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The Black Cat of Rangkasbitung

News | Monday, October 3rd, 2016 | sundanesecorner.org

Hawé Setiawan

'Penca' master Sumianto of Haji Salam School (Illustration: Hawe Setiawan)

‘Penca’ master Sumianto of Haji Salam School (Illustration: Hawe Setiawan)

From 1 to 2 October we convened a workshop on Sundanese martial arts ‘penca’ at our new secretariat at Jalan Gegerkalong Tengah 50, Bandung. This event was organised by Lembaga Pewarisan Pencak Silat (Garis Paksi), a Bandung-based institution that promotes the preservation and development of Indonesian traditional martial arts, in collaboration with Pasundan University’s Lembaga Budaya Sunda (LBS) or Institute for Sundanese Culture.

For the benefit of the participants, we invited Mr. Sumianto, a penca master of Perguruan Ilmu dan Seni Bela Diri Haji Salam, a Banten-based dojo that is named after its founder, Haji Salam (1869-1955). This school of Sundanese martial arts is one of ‘penca’ schools well-known especially among martial artists in Banten and West Java.

Mr. Sumianto trained us in mastering some basic movements of Haji Salam and taught us their philosophical aspects. “Lamun aya sémah, ampihan. Lamun sémah balik, anteurkeun jeung bekelan (If you have a guest, let him come. If he retreats, let him go with your gift),” he said philosophically. It loosely means “accept the opponent’s punches, and follow his movements while giving your responses.***

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