Community interview: Pencak Silat with Belda Zando
May 31, 2017 | Comment
Who is Belda Zando?
I’m 28 years old, melanesian and I now live in Canggu. I’m a professional dancer and I’ve been practicing the martial art of Pencak Silat since I’m really young. I’ve been working in a lot of different countries recently to dance but also to teach people Pencak silat; mostly around Europe (Holland, Germany, Norway, France, etc.) People almost forgot about this beautiful martial art and I’m now living in Bali trying to keep this culture and tradition alive.
What is Pencak Silat?
Pencak silat is a traditional martial art from Indonesia. It’s about fitness and self-defence but also about mental spirit, art and culture. ‘’Pencak’’ means dance and ‘’Silat’’ means fight.
Where does this self-defence art come from?
Pencak silat was developed in Indonesia a long time ago as a tradition and culture of Indonesia: especially in West Java. This martial art was inspired by animals’ movements. In the past, some tributes were using Pencak silat to defend themselves: they were pretending to dance but in fact, they were using silat and were killing people.
How much does a lesson cost?
As this is the traditional form of Pencak silat, people decide how much they’re willing to pay for their lessons: there’s no fix prices. In my opinion, it’s important that my customers pay the amount that they’re comfortable to pay.
What is the situation in Bali now?
People choose to take other kind of martial art classes over Pencak Silat as they don’t really know about it. The Pencak silat modern art is already practiced in Bali, but I’m here to bring back the traditional form of Pencak silat as it disappears over the years. There are less than 500 people still practicing the traditional form, but they are almost all over 40 years old.
Are you teaching ? If yes, where ?
I’m a professional dancer and I’ve been working and travelling a lot recently as a choreographer. I worked for two action movies including the Raid. I also teach Pencak Silat: you can stay tuned on my Facebook page and get in touch with me for more information. As the art is inspired from nature, I really like to practice outside at the beach.
What are you doing to promote this art?