Silat is a collective word for indigenous martial arts that originates from Indonesia. It is traditionally practiced in Malaysia, southern Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines (Kali-Silat).
Silat is one of the sports included in the Southeast Asian Games and other region-wide competitions.
According to local legend, a woman based her combat system on the movements of animals that she had seen fighting. Masters still believe that the first styles of Silat were created by observing animals, and these styles were probably derived from animal-based Indian martial arts. In the fifth or 6th century, pre-determined sets are said to have been introduced by the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma who came from India to Southeast Asia via the Sumatra-based kingdom of Srivijaya in Palembang. Through this connection, Silat is also used as a method of spiritual training in addition to self-defense.
~Guro Barbara Dalla Riva
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