‘Peresean’ Rattan Stick Fighting, Lombok

Peresean is an ancient martial art that recreates the legend of Princess Mandalika who, rather than see two suitors fight to the death in order to win her hand in marriage, chose to take her own life. Armed with rattan sticks, the fighters attack each other, defending their opponent’s blows with acowhide shield. As well as its historic associations, the fight also serves to ask Godfor rain for the imminent planting season with the ancient belief being that the more blood spilled, the more rain would follow.

LOMBOK, NTB. 16/2 - PERISEAN. Dua pemuda Lombok Tengah, Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) bertarung Perisean beladiri tradisional suku Sasak,  di Pantai Kuta, Lombok Tengah, Sabtu  (14/2). Olahraga ini diadakan oleh warga suku Sasak setiap tahun sebelum berlangsung "Bau Nyale" (tangkap cacing laut) yang dipercaya masyarakat membawa berkah dan kedamaian.  FOTO ANTARA/Ali Anwar/Koz/mes/09.

It is an extreme fight game as the symbol of masculinity of Sasaknes man in Lombok. This game is battle of two men armed with rattan sticks in Sasak language called Penjalin and armored buffalo skin thick and hard called Ende. Two men fighters armed with “Penjalin” attack to each other, defending their opponent’s blows with Ende. The fighters in local Lombok language “Sasak” called Pepadu, they are come from selected brave and gentle man who just wearing ‘Sarung” and headband without any clothes or other body and face protectors. There is “Pakembar” as the referee of the game.

The Presean cultural is already known from Lombok Sasak society for generations, originally a part traditional ceremony of the happiness of soldiers in Lombok Kingdom when they get won in a war and a ritual ceremony to invoke the rain as drought. Presean fighting now it’s become part of tradition and entertainment culture performance in Lombok.

Peresean fighting 7

The game performance with Lombok traditional music called “Beleganjur” and a commentator giving spirit to the fighters. Uniquely from Presean fight, the participants or Pepadu had never been specially prepared. Duel two pepadu held in five rounds, the winner is determined by the results obtained value or one of pepadu leaky head, referee will stop the game if the fighter get blood even they still strong enough to fight. Pakembar (referee) even request visitors or audience to participate toying with rattan sticks and shields provided. The audience / prospective participants can propose themselves or be selected by the referee edge and fight with other visitor or those selected fighters. All consequences caused in the game is on own risk of fighter even though there is very simple emergency medical treatment.

The winner awarded with packed of cigarette, body soap and shampoo  or an envelope  with small amount of money. There is no big reward actually for the winner but young man who like this game to express their spirit also as a manifest of love to Lombok culture.

Peresean fighting 5

Regulation Presean fighting is very simple, fighter (pepadu) should not be hitting the bottom of his opponent’s stomach (thigh, leg, let alone the groin. The highest value is obtained if fighter (pepadu) successful embezzlement until down. Interestingly, on the sidelines of the battle of the pepadu plus the referees have to dance when traditional music plays. Maybe its intention to release the tension during the game. It such a lovely attraction, while the fighters scuffled with each other, a few seconds later they were dancing, laughing and looking for crack versus weakness, a second later hit hard rattan shields – plaques!, then they dance again

The match end with greetings and hugs of friendship between the fighters. No sign of resentment and all just a game! It’s really casual.

Peresean is an intense fighting game and a symbol of masculinity. In historic times, held at the end of the dry season, it was believed the more blood spilled the more rain would follow. This belief still holds true today. Now, the Peresean is performed several times a year including festival times, to introduce Lombok Sasak culture to visitors. By going along and watching you are helping to keep the culture alive and contributing to the appreciation of ancient Sasak heritage.

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