19 December 2003


KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 (Bernama) -- Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein raised concern over poor performances in taekwondo and pencak silat.

"The recently concluded SEA Games in Vietnam revealed weaknesses in a number of sports, especially taekwondo and pencak silat. I personally would like to know what happened to our athletes in taekwondo and pencak silat, not only in Vietnam but other competitions as well," he said.

"Vietnam has shown tremendous improvement. Our sports associations and athletes must learn a lesson or two from them," he said after handing out incentives to gold medal winners.

He also urged national sports associations to monitor the progress and preparations of other nations. He cited Indonesia's "Indonesia Bangkit 2005-2006" programme aimed at restoring their lost pride in the Games as a good example. The Philippines are also another contingent which showed improvement.

During the Games, 218 athletes involved in the Gemilang 2006 Project took part. From that total, 50 were from schools including those pursuing further studies at Universities and 44 from the Bukit Jalil Sports School.

He said the post-mortem conducted by the National Sports Council revealed two main factors for Malaysia's poor performances.

One was the absence of some veteran athletes from swimming, artistic gymnastics and athletics while the other reason being most of the current athletes had already passed their peak.

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13 December 2003

Azrin unhappy despite three golds

A HATTRICK of titles was in the bag for silat exponent and team captain Mohd Azrin Abdul Malek (top) but he was seen brooding at the Police Academy Gymnasium yesterday.

Azrin arrived in Hanoi with the reputation as the defending champion in the men's 95kg and world champion.

Despite the gold medal, Azrin contained his excitement because he knew the mission was not yet fulfilled.

Azrin's hard-earned victory over crowd favourite Nguyen Thanh Bhac assured Malaysia their second gold after Perlis duo Marwan Mat Rus and Muhammad Zainal delivered the gold in the wiradansa putra four days ago.

It turned out to be the best the exponents could produce as the team registered a medal haul of 2-2-3.

Familiarity breeds contempt, they say.

As far as Azrin was concerned, familiarity was the reason behind his win yesterday.

It was his third and certainly most testing and difficult bout against Thanh Bach in recent years.

"I defeated him in Brunei 1999.

A year later, I was at the receiving end in a tournament in Jakarta.

"Beating him in Vietnam is really satisfying for me," said Azrin.

Later when the silat programme came to an end, Azrin could not hide his disappointment with the team's performance.

"We failed to win three gold medals.

As such it can be considered as a failure because we bagged five at home two years ago.

"If that is the case, we might have to conduct a post-mortem.

Although we have youngsters forming the bulk of the team, we have to demonstrate our ability and strength at this level," said Azrin.

Earlier in the day, Siti Jameelah Japilus settled for the silver in the women's 55kg category losing to defending champion Permata Kemala Sari of Indonesia.

Last night Mastura Sapuan lost 4-1 to Vietnam's Lam Thi Huong in the tanding Under-70 kg bout.

The bronze medals were delivered by Amy Latip in the putri 65kg, Mohd Khoharullah Abd Majid (putra 50kg) and Ahmad Shahril Zailudin in the putra 65kg category.

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Beating the host is a bonus

HANOI, Dec 13 (Bernama) -- No one who came here dared to set a high target for pencak silat, but if any of the participant, except the host, managed to capture more than one gold medal it is considered an achievement.

Beating the host athletes, who put up a splendid performance throughout the games, would truly be a bonus.

Like any other subjective sport, pencak silat was among the events which the visitors found difficult to predict the outcome.

As in the previous Games, the host always had an edge over the visitors and this was proven from the 11 gold medal achievement by the Vietnam pencak silat contingent, which was their best ever.

They took five gold medals in the men's category and six in the women's out of the 22 gold medals at stake.

Indonesia, once a powerhouse in the event, also found the homesters a hard nut to crack and they only managed to bring home four gold -- three from the tanding and one from the silat seni category.

Singapore also showed an improvement with their three gold medal achievement and it was something that the republic could take pride in.

Thailand and Brunei had one each while Malaysia took home two gold, two silver and three bronze medals.

They won the gold through Mohd Azrin Abd Malek in the men's 95kg category as well as in the wirasanda category through Marwan Mat Rus and Muhammad Zainal. The silver were delivered by Siti Jameelah Japilus (women's 55kg) and Mastura Safuan in the 70kg catgory.

The bronze came from Mohd Khoharullah Abd Majid (men's 50kg), Ahmad Shahril Zailudin (men's 65kg) and Amy Latip in the women's 65kg category.

Despite the fact that pencak silat used to be Malaysia's "gold mine" in past games, their outing here was a disappointment and way below their three gold medal target.

From the start of the event, the Malaysian exponents were easily knocked-out by their opponents as early as in the first round.

the Malaysian Pencak Silat Association (Pesaka) must be more aggressive in their development programmes and should be better prepared for the next Games in Manila.

The two gold medal achievement here should be used as a platform by Pesaka to study what had gone wrong with the exponents and find out what happened to the five gold medals which they had won in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games two years ago.

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11 December 2003

Silat hopeful of another two golds

HANOI, Dec 11 (Bernama) -- The Malaysian pencak silat team are hoping to clinch another two gold medals to fulfil their three gold medal target for the 22nd Vietnam SEA Games.

Marwan Mat Rus and Muhammad Zainal gave Pencak silat's first gold after winning the "wirasanda putra" event two days ago.

However, the quest for the remaining two golds would not be an easy task with just two exponents in action during the finals tomorrow.

The task of seeking glory would rest on the shoulders of Siti Jameelah Mohd Japilus who competes in 55kg "putri" category and Mohd Azrin Abdul Malek who is down to compete in the 95kg "putra" category.

Jameelah who beat Saiedah Said in the semifinal, takes on Permata Kemala Sari from Indonesia. Azrin, winner over Irwan Ibrahim from Brunei in another semifinal, meets Nguyen Bach Nhut from host nation, Vietnam.

Azrin would be facing a mammoth task as his opponent would receive strong backing from the fanatical Vietnam fans. He needs to be in his element and stay focused to beat his opponent.

"Nothing is impossible. I will put up my best show although I realise that taking on an opponent from the host nation would always weigh against me," he said.

Jameelah meanwhile, stands a 50-50 chance although her Indonesian opponent is considered the favourite in the said category.

Permata won the gold at the Brunei Games and would be hoping to repeat that feat here.

It is no secret that the silat events here have not been a happy hunting ground for the nations Pencak silat exponents. One after another had been shown the exit by stronger opposition.

Even the "silat seni" category where Malaysia had been the powerhouse, witnessed a drastic drop. The performances of our athletes, except for the wirasanda event, shows that they have a lot of catching up to do as the others have improved by leaps and bounds.

Pencak silat events took a break today, giving the athletes a much needed rest before action resumes tomorrow.

Vietnam, Singapura and Indonesia have been dominant in the Pencak silat events here.

Written by ASAN AHMAD
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26 November 2003

Juliana to make her parents proud

RINA JULIANA comes from a family rich in silat background.

From her parents to her elder sister, all of them are into the sport.

