“Lombok has a major tribe called Sasak people which make up 85% of the population of the island, this tribe has one unique ‘extreme fight’ ritual called Presean.”

sasakA traditional ceremony done in the name of peace and prosperity, the rule of Presean is pretty simple; two men battle against each other led by a judge called ‘pakembar sedi’, the fighters-called ‘pepadu’ face each other armed with only a thick rattan cane (pejalin) and shield made from buffalo skin (ende). The fight begins as the rhythmic sound of traditional instruments explodes in the background, as two combatants try their best to land hard blows at each other’s body for 5 straight rounds.

sasak 2Tight, legs and groin area are forbidden to hit, but others, including head, are fine. The fight could only be stopped when one of the fighters bleeds. It doesn’t have to be a fatal wound; just a trickle of blood is enough to make the pakembar sedi ends a round. Although seems brutal, Presean is never meant to spark hatred, as each combatant respects his opponent, laugh together during the fight, and give each other a warm, manly hug after the battle.

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