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About the Indonesian Pencak Silat Organization (IPSI) and the International Pencak Silat Federation (PERSILAT).

by O'ong Maryono

What is IPSI and how it was started?

The Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia (IPSI) or Indonesian Pencak Silat Organization is a national umbrella organization for Indonesian pencak silat schools. It was funded in 1948 after Indonesia gained independence from the Dutch colonialists to foster the development of pencak silat in the new country as part of a broader effort to promote cultural unity. More exactly on May 18, 1948, a meeting found place in Solo (Central Java) which established a national pencak silat committee chaired by Mr.Wongsonegoro (chairman), and composed of Soeria Atmadja (vice chairman), Marijoen Soedirohadiprodjo (secretary), and Soeratno Sastroamidjojo (treasurer), which was eventually formalized into the Ikatan Pencak Seloeroeh Indonesia (IPSI: Association of Pencak from the Entire Indonesia). Only in 1973 the official name was changed into Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia (IPSI), to include 'pencak' as well as 'silat' schools and practitioners. Mr. Wongsonegoro was IPSI first chairman from 1948 until 1973, when it was followed by Tjokropranolo (1973-1978) and Eddie M. Nalapraya (1978 until today).
The members of IPSI are independent pencak silat perguruans spread all over the country. It is said (but official statistics are lacking) that IPSI counts more than 800 pencak silat perguruans from 26 provinces as its members.
The structure and organization of IPSI is based on a set of written statutes and rules approved by all the members, which among others define the relationship between the various perguruan and their national organization. IPSI's three main aims are:
1- To develop its members and to look after unity
2- To coordinate and lead its members dealing with its efforts to perpetuate, develop and socialize pencak silat and its values.
3- To use pencak silat and its values as means to build up good quality humankind, in a mental, spiritual and physical sense.
The Indonesian government recognizes IPSI as the only official pencak silat organization, which has the legal right to deal with all matters concerning pencak silat nationally. The national offices of IPSI are located in Jakarta, at the Padepokan Nasional Pencak Silat Indonesia, Jalan Raya Taman Mini Indonesia Indah no.1, phone 021- 8413815. From there, IPSI supervises its regional administrative units at provincial level, 2nd regional administrative units at district level, and subdistrict administrative units.

What is Persatuan Pencak Silat Indonesia (PPSI; Indonesian Pencak Silat Association )?
Many people abroad often confuse IPSI with PPSI since their names are very similar. However their nature is very different. PPSI is not recognized as a national organization by the government and its members only include West Java (Sundanese) styles, mostly located in Bandung and surroundings.
PPSI was founded by Pak Kosasih in Bandung, West Java on August 1957 with the support of various pencak silat masters such as H. Suhari Sapari (Perguron Sekar Pakuan), Nunung Hudaya (Perguron Riksa Diri), Uca (Perguron Panglipur) and Soekedja (Perguron Raksa Warga). After a period of competition with IPSI, PPSI withdraw to a local role and is today recognized as one of the 10 'Top organizations' in the history of Indonesian pencak silat. The complete list is as follows:
1. Persaudaraan Pencak Silat Setia Hati in Jakarta
2. Persaudaraan Pencak Silat Setia Hati Teratai in Madiun, East Java
3. Perpi Harimurti in Yogyakarta, Central Java
4. Pasyadja Mataram in Yogyakarta, Central Java
5. Tapak Suci Putra Muhammadiyah in Yogyakarta, Central Java
6. Persaudaraan Pencak Silat Perisai Putih in Surabaya, East Java
7. Keluarga Silat Nasional Perisai Diri in Surabaya, East Java
8. Keluarga Pencak Silat Nusantara in Jakarta
9. Pencak Silat Putra Betawi in Jakarta
10. PPSI in Bandung, West Java

PERSILAT is the acronym of Persekutuan Pencak Silat Antar Bangsa (The International Pencak Silat Federation), the only official international organization of pencak silat. This organization was founded on March, 11, 1980 in Jakarta. PERSILAT is composed by national organizations of pencak silat. Basically every national organization of pencak silat, whether it has been already recognized or not by the respective national sport authorities, can become a member of PERSILAT as long as it is accepted by the other members. As a member of PERSILAT, each national organization represents its own country.
PERSILAT recognize 3 kinds of membership, that is Anggota Pendiri (founding members) Anggota Gabungan (associated members) and Anggota Bersekutu (affiliated members). Anggota Pendiri are the national pencak silat organizations which founded PERSILAT, namely: IPSI (Ikatan Pencak Silat Indonesia), PESAKA (Persekutuan Silat Kebangsaan Malaysia), PERSISI (Persekutuan Silat Singapore), and PERSIB (Persekutuan Silat Kebangsaan Brunei Darussalam)
The Anggota Gabungan are national pencak silat organizations already recognized by their respective national authorities, while the Anggota Bersekutu have still to be recognized, but are considered worthy by PERSILAT to become members.
The objectives of PERSILAT are to monitor and coordinate the efforts of perpetuating, developing and spreading pencak silat all over the wold, and to employ pencak silat to foster internationals friendship and world peace. PERSILAT can assist regional or national activities if it is asked by the concerned members. In 1994 PERSILAT counted 21 national organizations, among others: PERSISI (Singapore), PESAKA (Malaysia), IPSI (Indonesia), PERSIB (Brunei Darussalam), PSAT (Thailand), PHILSILAT (Philippines), PSAMY (Myanmar), ISAVI (Vietnam), PSAS (Spain), PSAF (France), PSVO (Austria), DPSU (Germany), PSUB (Belgium), NPSB (the Netherlands), SPSA (Suriname), PSAA(Australia), PSAT (Turkey), PSAS (Swiss), PSAE (England), PSAL (Laos), PSAMR (Marocco). More recent information is not available.
In accordance with the decision of the Anggota Pendiri, the positions of Secretary General and Department Chairpersons of PERSILAT should be occupied by functionaries from the same national organization as the president. Related to this, since from 1985 until today the president of IPSI has also been chosen as the president of PERSILAT, the head office of PERSILAT is located in Jakarta.

To avoid misunderstanding, I should state here that what I have exposed is just the formal organizational structure of IPSI and PERSILAT. A lot can still be said about the problems encountered by these two organizations in the implementation of their programs and the challenges waiting ahead.

Most of the information has been derived from:
1997 The treasury of pencak silat. Jakarta: Informedika
O'ong Maryono
1999 Pencak silat merentang waktu. Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar

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