Silat in Glasgow was introduced by Mike Krause Martial Arts Academy under the direction of Mike Krause.

Over the years Guro Mike Krause has been exposed to a number of styles of Pentjak Silat. Through wonderful teachers such as Guro Dan Inosanto, Guro Cass Magda, Guro Richard de Bordes, Guro Larry Harstell, Guro Maul Morne and Guro Jak Othman, he has learned and experienced to varying degrees, styles like Bukti Negara, Mande Muda, Tjikalong Harimau, Gayong Harimau, Bersilat, Kuntao, Sufian Bela Diri and Maphilindo Silat.  He has brount all these styles of Silat to Glasgow. All of these teachers and the arts that they shared are greatly respected and the knowledge Guro Mike has gleaned from their teachings forms a valued part of the curriculum here at our Glasgow Academy.


Pentjak Silat – its History and Origins

The Indonesian archipelago is home to a seemingly endless variety of fighting styles. Native Malays, Indians, Chinese, Arab traders, Japanese invaders, Dutch colonists and who knows how many others,
have left their cultural and martial mark on the islands.

The term Pentjak Silat is sort of a catch-all term for these indigenous arts. Pentjak is the practice of formal movements and techniques related to fighting and Silat is the actual fight.

At our Glasgow Martial Arts Academy here in we are proud to be Scottish representatives of Professor Jak Othman’s family style of Harimau Berantai Pentjak Silat. Harimau Berantai translates to “Chained Tiger”. There are many styles of Harimau (tiger) Silat, they are all very effective and violent fighting forms. The meaning of the chain (Berantai) is that we must have an ethical or moral conscience when practicing this art in order to control how far we go in self defence. As professor Jak says, in order to diffuse a bomb one must be a bomb expert. In order do deal with a violent attack with a knife or other weapon, one must be an expert in such an area.

Harimau Berantai is an extremely effective fighting art for self defence, education and understanding in the use of a variety of weapons and empty hand techniques

“Silat” comes from the ancient Malay word “Kilat” meaning lightning. Lightening is bright, fast, powerful, devastatingly lethal and explosive, it is precise and follows the path of least resistance to it’s destination. In South East Asia, some people used to say that lighting was the angels’ weapon against the devil, the art of Silat is thus used to combat evil. It comes from high to low and from this we learn to be humble. A Silat practitioner must then, be bright (smart), fast, powerful, explosive, lethal, precise, able to flow thru or around an opponent, ethical and humble. Prof Othman tells us to fight like lightening, be like lightening.

The origins of the art have become mythological folk lore, although there is a common thread that runs thru many of the tales. That is, there’s a woman by a river washing clothes, collecting water or bathing (each story has it slightly different) and each day she is there she observes animals fighting. Once again the animals of each story are changeable, some say it’s a tiger, some say rooster, some say monkey, some say it’s different animals fighting different animals all the time. However, the woman watches these animals fighting with each other over a period of time, she sees them kicking, blighting, scraping, scratching, hitting and butting. One day she returns home and her husband, who is drunk and angry, attempts to physically abuse her. She remembers how the animals fought and she defends herself by imitating these wild animal movements with the same ferocity!

This is one origin story. There are others, but most say that the first practitioner of the art was a woman and the first student was a man (the husband).