Kung fu vs. Pencak silat in street sparring match

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pencak silat and kung fu are similar in terms of they are not specific martial arts in their own right. They are more like umbrella terms for differing branches of martial arts originating from China (kung fu) and Indonesia (pencak silat).

Of course there are usually common characteristics that each branch of martial art possesses. Kung fu utilizes circular movements (versus linear movements seen in Japanese traditional arts such as karate). While pencak silat styles differ depending on which region in Indonesia it originates. The use of weapons is a big part of pencak silat though for the following YouTube video we’ll be focusing on the hand to hand combat aspect of it.

It is clear that this is a friendly technique sparring match between two martial artists. They are not trying to damage each other and a lot of respect is shown among both combatants. The pencak silat practitioner is the man with the head dress on (when the match starts at least) and the kung fu practitioner is the guy in the gray t-shirt.


Early on in the sparring session they feel each other out. As previously stated, the kung fu guy uses more circular movement while the silat practitioner tends to stay more stationary, holding his ground.

The action starts to heat up when the combatants exchange lightning fast kicks that could easily knock out an untrained opponent but these guys know what they are doing to some degree.

A brief grappling exchange is attempted when the kung fu guy closes in to clinch his opponent but the silat practitioner is able to reverse him and puts him on his back temporarily. The action restarts on their feet however.

Now while both these guys are far from the level of elite kickboxers or MMA fighters, their kicking technique looks pretty crisp for traditional martial artists. If they rounded out their game with some MMA training it would make these type of skills all the more effective in realistic combat.

Next: No Touch master challenges martial artist to punch his face