Now, Rina and her elder sister, Rina Jordana, are the only two siblings in the Malaysian silat squad who will compete in the Vietnam Sea Games next month.

While Jordana will be competing in her third SEA Games, Juliana will be making her debut.

Jordana will compete in the silat olahraga category while Juliana will see action in silat seni.

The Sitiawan-born Juliana has a lot to prove to her coaches - who are also her parents - father Adnan Mohamed and Rosinah Jantan.

Her parents are instructors with Silat Lincah Malaysia and have high expectations on her to deliver a medal at the Sea Games.

"I owe it to my parents.

If not for them, I won't be where I'm now.

They brought me into the world of silat," said the 20-year-old Juliana.

"I want to emulate my sister's achievements who made her debut in the 1999 Brunei Sea Games." Juliana's first club was the Perak Silat Junior Association in 1999.

She represented the club in the National Junior championship in Pahang.

A year later, she was selected into the national junior squad and she competed in the World Junior Championship in Hanoi where she grabbed the silver medal.

Her determination finally paid off when she finally got called up into the senior team last year.

And Juliana, third in a family of six, proved that the national selectors made the right decision when she won a bronze medal during the World Championships in Penang.

It was Juliana's first competition in the silat seni category after previously competing in the silat olahraga.

She also won the gold medal when she represented Perak in Sukma last year.

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24 November 2003

Exponents capable, ready

MALAYSIA did the unprecedented when they emerged as silat overall champions in the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games two years ago.

They capped it off with a memorable five-gold finish, a feat which silat exponents had never ever achieved before.

The exponents will be defending their respective titles next month in Hanoi, Vietnam, next month and the onus is on them to try and repeat the historic feat two years ago.

Prior to their record haul in 2001, Malaysia's best was three gold medals and the worst was in the 1997 Games where they finished without a gold.

And there are grave doubts if the national silat exponents can match their last haul of five gold medals.

This is due to the fact that over the last two years some of the countries have improved tremendously in the categories to be contested.

The Malaysians, however, are not about to be upset.

Team spirit is running high in camp and their focus remains on gold.

It doesn't matter if they will not enjoy the support they did in Kuala Lumpur.

However, coach Ahmad Khusairi Ibrahim is not too worried about the tough competition his exponents have to face, and believes they are capable of handling themselves.

In fact, the coach is drawing confidence from the presence of a number of exponents whom he has retained from the KL Games.

Among those expected to retain their titles are Azrin Malek, Mastura Sapuan, Mohamed Zubir Ismail and Mohamed Amin Saadon.

Mohamed Zuber and Mohamed Amin's efforts in winning silver medals in last year's World Championships should be, if anything, comforting and are worth gold in Vietnam.

Then there's the silat seni duo of Nooryhidawati Abdullah Sani and Shalina Abdul Ghafur who are also prospects for gold.

They are among the 10 men and nine women exponents under Ahmad Khusairi's wings. and Ahmad Khusairi believes he has a quality squad capable of delivering the glitter.

To ensure they are well prepared, the Malaysians had been to Vietnam and Myanmar for tournaments earlier this year as part of their preparations.

Written by LEE KENG FATT
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23 November 2003

Pesaka target four gold medals

THE National Silat Association (Pesaka) are confident of winning four gold medals in next month's SEA Games.

Pesaka president Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said this after hosting a breaking of fast ceremony for the national exponents.

Two years ago, Malaysia won five golds - their best ever achievement in an international tournament.

Muhammad, however, cautioned the exponents to be on their toes as it will not be easy in Vietnam.

"The fact remains Vietnam are the No.

1 silat country in the world," he said.

"I expect them to win the bulk of the medals, especially since they are the hosts.

"As such, I don't expect an easy outing for our exponents.

Having said that, I believe we can win at least four gold medals." The exponents earmarked for gold are Mastura Sapuan, Mohd Azrin Abd Malek and Ahmad Shahril Zailuddin (silat olahraga) and the silat seni duo of Shalina Abd Ghaffar-Norsyahidahwati Abdullah Sani.

Azrin is gunning for his third consecutive gold medal while Shahril is the reigning world champion.

Both Mastura and Shalina-Norsyahidahwati will look for their second SEA Games title.

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Don't fear your rivals, Muhammad tells exponents

Malaysian Silat Federation (Pesaka) president Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib announced a four-gold medal target for the Sea Games.

Muhammad also told the silat exponents, during `Buka Puasa' in Shah Alam on Friday, that they must compete without fear although they will be competing in Vietnam, who are ranked World No 1, ahead of Indonesia and Malaysia, ranked second and third respectively.

In the 2001 KL Sea Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia won five gold, one silver and four bronze medals.

Pesaka was to have announced its target earlier, but Muhammad was unable to meet the exponents to set the target because of personal commitments over the last few weeks.

"Our president told the athletes to compete without fear, to take up the challenge and aim for the best during the Sea Games," said Pesaka secretary Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Megat Zulkarnain said the president expects three of the four gold medals to come from the silat olahraga or combat events and the other from the silat seni (demonstration) events.

"The president believes the target is achievable, considering the talent in the squad comprising a mix of seniors and juniors." World champion Ahmad Shahril Zainuddin and 2001 Sea Games gold medallist for the ganda puteri or doubles event Noorsyhidawati Abdullah Sani and Shalina Abdul Ghafar are expected to win gold once again. The duo clinched silver in last World Championships.

Mohamed Azmin Malik is also expected to win gold, which will be his third in a row, after winning in the 2001 and 1999 editions of the Sea Games.

The squad will have a three-day break for Hari Raya and will rejoin the Sea Games training camp at the National Sports Institute on Thursday.

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21 November 2003

Inseparable duo out to grace their way to gold

THEY have been together for five years, and know each other's moves by heart.

The silat seni duet of Noorsyhidawati Abdullah Sani and Shalina Abdul Ghafar will be out to grace their way to a gold medal in Vietnam, for they know the steps like the back of their hands.

"I started practicing silat seni while in primary school and it is now second nature to me. In the duet routine, one needs an equally strong partner and I have Noorsyhidawati to thank for when we won the gold medal in the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games," said Shalina.

Barely five feet, both will perform with a sword and a wooden bamboo in their dance routine - almost similar to the routines of wushu exponents.

Shalina revealed: "In our discipline, there is no contact so it is not dangerous. And when we are in competitions, we make believe that it is just another routine practice day, and with that attitude, we have always won medals at international meets." In the 1999 Brunei Sea Games, the duo won a silver which was upgraded to gold in Kuala Lumpur two years later, and in Vietnam, they are confident the judges will like their performance.

"It all boils down to how one feels on competition day. If the both of us are in good health, we are sure to impress the judges and stand to win a medal," said Noorsyhidawati.

Besides the Sea Games, the inseparable duo have won bronze in the 2000 Jakarta World Championships, and silver in the 2002 World Championships in Penang.

Silat has a hard act to follow in Vietnam, as the exponents will be hard-pressed to match the record five gold medals the contingent won in Kuala Lumpur in 2001.

