Remnants of the Majapahit Empire

When the few sages of facebook, twitter, wordpress and (dare I say) tumblr have been exhausted—and it happens more often than not—I find myself digging for gold back in Google Books.

There is actually a gold rush back there. If you haven’t found your fortune, then you simply haven’t been looking. My top three sites, these days, have been claimed by:

1. Google Books
2. Wikipedia
3. TED

My itty-bitty buck knife / key chain
My itty-bitty buck knife / key chain

It was on one of those digs that I found a Black Belt Magazine talking about Pencak Silat‘s Nine Deadliest Weapons. Some of the Labaw Donggon cadets know that I have a thing for knives because it brings me back to a childhood memory. It was one where my dad was using a very nifty looking buck knife to make a kite for me. You’ll tend to cling on to those memories when you’re away at boot camp. Really. Unlike what my sister wants to believe, It’s not because I want to paint the town red to the tune of Foster the People‘s Pumped Up Kicks.

Around November of 2011, I got my own buck knife while we were camping with the Special Forces. It was; however, too minuscule for cutting down tree branches when we needed to start a fire.

The Black Belt Magazine article included the Kris or Keris amongst the nine deadliest weapons of Pencak Silat. That blade, too, is another favorite. Lapu-lapu, Paubari and Labaw Donggon can keep the Kampilan for themselves.

I’ve come to understand that, with my body-type, I’ll be more effective and efficient with the kris than with the unwieldy Kampilan.

At around the 13th Century, when the Majapahit Empire was at it’s peak, it spread as far as the Southern Philippines. This explains the similarities in our martial arts with that of the other Southeast Asian nations. Pencak Silat, like Kung Fu, copied its forms from animals like monkeys tigers and snakes. As the art was further developed, the use of bladed weapons became emphasized over open-handed techniques.

IT. IS. SO. PRETTY.
IT. IS. SO. PRETTY.

The very pretty Kris or Keris is the national weapon of Indonesia, which during the Majapahit Empire made it’s way into the hands of Filipino warriors. Not only were they deadly weapons, they were also symbols of courage and beauty; often being passed on throughout generations as heirlooms. Each part of the weapon has a specific name.

It’s distinctive shape allows for the blade to tread the balance between sharpness and shatter resistance.

How to be a fashionable Keris blade owner.
How to be a fashionable Keris blade owner.

To read the whole article, just click this link. Feed your minds!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Light Alberich says:

    Why do we always entertain the idea that we were part of the Madjapahit or Sri Vijaya empire? We were not. There’s no evidence that either of the two powers spread to the Philippines.

    1. imp says:

      I’ve been reading material on that topic. Can you point me to some books that state otherwise so I can study them?

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