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What is Pukulan Pentjak Silat?
Silat is a collective word used to describe martial arts originating from South East Asia, such as Malaysia and in our case Indonesia. Pukulan is a word that means striking. In this case denoting a silat system that places a heavy emphasis on hitting. Pentjak is generally considered to refer to the movements and performance of forms where “Silat” is an expression of those motions for use in combat. So “Pukulan Pentjak Silat” could be seen to mean something like “Striking form based Indonesian Martial Art”.


Ok, so what is Semangat Baru?
Semangat Baru is the name of our specific style of Pukulan Pentjak Silat. It translates to “New Spirit” and reflects our new way of viewing and teaching the ancient art of Silat. Free from any kind of “secrets” or “martial politics” that can become attached to coveted knowledge.


So this is Indonesian Martial Arts?
You got it! Specifically, Semangat Baru is a highly sophisticated fighting system based upon physics & physiology. The system consists of 8 djurus (forms) and 8 sambuts (2 man training drills). Check out our principles page to learn more about the specific things that make our art unique.


Do you guys spar?
Due to the rather brutal and sudden nature of many of the techniques full 100% sparring is generally not done. This is not to say that training partners are complicit. But that in earlier stages of training a winner is generally pre determined. However the path in which they achieve a takedown often is not. As training progresses and the student becomes schooled in the Sambutan training method one is able to train without dictating a winner. At this point the levels of contact and speed of training are left to the discretion of the individual students.


Is there weapons training?
Yes there is! Once a student is able to demonstrate proficiency in the basic unarmed curriculum weapons training is made available. Since the meta motions contained within the djurus are universal many students are able to pick up weapons and immediately display functional proficiency with them. Using this as a base further specific instruction is given. The curriculum includes specific training for weapons including batang pendek (stick) and pisau (knife).


Are there belts or ranks?
There are only two recognized ranks in Semangat Baru, teacher and student. A teacher in Semangat Baru is referred to by the term “Guru”, the traditional Sanskrit word for teacher. No ranks of differentiation are given to individual students. One must complete the curriculum material before they can decide to test for Guru rank. No student is ever required to test for instructorship. Should a student like they may choose to always remain a student and never test for Guru rank.


Can you guys perform magic?
Traditional martial arts are often heavily steeped in local religion and spirituality. This is surely true of many Silat systems. While we at Semangat Baru realize and honor the traditional cultural and spiritual heritage of the art the focus of training is squarely on physically demonstrable skills. Part of our “New Spirit” is understanding that all people come from different spiritual paths perhaps ascending different sides of the same mountain. Our focus here is in keeping your physical body safe during your own spiritual ascent.


Is silat appropriate for kids?
In short, yes! Our instructors have organized the material and training methods in ways that are appropriate to show children. You will want to speak with individual instructors to inquire about the availability of a children’s program in your area. 


Is silat appropriate for women?
Silat is an excellent martial art for women’s self defense. Silat’s teachings about striking vital areas, application of strong levers, and proper body alignment help to mitigate the advantage larger, stronger opponents usually hold. Since much Silat training is done “body to body” it is recommended that women seek a fellow female training partner. Training between men and women is not forbidden by any means. It is simply advised that students train within their own sex so that no one is put in a potentially uncomfortable situation.


Is Silat for me?
We think Silat is for any individual with a good work ethic, friendly demeanor and an open mind. But there’s only one way to really find out. Come in and try a free class for yourself!!! Go check out our locations and class schedules and get in touch with a local instructor to get your training started. We look forward to seeing you on the Kendang floor!

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