'John Wick 3: Parabellum' features Indonesian martial artist Yayan 'Mad Dog' Ruhian. (Photo courtesy of @yayanruhian on Instagram)

Yayan 'Mad Dog' Ruhian Schools Keanu in Pencak Silat Chops in 'John Wick 3: Parabellum'


MAY 17, 2019

Jakarta. Popular action-drama franchise "John Wick 3: Parabellum" is hitting Indonesian theatres today, this time carrying a local flavor in the forms of Indonesian actors and pencak silat athletes Yayan "Mad Dog" Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman.

Yayan and Cecep became cult stars after appearing in Gareth Evans' ultra-violent action franchise "The Raid," and their pencak silat chops have since knocked down doors all the way to Hollywood. 

Yayan, who scored his first Hollywood cameo in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," said he even taught John Wick star Keanu Reeves some pencak silat moves during filming. 

"I'm happy and proud to be able to play with top actors like Keanu," Yayan said in Senayan, Jakarta, on Wednesday. 

"I taught him a number of pencak silat moves on the set. I was given freedom to create my own fighting moves. There were some techniques we thought might be too difficult, but Keanu was a fast learner. One thing that makes me proud is that, through someone like Keanu, our martial arts traditions will get more acknowledgment," Yayan said.

Although proud of his personal achievements outside of Indonesia, Yayan said he is saddened by the fact that young people in his home country are no longer interested in learning the intricate arts of pencak silat. 

"Outside of Indonesia, we are kings. People love us. Here in our own country, we offer free classes, and no one comes," Yayan said.

The 50-year-old said he fears for the future of martial arts in Indonesia. "I'm afraid in the next five or ten years, foreigners will teach pencak silat to us," Yayan said.

He explained that pencak silat is not all action. The discipline also sharpens our artistic instincts, mental strength and spirituality.

"Hopefully this film can get young people interested in pencak silat again, to learn it before it's gone forever," he said.

John Wick 3: Parabellum tells the story of ex-assassin John Wick, played by Keanu Reeves, who gets a price on his head and travels around the world to avoid getting killed. Yayan and Cecep play hired killers who try to smoke out John Wick from his hiding.