The other four gold winners were Mohamed Azrin Malek, Mastura Sapuan, Ismail Darus and Ahmad Faisal Omar.

Ismail has quit the sport since, while Ahmad is now an assistant coach. Mohamed Azrin and Mastura are still in the squad.

Zubir Ismail and Amin Saadon, silver medallists at last year's World Championships, are the remaining members of the squad.

Before KL, Malaysia's previous best was four gold medals at the 1989 Sea Games.

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15 November 2003

Exponents fired-up for three-gold target

IT will be difficult in the subjective silat seni, and national coach Othman Jupri believes it will be up to his exponents to come up with convincing performances to convince the judges.

However the silat olahraga exponents are fired up for the challenge under coaches Ahmad Khusairi Ibrahim and Ahmad Faisal Omar, who believe that the three gold medal target set by the National Sports Council (NSC) is achievable.

Four of the five gold medal winners from the Kuala Lumpur Games two years ago, will again be slugging it out in Vietnam.

Men's Class I (80-85kg) olahraga gold medallist Mohamed Azrin Abdul Malik has moved up a category to Class J (85-90kg) and will be joined by three women's gold medallists from 2001.

Mastura Sapuan will defend her Class E (65-70kg) title, while silat seni exponents Norshahidawati Abdullah Sani and Salina Abdul Ghafar are expected to have a tough time convincing the judges.

"In silat seni, it will be difficult because we won't be at home and the judging can sometimes sway towards the home team. But I still believe our exponents should do their best to convince the judges," said Othman.

Ahmad Khusairi said while centralised training began three months ago, the exponents have not had much competitive exposure.

"We had the World Championships in Penang last December, and the most recent one was the Asia Pacific Championships in Manila in August. It's hardly enough, but we have been preparing well and we are ready for Vietnam," said Ahmad Khusairi.

If the squad needed a boost than it surely came in the Asia Pacific Championships, where Khahorullah Abdul Majid delivered the country's sole gold medal in Class A (45-50kg).

"The target of three gold medals is realistic. Anything more than that, will be a bonus for us," said Ahmad Khusairi.

To back their words with effort, the squad have upped their pace in training at NSC in Bukit Jalil, even if it is mid-Ramadhan and the festive season draws closer.

Daily training sessions are scheduled for 3.0pm despite the athletes and officials fasting.

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08 November 2003

Hard to repeat KL feat

TWO years ago, it was the best achievement for the Malaysian silat exponents in the history of the SEA Games.

The team delivered five gold medals in Kuala Lumpur and it helped the Malaysian contingent in the overall medals tally.

However, the challenge this time in Vietnam is tougher as the other countries have shown much improvement in the various categories.

The Malaysian exponents who are expected to deliver the gold again are Azrin Malek, Mastura Sapuan and silat seni duo of Nooryhidawati Abdullah Sani and Shalina Abdul Ghafur.

The two other gold medallists - Ismail Darus, has decided to call it a day, and Ahmad Faisal Omar is now the assistant coach to the team.

The 10 men and nine women exponents are training under coaches Ahmad Khusairi Ibrahim, Ahmad Faisal and Othman Jupri.

Besides the four gold medallists, the squad also have the services of Mohamed Zubir Ismail and Mohamed Amin Saadon.

The duo won the silver at last year's World Championships.

Ahmad Khusairi said the exponents should make full use of their vast experience to deliver the goods.

"They know the kind of challenge in SEA Games and it will be tougher this time.

"But as far as I'm concerned, we have a quality squad.

We even sent the exponents to compete in Myanmar and Vietnam in the last two months," he said.

"We have been monitoring the progress of the exponents and I'm confident they will peak in Vietnam and meet the three-gold target." Prior to winning the five golds, Malaysia's previous best was four at the 1989 KL SEA Games.

It will be interesting to see if the exponents can better the achievement of the 2001 SEA Games.

FOR THE RECORD Competition dates: Dec 7-12 Venue: Sports Gymnasium, Hanoi Medals at stake: 22 Association target: 3 golds OCM target: 3 golds The squad Team manager: Adnan Zakaria Assistant team manager: Datuk Mat Lazim Coaches: Ahmad Khusairi Ibahim, Ahmad Faisal Omar, Othman Jupri Men: Amir Ikram Rahim, Ahmad Shahril Zailuddin, Muhamad Amin Saadun, Zuber Ismail, Majid Maidin, Azrin Malek, Emy Fadly Aziz, Fazzli Ali Bagas, Marwan Mat Rus, Muhammad Zainal Women: Shalina Ghafar, Noorsyahidda Wati, Suzy Sulaiman, Rina Juliana Adnan, Siti Jameelah Japilus, Mastura Sapuan, Amy Latip, Helena Nama Payon Nadus.

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 (Bernama) -- Despite the stiff competition expected from hosts Vietnam in the 22nd SEA Games, Malaysian silat exponents are hoping to repeat their gold medal haul achieved two years ago.

Then, Malaysia as hosts won five gold, one silver and four bronze medals.

National silat olahraga coach Ahmad Khushairi Ibrahim said the squad's target was a rather realistic one.

"The National Sports Council (NSC) have set a target of five gold medals for the silat squad, three may come from silat olahraga and two more from silat seni.

The 22nd SEA Games pencak silat competition will be held at the Police Academy Gymnasium in Hanoi. The sport offers 22 gold medals.

"Apart from traditional powerhouses Indonesia, competition from hosts Vietnam cannot be taken lightly. Their performance has improved and in subjective sports, the hosts usually have the advantage," he told reporters here today.

Ahmad Kushairi, who is a former world champion, said the pencak silat squad, made up of 11 silat olahraga and eight silat seni exponents, were banking on the 2001 SEA Games gold medallists to win their events.

He said Mohd Azrin Abdul Malek, Mastura Safuan and Mohd Khorarullah Abd Majid were hoped to strike gold in silat olahraga.

Meanwhile silat seni coach Othman Jupri was hoping for his charges to win in the Ganda Puteri and Ganda Putera competitions.

"In 2001, we won the gold medal through Ganda Puteri and Ganda Putera brought the silver.

"In Vietnam, I hope we will turn the colour of medal into gold in both events," he said.

In Hanoi, Shalina Abdul Ghaffar and Noorsyahidda Wati Abdullah Sani will be looking to win their Ganda Puteri gold medal, which the duo won in 2001.

As for Marwan Mat Rus and Muhammad Zainal, they will be trying to win the Ganda Putera competition.

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02 November 2003

Fighters eye golds after long drought

Hosts Vietnam will be going all out to foil Thailand's efforts to clinch gold medals in pencak silat at the 22nd SEA Games in December_ but Thailand's national head coach Kampanat Keandamrongchaim says that they will be in for a surprise.

"We haven't been able to manage a (SEA Games) gold medal since the Chiang Mai Games in 1995, but since clinching a gold medal in the Busan Asian Games last year, when pencak silat was a demonstration sport, our athletes are in a confident mood and are up for the challenge," said Kampanat.

