By: Bapak John van der Jagt

I will only talk about Cimande because this is the style that we do. This Pencak Silat style Cimande was developped around 1765. In that time there were in West Jawa, in the area of Bandung andn Bogor several ways of fighting, all with there own stong points but also with their own weaknesses. From this variety of arts the founder of Cimande created his style. This man, Embah Khair, already was during his lifetime a legend.  Honoured and feared because of his Martial Arts qualities and magical powers he became teacher of the prinses in the Kraton, he became bodyguard of prins Aria (Adipatih Wiratanudatar 1766 – 1813) and taught the locals and police officers. He had 5 sons that followed his footsteps. He died in1825. His grave site in Sereal Bogor is still a place that is visited by many Pencak Silat performers. One of his best students Pendekar Age brought Cimande to Tarik Kolot where it is still performed these days. Ofcourse it is not exactly the same as in the time of Embah Khair (18e eeuw), also Cimande has developped throughout the years, but has kept its own karakteristics. 
Pencak Silat should be developped by a woman. Long time ago (so the story goes) a woman was walking to the kali to get some water. When she arrived there she saw a Tiger in a fight with a big Bird of Prey. Fascinated she watched this fight that took a long time and unfortunately both animals died in the fight. Her husband came to get her and he was angry the she took so long. When he tried ti hit he she moved like the animals and he missed. After the husband cooled down she showed her husband the way of the animals - a Martial Art was born. As proof of this story people show that there are many women experts in Pencak Silat.
It is more likely to say that the Indonesian people had to protect themselves against animal attacks and later when they started to travel around the islands also against people. So for those reasons Pencak Silat developped. Like other Martial arts also Pencak Silat has been influenced by differend cultures but it has really kept its Indonesian karakter. All these styles have their own specific way of movement and it would not be right to say that is is all 1 style.

Some of the styles in Indonesia are :

Pencak Silat Cimande - Rotterdam