Kuntao is an ancient Chinese form of Martial Arts which originated about 3,500 years ago in southern coastal province of Fujian, China. Kuntao is a generic term used in much of Southeast Asia to designate martial arts of Chinese origin, the term deriving from the Fujian Chinese (Hokkienese) words for ‘fist’ (kun) and way or method (tao).
Kuntao is one of a number of martial arts styles found in Indonesia and Malaysia, coastal Thailand and the Western Philippines, including pukulan, silat, and pencak. The term Kuntao derives from a Hokkienese (Fujianhua) idiom, kuntao literally translated as ‘fist way’
Kuntao Silat is a modern system developed from several Indonesian martial art systems. Both internal and external martial arts are practiced in Indonesia. Both hard and soft style martial arts are practiced in Indonesia. Kuntao Silat combines essences of all of those martial art styles into one combat effective martial art.
Different systems have different amounts of influence and exposure- mostly because of geographic reasons, but also religious and ethnic. Kuntao is mostly to all Chinese, but divided from the Mainland influence/administration for 150 years or so. It can’t help but be influenced by the silat around it, so you see a ‘firier’ chinese art in many cases. Same thing with the Malaysian-Chinese practitioners, very pragmatic. Lots of ‘coastal’ Chinese arts are practiced in SEAsia/Indonesia, because they traded with them by sea.
Lots of arts have lost Buddhist, Taoist or Confucian connections because they’re practiced now by Chinese Muslims. You see Mongolian influence through the Tibetan connection through Khotan, as an example.
Indonesia was the end for the Spice Road- which met with the Silk Road at Khotan- to cross the Taklimacan Desert and go to the West- lots of influences and commerce. It was also a place that people went when banished from the Chinese Court, a place to hide from political losses, seek a fortune or take goods and trade. Lots of good fighting.