The martial art has only a minority following, so this is the first time that Thailand will be fielding a complete team of 16 fighters.

What makes it all the more interesting, according to Kampanat, is the fact that the current squad all hold bachelor degrees, as in the past most athletes were recruited from the Army.

"Taking everything into account, I am pretty certain that we can look for four or five gold medals if the athletes stay injury free and we have no problems with the judging, " said former national star Kampanat, who expects the main challenge to come from Vietnam.

The Thai team's biggest drawback is lack of competitive experience, he added.

Unlike other nations who have been competing in other countries, the Thais have only been training at home due to a low budget for travelling expenses.

Written by YVONNE BOHWONGPRASERTSourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-24880578_ITM

19 October 2003

On guard in learning a local martial art

Your vision is blurry with sweat and physical exhaustion as you throw yourself for the hundredth time into sikap pendeta, the priest stance.

A demonic face appears in front of you whispering almost inaudibly, "kencaaaang, kencaaaang" (harder, harder), and you squeeze you knuckles and forearms and shoulders until you feel like you're going to burst a blood vessel (because you're forgetting to breathe) and involuntary, you let out a little yelp like a small woodland creature in distress.

A guy in front of you suddenly bolts for the bathroom from where a few seconds later sinister retching noises emerge. At such times you wonder what induced you to take up a martial art in the first place and not, say, gardening.

Well, for a start, the kudos. Martial arts gurus say things like, "Stand like a mountain. Move like water". Gardening sages give you tips on aerating your compost.

So back in the UK, where I took up Silat Perisai Diri (PD) about five years ago, it was, well, cool.

For a start, no one had heard of it -- a martial art from Indonesia with magical associations. You could expound on its origins down the pub to a captive audience -- Perisai Diri means "the shielded self" and combines a range of traditional Pencak Silat techniques with kung fu styles.

It didn't matter that I was worse than useless at it. After two years in Bali, a fractured arm, cracked ribs and countless lumps and bruises, I'm still not very good, but much of the vanity has been erased.

Arriving on the island with the worthy notion of "finding the essence of PD", I encountered thousands of fellow practitioners almost all of whom were better than me.

PD is what martial arts aficionados dream of -- a complete system, combining the physical, mental and spiritual. Unlike traditional Pencak Silat, where the focus on artistry and precision of movement has made it similar to dance, with performances often accompanied by a gamelan traditional orchestra, PD is devastatingly practical.

The martial art eschews the flourishes and "extra bits" visible in traditional Pencak Silat forms in favor of economy of movement. In combat, the accomplished PD exponent is simultaneously elusive and direct -- either avoiding the enemy by moving out of the range of their attack (but staying close, and rarely moving backwards) or, once they've reached the highest levels, smothering an attack before it has even emerged using papasan.

To achieve this, students need to develop speed and power in terms of kicks and hand strikes, together with quick, light footwork. At the same time, they need to have an unerring yet abstract focus on the enemy, concentrating on their center (like torso) with only peripheral awareness of the extremities that are trying to hit them. This may sound kind of obvious, but then it's not just the brain that has to grasp it, but the body with its own innate intelligence (or lack thereof).

Putting yourself in a stressful situation like this has the effect of catapulting you into the present -- which can mean a state of almost heightened awareness, if you are able to tap into the ilmu or essence of the technique.

You don't consciously "choose" a particular movement, it emerges as a reflex; it could be harimau (the tiger), satria (the knight) or putri (the princess) -- each has its own characteristics. The aim is to assimilate these sikap, or archetypes, and use them not only for physical combat but as an approach to life itself. kerohanian (spiritual training/meditation), the PD exponent seeks to become a fully fledged human being, no longer at the mercy of the mosquito mind with its endless habits and attachments. Yes folks, we're talking enlightenment.

Through good fortune and no doubt the sheer novelty value of being a bule with a Silat obsession, I have found myself training under a Pendekar Mudah (literally "young master") who is the head of physical technique here in Bali. But it is his protege who oversees our day to day progress.

Not much more than five feet tall, he can place his foot an inch from my face (a good foot higher than his own) and put it back on the floor before my brain has properly registered its recent proximity.

Most mornings, my Australian friend and I go to his house, sweep out the yard, warm up and then spar under his watchful eye. Three times a week we have formal training with a bunch of banjar (village) Bruce Lees. There's no vomiting these days and we can do things we couldn't dream off a year ago, though no doubt we still appear laughable to our instructors.

Maybe one day I will take up gardening. But if things go according to plan, well, just wait and see what I can do with a common garden trowel...

Pencak Silat is the generic term for an ancient set of martial arts known in Indonesia and in the Southeast Asia region. There are over 400 different styles that have traditionally been passed from master to student for hundreds of years.

Perisai Diri, roughly translated as "The Shielded Self", is a relatively recent system founded in 1955 by RMS Dirdjoatmodjo. Pak Dirdjo, as the founder is familiarly known, started studying Pencak Silat at the age of nine.

At 16, he left the court of Yogyakarta where he had grown up as a member of the royal family, spending the next 17 years traveling Indonesia and mastering no less than 15 different styles, including kung fu from a Chinese master named Yap Kie San. These he combined and condensed to create a practical and devastating system of self-defense.

Exponents move upward through a hierarchy of techniques, starting with Minang (Buffalo) and culminating in putri (Princess). The progression is from the animal realm into that of human archetypes, with each technique an advance on its predecessor.

The martial aspect of PD is not its ultimate goal. Pak Dirdjo was a remarkable man, a precocious student of theology and psychology, the mastery of which led him to develop Ilmu Jati or Kerohanian, the spiritual aspect of the PD system.

The relationship between the physical movements and the Ilmu Jati is a complimentary one: if the PD practitioner is at the mercy of emotions, his/her movements will not be intuitive and will be slow -- as if the emotional content thickens the air you move through.

Students begin to learn the Ilmu Jati from a relatively early stage to prevent them becoming proud or arrogant. The ultimate aim for the PD exponent is unity with the Divine, a state of constant "connectedness" regardless of his or her situation.

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18 September 2003


KUCHING, Sept 18 (Bernama) -- Sarawak silat exponents were today urged to serve community and not just focus on competitions to display their martial arts skills.

Making the call, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister's Office Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said they should be service-oriented and help mould the charater of youth.

Opening the Second Sarawak Silat Masters Convention here, he also urged them to find ways of helping youths who were unable to go for higher education.

Awang Tengah represented Federal Agriculture Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Effendi Norwawi at the function.

The four-day convention is being attended by more than 100 silat masters from Sarawak.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-24452774_ITM

15 September 2003

Silat teacher held over sodomy allegation by student

TUMPAT, Sun. - Police yesterday detained a 23-year-old silat teacher for allegedly sodomizing an 18-year-old student at a house in Kampung Besut here since early this month.

District police chief Superintendent Muhd Fuad Talib said the man was arrested about 3pm when he turned himself in at the district police station.

Fuad said the student, who studied in Kuala Krai, had been training with the man since July.

