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Main Senjata
Weapons Training in Kuntao Macan

Kuntao Macan employs a wide range of traditional Indonesian weapons, concentrating primarily on short and middle length blade and stick weapons. Paatje Faulhaber did not place a great deal of emphasis on weapon skills, as his concern was primarily functionally effective hand to hand combat skills. Nonetheless, he taught Paatje Richard a limited range of weapon skills which remain an important part of the art's tradition and identity.


The system relies on three main edged weapons: a generic knife or pisau, a short, heavy-bladed bush knife similar to a machete called a golok, and a straight-bladed, single-edged short sword referred to generically as a pedang.

Below are two examples of golok. On the left, a typical Javanese golok with a deer-horn handle, on the right a golok of peninsular Malay origin.

The golok is the main weapon in the system, and training consists in a series of short sets similar to jurus which may be practiced alone or with a partner similarly to the unarmed jalan perkakas, and also a lengthy and complex kembang for the weapon.

And below here, two examples of Javanese pedang. The weapon on the left has an indigenous blade made from laminated steel similar to the laminated metalwork of a kris blade, while the example on the left was cut down from a Dutch military sword.

Pedang training concentrates on a single form of medium length, and is unusual in its reliance on a two-handed grip and techniqes geared to a relatively heavy blade.


Kuntao employs three lengths of stick: a palm stick or 'tongkat perempuan', single and double sticks of roughly two feet in length, and a 'yardstick', tongkat kayu, of between three and four feet. The tongkat perempuan is so named because it was supposely adapted from a decorative wooden woman's hair curler, and therefore was originally intended as an improved self-defence skill for female pemain kuntao. The single and double short sticks involve techniques superficially similar to Filipino martial arts, but the single stick techniques frequently employ a typically Indo-Malay reliance on a two-handed strike with the butt of the weapon at extremely close range. The 'yardstick' derives from the art's specifically peranakan or babah Chinese origins, and was supposedly adapted from a metal-capped stick used for measuring bolts of cloth by Chinese merchants.


Two other main weapons make up the Kuntao repertoire: cabang and sarong.

Cabang (Tjabang)

The cabang is a long spike with two tines, one on each side, which looks like a somewhat distorted barbeque fork. Many martial artists will recognise the cabang as being a close relative of the Okinawan sai, although typically Indonesian versions employ more of a rectangular bend to the tines than the Okinawan version. The Southern Chinese, particularly the Hokkienese, employ a version of this weapon also called, in Mandarin, as titcher. The cabang is also known in Sundanese as the trisula and in Malaysia as the tekpi, and versions with one tine pointed up and another down are sometimes refered to as siku-siku (elbows). Kuntao teaches four jurus for the cabang, two single caban and two double, as well as how to adapt the same movements to the siku-siku. On the left below is a set of cabang and on the right, siku-siku.

Finally, the art includes a range of techniques which may be used for belt, sarong and sash.