31 August 2005

Osman: We will win five golds

FOR the past eight SEA Games, Malaysia's silat squad have only failed to win a gold medal once - at the 1997 Jakarta Games.

They, however, had five silver and seven bronze medals to show then.

This year, the silat exponents are ready to deliver five gold me- dals.

"We are confident of delivering five gold medals despite the National Sports Council's (NSC) projection of only four," said assis- tant team manager Osman Nok.

Four out of the five gold medals are expected to come from the silat olahraga category while Suzy Sulaiman is poised to win the only gold from the silat seni cate- gory.

"Our five medal prospects have produced consistent results all- year round, which we have taken into consideration, before ma- king our prediction," said Osman.

The four golds form the silat olahraga category are expected to come from Mohd Azrin Abdul Malek, Abang Erdie Fauzeral Abang Fauzan, Ahmad Shahril Zailudin, Mohd Zuber Ismail and Mohd Azrin Abdul Malek.

All five won World Championships titles in their respective categories at last year's meet in Singapore and also won in this year's Paris, Belgium and Swit- zerland Opens.

"We are also expecting some surprises from the other exponents in the squad, who have improved in the past year," added Osman.

The silat contingent arrived home yesterday, after a five-day sparring stint in Bangkok.

The team will leave for Cebu Island on Nov 27.

THE SQUAD SILAT OLAHRAGA Men: Abang Erdie Fauzeral Abang Fauzan, Amir Ikram Rahim, Ahmad Shahril Zailudin, Norhasmizam Abdullah, Mohd Neezan Jelani, Mohd Zuber Ismail, Zamri Mat Nor, Mohd Azrin Abdul Malek, Shuhairi Chin Women: Siti Jameelah Md Japilus, Malini Mohd, Emy Latip SILAT SENI Men: Hafiz Abu Hassan, Mohd Fauze Latip Women: Habizan Othman, Suzy Sulaiman, Marzuki Mokhtar, Siti Nur Eisyah Zainal Abidin, Norhidayah Yusof, Rina Juliana Adnan SCHEDULE Manager: Md Sohaimi Mohd Shah Assistant manager: Osman Nok Coaches: Ahmad Wardi Salim, Mazlan Shaari, Nasri Nasir, Othman Jupri Psychologist: Mohd Nizar Ahmad Padzi

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-9871135_ITM

13 August 2005

Lessons in grace & confidence

I first met Norsyafinaz Norshahar, 12, and her younger brother, Nor Shafizzuddin, 10, at a kid scuba diving camp in Pulau Tioman. At the family performance night, Syafinaz and Shafizzuddin stood in front of an audience of about 60 and did a silat demonstration. Syafinaz led her brother through the 16-step bunga sembah.

Almost similar to slow-mo tai chi moves, the steps incorporate different stances, hand and leg positions, kicks and defensive poses. But the movement’s smooth sequence and graceful poses are reminiscent of a lovely traditional Melayu dance.

I was awestruck. I never knew silat moves could be so refined, since we are always fed with scenes of flying and kicking stunts and keris-wielding warriors in movies and TV shows. And mostly, I was impressed with the kids’ rapt concentration and their seemingly precise moves.

A month later, I found myself sitting in on a silat class, watching the same bunga sembah routine led by Syafinaz with 16 other students at Sekolah Kebangsaan Cheras Indah. Aged five to 12, these students were learning the skills of Seni Silat Malaysia (SSM) under Mohamad Nizam Mohamed Shapie, 26, or Cikgu Nizam, as the kids call him. SSM is a uniformed silat syllabus developed from Seni Gayung Fatani for primary and secondary schools in Malaysia.

Founded by Tuan Syeikh Abdul Rahman Tahir in 1890, Seni Gayung Fatani is one of the four most popular schools of silat in Malaysia.

The Seni Gayung Fatani Malaysia Association was first registered in 1976 by founder and silat grand master Anuar Abd Wahab. One of the largest silat schools, Gayung Fatani has about 13,000 students in over 150 gelanggang (training schools) nationwide.

There are two forms of Seni Gayung Fatani; the seni silat (art form) and the silat olahraga (sports form). Silat olahraga is a more physical and aggressive form that is often seen in silat competitions while seni silat is more graceful. Besides learning the basic bunga sembah techniques, the students have to understand each of the 16 steps and its functions. Syafinaz and her friends are learning the seni silat.

“Seni silat is a self-defence art that’s gentle and filled with adab. The word silat also means tepis-menepis and serang-menyerang (defence and attack),” explained Nizam, 26, who has been practising silat for 15 years. “There’s no flying stunt like what you see on TV.”

