Embah Kahir of Silat Cimande

Cimande is the name of a village, a river and a style of Pencak Silat in West Java. The origin of the name Cimande is commonly attributed to the phrase ‘water that is good for the faith’, in reference to the water used for the ritual ablution before prayer in Islam.

The practice of Cimande is heavily associated with Sufism, and particularly the teachings of the Sufi order Qadiriyyah. The founding of the style of Cimande is credited to an eighteenth century man named Embah Kahir.

Embah Kahir was known as expert of pencak respected around 1760. During one of his visits to Cianjur, he met Raden Adipate Wiratanudatar (1776-1813) the sixth Regent of Cianjur. Later Embah Kahir decided to settle near Cianjur in the village of Kamurang.

Once Raden Adipate learned that Embah Kahir was an expert in martial arts, he asked him to teach his art to his family. In order to test Embah Kahir’s skill, Raden Adipate arranged for him a fight with an expert of Chinese Kuntao from Macau. The fighting took place on the esplanade of Cianjur and was won handily by Embah Kahir.

Embah Kahir apprenticed himself to Embah Buyut and eventually settled in the area of kampong Cogreg, Bogor, teaching silat to the local community. He was considered the first Cimande teacher. Embah Kahir died in 1825. His fighting art continued to be appreciated by the people of West Java.
Embah Kahir of Silat Cimande
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