28 February 2005

Horror Fanatic who could Kill

28 Feb 2005, SINGAPURA - “Train hard, think positive, and don't give up.” These were the words of advice from our very own world silat champion, Mohammad Imran Abdul Rahman. The 21- year- old silat enthusiast is also a Third Year Sports & Wellness student from the Business School of Nanyang Polytechnic.

Imran, whose biggest achievement to date is the recent World Championship held in Singapore, has been involved in silat since he was ten years old. Recounting on how he got into silat, he credited his interest in martial arts to the movie Blood Spot. Fascinated by the cool moves portrayed in the movie, he asked his parents if it was all right for him to take up martial arts. They agreed and signed him up at their Community Centre, which coincidentally offered silat. The rest is of course history.

Imran comes across as a friendly and easy- going chap. He does not do silat for fame or recognition but for his passion for it. His other passion is soccer and although he is in the school's soccer team, National rules do not allow him to be part of the school's silat team. Howeer, silat still remains his priority.

Imran does not see himself doing silat all his life. He is more interested in venturing into business or teaching and might only do silat as a form of leisure activity in his own free time.

A typical day for him will be attending school and silat trainings. Usually after ten will he be able to have time for himself with family and friends to relax and hang out at his favourite joints.

With such a packed schedule, comprising of trainings six times per week, four hours each day, it is a no mean feat how he manages to juggle his time between school, family, silat and personal time. But Imran manages and ensures that he dedicates enough time for each, by knowing his priorities well.

If a major competition was coming up, Imran would concentrate on his silat by training a little harder. Similarly, if an ICA was coming up, he would stop his trainings at least four days in advance for revision. For instance, his plans to go to Belgium and France for a Championship had to be cancelled, as he would be having his exams on the 27 th of March.

Balance is what Imran is looking for. He knows that it would be meaningless if he were to excel in just silat and have his studies affected. He wants to excel in both.

Though this world champion oozes self- confidence, he did have some low points in his life and more so, his career in silat. In 2003, when he lost three tournaments in a row and had to return home after being kicked out in the first round, his despair at seeing others, and not him, with medals was indescribable. It was firstly the Asia Pacific games in August, then the SEA Games in December where he lost against the opponent from the Philippines and finally, the Paris Open was the last straw. He even thought of quitting and focusing instead on his studies only.

But with full support from his family, especially his father who told him to not pursue his dreams halfway, he persevered and stayed on. With such determination, he was rewarded with a turn of events in 2004, starting from the UK Open, Swiss Open and the sweetest victory of all, the recent World Championship.

Imran does not believe that he has become more famous since appearing in the headlines, but in bringing glory to the nation though the number of students under him has reached 100 and still increasing. He just wants those aspiring to be silat champs to believe in themselves and achieve the best they can.

Sourced from http://clednews.tripod.com/stories/profileonimran.htm

05 February 2005

Fresh approach needed for silat bodies to woo young generation

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 (Bernama) -- Traditional martial art organisations have been urged to adopt a fresh approach in terms of training methods in order to attract participation from the younger generation.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, when making the call, said the fresh approach was necessary to ensure continued interest in the cultural heritage among the younger generation.

"Otherwise, we will see our silat art dying one by one, especially those silat art which have little following and are seldom heard of," he said when launching the Martial Art Council (MARCIL), here.

He also reminded leaders of silat bodies not to reject elements of science and technology in enriching style and technique of the art so that it could be accepted by the international community as an art of self-defence that was not merely ritual in nature.

He said silat masters should also impart all their skills to the students so that they could be at par or even better than their masters.

"Silat masters should discard the old attitude of not imparting all their skills to the students for fear that their students would be better than them. That is why when the warrior Mat Kilau died, there was no one who could match him because no one had inherited his silat skills," Najib said.

He said besides having the ability to defend oneself from any threat, silat exponents were usually people of good character as they followed religious teachings and were of high morals.

"As such, the silat and martial art organisations with more than four million members formed a strong front in facing social threats," he said.

At the ceremony, Najib heard the pledge of allegiance to the government by representatives of about 130 silat and martial art organisations which were affiliated to MARCIL.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-18627325_ITM