What Are Jurus?

For us, jurus refer to forms or motions that consist primarily of hand movements.  

The term juru comes from Bahasa Indonesia – the language of Indonesia.

These forms, which consist of a series of martial movements, are practiced solo.

Their purpose is to ingrain movements that will be applied in defense of one’s self.


Independent Study

While most martial arts have forms, the forms of most arts contain hand and foot movements together.  

Pentjak Silat is unique in that it provides independent study of hand and foot movements. 

The study of the hand movements is covered in detail through juru work, while the study of foot movements is covered in detail through langkah work.


Half of the Foundation

The hand forms, along with the foot movements, form the foundation of our Silat system.

Like the foot movements, the hand forms teach the pesilat many things.  

They are well-suited to many different interpretations.

Some interpretations include:

  • individual meanings
  • multiple meanings
  • tactical elements
  • abstract ideas


Jurus - Analogous to Alphabets

The hand forms are to defending oneself as alphabets are to language proficiency.

If you’re interested in learning a language, you should first learn the alphabet – the language’s beginnings.

Similarly, if you’re interested in learning Silat to defend yourself, you should first learn the hand forms – the art’s beginnings.

In the same way that the alphabet provides the fundamentals for language development, the jurus provide the fundamentals for future development in Silat by teaching the basic motions of the art.


Perform from Various Stances

The hand forms should be performed from various stances:

  • Right foot forward stance

  • Left foot forward stance

  • "Right-Shaded" Tiga stance

  • "Left-Shaded" Tiga stance


Hand Passing

When performing the hand-dominated forms, there are a variety of ways to pass the hands.  

The following is the progression of hand passing we use:

  • Basic – both hands move together ("holding the ball")

  • Scissor – fist hand passes first, then cover hand passes

  • Scissor, THEN Parry & Hit

  • Parry & Hit, Parry & Hit


Ideas & Skills

Repetition is the mother of all skill

With this in mind, the hand forms should be practiced often - think daily.

This repetition helps develop the neural and muscular programming necessary for movement that can be defined as refined automaticity or fluid instinctive movement.

It is this type of movement that results in skill.

Jurus don't just teach skills, they also teach valuable ideas.  

By performing the hand forms over and over, students learn:

  • how to define the space around their bodies

  • hand movements

  • habits, such as the arm guarding side

  • takeovers.


Return to Home Page

Return to Silat