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Kuntao or Kuntao Silat is a Hokkien term referring to Chinese martial arts practiced in Southeast Asia and have usually been influenced by silat .

The word kuntao means way of the fist (similar to Chuan Fa , or Fist Technique). Purely Chinese kuntao styles exist in China and Taiwan , but kuntao styles have been spread for centuries by merchants and other travelling Chinese people. Forms of kuntao are practiced in Indonesia , Singapore , Malaysia (particularly Borneo ) and the Philippines (where it is often called Kuntaw) as well as in some other countries. Some kuntao styles were not changed but many were. This happened because the styles had to be adapted to a new environment, fighting in different terrain, fighting local styles, defending or fighting with local weapons.

Most Indonesian kuntao styles began to integrate techniques from silat styles and some even changed their name from “kuntao” to “silat”. For example, Liu Seong Kuntao is a hybrid kuntao-silat system. Kuntao Silat is the Martial Arts practiced by several ethnic groups in the south of the Philippines . It is said that it is the combination of indigenous Silat and Chinese Kuntao which arrived in the Philippines by Chinese merchants.


  • Kuntao Silat deThouars is the martial art created by Willem deThouars and is a combination of several Silat and Chinese / Indonesian Kuntao ( Kung Fu ) styles.
  • Malabar Kuntao Silat is the martial art of Steve Gartin , a student of Willem deThouars, and is basically Kuntao Silat deThouars formulated into a new, more structured, learning approach.
  • American Kuntao Silat is the more recent name for Malabar Kuntao Silat . As described by Steve Gartin, it is a friendlier, less brutal version of the original “Malabar Kuntao Silat”.
  • Talio American Kuntao is the martial art of Roberto Torres and is the result of Roberto Torres’s martial arts studies in Visitacion Kuntao-Arnis , Wu Kung Tao and several Silat styles.
  • Liu Seong Kuntao was created by Willem Reeders based on his studies in Indonesia .

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