The student claimed he was sodomised seven times since Sept 4.

The victim had lodged a report at the Kuala Krai police station a few days ago.

Fuad said the student was sent to the Kuala Krai Hospital for a check- up.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-875204_ITM

Silat teacher held over sodomy allegation by student

TUMPAT, Sun. - Police yesterday detained a 23-year-old silat teacher for allegedly sodomizing an 18-year-old student at a house in Kampung Besut here since early this month.

District police chief Superintendent Muhd Fuad Talib said the man was arrested about 3pm when he turned himself in at the district police station.

Fuad said the student, who studied in Kuala Krai, had been training with the man since July.

The student claimed he was sodomised seven times since Sept 4.

The victim had lodged a report at the Kuala Krai police station a few days ago.

Fuad said the student was sent to the Kuala Krai Hospital for a check- up.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-24422561_ITM

03 September 2003

Out for another rich harvest

TWO years ago this month, the silat exponents gave Malaysia a present when they bagged a record five gold medals at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

A lot of changes have since taken place but four of the gold medal winners will be back to carry the nation's challenge to Vietnam in December.

Mohamed Azrin Malek, Mastura Sapuan and the silat seni duo of Nooryhidawati Abdullah Sani-Shalina Abdul Ghafur are part of the squad reporting for training today.

The two other gold medallists were Ismail Darus, who has since called it a day, while Ahmad Faisal Omar is an assistant coach to the team.

National Silta Association (Pesaka) secretary Megat Zulkarnain Datuk Omar Din said the four are part of nine exponents shortlisted by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).

"We are happy the OCM have approved the names we submitted to them last week," said Zulkarnain.

"Besides the four SEA Games champions, there are also two others - Mohmaed Zubir Ismail and Mohamed Amin Saadon - who were silver medallists at last year's World Championships.

"As such, we have a quality squad and Pesaka are confident we can match our five-gold haul in Vietnam." Prior to the five gold medals the squad won two years ago, Malaysia's previous best was four at the 1989 SEA Games.

As a build-up to the SEA Games, the 22nd in the series, Pesaka have approved two overseas assignments for the exponents.

The first eight-day trip is to Myanmar next month.

The team will then turn to Vietnam for another week's training.

"The Myanmar Sports Minster requested our presence in Yangon.

We have accepted the offer," said Zulkarnain.

"Because of these two trips, we feel it would be wise to skip going to the Europe Championships in November.

"The Europe Championship dates are too close to the SEA Games.

Moreover, we are afraid our athletes might injure themselves.

"They will gain enough exposure in Myanmar and Vietnam."

Written by GRAIG NUNIS
Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-24290262_ITM

05 August 2003

Powering interest in 'silat'

It is time to revise silat gayung to make it more appealing to the new generation, said Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

Silat gayung, a traditional Malay martial arts, can also improve discipline.

Dr Mohd Khir was speaking at the closing ceremony of Malaysia Silat Gayung Association (PSGM), Hulu Langat District branch three-day training camp at Dataran Datuk Mohd Said Commercial Centre in Rincing, km38, Jalan Kajang-Seremban.

The Menteri Besar was earlier appointed as patron of PSGM Selangor.

Others present at the event were acting association president Dr Ahmad Lazim, PSGM Selangor president Datuk Zainal Abidin Sakom and PSGM Hulu Langat branch president Datuk Mohd Said Mat Saman.

Dr Mohd Khir urged more schools to introduce silat gayung in their curriculum to promote it to youths.

"We can pass on the martial art skills to the younger generation and help them avoid unhealthy influence." A total of 134 PSGM members took part in the camp and underwent intensive training under the national masters.

At present, the PSGM Hulu Langat has set up silat gayung clubs in 22 schools and plans to expand to all secondary and primary schools in the district.

At the closing ceremony, silat gayung teams from Singapore, Perak, Pahang, Malacca, Johor and Universiti Putra Malaysia took turns to demonstrate their skills. An exhibition on the history and activities of silat gayung in Malaysia were also held.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-21960896_ITM

31 July 2003

Manila meet to gauge Malaysian competitiveness

THE Asia Pacific Silat championships in Manila next week will give an indication on how well the Malaysian exponents will fare in the Vietnam Sea Games in December.

Malaysian Silat Association (Pesaka) will be sending 21 exponents to the second edition of the Asia Pacific championships where the association has targeted five gold medals.

Pesaka president Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib said that the performance of the national exponents in the Asia Pacific competition will be important as the tournament is one of the basis to name the final squad for the Sea Games.

"The squasd members will have to perform well as the results will be given due consideration in naming the Sea Games squad," said Muhammad in Kuala lumpur yesterday.

"We have targeted five gold medals and our exponents will face stiff competition from Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines.

"The tournament will give us an indication of our chances in the Sea Games and the target will be based on our performance in the Asia Pacific tournament.

"The Sea Games will be tough as Vietnam were overall champions in Kuala Lumpur (in 2001) and they will be determined to dominate again." Malaysia won five gold in the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games two years ago, but could face a tough time as Vietnam will be going all out to make a clean sweep of the 18 gold medals at stake.

Malaysia will also be challenged by Indonesia and Philippines who are the only teams capable of halting Vietnam's total dominance.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-21960146_ITM

19 June 2003


Banjarmasin, E Kalimantan, June 19 (ANTARA) - Indonesia will take part in the Asia-Pacific Silat Competition to be held in Manila on Aug 1-6, it was learned here Thursday.

Silat is the traditional art of self-defense.

"We will join the championship as a warm-up for the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi in December," chairman of the Indonesian Silat Association, Eddy Marzuki Nalapraya, said.

He said he will use the occasion to lobby Arabian countries to realize the wish of some countries to include the sports event in the Asian Games to be held in Qatar in 2006.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-23599117_ITM

08 May 2003

Silat cekak exponents show prowess at sports fest

A woman was walking alone one quiet evening after her class when suddenly, two men on a motorcycle stopped by her and tried to rob her. They even threatened to harm her.

What would you do if you were in this situation? Twenty-three-year-old Norazrine Shamsuddin of Negri Sembilan, who once found herself in such a situation, had fought back.

Not only did she manage to save herself, she even knocked out the men - thanks to the silat cekak she once learnt.

The former Universiti Malaya student was speaking at the launch of the two-day Persatuan Seni Silat Cekak Malaysia's National Sports Carnival 2003 recently at Universiti Putra Malaysia in Serdang.

Lailati Mohd Noh of Johor, a silat cekak exponent of 13 years, said the self-defence art was most suitable for women.

The mother of two said silat cekak does not require one to have strong lower limbs.

"The moves involve mainly the palms, hands and arms. It also does not make the practitioner muscular," she added.

Nazaruddin Mohd Amin, 27, of Negri Sembilan, was attracted to the simplicity of the silat cekak moves.

The carnival was jointly organised by Persatuan Seni Silat Cekak Malaysia, Persatuan Seni Silat Cekak UPM and the Youth and Sports Ministry.

