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Pencak Silat Martial Arts - Pentjak Silat History & Styles

Pencak silat in Western writings sometimes spelled "pentjak silat" or phonetically as "penchak silat") is an umbrella term for a class of related Indonesian martial arts. In neighboring countries, the term usually refers to professional competitive silat. It is a full-body fighting form incorporating strikes, grappling and throwing in addition to weaponry. Every part of the body is used and subject to attack. Pencak silat was practiced not only for physical defense but also for psychological ends.

The origin of the words pencak and silat have not been proven. Some believe that pencak comes from the Sanskrit word pancha meaning five, or from the Chinese term pencha or pungcha which implies parrying or deflecting, and striking or pressing.