“National devotion” is what a Southeast Asian martial art form known as Bakti Negara literally means. This “striking” form of combat is said to have originated from the province of Bali located in Indonesia. Apparently, the word “Bakti Negara” has been derived from the Sanskrit language i.e. Bakti which means “devotion” and Negara which means “country”. Furthermore, a few body movements used in this martial art form are similar to those seen in a local dance style called “Barong”. In addition, this martial art form is based on the Balinese philosophy “Tri Hita Karana” which states the following:

  1. Sport, developing the physical ability to practice the techniques through exercises for the benefit of maintaining physical health and athletic achievement.
  2. Martial, developing fighting ability.
  3. Art, practising to the point where fighting techniques are aesthetic as well as effective
  4. Mental and spirituality, aims to strengthen the ability to control oneself.

a. History/origin of the Bakti Negara:

According to the cultural history of Indonesia, the Bakti Negara was officially created on the 31st January 1955 in the city of Denpasar in Bali. It was developed by four freedom fighters whose names were Anak Agung Rai Tokir, I Bagus Made Rai Keplag, Anak Agung Meranggi and Sri Empu Dwi Tantra. Furthermore, all the four individuals were martial art masters who introduced new techniques of combat to produce the “Bakti Negara”.  In addition, after 1968 this form of martial art gradually metamorphosed into a new version. Some of these changes made included, the introduction of a point based sparring system and adapting the “coloured belt” grading system used commonly in Japan.

b. Weapon used in the Bakti Negara:

The most common weapons used in the Bakti Negara are as follows:

  1. Toya: Basically is a staff.
  2. Chabang: Essentially is a forked truncheon.
  3. Pisau: A knife.
  4. Toyak: A halberd.
  5. Tombak Jago: A long spear.
  6. Penchong: A club.

 c. Technique involved in the Bakti Negara and training availability:

As for the technique, the Bakti Negara is based on what is known as “tipuan” or deception. Furthermore, a fighter mainly attacks the front foot or leg of the opponent. In addition, moves such as ground sitting, sempok or depok stance, kick, or even sweeping maybe used by the fighter. Although, grappling techniques are used in this form of combat it is “striking” which includes “kicking and punching” that is mainly used in this style of combat. As for training centers/schools, there are none available around the world for this “striking” martial art form.

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