It was launched by Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Also present was Persatuan Seni Silat Cekak Malaysia president and chief instructor Ishak Itam.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-101502760/silat-cekak-exponents-show.html

05 May 2003

MB lauds move to train non-Malays in silat

SHAH ALAM, Sun. - The move by the Silat Lincah Malaysia organisation to train non-Malays in the martial art has been lauded.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said it was the first time non-Malays were allowed to learn the art in the country and it was a boost to efforts in unifying the various races here.

He said Silat Lincah only recently opened its doors to non-Malays but had already attracted about 3,000 non-Malay members.

He was speaking after opening the 26th annual general meeting of the organisation here today.

He hoped more martial arts organisations would follow suit as it would lead to greater understanding among the races.

Earlier, he said silat should also incorporate aspects of science and technology into its training, in order to compete at the same level with other forms of martial arts.

Dr Khir said other martial arts like judo and silambam were incorporating knowledge like the various pressure points in the body that affect organs such as the heart and spleen and how to use the acquired knowledge to immobilise an opponent.

He reminded the delegates that silat was no longer a war weapon as there was very little hand-to-hand combat nowadays.

"Wars are fought with satellites, planes, artillery and also in the virtual world."

He said silat was now more for instilling discipline and bravery in a person.

Dr Khir also proposed that silat be introduced in all schools in the State.

Besides silat, he said the State was also looking at introducing uniformed bodies such as the police and fire department in schools.

He said such involvement would ensure students do not succumb to social ills.

On an unrelated issue, Dr Khir, who is also the Malaysian Youth Council president, said the council had sent two men to Iraq, bringing with them US$10,000 (RM38,000) worth of medical supplies.

He said the two managed to deliver the supplies directly to hospitals in Baghdad last week.

He added that more such missions would be carried out soon and MYC was trying to raise funds for the Iraqis through its "spend a ringgit, save a child" campaign.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-23199399_ITM

04 May 2003

Silat to be introduced in Selangor schools

SHAH ALAM, May 4 (Bernama) -- The Selangor government is taking steps to introduce silat in schools to help improve discipline among students.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo said a working paper on this was being drawn up and a special allocation would be given for the project.

"We are planning to set up silat arenas in schools for students to undergo training to boost their self-esteem to ward off social ills," he told reporters after opening the biennial general meeting of the Silat Lincah Association of Malaysia (PSSLM) here today.

He praised PSSLM for opening its membership to non-Malays, saying this could help to foster unity among the various races.

PSSLM had attracted 850,000 members, including 3,000 Chinese and Indians, since its inception in 1966, he said.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-101265913/silat-introduced-selangor-schools.html

22 April 2003

Five shortlisted for youth ambassador

KUALA LUMPUR, Mon. - Five outstanding Malaysians have been shortlisted to be the first Malaysian Youth Ambassador.

Chan Yuen-Li, 35, Aziwahija Yeop, 31, Jerry Kamit, 27, Maznah Zulklifi, 30, and Ang John Wei, 17, were selected for outstanding performance in their respective fields.

In conjunction with National Youth Day 2003, the Youth and Sports Ministry is introducing the idea to recognise achievements of Malaysian youths and youth associations.

Minister Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein announced this at the launching of the National Youth Day 2003 theme and logo here today.

Other activities include a youth showcase exhibition, annual youth convention, national youth award and youth association award.

Hishammuddin said the ambassador would be selected based on outstanding performance at both national and international levels.

"Their contribution to society will be acknowledged and they will also be the role model for Malaysian youths," he said.

The five shortlisted candidates were selected out of 28 nominations from various categories such as arts, sports, entrepreneur, information technology, innovation and career.

Ang, the youngest candidate out of 28 nominations, was selected for his contribution in the IT field. The Terengganuborn Ang has represented the country at international conferences around the world, giving talks on specific subjects.

Silat exponent Aziwahija started the art at the age of 13 and at 14, was conducting his own class of 30 students.

"I hope to further develop the art and someday introduce Malaysia as a land synonymous with silat," said Aziwahija.

Chan is an active sports competitor, while Kamit is an ethnic music player specialising in the sape. Maznah is a television personality who is also into paragliding.

The ambassador will be selected through a public SMS voting system.

The National Youth Day themed Driving the Nation's Excellence will be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, on May 15.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-100490680/five-shortlisted-youth-ambassador.html

19 April 2003

Malaysia go on trial run

MALAYSIA will select their exponents to the SEA Games after the Asia Pacific Championships in Manila in early July.

National Silat Association (Pesaka) secretary Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din said the exponents might also travel to Vietnam and Holland for training stints in October, two months before the SEA Games.

Vietnam will host this year's SEA Games for the first time.

The Games will be held on Dec 1-15.

"So far, 10 countries have confirmed participation in the Asia Pacific Championships and we are expecting more entries before the end of the month," said Zulkarnain.

"The tournament is important to us as it will give our exponents a chance to gauge their standards ahead of the SEA Games.

"There are also plans to travel to Indonesia and Vietnam but until today, we have yet to get a reply from the Indonesians, so that trip looks to be out.

"The trip to Vietnam depends on the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome development but I think the tour to Holland will go on as planned." The Malaysian exponents are supposed to travel to Indonesia tomorrow but that looks unlikely.

Malaysia pulled out of the Belgium Open earlier this month because of the war in Iraq and the SARS outbreak.

That prevented them from much needed exposure ahead of the SEA Games and is another reason Pesaka are hoping the Asia Pacific Games are not cancelled or postponed.

At the last SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, the national exponents won a record five gold medals through Ismail Darus (category A), Mohd Azrin Abd Malek (I), Ahmad Faizal Omar (J), Mastura Sapuan (E) and silat seni women's duet Noorsyhidawati Abdullah Sani and Shalina Abdul Ghafar.

Their previous best performance in an international meet was four gold medals at the 1989 SEA Games.

Indonesia finished with nine gold medals and Vietnam six two years ago while Singapore with one gold was the only other country to win a title.

Pesaka are hoping to emerge champions in the silat competition this time round and have conducted various training programes to ensure the exponents deliver.

Written by GRAIG NUNIS
Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-100445804/malaysia-go-trial-run.html

15 April 2003

Veteran Ismail honoured at self-defence festival

SULTAN Ahmad Shah of Pahang placing the Selempang Guru-Guru Tua on Ismail Mat Ali, 79, at the 2003 Royal Pahang Self-Defence Festival yesterday.

The selempang (sash) was awarded to Ismail as a recognition of his contributions to silat.

Twelve teams, including those from Singapore and Thailand, took part in the four-day festival organised by the State Government, National Silat Association and its Pahang chapter.

The event was held in conjunction with the Sultan's 73rd birthday. Pahang emerged champion in the competition.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-100115979/veteran-ismail-honoured-self.html

12 April 2003


KUANTAN, April 12 (Bernama) -- Pahang won the second national silat olahraga team championship here today, beating Selangor 3-2.

Twenty other teams participated in the championship, including from 12 states, the Kuala Lumpur and Labuan Federal Territories, Pesaka Malaysia and Thailand, Singapore and Brunei.

