Pukulan: the Art of Striking

Literally translated, the term Pukulan means “to strike”. It is therefore a word that has its common use in Indonesia, but it also has a specific meaning in reference to the Indonesian martial arts. In this context it represents a real way of practicing the martial art of Pencak Silat, with certain martial and biomechanical principles that define it and distinguish it from the approach used by other schools which, although they practice Indonesian martial arts, cannot be defined as practitioners of Pukulan.

Walter van den Broeke - Pukul Beach Training

From the point of view of Pencak Silat, a general meaning of Pukulan is exercises focusing on hitting with the hands, with closed fist or open hands.. Similar to Pukulan, there are other terms within the Indonesian language such as: tendangan (kicks), kuncian (joint levers) and senjata (use of weapons). Each one can have it’s space within the martial curriculum of a Pencak Silat school, or be used to define a particular style or trend.

Then there is another, and dearer to us, meaning of the word Pukulan. The Pukulan is understood on a physical, mental, and spiritual level, as a methodology that bases its strategies on hitting. It is not just about training fists in this case, but about learning and applying linear geometries integrated with the biomechanics of the human body, so that each stroke creates the desired result with minimum effort and maximum effect. 

Physical and mental conditioning play another very important factor. The footwork of the Pukulan practitioner moves on precise geometric lines, which have the task of cutting the opponent’s attacking lines. Thereby preventing the opponent from reacting, and allowing the Pukulan practitioner to control the surrounding environment at the same time. Always keeping a constant focus towards a possible second opponent. Finally, timing and momentum represent the dichotomy that allows shots to achieve the desired result. The Pukulan was born on the streets, and as such, it immediately incorporates the idea of ​​fighting against multiple opponents.

The art of Pukulan is therefore alive and in constant evolution, which is reflected through the constant practice of the members of the Naga Kuning Institute.

Pukulan in the Blog

If you want to find out more about Pukulan, its meaning, history, and origins, we invite you to read the articles of our blog where we explore the history, culture, traditions, styles, and fighting techniques of Indonesian martial arts.