Francis St. Holder - Weapons in Pencak Silat

Francis St. Holder is a successful business owner and IT engineer during working hours. He runs Clinton Cycles, a motorcycle dealership and customization shop as well as being the Chief Technology Officer for Information Technology Security and Consulting Inc. both of which are located in the Washington D.C. area. In his spare time, Francis St. Holder focuses on staying active and fit through weightlifting and martial arts like pencak silat.

Pencak silat is a full-body martial art with Indonesian origins originating in the Nusantara. It allows the fighters to not only use striking, throwing, and grappling, but also weapons to attack on the opponent’s full body. There are many different types of weapons available for use in pencak silat including bladed, flail, melee, long, range, imported, and blunt.

Blunt weapons include tongkats, topangs, and cakerams/gelang besi. Tongkat literally means walking stick and refers to any club or short stick in pencak silat. It can be used for self-defense and to attack the opponent with a sweeping attack or to catch their weapon. The cakeram or gelang besi is a steel disc that can be used close up or at a distance and are originally from India. They can come in two shapes: flat with sharp edges or torus-shaped. The torus-shaped cakerams are typically called “steel wheels” and are paired together. Topangs is a short crutch, consisting of a stick and perpendicular handle that is approximately the length of the fighter’s forearm. Sometimes, a smaller secondary rod can be attached parallel to the handle in order to keep the user’s hand in the proper place. The topang has also gone by the name mae sawk in parts of Malaysia. Though the weapon is usually crafted from bamboo, it can also be constructed from steel or wood.

Francis St. Holder is a well-known and successful IT Engineer who also studies the discipline of various martial arts. His interests include mixed martial arts, and Penchak Silat. This particular form of martial arts uses a wide variety of different weapons in order to attack or defend against an opponent. Francis enjoys studying and practicing the discipline as a way to stay in good shape. He practices the martial arts form when he is not contributing to his many successful businesses. Francis has learned to find a good balance between his work life and his interests, something that martial arts training has helped him with.

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