The Art Of Mepantigan Bali

Mepantigan is a form of Balinese martial arts that involves similar physical techniques to those found in self-defense traditions around the world. But Mepantigan extends the form by also drawing upon Balinese drama, contemporary dance, and gamelan music, fusing fighting with the performing arts to create an entirely new cultural phenomenon. Participants wear uniforms consisting of traditional Balinese clothing, and can compete on the beach, in the mud of rice fields, or in any open space.

Practitioners of Mepantigan gain physical fitness, release stress, and learn valuable lessons in camaraderie and sportsmanship. In addition to physical skills, strength, and agility, both emotional and spiritual intelligences are utilized.

According to Putu Witsen Widjaya, the founder and senior teacher of Bali Mepantigan Arts and a martial arts champion, students of Mepantigan evolve as human beings and avoid violence while cultivating compassion. As he observed, “Wherever proper martial arts develop, evil will diminish and a respect for others will grow. This is particularly true for those who practice Mepantigan, which is a celebration of the spirit”.


The rules of Mepantigan are as follows


  1. Before the actual full body contact wrestlers are supposed to performmakembang/ngigel (preliminary demonstration martial arts). This individual movement is combined with somersault.
  2. Fighters are allowed perform throwing, sweeping creasing and locking.
  3. Both fighters and supporters must wear traditional Balinese clothes as follows:
  • Bebuletan/kamen (sarong) with kancut and headgear.
  • No shirt for men and T-shirt for women.

4. Before and after fighting, fighters should bow or hug each other to show the respect and sportive.

5. This martial arts practice is open to everybody, i.e. children, adults-men or women.

Detail Rules

  • Fighters are not allowed to do the following to their opponents.
  • Kicking, down sweeping, attacking the eyes with fingers, attacking using elbow, targeting sexual organs, biting, grabbing hair, swearing or spitting.
  • The fight is to be performed at the beach or mud of the rice fields for two round for three minutes long each round. A good size for the arena is 8 meters (26 feet) by 8 meters, with a 12-meters (39 feet) by 12- meters out-of bounds line or space availability.
  • Scoring and types of competition

Scoring system:

  • Makembang/ Ngigel demonstration – 1 points
  • Locking – 2 points
  • Throwing – 3 points
  • Aggressiveness, politeness – 4 points

Type of competition:

International Weight Classifications


Class Men Women
Fin / Gatep Not exceeding 110 lbs/ 50 kg Not exceeding 94.6 lbs/ 43 kg
Fly / Juwet Over 110-118.8 lbs/ 50-54 kg Over 94.6-103.4 lbs/ 43-47 kg
Bantam / Salak Over 118.8-127.6 lbs/ 54-58 kg Over 103.4-112.2 lbs/ 47-51 kg
Feather / Sabo Over 127.6-140.8 lbs/ 58-65 kg Over 112.2-121.0 lbs/ 51-55 kg
Light / Silik Over 140.8-154.0 lbs/ 65-70 kg Over 121.0-132.0 lbs-55-60 kg
Welter / Pakel Over 154.8-167.2 lbs/ 70-76 kg Over 132.0-143.0 lbs/ 60-65 kg
Middle / Gedang Over 167.2-182.6 lbs/ 76-83 kg Over 143.0-154.0 lbs/ 65-70 kg
Heavy / Duren Over 182.6 lbs/83 kg Over 154.0 lbs/ 70 kg


Junior Sparring Weight Classifications for Aged 15-18


Class Male or Female
Super fin / Poleng Under 85.9 lbs/ 39 kg
Fin / Gatep 86.0-94.9 lbs/ 39-43 kg
Fly / Juwet 95.0-103.9 lbs/ 43-47 kg
Bantam / Salak 104.0-114.9 lbs/ 47-52 kg
Feather / Sabo 115.0-123.9 lbs/ 52-56 kg
Light / Silik 124.0-132.9 lbs/ 56-60 kg
Welter / Pakel 133.0-143.9 lbs/ 60-65 kg
Middle / Gedang 144.0-154.9 lbs/ 65-70 kg
Heavy / Duren 155.0-164.9 lbs/ 70-75 kg
Super heavy / Tridatu Over 165.0 lbs/75 kg



  1. Both fighters will move to the fighting arena at the same time accompanied by their respective coach.
  2. A team of medical doctors are stand by for any first aids or emergency situation.
  3. Each group of the fighter’s supporters are allowed to bring their own traditional Balinese music.
  4. The supporters of each fighter are allowed to present their creative and traditional dance.
  5. Supporters must wear polite traditional Balinese clothes.
  6. We are all brothers and sisters and therefore alcohol as well as other drugs and weapons must not be involved.
  7. Everybody must be responsible for the safety, security, and cleanliness of the beach and mud of the rice fields


The juries of Mepantigan are as follows:

  • Head Jury/Kelian, acting as the inspector of the game.
  • Middle Jury/Pekembar, in charge inside the arena
  • Right Jury/Saye, in charge outside the arena
  • Left Jury/Saye, in charge outside the arena


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