Indonesia is a nation of people who are influenced by cultural wealth. From its beginnings many tribes from Indo China and South China found refuge in the archipelago from 2000 B.C - 500 A.D. The archipelago is a landmark that entailes over 15.000 islands. The four largest islands are Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Borneo. Borneo is now recorded on geographical maps as Kalimanten.
The archipelago of South East Asia, formerly the Dutch East Indies - is now, after its proclamation of independence on August 17, 1949 the independent nation of Indonesia.
This group of islands is a paradise of islands located to the East of Sumatra, and near the South China sea. The martial arts practiced in Indonesia are centuries of gatherings of exchanges between warrior tribes with different cultural heredity's of nations in tribal warfare.
The Indonesian fighting or war arts, are highly influenced by its culture, and by the practice of people during the ruling of different kingdoms. The nations who inhabit the archipelago have developed steel and sword making to a high art.
These assortments of blades are used as tools, for self defense, for cooking and used by people for ceremonial dances. There are well over 300 systems of fighting arts practiced by the Indonesian people.
They based their martial on the use of blades.
Like the assortment of blades, is it not surprising at all that in Indonesia over 400 languages are used as dialects, and the national language with the Bahamas Indonesia.
Pencak Silat is a term used for the Indonesian martial arts in general. Pencak Silat translated in any other language means (Pencak: bodily movements in practice, and Silat: skills) it means simply, the skills of bodily movements.
An organized practice of Silat by expert boxers found its development during the Empire of Singasari (Tumapal) 1222 - 1292. It was under Ken Angrok and his hoard of warriors, who were better skilled in weaponry than other armies at the time.
Angkrok and his fighting men defeated Radja Kertaijaya and his army in the battle of Kediri.
Tunggul Ametrung was the ruler of the Kediri Empire, and was killed by Ken Angrok.
Ken Angrok became then the Radja of Kediri.
The following martial battles had taken place 1222 - 1292.
1. The famous boxer Rajasa was exterminated by Anusopati, the son of Kin Didis who became the ruler.
2. Anusupati was killed in a duel by Tohjoya. After one year of ruling the dynasty Tohjoya was beheaded by Jaya Wishnuwardhama, who was a son of Anusopati.
Jaya Wishnuwardhama was the only ruler out of the dynasty not killed by conflict. His ruling flourished well in prosperity.
3. The son of Radja Jaya Wishnuwardhana - Radja Kertanegara continued to rule the dynasty.
His knowledge of managing a dynasty is by conquering and controlling neighboring dynasties, like the dynasty of Central Java.
He also dealt very harshly when dealing with internal revolts of politicians.
Kertanegara has send out an expedition to rule the island of Bali.
He captured the Radja of Bali.
The Balinese people revolted and defeated Kertanegara.
Kertanegara had bigger plans in mind when he got defeated. After the loss of Bali, he soon sent a great expeditional force to Sumatra (Malaya) in Djambi, and created a Javanese dynasty in Sumatra. He made Mauliwardnadewa the under king of the new dynasty.
4. The dynasty of Singasari has influenced other countries outside Java. The marriage between a Javanese princes and king Annam of Indo China was a testimonial proof to the event.
5. Kartenegara was beheaded by his own cousin, Wyaya, who was in charge of Kartenegara's army.
The army of Radja Jayakatawang crushed the dynasty of Singasari and Wyaya escaped and settled on the island of Madura.
5. In 1292 Kublai Khan who then just became emperor of China, after defeating the weak Sung dynasty, send a big expeditional force to Java. The Mongole expeditional force landed in the city of Surabaya.
6. The exiled Radja Wyaya and followers made a pact with the Mongole army, and together they crushed the dynasty of Jayakarwang. Later Radja Wyaya turned his army against the Mongol Empire. The Mongol expeditional force lost heavily in their conquest for dominance and were forced to return to China.
Kublai Khan's prestige in loosing battles in Europe, Japan, and in South East Asia had taken a big toll on the Emperor's faith.
I The Khan died in 1294.
The Majapahit Empire 1294 - 1527
The first king of this empire was Raden Wyaya, (under another name of Kertarajasa), was the son in law of Kertanagara. Kertanegara's daughter was Gajatri.
Kertarajasa was also a direct decedent of Ken Angkrok and Ken Dedes. The government of Kertarajasa had much to struggle against its former enemies the Radjas Rangga Lawe, Sora and Nambi.
Prosperity came to the Majapahit empire after the death of Nambi. Kertarajasa will always be remembered by the Javanese people for his successes.
The son of Kertarajasar Brawijaya had built the first Panataram temple complex in Central Java.
Brawijaya fled his palace when the people revolted in Kuti. One of his generals Gaja Mada restored peace, and gave the king his kingdom back.
The first European to visit Java was the Christian missionary, Odorico Pordenone.
The third king Radja Jayanagara ruled for a short time, he was executed by his own body guard.
Hajam Wuruk his grandson assumed the kingly responsibilities.
He was directly involved in fierce battles against three formidable opponents; The kingdom of Pajaram, the kingdom of Ratu Dewata and the kingdom of Galuh.
After Hajam Wuruk conquered the three kingdoms - years of prosperity in commerce and trade with China, Japan, the Middle East, Venice and South East Asia was established.
The Majapahit empire was successful in road building, farming, civil laws, state politics, taxes, martial fighting skills for its armed forces and officers training schools.
The Pagarruyung empire overthrow at the beginning of the 16th century destroyed a once flourishing society.