This brings up the question, how many styles of silat are there, and how different are they?
Turns out, “silat” is a generic term for the martial arts of Malaysia and Indonesia. It can also be found in Brunei, Singapore, southern Thailand, and the southern Philippines. Most sources indicate that there are hundreds of styles, and perhaps even thousands.
In modern usage, Silat Melayu commonly refers to the styles found on continental Malaysia, while Pencak Silat refers to those found in Indonesia. The latter is a relatively modern term, coined in 1948 by the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association as a unifying term for the various styles after independence from the Netherlands. The art was banned during centuries of Dutch rule and practiced in secret.
There is no general consensus of which styles belong to which, and a huge number of descriptions can be found in various sources. In the book “Silat Melayu,” the “main styles” include Silat Minangkabau, Silat Sendeng, Silat Patani, Silat Kelantan, Silat Kedah, and Silat Jawa. Indonesians may disagree, because Minangkabau and Jawa (Java) are located in present-day Indonesia and is thus claimed by Pencak. The problem lies in that many parts of Malaysia and Indonesia had belonged to the same kingdoms in the past, and today’s political divisions are vestiges of Western colonialism.