Pencak Silat Weapons - Overview


The weapons program in pencak silat builds directly upon the unarmed platform of skills and strategies.  The positioning and movement methods remain the same, albeit that the change of effective fighting distance and the weapon manipulation introduces some changes.  The involvement of weapons does however shift the emphasis towards the need for manoeuverability rather than stability.

The main weapons used are the sticks of various lengths, namely:

  • gada (short stick or baton);
  • tongat (medium length stick); and
  • toya (long stick)

There are other weapons used, however, to a lesser degree than the sticks.

It is important to know how weapons are regulated.  In Western Australia (as in many other jurisdictions) there is legislation directly dealing with weapons in general and martial art weapons in particular.  See the discussion of the Weapons Act.

The most obvious change to incorporate weapons is the aspect of distance associated with the length of the weapon and mastering the implications of this.  The other significant matter is, of course, the manipulation of the weapon itself.  Each weapon presents its own set of challenges to master.  As with empty hands, the emphasis is upon partner practice.  The basic combinations of attack and defence are replicated with gada against gada, gada against tongat, tongat against tongat and so on.