or Kuntao Silat
is a Hokkien
term referring to martial arts practiced by the Chinese community of Southeast Asia
and have usually been influenced by silat
. The word kuntao means way of the fist (similar to Chuan Fa
, or Fist Technique). Translating Kuntao as 'Way of the Fist' is too literal, it really means 'fighting art' or 'martial art'.Purely Chinese kuntao styles exist in China
, but kuntao styles have been spread for centuries by merchants and other travelling Chinese people. Forms of kuntao are practiced in Indonesia
) and the Philippines
(where it is often called Kuntaw) as well as in some other countries. Some kuntao styles were not changed but many were. This happened because the styles had to be adapted to a new environment, fighting in different terrain, fighting local styles, defending or fighting with local weapons.
Most Indonesian kuntao styles began to integrate techniques from silat styles and some even changed their name from "kuntao" to "silat". For example, Liu Seong Kuntao is a hybrid kuntao-silat system.
Kuntao Silat is the Martial Arts practiced by several ethnic groups in the south of the Philippines. It is said that it is the combination of indigenous Silat and Chinese Kuntao which arrived in the Philippines by Chinese merchants.
Kuntao is a relatively little known art in the United States. Considered by practitioners to be a "true" form of Kung Fu (pre temple destruction) it is often called "Chinese Boxing" or "Taiwanese Boxing" by its practitioners because it is traditionally practiced in a aura of secrecy; in fact few martial artists were familiar with the style until very recently (early 21st century). Only with the advent of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) in the U.S. has the art even begun to approach mainstream dissemination. Even so, few traditional Kuntao schools exist in the states today.
- Kuntao Silat deThouars is the martial art created by Willem deThouars and is a combination of several Silat and Chinese/Indonesian Kuntao (Kung Fu) styles.
- Malabar Kuntao Silat is the martial art of Steve Gartin, a student of Willem deThouars, and is basically Kuntao Silat deThouars formulated into a new, more structured, learning approach.
- Kuntao Angin, also known as Silat Angin, translated as "Kuntao of the Wind" is an old form of Kuntao practiced in the Kedah region of Malaysia, known for its' deceiving circular attacks, and nerve point manipulations. This system is founded by Yap Mat in 1977 based on older forms of Chuan Fa and Malay Silat
- American Kuntao Silat is the more recent name for Malabar Kuntao Silat. As described by Steve Gartin, it is the final transmission of his art including both the external (Malabar) and internal skills.
- Talio American Kuntao is the martial art of Roberto Torres and is the result of Roberto Torres's martial arts studies in Visitacion Kuntao-Arnis, Wu Kung Tao and several Silat styles.
- Liu Seong Kuntao was created by Willem Reeders based on his studies in Indonesia.