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Silat Melayu (Jawi: سيلت ملايو), literally meaning "Malay silat" is a blanket term for silat styles of the Malay people. The term was originally used in reference to the native silat of Sumatra but today it is more commonly used for the types of silat created in peninsular Southeast Asia, particularly Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam. In modern usage, the term is most often used to differentiate the Malaysian styles from Indonesian pencak silat.
Silat is also called gayung or gayong in the northern Malay Peninsula. In other regions the word gayung refers to the spiritual practices in silat. English-language writings sometimes mistakenly refer to Silat Melayu as bersilat but this is actually a verb form of the noun silat.

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In Malay the practice area is called a gelanggang. They were traditionally located outdoors, either in a specially constructed part of the village or in a jungle clearing. The area would be enclosed by a fence made of bamboo and covered in nipah or coconut leaves to prevent outsiders from stealing secrets. Before training can begin, the gelanggang must be prepared either by the teachers or senior students in a ritual called "opening the training area" (buka gelanggang ). This starts by cutting some limes into water and then walking around the area while sprinkling the water onto the floor.
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