In the Pahang format silat seni competition, Perguruan Seni Silat Cekak Harimau Pahang emerged first followed by Perguruan Gerak Silat Lian Malaysia and Pertubuhan Seni Silat Gayung Laksamana Malaysia Temerloh.

When closing the meet, Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the Pahang contingent.

It was appropriate that Pahang, a state rich in Malay heritage, be at the forefront of efforts to promote the Malay art of self-defence, he said.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-100054707/pahang-win-national-team.html

26 March 2003

Indonesian pencak silat team to tour Europe

JAKARTA: A nine-member Indonesian pencak silat team will tour France, Switzerland and Belgium to promote the Indonesia-based martial arts worldwide.

The tour is scheduled to run from March 29 through April 6, with the entourage to carry out a demonstration of pencak silat in Paris, where it will be one of the 20 kinds of martial arts participating at the World Martial Arts Festival.

They will head to Switzerland on March 31 before taking part in the three-day Belgium Open.

"This is part of our moral support to those countries, especially in Europe, we have so far assisted in developing pencak silat as a martial art," Eddie Nalapraya, chairman of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI), said at a meeting with National Sports Council (KONI) Chairman Agum Gumelar here on Tuesday.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-22800359_ITM

15 March 2003

Kudos for SIJORI Silat triangular

PASIR GUDANG, March 15 (Bernama) -- The staging of the Singapore-Johor-Riau (Sijori) silat championship here has received the thumbs up from the sport's activists in the Malay archipelago.

This was echoed by the respective team leaders for Riau Islands and Pulau Karimum, Hardi Soeroso and Said Fauzul, along with the championship's organising secretariat head Ismail Ahmad.

They were unison in acknowledging that only through such events, the younger generation can really polish their skills in the traditional form of silat apart from creating an impact in the international sports arena.

"There are not many international silat tournaments being held internationally, not even in our own countries," he told Bernama here today.

Hardi said the Sijori meet would be a greater silat stage if it was expanded to include more competitors from other Asia and European countries instead of being a three-nation Asean championship.

Hardi, who is one of the founder for the Sijori meet, said despite being a Malay-based martial art, silat had the features which appealed to exponents from outside the region.

Ismail said the idea to stage the Sijori championship came after he led a Johor contingent to a silat tournament in Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia three years ago.

"I had an idea where silat exponents in the archipelago can gather at an event and this was supported by the Singapore silat association which was keen to participate," he said.

Discussions and planning followed and this paved the way for the birth of the first edition of the Sijori silat triangular in Tanjung Pinang last year.

The second edition, which began March 13 and ends Sunday, is being held here. It drew the participation of 175 exponents from Johor, Riau Islands and Singapore.

Meanwhile Johor Sports Council Director Abdul Razak Hassan, in his speech when opening the championship, said many young and fresh talents would be unearthed through the Sijori meet.

It was hoped that these talents would progress to the higher stages in the world silat scene, he said.

"This championship is crucial as we lack regional silat championships, hence we hold this tournament not only to bridge this gap but also to forge closer ties among the regional silat bodies," he said.

Abdul Razak said to ensure that only fresh talents compete in the championship, the age of competitors were restricted to between 17 and 23.

"We are taking the initiative (to hold the Sijori meet) not only because of our turn to stage it but it is also part of the activity for the Visit Johor Year 2003," he said.

"The tremendous success of the first championship in Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia last year has infused a huge dose of confidence for us to hold the event here," said Abdul Razak.

The second edition of the Sijori meet also saw action of Indonesian exponents from Pekan Baru and Karimum apart from those from Riau and Tanjung Pinang.

The Singapore Silat Federation sent a team while Johor had its A and B squads here bringing the number of competing exponents to 175. The championship comprises the "Silat Seni" and "Silat Tanding" categories .

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-22739112_ITM

08 March 2003


Mataram, W Nusa Tenggara, March 8 (ANTARA) - A "Pencak Silat" (Indonesian arts of self defence) athlete, Mardiansyah, from the Province of West Nusatenggara (NTB), will take part in the South East Asia (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, in July this year.

Secretary of NTB-chapter of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI), Reso Rachman, told newsman here Saturday that Mardiansyah was a gold medalist in the National Pencak Silat Competition in Jakarta recently.

Reso Rachman said that Mardiansyah would admitted to an intensively centralized training beginning next week in order to prepare for the SEA Games.

He said Mardiansyah was a tough athlete which had been closely eyed by other provinces in Indonesia with the hope that he move there to help strengthen their sports teams.

Mardiansyah has also been expected to earn gold medal for NTB province in the 16th National Sports Week (PON) in Palembang, South Sumatra, in 2004, Reso Rachman said.

In the 15th PON Competition in Surabaya, NTB Province also earned a gold medal for Pencak Silat competition, Reso Rachman said.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-22672432_ITM

03 March 2003


KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 (Bernama) -- The names of silat exponents representing the country in the Belgium Open Championship in April will be announced on March 15.

National Silat Federation (Pesaka) Secretary-General Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din said 20 names were approved recently but these needed further perusal. He said although they were new faces the group was expected to do well.

"They need international exposure so that they can face the challenge in the 22nd SEA Games in Vietnam this December. That's why we choose them," he told Bernama today.

Malaysia would participate in all 21 silat categories at the 22nd SEA Games.

At the 21st SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia won five gold medals, one silver and four bronze while Indonesia dominated the event with nine gold medals, six silver, and five bronze. Vietnam, as the host, won six gold medals, five silver and seven bronze.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 (Bernama) -- The names of silat exponents representing the country in the Belgium Open Championship in April will be announced on March 15.

National Silat Federation (Pesaka) Secretary-General Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din said 20 names were approved recently but these needed further perusal. He said although they were new faces the group was expected to do well.

"They need international exposure so that they can face the challenge in the 22nd SEA Games in Vietnam this December. That's why we choose them," he told Bernama today.

Malaysia would participate in all 21 silat categories at the 22nd SEA Games.

At the 21st SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia won five gold medals, one silver and four bronze while Indonesia dominated the event with nine gold medals, six silver, and five bronze. Vietnam, as the host, won six gold medals, five silver and seven bronze.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-22609269_ITM

04 February 2003

Silat instructor sought in rape of student, 17

DUNGUN, Mon. - Police are looking for a 30-year-old silat instructor suspected of raping his 17-year-old student in December last year. District police deputy chief Deputy Superintendent Rasib Mamat said the girl was allegedly raped at 11am on Dec 25, when she was at a silat class at the man's house in Dungun. Rasib said the girl's sister found out about the incident only on Jan 21 when she noticed her sister's change of behaviour, and asked if anything was wrong. A report was later lodged.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-22353180_ITM

02 February 2003

Reel fighting

IN the world of traditional combat, artistry, strength and guile are the hallmarks of a master.

Silat masters possess all these traits, and the amalgamation of these qualities elevate them and their combat style into an art form.

