Pencak Silat is one of the new additions to the 18th Asian Games, which will be grouped under the Martial Arts events. It shares a place on the events list alongside other new additions like Wushu, Sambo, Kurash, and Jujitsu.
Pencak Silat is an indigenous martial art form that originated primarily in Indonesia, but also has roots in Malaysia, while it is also widely practiced in Brunei and Central Vietnam. As a result of such a vast reach, Pencak Silat has a diverse variety of styles and techniques that are often found to differ quite evidently. The name 'Pencak Silat’ is a collective term, and was used as a term of general application only after the Indonesian independence around the 1950s.
Pencak Silat is an extremely exciting addition to the Asian Games and it remains to be seen how it will be played out and how successful it will be. In the 18th Asian Games, Pencak Silat events are scheduled to be played out between 23rd to 29th August.
The Pencak Silat events will be held at the Jakarta Convention Center Assembly Hall in the Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex. The GBK Sports Complex also includes the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium which is the main venue of the 2018 Jakarta Pelambang.
The Convention Center plenary hall has a total seating capacity of 5,000 and an area of 3,921 square metres.
Asian Games Pencak Silat Events
Similar to the other martial art forms, the events will be organised on the basis of weight categories and there are two different categories of events - combat event and performance event. The events will be conducted in accordance to the regulations of the Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia (IPSI). The five main rules are:-
- Strikes are only legal if they hit between the shoulder line and the waist. Each successful strike is awarded one point.
- Hitting the face or below the belt is a penalty.
- Throws in themselves are not awarded points, and ground follow-up is permitted.
- A joint-lock is awarded 10 points.
- Immobilising the opponent by holding them helpless is worth 5 points.
Indian Pencak Silat Events at the 2018 Asian Games
India has been a decent performer at international Pencak Silat events, and lately won two silvers and five bronze medals at the Pencak Silat Championships in 2016. India even performed better than Indonesia, which is the country of origin of the sport.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had initially approved a list of 22 silat athletes. However, they finally cleared only two names for the Asiad, allegedly to make way for the men’s handball team which consists of 16 athletes.