Practice makes perfect: Members of the BEKSI pencak silat martial arts school practice in Ciledug, Tangerang.(JP/Seto Wardhana)The local traditional martial art pencak silat is often considered not as cool as imported ones like capoeira of Brazil or muay Thai of Thailand, which are more popular among Jakarta’s middle- and upper-income people.
However the popularity of The Raid ( 2011 ) and its sequel The Raid 2 ( 2014 ) had brought pencak silat to the attention of domestic and international audiences.
The intense and brutal fighting scenes in both movies have landed their main actors Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman —all originally pencak silat athletes and trainers — small roles in several foreign film projects including the mega-popular franchise of Star Wars: the Force Awakens.
A national UK pencak silat team member, Vikram Iyer, during an inte...