Silat choreographer Ariffin Yeop Mahidin aims to give the stars of Puteri Gunung Ledang that balance of art and aggression, not just in their fight scenes, but in their overall deportment as well.

As history doesn't really shed much light on the silat styles of yore, Ariffin has decided to emphasise on the basics.

"What we are trying to do is to get the actors to adopt a silat Melayu art form especially on blocking and stepping, except for Alex Komang, whose character Gusti Adipati Wira Handaya Ningrat's fighting style has to have a Javanese flavour," says Ariffin.

Though none of the actors in this epic set in 15th century Malacca has had any previous martial arts experience, they have trained diligently with Ariffin six days a week for three to four hours.

Various stretching routines, working on the trampoline and overall conditioning are just some of the things the actors go through each session.

"The producers and actors know how important it is in the film, though it is not a silat film.

You can't become an expert in a few months, so what we've been doing is to train them to move with the characteristics, focusing on stance and stylisation," says Ariffin.

The silat master wants the actors to make their silat style suit each character's personality.

It has to become a part of them.

Movements with the keris, especially the Taming Sari, have to be felt.

"We take the main characteristics of silat, and let the actors experiment and feel it, they have a lot of say, and we've given them options of movements to choose from, so they can decide how they're going to play the characters." Both styles, however, are on different ends of the continuum.

"The Malay style is softer and more relaxed, while the Javanese style is more aggressive with an emphasis on strength.

"So, you have the anger and aggressiveness of Gusti versus the cool, calm style of Hang Tuah, played by M.

Nasir," says the 42-year-old.

Ariffin, who runs silat classes in Britain, is full of praise for the cast, who have been able to withstand the physically-demanding training they've undergone.

They have been giving the training their all, as neither wants to pale in comparison with the other.

"Alex has improved 100 per cent as we've been working on his strength," he adds.

Ariffin, who has been based in England since 1991, was approached a year ago to choreograph the silat in this film.

Though he has worked in numerous films and stage productions previously, working with a technical crew from Hong Kong posed new challenges for him.

He trained the Puteri Gunung Ledang cast in the art and worked on their stance and stylisation.

"We are approaching it like a work in progress.

We want to see how close the technical crew can get to filming a choreographed silat sequence," explains Ariffin who learnt Silat Gayung from the late grandmaster Datuk Meor Abdur Rahman.

"We are also working with a stunt coordinator, and they all have to understand the essence of silat, or else they won't be able to capture its strong points." The Hong Kong crew has expressed difficulties in filming the sequences, and Ariffin says it's a matter of give and take between them.

"The intricacies of the silat movements take three or four times more shots than a kung fu one, so they said the movements have to be simplified and modified to look impressive on screen.

"But we are trying to maintain as much as possible.

The crew knows what it's doing, and I hope they really understand the differences between silat and kung fu.

It is the first time I'm doing silat with a Hong Kong technical crew." Ariffin has a simple wish for his role in the preparation for Puteri Gunung Ledang.

"I hope that when people see the fight sequences, they will know it is silat, and the characters are actually doing it." Puteri Gunung Ledang, which stars Tiara Jacquelina, M.

Nasir, Datuk Rahim Razali, Sofia Jane, Alex Komang, Slamet Rahardjo, Christine Hakim, Rosyam Nor, Khir Rahman, Sabri Yunus, Man Bai, Radhi Khalid, Zulkifli Zain, Mahadi Shor and Khairul Anwar will be released this August.

The film is directed by Saw Teong Hin.

Puteri Gunung Ledang, a maiden effort by EnfiniTi Productions Sdn Bhd is directed by Saw Teong Hin.

Puteri Gunung Ledang is set to have the most spectacular martial arts sequences in a local film, thanks to a unique Asian team effort.

Lilakajohnchit Vithavat, better known as Adam, has designed fight sequences with a seamless quality for this epic film, which will enchant audiences this August.

The Thai-born Hong Kong stunt choreographer is leading a team comprising martial arts experts from Hong Kong and China.

Apart from Adam, the stunt choreography team comprises Chan Yiu Lun, Hon Pin and Lee Chi Kit also from Hong Kong and Zhang Weiguo from China.

Stunt personnel include Kam Loi Kwan and Chan Chik Wing (Hong Kong), Hon Pin (China) and local Zulkifli Zainal Abidin.

Film director Saw Teong Hin says the reason Adam and his crew were asked to work on this film is because he wants to maintain the integrity of Malay silat, elevate and promote it, creating a new martial arts vocabulary.

The world was stunned when Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was shown at the Cannes Film Festival, as the spectacular martial arts scenes caught the imagination of the Western audiences who have not seen such poetry on screen.

Director Ang Lee was afraid they wouldn't be able to take the leaps and flying but his fears were unfounded.

Puteri Gunung Ledang will definitely capture the attention of all who watch it, as the action sequences in the film are there to add richness to the characters, as they perform stunts and movements that have never been seen in a local film before.

The film will raise the bar on the quality of action sequences in the local film industry.

Adam, a harness stunts specialist with 14 years experience, has worked on countless films including Once Upon A Time In China 1 and 2, where he designed the harness stunts.

"This is my first time working with Malay silat, but really, there isn't much difference between silat and kung fu.

"Silat has more of an artistic element (bunga) and kung fu doesn't.

I consulted Ariffin Yeop Mahidin, the silat choreographer, on the action sequences, and there were not many changes made to his choreography," says the 33-year-old.

"It wasn't difficult bringing both silat and kung fu together as Ariffin helped me a lot.

"Although there are features of kung fu here, the choreography won't be done in what people recognise as kung fu as this is not a kung fu movie," he says.

In keeping with martial arts choreography to suit the characters, Gusti Adipati Handaya Ningrat, played by Alex Komang, has the most harness work, while Hang Tuah, played by M.Nasir, does not require much.

"The actors had to train for two to three weeks, working on flips and somersaults," says Adam.


Nasir and Alex Komang both trained diligently on the harness.

A typical training session includes warm ups on the trampoline for 30 minutes.

This is in addition to the three to four hours they spent daily training with Ariffin for silat.

The marriage of silat and kung fu elements makes for an interesting effect on screen.

Adam says the stunt elements will enhance the characters and give them an added dimension.

"It has been great working with the actors, and with the stunt elements, I think this is going to be a great movie," he says.

Puteri Gunung Ledang is set in 15th century Malacca and is essentially a love story set within the backdrop of changing times.

Gusti Putri Raden Ajeng Retno Dumilah, the titular character, sails to Malacca to be with her love Hang Tuah and waits for him at Gunung Ledang.

But political intrigues keep the lovers apart as the Sultan of Malacca asks for her hand in marriage.

This causes Hang Tuah to hide his feelings for her as he leads the engagement party up Gunung Ledang to meet her.

Angered by the circumstances, Gusti Putri agrees to the marriage on the condition that the Sultan fulfils seven wishes, which leads to an unexpected turn of events for Gusti Putri and Hang Tuah.

The film stars Tiara Jacquelina as the determined and feisty Gusti Putri.

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