Monday, October 6, 2008

silat weapon


In the world of the Malay Silat, the keris (a wavy bladed dagger or knife) is the principal form of weapon for defense and offence. It is a deadly weapon unique to the Malay world, and in the centuries past, it was the dreaded weapon of the Malays, and normally carried around by the adult men especially for self-defense purpose.Those were the days when carrying a keris is a normal thing, akin, in the western world, to the days of the cowboys when carrying pistols are normal and rife.

In the old days, a keris once taken out of its sheath must "eat" or taste blood, as they say, and if not the enemy’s, one’s own blood. So, it is not a plaything -- it is a deadly weapon to be respected.

Normally the handle of a keris has elaborate carvings as the hilt and the normal creature carving is birdlike called the jawa demam. The blade of the keris is wavy and has different number of waves depending on the owner’s criteria.

From the structure of the handle, we can see that the keris is used only to be held in one hand. It cannot, and is not meant to be held by two hands unlike the big swords of the western world.

The usage of the keris is therefore in consonant with the silat movements where the hand is used in combat with or without the keris in hand. A keris in hand would however be an added advantage.

The sheath (or home) of the keris is also an art form and a beauty to behold. It is normally made of wood with silver or iron coverings at its mouth, and mostly with carved designs.

One of the most famous kerises that has been recorded in the Malay history books is named "Taming Sari". It is said that with this keris, Hang Tuah became invulnerable or invincible, and he defeated all opponents with this keris in his hand.

During his battle with Hang Jebat, the Taming Sari was in fact in the possession of Hang Jebat, as he had taken it during Hang Tuah’s exile. Hang Tuah was only able to defeat and killed Hang Jebat only after he had tricked Hang Jebat into exchanging their kerises.


Some of the common uses are to flip it out and strike your enemy, to block swords, strike with more power forward with a punch, or backward with an elbow. The sai was used to trap and disarm swordsmen. Also historically it was used to stab, block, trap and punch. Practitioners often carried a sai in each hand, and a "spare"' at the belt. The weapon could also be thrown effectively as well but the sai is now currently mainly used as a karate training weapon. It tests accuracy in striking and quick block-and-counter techniques.

Multi-purpose instruments like the Sai became especially useful, since an opponent's weapon could be blocked and/or trapped with one Sai with the other could be used to deliver a thrust to an open vulnerable area of the body. Three sai were often carried, with one placed behind the back in the belt, where it could serve as a replacement for a hand-held sai that was thrown at an opponent.


The Sundang is originated from the islands of Sulawesi Indonesia and brought to the Malay Peninsula in the 17th.Century. The blade of these weapons are similar to the keris (double sided blade).The Sundang is mainly used for cutting and not stabbing as the keris.


The parang is the Malay equivalent of the machete, typical vegetation in Malaysia is more woody than in South America and the parang is therefore optimized for a stronger chopping action with a heavier blade and a "sweet spot" further forward of the handle, the blade is also beveled more obtusely to prevent it from binding in the cut. This is the same rationale and (in practical terms) the same design as the Indonesian golok and very similar to the Filipino bolo. A parang blade is usually 30cm (12in) long and weighs no more than 750g (1.5lb). The curved blade enables maximum effort to be applied when cutting timber, and the blade arrives before the knuckles, so giving them protection. A parang has three different edges, the front is very sharp and used for skinning, the middle is wider and used for chopping, and the back end (near the handle) is very fine and used for carving.


Spears are either called Tombak in the Javanese world or Lembing in the Malay Peninsular culture. The spear is probably older than the Keris. Some argue the Keris blade was originally a spear head mounted on a short hilt. For instance, Vajrayana flagstaff points from the old Javanese kingdoms have a distinctive Keris shape.

One of the earliest weapons fashioned by human beings and their ancestors, it is still used for hunting and fishing, and its influences can still be seen in contemporary military arsenals as the rifle-mounted bayonet.

Spears can be used as both melee and ballistic weapons. Spears used primarily for thrusting may be used with either one or two hands and tend to have heavier and sturdier designs than those intended exclusively for throwing.


The karambit (also spelled kerambit or korambit) is a knife found among the cultures of Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In all of these cultures it was used as an agricultural tool as well as a weapon. It is said that the shape of the karambit is related to animist beliefs about the power of tigers, and thus the karambit is in the shape of a tiger claw. In fact, there is also a non-sharpened, ceremonial version made of wood that is clearly shaped like a claw.

The karambit is characterized by a sharply curved, usually double-edged, blade, which, when the knife is properly held, extends from the bottom of the hand, with the point of the blade facing forward. In Southeast Asia karambits are encountered with varying blade lengths and both with and without a retention ring for the index finger on the end of the handle opposite the blade. However, in addition to being held blade facing forward and extending down from the fist it may also be held blade to front extending from the top of the hand


Made from rattan this weapon does not break easily even if you smash it like crazy. This weapon so light, flexible and also very effective when fight more than 2 people.

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