• Duration: 60 minutes
  • Skill Level: All
  • Calorie Burn: 500-800
  • Improve mobility and conditioning.
  • Learn to fight on multiple levels.
  • Experience a traditional Sumatran art from the 1600s.
  • Strike from a variety of ranges and heights.

War Art of the Black Tiger: Silek Harimau Minangkabau

Silek Harimau Minangkabau at the Wik Academy of Martial Arts and Self-Defense in Cincinnati

Silek Harimau Minangkabau is a form of Silat that emphasizes the use of multiple postures used to evade and subdue opponents. These postures allow students to fight from multiple heights and ranges using punches, kicks, knees, and elbows. The transitioning between postures and striking also allows students to lock and throw their attackers.

Harimau Minangkabau is a dynamic art that covers everything from hand-to-hand self-defense and combat to ground fighting, grappling, and weaponry.

This form of silat utilizes the entire body. While learning essential self-defense techniques the art itself offers a full-body strength and cardiovascular workout and increases flexibility.

At first glance it can be intimidating to new students but one need not be in great shape to start. As students practice the art their athleticism will increase and they will be able to do the more advanced postures. It is an excellent art for both beginners and advanced martial artists.

Class Format

Students who attend this class should expect to learn some of the traditional aspects of the art such as kuda (posture) and langkah (footwork). Striking from multiple heights and situations will be emphasized heavily as well. Students will learn how to translate and apply these traditional ideas into modern day combative scenarios.


Silek Harimau Minangkabau was created by the Minangkabau tribes in the Minangkabau province of Sumatra. They most notably used it to fend off and rebel against Dutch invaders throughout the 19th century and early 20th century.

The art has been spread throughout Europe, the Americas, and Africa thanks to Maha Guru Richard Crabbe De-Bordes. The lineage can be traced back to 1610 starting with Poyeng Lebah.

Maha Guru De-Bordes has developed Silek Harimau Minangkabau for the modern battlefield, focusing on self-defense applications and incorporating other forms of silat as well such as Silek Seterelak. His version of silat is called Pencak Silat Machan Hitam.

Maha Guru De-Bordes has taught and advised many special forces groups and police tactical teams. Currently he serves as a security consultant for the president of Ghana. He continues his studies in martial arts and travels to spread silat around the world. Maha Guru visits the Wik Academy at least once a year to teach seminars and hold instructor training.

Silek Harimau Minangkabau under Guru Richard Crabbe DeBordes