Pencak silat is Indonesian’s famous martial arts with more than 800 schools and styles. It is very common for Indonesian to learn pencak silat as a self-defense practice or to simply preserve it as a cultural heritage.
Last Thursday (12 April 2018), some international students of UPI were invited to Pencak Silat Workshop in the 2nd floor of Gedung Gegeut Winda (PKM) to watch the demonstration of Pencak Silat and learn some basic styles necessary for self-defense.
Section Head of OIER, Vidi Sukmayadi, who is also one of the founders in Pencak Silat UKM attended the event and also showed his pencak silat skill in front of the international students.
One of the professional athletes of Pencak Silat and also the trainer mentioned that the first reason to practice pencak silat is not merely about self-defense, but it is more about health and the breathing exercise. He said that everyone is able to practice the breathing exercise in pencak silat in less than five minutes. As the result of that exercise, we will not feel hurt when something heavy and solid hitting our body really hard.
“Some people might presume that it has something to do with magic, but actually, it is simply about controlling our breath and our body.” said the pencak silat trainer.
After the demonstration of pencak silat by some professional athletes, the international students were asked to make a group and practice a basic skill of pencak silat and demonstrate what they have learned so far to the trainers.
Saph, an international student from Philippine, volunteered to learn the breathing exercise with the trainer, and after that, he was expected to be able to break a brick by hitting it to his stomach. Some other students also volunteered to try the punching and kicking session with the trainer.
Hopefully, this workshop can enrich their knowledge about Indonesia’s culture and preserved heritage as well learning basic self-defense practice.