysian Silat or Silat Melayu is said to have developed based on observation and imitation of animals including the monkey, eagle and tiger. Incorporating kicks, punches, takedowns, and weapons, Silat was not intended as a sport. It is a fighting form with only one purpose: subdue (or kill) your enemies. Silat was widely used in the many wars between indigenous tribes of the Malay islands throughout history. When the region was colonized subsequently by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, the practice of silat was outlawed and training was largely done in secret. During Japanese occupation in World War II, silat was also forbidden but the deadly art was further developed secretly and effectively used by indigenous resistance movements in the Malay region. After the war, Malayan states began establishing their independence and Silat, being a homegrown art, experienced a rebirth in the years that followed.
In Malaysia alone, there are more than 150 distinct styles of Silat and it said that one out of five Malaysians are schooled in the various forms of Silat. Interest in the combat art of Silat has grown exponentially in the 20th century, and it is now practiced all over the world. Malay culture value Silat as a self-defense system, a sport and a way of life. It is also seen as a teaching tool for moral as well as physical discipline.
Silat | Silat History | Silat Fighting