The Malay martial art of pencak silat is an important source of traditional acting technique. During the colonial period and postcolonial modernization, Western models of theatre replaced traditional performance, and the physical technique of theatre was largely modeled on Western acting: the importance of the text ascended and the realistic representation of life predominated. This resulted in adopting psychological acting styles and neglecting the martial tradition as a significant resource for actor training. Experiments in revitalization undertaken by the author since the 1970s will be detailed. The rationale for the revival of pencak silat as actor training is based on its vital position in the productions of bangsawan (Malay Opera), purbawara (history play), and the experimental plays of Malaysia’s National Laureate Noordin Hassan (the only playwright awarded this prestigous literary award for his contribution to Malay Literature), Syed Alwi, and Ismail Kassan.