Mepantigan, Bali Martial Arts Tradition To Teach Empathy

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  • Batubulan, Gianyar


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Mepantigan, Bali Martial Arts Tradition To Teach Empathy.

Bali is very rich. The sentence is very appropriate to describe the situation of the island. It's not just a matter of natural beauty, traditional dance, regional clothing, etc., Bali also has a very unique culture: martial arts. Yes, the island has a traditional martial art, called Mepantigan.

In Balinese, Mepantigan means 'slamming'. This martial movement is literally slamming each other, so many people consider it similar to wrestling. However, this martial show more key moves to defeat the opponent. 

The Mepantigan tradition is carried out by two participants who compete for one-on-one by slamming their opponents. Uniquely, this match was not carried out on the mat, in the boxing ring, or on the ground or common grass. But in the mud! Of course, the uniqueness is the main attraction for tourists, both foreign and local, who want to watch this match. 

Before Indonesian independence, precisely in the 1930s, it became the era of origin of the Mepantigan tradition. At that time, there was a famous great taekwondo athlete named I Putu Winset Widjaya. He often trained with an old warrior in Bali who mastered martial arts techniques. Amazed by the skill of the old warrior who used lethal attacks to defeat his opponent, I Putu Winset was inspired to integrate Pencak Silat with other martial techniques. Thus, Mepantigan was born and has become a tradition until now. 

Not only being the originator of the Mepantigan martial arts but I Putu Winset Widjaya also created a unique time-measuring device to be used when the tradition was held. The timer is made of bamboo which is then filled with water. In one match, there are two rounds consisting of three minutes for each round. Well, when the water in the bamboo runs out, the match is stopped. 

This tradition begins with praying to the statue of Dewi Sri, the goddess of fertility according to Hindu beliefs. Like other traditions in Bali, Mepantigan certainly has meaning and purpose. Namely to reduce the violence that occurred in Bali. When tradition is held, participants are taught to feel compassion and respect for their opponents. So, this empathy can be embedded in everyday life. 

If you are curious and want to watch this match, you can come to Batubulan and Ubud. There, many muddy rice fields are often used as a place for this tradition. Not only watch, but you can also participate  the match! So what are you waiting for? Let's find out the schedule of  the Mepantigan tradition!