In many parts of Southeast Asia, lengths of colored, printed and/or woven fabrics sown into a tube shape have been worn for centuries as clothing and used as tools. They are widely referred to as either a sarong or malong. The sheath-like piece of fabric is commonly worn as traditional clothing all throughout the region. Like many everyday implements, it can also be used as a weapon by the various martial arts of the region. They generally belong to the category of flexible weapons, similar to kerchiefs and chindai (a waist sash made of silk).
Sarongs are can be used for locks, holds and also to trap an opponents weapon or attacking limb. It can be particularly useful for defense against blades as the fabric can protect against cuts. It also can be loaded with a rock, soaked in water, or edged with weights and used as a flexible club.
One of the best known proponents of sarong combat training was Pendekar Hermann Suwande of pencak silat Mande Muda. He was a teacher of guro Dan Inosanto who has since promoted Mande Muda and the use of the sarong widely.
(Re-produced under fair-use and with credit)