Points

The heartland of Kumango Silat is Bukittinggi (Fordekok), in the Menangkabau area of Sumatra. The style's origins are unknown, but it's believed to be a native Sumatran art. It's still practiced in the 21st century.

Kumango Silat is a soft, flexible Silat form. It emphasizes evasions and escapes from grapples. Stylists yield to an attacker's movements and then slip free. Fighters parry from outside to inside, usually sidestepping (see Retreat Options, pp. 123-124) to get to the enemy's flank. They favor the elbow parry - an Aggressive Parry - against incoming kicks and Knee Strikes. The usual counter to a high kick is a Leg Grapple followed by a throw or a takedown.

Feints are an important part of Kumango Silat, and often precede a Deceptive Attack. The attack itself might be a kick, a punch, or both, thrown as a Dual-Weapon Attack. Strikes focus on the foe's centerline, the primary targets being the groin, neck, and vitals. Stylists also grapple - a favorite target being the foe's parrying arm - and follow up with throws, locks, and (especially) strikes.

Kumango Silat stances are very low and incorporate thigh slaps and deep movements. Practitioners often fake these motions as part of a feint or Deceptive Attack. The hands cover the groin and body, or the back of the neck while turning. Stylists practice stances on sandy beaches in order to get used to shifting ground.

Kumango Silat is rare outside of Indonesia but a good model for other "soft" Silat styles. Like all forms of Silat, it includes weapons training from the start. At some schools, students learn Combat Art versions of its core skills instead of combat skills.

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