Bapak Ismail demonstrates his family art Pasundan Pencak Silat. This demonstration took place at the Martial Arts Collective Society Gathering in September 2014.
Pasundan translates to “the land of the Sundanese”. The Sundanese are an ethnic group native to the western part of the Indonesian island of Java. They number approximately 40 million, and are the second most populous of all the nation’s ethnicities. The name Sunda derives from the word “Su” which means goodness. Sunda also means light, cleanness, bright, and white.
Bapak Ismail was born in Bandung, Indonesia (West Java) in 1959. His career as an artist/painter has brought him all over the world. Growing up in Indonesia he was instilled with his people’s moral values, stories and dreams which he carries with him wherever he goes. Bapak began his study of Silat at the early age of six, learning his family’s original style from his father Abah Marjadi who is in his late 80′s today and teaches primarily to family members, and from his uncle Mang Aye who passed away in 1995. Mang Aye taught Bapak Ismail mostly the physical aspects including jurus and lankah from Cimande, Cililin, Cikalong, Syahbandar and Sera, while Bapak’s father Abah Marjadi focused more on tenaga dalam cultivation, meditation and healing.
Their family style was inspired by the local energies and wildlife of West Java adopting movements from the many animals (tigers, eagles, monkeys, and snakes) and from the natural elements (water, wind, earth, fire, etc). This system contains many styles, movements, and short forms and also trains in multiple weapons which Bapak learned in Garut from Mang Ikin beginning at the age of 12, such as the golok, karambit, short stick (tongkat pendek), knife (belati), keris, and even the sarung (sarong) and topi (hat). This art focuses not only on the external pencak silat aspects, but devotes just as much time to internal breathing, energy development, meditation and healing.