Saturday, August 2, 2008

The history of Pencak Silat Setia Hati Indonesia.

After studying several pencak silat styles in Jombang, West Java, Batavia, Bengkulu, West Sumatra and North Aceh, Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo returned to Surabaya where he worked as a Police Major. By selecting, modifying and integrating the styles he had learnt, in 1903 he created a new style called ‘Joyo Gendilo’ and began teaching at the ‘Sedulur Tunggal Kecer’ fraternity. The word ‘kecer’ indicates the most essential ingredient of the initiation ceremony: kecer, water blessed by the teacher before distributing it to the aspirant students.

In the beginning, this perguruan consisted of eight family members, including Knevel a Dutch Indonesian. But its fame rapidly grew after Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo beat all those masters in Surabaya who were unwilling to have his perguruan in ‘their’ territory.At that time, agitation by the Serikat Islam movement in East Java caused the Dutch police to be on cautious guard against all kinds of organised activities in the capital city, Surabaya.

Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo’s standing as an influential and respected master, coupled with his having the nerve to throw a Dutch sailor into the Mas River, worried the Dutch police. He was therefore asked to report to their office and his every move was strictly controlled.Feeling uncomfortable with the situation in Surabaya, Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo took the advice of R.M. Apuk –a student who had been incarcerated in Cipinang (Batavia) for shooting dead a Dutch Indonesian in Mojokerto who had tried to disgrace his younger sister– and moved to Tegal in 1912.

There he worked as an irrigation opzichter (supervisor) for two years before returning to Surabaya on the request of one of the members of the Sedulur Tunggal Kecer to work for the Railroad Service. Since the Dutch police in Surabaya still wanted him off their territory, soon thereafter he was moved to the railroad garage in Madiun. In Madiun, Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo opened a perguruan called ‘Joyo Gendilo Cipto Mulyo’, which in 1917 changed its name to ‘Persaudaraan Setya Hati’, or ‘SH’. A great many civic servants, and OSIVA and MULO students wanted him as a teacher.

Many requests also came from outside Madiun, and SH grew rapidly in East and Central Java. To strengthen fraternal ties, a ceremony was organised each year in the month of Asyura (summarised by the writer from Roeslan 1962 and Singgih Joyohusodho, et al. 1963).SH members pledged to protect each other to the death. However, between 1920 and 1929, several breakaway groups were formed. One SH leader, Eyang Munandar, set up his own group because he was very angry with Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo for training a Dutch civil servant. A great many of his students taught at Taman Siswa and became nationalist figures, including Hardjo Oetomo, who, along with his training group SH Pilang Bangu, was jailed for resisting the Dutch in Cipinang, and Marto Siam, who was arrested and exiled to Boven-Digoelkamp.Coming into 1926/27, again a group of young SH members broke away, naming their group ‘Rekso Wargo’. Rekso Wargo was affiliated with the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), which recruited youths to spy on the Dutch police.

The scope of their operations covered the city of Surabaya and its surroundings. On February 12, 1928, these activities were made known to and reported by the head of the Dutch secret police, van der Lely (Poeze(I) 1982:217). As a result of the involvement of several SH members in PKI activities, in 1927 Ki Ngabei Soerodiwirjo got into difficulties and became the subject of an intensive investigation related to PKI uprisings in Java and Sumatra. However, no connection could be established between him and these incidents. from :

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