History of PGB Bangau Putih

The Organization: PGB Bangau Putih

In 1952, Persatuan Gerak Badan, or PGB, was founded by Suhu Subur Rahardja in Bogor, West Java. Since that time, the organization’s main activities have focused on managing Silat classes as well as supporting various socially-oriented initiatives aimed at improving the welfare of the surrounding community.


A white crane was chosen as the symbol for the Silat school, as the crane embodied several desirable characteristics, such as its adaptability to different circumstances, and an ability to fly, but not so high as to become too distant from the world. A crane cannot be tied down, yet possesses a harmonious life cycle. Cranes also gather together but do so peacefully. Finally, the crane’s most eminent charateristic is its deep internal calm.


PGB expanded quickly in the 1950’s and 60’s with numerous branches opening up around Bogor and in Jakarta. In the 1972, Silat movements from PGB Bangau Putih were introduced to Bengkel Theater in Yogyakarta. This led to the introduction of Silat to the first foreign student, an American woman, in 1973 who had been studying with the well-known theater group and wanted to explore PGB Bangau Putih further.


In 1974, an Indonesian PGB student travelled to Germany to attend university and began training students there. In 1978, another branch was founded in Berkely, California. With the introduction of silat to the West, numerous Americans and Europeans came to Bogor to deepen their knowledge of Silat “Science”. PGB Bangau Putih continued to expand globally, and now has branches in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East in addition to branches throughout Indonesia.


The Founder: Suhu Subur Rahardja

As a young child, Suhu learned martial arts from five teachers, inlcuding his father, and his uncle Pek Kiem Bouw. Other teachers included Mpe Sutur, the founder of the Cimande Pencak Silat school, Asuk Yak Long, and Gusti Djelantik.

Suhu-Subur-RahardjaThe young Subur Rahardja showed exceptional discipline and ability in his martial arts practice. While in his twenties, he continued learning from four of his peers who had likewise learned from their families, as in the Chinese tradition, each family possesses a particular martial art system, generally associated with the particular family which is passed on to future generations.

Suhu was highly respected for his compassion for fellow human beings and dedication to spreading the science of Silat. He was considered to have possessed great spiritual power and never showed a trace of arrogance, choosing to wear simple white clothing as his daily attire.

Suhu Subur Rahardja died after a car accident in 1986, leaving behind a great legacy of Silat knowledge for humanity.



The Successor: Guru Gunawan Rahardja

Guru-Besar-Gunawan-RahardjaAfter the death of his father, Guru Gunawan Rahardja took over responsibility for PGB Bangau Putih. The position was particularly challenging, as many members of PGB did not believe that the twenty seven year Gunawan could fill his father’s shoes. But much like his father, he demonstrated exceptional ability and discipline, and worked hard to develop his own knowledge of Silat. Guru Gunawan, or Guru, as he is called, decided to apply his knowledge for the benefit of others in the form of traditional healing. Guru has opened a healing practice on the premises of the PGB Center which treats up to one hundred patients per day.

In  2000, Guru Gunawan Rahardja developed a series of simple movements to improve health in older adults. This system of movements, known as Senam Silat, is currently taught in Bogor.

In addition, he teaches White Crane Silat to students at the PGB Bangau Putih Center in Bogor. Many of PGB’s senior members who learned with Guru’s father have commented that his abilities surpass those of his father’s at the same age.

Guru is a quiet man who balances his Silat and healing activities with devotion to his family. He discourages his students from becoming over-dependent on him. Instead, his teaching philosophy focuses on using silat training, frank group discussions and community cooperative endeavours to encourage PGB members to learn leadership skills and become more balanced, flexible, disciplined, ethical and competent in dealing with all aspects of life.


What is White Crane Silat?

White Crane Silat is a martial arts system that emphasizes the development of physical and mental awareness as the best defence. There are several elements of White Crane Silat that set it apart from other martial arts. One is the practice of short movements, which are repeated while sliding in bare feet back and forth across the training floor. Long movements include crane, tiger, dragon, snake, deity movements, elemental movements and a series of “yin” movements especially suited for women practioners. Movements are practiced repeatedly in order to develop strength, grace and power.

Another special aspect of White Crane Silat is the sparring system, known as tui cu. In preparation for tui cu, students learn to fall on the floor and then learn various throwing techniques. During tui cu, the student learns to apply movements from the short and long forms in combination with throwing techniques while harmonizing with the movements of his or her opponent. When the movements are applied properly, the practioner can throw his or her opponent with minimal effort.

(Copyright © 2015 PGB Bangau Putih)

About Bangau Putih

Perguruan Silat Persatuan Gerak Badan (PGB) Bangau Putih berdiri sejak tanggal 25 Desember 1952. Pendiri adalah (alm) Suhu Subur Rahardja. Penerus sekarang adalah Guru Besar Gunawan Rahardja. Perguruan ini berpusat di Bogor, beralamat di Jl. Kebon Jukut No,1, Sukasari - Bogor 16142. ====================================== Persatuan Gerak Badan, (PGB) Bangau Putih, is a martial art school and community association that was founded in Bogor, West Java on December 25th, 1952 by the late Master Subur Rahardja or known as Suhu Subur. The Cent

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