This is His-Story, so probably not 100% accurate history wise because the story is based on oral story handed down from teacher to student. I got these from several website that discussing about silat in Bahasa Indonesia and in Basa Sunda.
First what I would like to explain here is not about modern silat, what I would like to explain is about traditional silat (IPSI opens registration for pencak silat schools, there IPSI put two classifications, Traditional Pencak Silat which is not doing any form of sport competition by IPSI or Persilat, and Modern Pencak Silat School that will be included in sport competition, but they must including IPSI curriculum in it’s syllabus/standardization). The term “pencak silat” is exclusively for Indonesia, other South East Asia counties use the term “silat” instead. In Indonesia alone there is about 800+ open for public paguron (school).
Ok then let’s start with West Java.
In the land of Pasundan, the term martial art is known as Penca, Silat, Penca Silat and Maenpo. For the word penca it was first known recorded in Sanghyang ikshakandha Ng Karesiyan Manuscript, a sundanese kidung about Bubat Tragedy, Dyah pitaloka with the father Prabu Maharaja Linggabuwana Wisesa and mother Retna Lisning that died in the battle that was overwhelmed in numbers by the invading Majapahit Kingdom troops.
Even though IPSI already defining the definision of Pencak Silat, but generally there are two parts, Penca and Silat. Penca mean:puluh-puluh rombongan heunteu kaitung
tujuh rupa penca, anu ulin pakarang bae
lain deui bangsa, serimpi bedaya
(palagan bubat, soepandi & atmadibrata 1977:45)
translation:kaasup olah raga bela diri ngagunakeun karikatan jeung kapinteran ngagerakkeun anggahota badan biasana bari ditabuhan ku kendang penca, Kamus Basa Sunda : R.A. Danadibrata, hal : 514
included in martial art that using agility and intelligence moving the body that usually followed by musical instrument Kendang Penca.
So it is popular believe that Penca is kulit - the form that we can see, and silat is isi - the martial skill a person has.
Next we follow on West Java, especially in Cianjur, it is more known as maenpo. According to Sundanese dictionary (Kamus Besar Kamus Basa Sunda : R.A. Danadibrata, Panitia Penerbitan Kamus Basa Sunda dan UNPAD, Terbitan PT Kiblat Buku Utama, Cetakan
II Syawal 1427 H / November 2007 ) :
It is understandable since the one who popularized it was R. H. Ibrahim Jayaperbata the founder of Maenpo Cikalong (a fusion of Ulin Cimande, Ulin Madi and Ulin Kari, with more emphasis on Madi Power). Back then he was studying in Batavia, where many fighters outside Indonesia, especially from Southern China compete there as the no holds barred fighter sponsored by merchants there, different with Dutch Queen birthday annual fighting tournament in Bogor where the rule was fight to the death (like what it was told from the story of Abah Sera, the Sera’ System founder).Maén : kecap pagawéan bareng jeung babaturan migawe sahiji pagawéan (page : 421)
Po : bs. Cina, maen po: penca, kungfu (page :537)
In Batavia – now Jakarta the term is “maen pukulan” (pukulan is Bahasa Indonesia for Chinese po) is still being used for pecak silat.
Maenpo it self according to Cikalong practitioners means maen poho (poho literally means forget). There are several philosophical definitions on that:
“maen anu eweuh tempo”-popularized by R.H. Tarmidi, the nephew of R.H. Ibrahim, means that the maenan is so fast it left no chance for the opposition to react.
Other meaning is that we make the opposition forget, of oneself so it will be easy to neutralize. Forget here means that we make one forget of the balance (center of gravity), forget about where to attack (by we move to one’s blind side), lock one down so he cannot move.
Ok this is for now, next I will add his-story of four most used ulinan/amengan/maenan in West Java, which is Cimande (One of ulinan that influenced the (ci)Mande Muda school that you have the history here), Kari and Madi that fused in Cikalong, and Syahbandar. Others like Ulin Macao/Kuntao, Sera’ and silek from Minangkabau also interesting to be brought up.
-----------new addition 21st Jan 2011------
The naming of original style/system/ulinan/amengan/maenan usually based on three things: the name of the founder like Sera, the name of the place like Syahbandar, or the name of the technique like Troktok.
Based on book: bunga rampai pencak silat by Rashid aj. (waroengsilat.com)
There are two parts in silat:
1. aspek lahir (part that can be seen): technique, jurus, application, and kaedah (philosophy).
2. aspek batin (that only you can feel it): attitude, philosophy.
Technique consist of:
- sikap: it can be mean as attitude (fight, sparring, or life and death), but sometimes it means stance.
- attacking technique: striking, grappling, takedown.
- evasion technique: how to evade attack like stepping to side, forward or backward.
- blocking technique: with hand or foot.
- stepping technique: called as langkah, in Sundanese they are called pancer, it has four forms according to point (north, south, east, west), the types are like langkah segitiga (triangle), langkah segi empat (square), langkah melingkar (circle).
Jurus: is a pattern of movements that is organized, have an aim and becomes the foundation of a martial art technique.
Application: is the application on jurus against others.
Weapon: there are many weapons used in silat like knife, machete, kerambit, sword, stick, clurit, fan, scarf, sarong, and many more…
Kaedah: is the soul of pencak silat, this kaedah put the purpose of why they learn martial art, for example, in Cikalong they use the form madi-sabandar-kari when they receive an attack: first Madi to measure/control and hold the opponent power, then syahbandar means the ability to change the condition and position, then Kari as the finishing/attacking.
Or like in Perisai Diri dan has kaedah tek-sek, that means sudden pin point fatal attack.
In many Sundanese martial arts, they use kaedah, lurus dilawan serong, serong dilawan lurus. It’s mean that if the opponent attack straight to us then we put anticipate it with diagonal position, vice versa.
And in controlling power they have kaedah full power (tenaga 1), half power (tenaga setengah) and no-power (tenaga kosong). And the saying, “isi dilawan kosong, kosong dilawan isi, isi dilawan isi lebih besar” (empty fight full, full fight empty, bigger full power fight full power).
------ new addition 24st Jan 2011------
now in learning you will undergo three/four level, from gerak to gerak rasa/rasa to usik.
this three level is the terms in sundanese silat.
gerak: literally means movement, this is the level of we learn to simulate the jurus, "we see we follow", the physical (can be seen by eyes) form of jurus.
rasa/ rasa gerak: it is the feeling, knowing the purpose of gerak/intention, can be seen but can only be felt by the practitioner and its partner, understanding the movement of power, stance/gravity, this here is when we can apply the soul of the silat system, every paguron and aliran has their own way to teach this level.
usik: there are many definition on usik, but just for example we can use the definition from maenpo cikalong. usik is a small movement that cannot be seen but can be felt by the opponent by using changing in power and th executed technique. it has the softer energy resonance then level rasa, because usually the energy is only from wrist to end of the fingers. because of the limited energy generated, it is really hard to reach that level. usik function different than gerak, where gerak is more to attention to meet the target or to avoid, usik has the function to stop the gerak ("mematikan gerak"). the meaning of "mati gerak" is like in chess term of "check mate", you cannot do any more of attacking or evasion movement. so basically by doing usik, you change the position of your opponent to be unfavorable to him.
for the application of usik in the term of maenpo cikalong you can see from the "silat schools" thread.
note: since i just started silat, my level is still in learning gerak, so rasa and usik still a mystery for me