SEREMBAN, Sun. - More than 30 martial art exponents taking part in the five-day Negri Sembilan silat championship turned it into a free-for-all at the State Youth and Sports Complex in Paroi last night.
They started fighting when one of the losers confronted a referee outside the complex and started to throw punches at him about 11.45pm.
The victim, in his 60s, fell after he was punched and kicked a few times, but did not retaliate.
Several other competitors who tried to help the referee were attacked.
A 34-year-old trader who tried to "cool down" the situation was also set upon. He suffered bruises on his face and body. His assailants also destroyed one of the water containers he used for his business.
The altercation lasted for about 20 minutes before policemen came to disperse the crowd.
The trader lodged a report at the Seremban police station today. Fifteen teams took part in the championship which ended today.
About 11am today, another fight occurred when one of the competitors was said to have abused his challenger.
However, no arrest was made.
An official, who wanted to remain anonymous, said fighting among the exponents was "nothing new" and that it happened each time the championship was held.
He attributed the problem to indiscipline among the exponents and their coaches (mahaguru).
Despite the fights, no police report had been made so far as such incidents were considered as "the association's internal problem".
All the participating teams are registered under the Negri Sembilan National Silat Federation.
The referee, when met after the closing of the championship by Menteri Besar Tan Sri Mohamad Isa Abdul Samad, described the whole incident as "a small matter".
The man, who sat on the Negri Sembilan National Silat Federation's highest body (Dewan Tertinggi), said he did not retaliate as it would only make his attacker, an exponent from the Seni Silat Gayong Malaysia, more indisciplined.
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