The Warrior Arts of Indonesia (WAI), pronounced ‘way,’ is a dynamic organization founded in 2012 by Johnny Silmon. With over 25 years of incubation and formation, the WAI is deeply committed to exploring and promoting the rich heritage of Silat, an Indo/Malay martial art that has been present for centuries.

The Historical Significance of Silat

Silat’s genesis remains shrouded in mystery, with no definitive point of origin. However, ample evidence suggests that its evolution spans well over 1000 years. Indonesia, once known as Nusantara, holds a pivotal position in the world with its strategic location along numerous trade routes. This historical positioning facilitated interactions with diverse cultures, leading to the hypothesis that Silat’s development was influenced by martial arts from various nations.

Additionally, Indonesia’s historical tapestry is adorned with the tales of mighty kingdoms like Sriwijaya, Padjadjaran, and Majapahit, where hand-to-hand combat played a crucial role in shaping combative arts, potentially paving the way for the emergence of Silat.  Check out this article about Pencak Silat on the site to give some more insights into the origins and evolution of these fascinating martial arts.

Aliran and Perguruan: Two Streams of Silat

In modern Indonesia, Silat is expressed through a plethora of diverse styles, broadly classified into two categories: Aliran and Perguruan.

  1. Aliran: The Original Streams

Aliran, meaning ‘an original stream,’ refers to styles like Cimande, Cikalong, and Sera, all hailing from the Sundanese culture in West Java province. Though they may have been influenced by other styles during their inception, over time, these styles have become known as ‘original’ due to the scarcity of verifiable historical information. Each Aliran embodies unique characteristics that were new and innovative in their time.

  1. Perguruan: The Schools of Thought

Perguruan denotes a school or institution, representing styles that deviate from Aliran. Generally, newer Perguruan styles often incorporate techniques and names borrowed from original streams. Examples include Mande Muda, a fusion of various styles enriched by the founder’s personal experiences, and Silat Panglipur. While some may argue superiority, Perguruan styles offer diverse techniques and training methods, with the ultimate success determined by the practitioner’s understanding and mastery.

Appreciating Diversity in Silat

Both Aliran and Perguruan styles possess great merit and cater to individuals with varying physiological capabilities and limitations. The beauty of Silat lies in its ability to suit every practitioner, offering an art form that aligns with their unique strengths and interests.

WAI’s Role in Promoting Silat

The WAI proudly establishes direct connections with numerous streams of Silat across Indonesia, such as Pencak Silat from Java and Silek Minang from Sumatra. Although it is challenging to encompass every style, the organization remains dedicated to bringing exciting features, media, and methodologies related to the diverse warrior arts of Indonesia.


Embrace the spirit of exploration as we delve into the fascinating world of Silat with the Warrior Arts of Indonesia. We hope you find our site enriching and encourage you to share this knowledge with fellow martial arts enthusiasts.