Nizam has been teaching primary school students silat at Cheras Indah since 2000. He divides his time between seven schools, primary and secondary, and his silat centre, Pusat Cemerlang Silat. The Cheras Indah students pay RM20 a month for a class every week.

Younger students, like the five- and six-year-old kids, though not enrolled in Cheras Indah, are welcomed in Nizam’s class. Nizam has nine years of teaching experience under his belt.

“The teaching method for kids and adults varies,” said Nizam who has a master’s degree in sports science.

“A kid’s body is not as strong, so I can’t train them like adults. And I have to see their overall state; from emotional, physical to mental.”

Silat students move through several levels, based on their training hours and exams. The belt grades and colours start with white (beginner level), followed by yellow, green, red and black.

There are several degrees of black belts before a student attains junior instructor, instructor, senior instructor and eventually a guru (grand master) status. Over the years, Nizam’s students have progressed to different levels and actively take part in school, state and national-level tournaments.

“Silat is for everyone, you don’t have to be a Muslim to do it,” said Nizam who also teaches Chinese students and foreigners in his silat centre. “In the olden times, every man has to learn silat for protection because there was no weapon.”

Like other martial arts, silat helps to instil in students a good attitude and discipline. They invariably adopt a healthy lifestyle, become independent and creative and follow good practices like respecting their elders and setting good examples for the youngsters, Nizam added.

“Your posture becomes better too. The bunga sembah techniques make you flexible and is a form of self-defence on its own,” said Nizam.

“One of my students, a six-year-old, was very shy and afraid when he first joined the class. But now he’s more confident.”

Syafinaz looked like a natural leader as she led the class through the warm-up stretches and sparring demos. But I was a little baffled. Each time I approached her for an interview, during the scuba camp and at the silat class, she smiled, shook her head and scooted off.

“Syafinaz was a very timid and shy girl,” explained her mother, Mahsita Mohammad, 45. “But since she picked up silat three years ago, she has had to perform in public and lead the kids during training. Now, she is more confident and can speak better in public.”

But, I guess her bashfulness prevails.

Her brother, Shafizzuddin, used to be quite pampered and “sticky” with their dad, Mahsita added.

“Now’s he’s more disciplined and independent. He used to rely on others to make his decisions,” said Mahsita who has two other kids, aged 14 and five. “But when he started silat, he was the only boy in the class initially, so he was forced to be more assertive.”

Khairul Azim Radzali’s father signed him up for silat about a year ago. “I like learning silat so I can protect myself from bullies when I go to secondary school,” said the 10-year-old with a cheeky grin.

Naturally, parents’ first concern when they sign up their kids for martial arts is safety.

“Unlike adult silat, in a competition, kids perform/present the techniques they’ve learned,” said Nizam.

“They don’t take part in sparring unless it’s planned (choreographed). Their bones are soft and their bodies are still growing so it’s important to avoid any injury.”

But above all, Nizam wants to make silat fun for the kids.

“I like to encourage them, like saying, ‘Wow, the bunga you did was beautiful,’ praise a good kick and make them feel the challenges,” said Nizam. “Instead of saying, you have to kick higher, I just tell them, ‘it’ll look nicer if your kick is higher’.”

For enquiries on silat for kids or Pusat Cemerlang Silat, call Cikgu Nizam at 017-389 7105.

Sourced from thestar online

03 August 2005


Jakarta, Aug 1 (ANTARA) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on all leaders to adopt the character of a champion who upholds good personality, defends the truth and justice and maintains toughness and resilience.

"I ask all leaders to imitate the character, value and attitude of a champion," the president said when being awarded a "prime champion" honorary title from the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) here on Monday evening.

IPSI has awarded a similar title to Soeharto when he was still at the helm of the state.

The honorary title in the coming years will be institutionalized and awarded to national leaders.

The granting of the honorary title to Yudhoyono was marked with a procession of a "kris" delivery used as a symbol of a champion by the association's general chairman, Prabowo Subianto.

"I want to comprehend and take the character as an example including the champion's attitude in this country," the head of state said.

Furthermore, the president said the pencaksilat is actually an art of self-defence, and for an attack. But if the sovereignty of the state is at the stake, the people will fight to defend the country in line with the principles of Pencak Silat.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-134819311/president-calls-all-leaders.html

02 August 2005

Pencak silat brings Malaysia and Indonesia closer together

JAKARTA, Aug 2 (Bernama) -- The National Silat Federation of Malaysia (Pesaka) and the Indonesian Pencak Silat Federation (IPSI) are prepared to act as a bridge to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries through joint training programs and exchange of exponents and coaches.

Pesaka president Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib said that through the program, relations between the peoples of the two countries who shared a common culture, including pencak silat, could dampen a potentially fiery situation.

