The Indonesian Embassy in London held the first Pencak Silat Festival in London, involving Indonesian and UK Silat schools on Saturday 15th September 2018. The Festival was a collaborative effort between the Indonesian Embassy and the Pencak Silat Federation of the United Kingdom (PSF UK) which has been actively developing Pencak Silat in the UK since 1994.
Five UK Silat schools took part in the event under the guidance of the PSF UK; Gerak Ilham, Kuntao Matjan, Silek Harimau Minangkabau, Panglipur and Persaudaraan Setia Hati Terate.
The Indonesian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, HE Ambassador Dr Rizal Sukma, officially opened the event, expressing his gratitude to the PSF UK under the leadership of its President, Mr Aidinal Alrashid, and to the pesilat from the Silat Schools who came together to prepare and implement the Festival. HE Ambassador Dr Rizal Sukma also expressed his appreciation of the work of the PSF UK in developing and promoting Pencak Silat in the UK.
"As an ancestral cultural heritage of the Indonesian people, Pencak Silat is an Indonesian cultural asset that needs to be preserved and can be used to strengthen relations between Britain and Indonesia through people-to-people contact," HE Ambassador Dr Rizal Sukma said in an official statement.
The 2018 Pencak Silat Festival also featured a special guest - Kang Cecep Arif Rahman of Silat Panglipur, who has starred in several world-class films, including The Raid 2 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Kang Cecep was interviewed about his life and experiences within Pencak Silat by Mr Aidinal Alrashid, answering questions from the audience, the interview being filmed by Silat Fan TV.
Kang Cecep, Trisna Irawan and Dian Kinara from Panglipur Indonesia then delivered amazing performances, which were followed by demonstrations from each of the UK Schools. More than 300 people applauded the performances of the artistic, sports and self-defence aspects of the different Silat styles.
Kang Cecep and his colleagues from Silat Panglipur, and Instructors from Gerak Ilham, Kuntao Matjan, Silek Harimau Minangkabau, Panglipur and Persaudaraan Setia Hati Terate then conducted workshops in their own Silat styles, with 85 people taking part, keen to learn skills from each School.
The PSF UK would like to express our thanks to the Indonesian Embassy in London, and to HE Ambassador Dr Rizal Sukma for making the first Pencak Silat Festival such a great success.