Adapted from Notosuyitno in ‘Miscellaneous Pencak Silat’ 1999:28-30.
Pencak Silat competition is one of the means to perpepuate, develop and socialize pencak silat and to increase the image of pencak silat.
Viewed from its development history, there are two kinds of pencak silat competition systems, that is traditional competition systems and modern competition system.
The traditional competition system is arranged to testify pencak silat skill among the members of a same school (perguruan). Basically it is a competition of self-defensive pencak silat in the form of play. The players have to catch and prevent the catching of objects such as head-cloths, rimless caps, or the sarong around the shoulders or hip, or the flower put in the button on the body of the opponent. Those who can catch these objects from their opponents’ body are the winners. The competition is led by a referee and evaluated by jurors.
In the modern competition system, its rule determines the winner according to the scores of attacking and defending as well as the presentation of pencak silat movements, as evaluated by the jurors. There are two kinds of modern competition,that is school (perguruan) competition and IPSI competition, each of which has its own rule. In sport pencak silat competition, IPSI rule compels the competitiors to wear body protector in order to protect them from injures.
In the circle of PERSILAT and IPSI since 1996 there were four categories of pencak silat competitions, that is ‘wiralaga’, ‘wiragana’, ‘wirasanggha’, and ‘wiraloka’.’Wiralaga’ is meant for pencak silat sport competition while
‘wiragana’, ‘wirasanggha’ and ‘wiraloka’ indicate pencak silat self-defense and art competition.’Wiragana’ for solo demonstrations, ‘wirasanggha’ for couple demonstrations and ‘wiraloka’ for group demonstrations.
Since 1999, those names were changed into: ‘wiralaga’ became “tanding” (fight), ‘wirasanggha’ became ‘tunggal (solo demonstration of standard jurus); ‘wiragana’ become ‘ganda’ (sparred); and ‘wiraloka’ became ‘regu’ (group consisting of three performers).
The Competition Regulation of (Achievement) Sports Pencak Silat had been changed accordingly and competitions are arranged in 4 catagories, that is ‘Tanding’, ‘Tunggal’, ‘Ganda’, and ‘Beregu’ (Match, Single, Sparred and Group)
For international or wold scale, PERSILAT had determined five categories of championship, that is world , regional, open, invitation, and special championships.
World championships are the highest achievement arena and are organized once every two years, while regional championships are organized every year. Open championships are held for PERSILAT members who are interested in participating, while invitation championships are only for PERSILAT members that are invited to participate. The time and venue of open and invitation championships are determined by the organizer. Special championships can be arranged by an organization or body outside PERSILAT using PERSILAT rule and legalized by PERSILAT.
Pencak Silat had been competed in South East Asia Games since 14 th SEA Games held in Jakarta in 1987.