Indonesia had millions of silat exponents who had strong patriotic feelings and they formed the elite group of community leaders in their respective areas who could nurture a feeling of understanding and comradeship between the peoples of the two countries, he told Bernama here today.

He said Pesaka hoped to strengthen ties with IPSI including organising joint training so that the exponents would know each other better, have closer communication and a stronger bond with each other besides raising the quality of the pencak silat itself.

"Imagine if we can capitalise on this relationship to convey accurate information on Malaysia, whether in terms of procedures for Indonesian workers to enter Malaysia or on the laws applicable in Malaysia, which would certainly contribute towards addressing the problems of illegal immigrants," he said.

Muhammad said the information conveyed to the silat exponents would certainly be extended to other family members, relatives and neighbours in their respective villages which might not be found in the newspapers or other media.

"This will have a positive effect that could make it possible for those wishing to come to Malaysia to fulfil the Malaysian immigration and labour requirements and to know a little bit on the Malaysian laws to avoid them from committing crime," he said.

He said cooperation in the economic field could also be enhanced because many silat gurus in Indonesia were being strongly supported by Indonesian corporate leaders.

Written by NASIR YUSOF
Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-134854698/pencak-silat-brings-msia.html

01 August 2005

Keris heist at museum

KUALA LUMPUR: Claiming to be the legendary Malay warrior Hang Jebat, a man smashed a glass cabinet at the National Museum and escaped with an 18th century dagger on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old suspect, broke into a silat stance when approached by a security guard and threatened to slash him with the 98.5cm 'Keris Bali'.

The guard backed down and the suspect drove off in a lorry.

The suspect, however, was arrested four hours later and the dagger recovered.

Brickfields police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohd Dzuraidi Ibrahim said the suspect is a schizophrenic who has been receiving treatment since 1988 at Seremban Hospital.

The self-employed was yesterday remanded for four days to facilitate investigations.

The drama unfolded about 1.30pm on Tuesday when the suspect went to the weapons gallery on the second floor of the building and tried to smash the glass cabinet by punching it.

After several failed attempts, he finally broke the cabinet with a flying kick.

All this drama was recorded on CCTV.

He then took the dagger and walked towards the back of the museum.

At this juncture a security guard spotted him and caught up with him at the car park and that was when the man broke into a silat stance.

He warned the guard that he was Hang Jebat and that the dagger belonged to him.

He then cooly got into his lorry and drove away after waving to the guard.

Dzuraidi said police found the suspect at his home in Kampung Rinching Hilir, Bangi, later that day.

He was at home with his wife and month-old baby.

The dagger was found in a cupboard in one of the rooms.

The dagger with a sinewy blade is from Bali.

It has figurines of Hindu deities on its hilt and is said to be a ceremonial dagger.

The dagger was sold to the museum by a private collector for RM18,000, five years ago.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-135067780/keris-heist-museum.html


JAKARTA, Aug 1 (Bernama) -- The Malaysia-based International Malay Secretariat is prepared to propagate the vision of towering Malays worldwide to encourage the Malays to become a dynamic group and capable of contributing to their countries.

President of the secretariat, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib, said that though the concept of the towering Malays originated in Malaysia from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, its benefits, vision and objectives also benefited the Malays in other countries.

"Especially in this era of globalisation, the Malays must emerge as a towering race, have a global attitude and spirit, and have an important role in whatever field in the world," he told Bernama here today.

He will put forward the concept by the Umno President to the Malay leaders in meetings and congresses at the international level, or at least to share with them the vision of bringing glory to the Malay race.

He said there were an estimated 300 million Malays in the world with almost 200 million of them in Indonesia, and with concerted efforts, they could contribute for the good of the global community.

Muhammad, who is also Umno Information Chief, said that with such a huge population, the Malays should have their own economic networking.

"As the Malays are associated closely with Islam, it cannot be avoided if the Malay image of being good and peace-loving can also help restore the image of Islam in the eyes of the world, what more now when Islam is linked to terrorism," he added.

Muhammad, who is also the Malaysian National Silat Federation (Pesaka) president, is here with other leaders of silat organisations from several countries as guests of the Ikatan Pencak Silat Seluruh Indonesia (IPSI) in conjunction with its 57th anniversary celebration.

The highlight of the celebration is the Pencak Silat Award Night 2005, the main itinerary of which is the conferment of the "Pendekar Kehormat" award to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono at Padepokan Pencak Silat in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah here at 7 pm tonight.

On the Malay art of self-defence, Muhammad said it played an important role in strengthening the resilience of the Malays.

"Don't look and assess the silat only through its assault tactics because the art ensures spiritual fulfilment of one's physical development to become a good individual capable of confronting challenges," he added.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-134820362/malay-secretariat-propagate-vision.html