29 March 2006

Promotion of Silat Seni Gayong in France

29 Mar 2006, FRANCE, Paris - The Malaysian art of self-defence, ‘Silat Seni Gayong’ is spreading in France, thanks to a Malaysian student studying in France. Like any other student, most of his time during the week will be spent at the university library in Montluçon, a medieval town of 45,000 inhabitants located in the centre of France. But during his free time Shaiful Hakim Mohammed Noor indulges in teaching and promoting Silat Seni Gayong.

Shaiful Hakim is a final year engineering student specializing in energy and thermodynamic at the Montluçon Institute of Technology. He created the ‘Silat Seni Gayong France’ association in November 2005 due to the overwhelming demand from the French public in learning the art of Silat Seni Gayong. Other than Montluçon, the ‘Silat Seni Gayong France’ has also expanded into Lille, in the northern part of France.

Born in Kota Baru, Kelantan, Shaiful Hakim started learning silat when he was still in secondary school. He trained under several instructors from the Seni Silat Gayong Kelantan. He won the Kelantan ‘Seni Bela Diri’ championship in 2000 when he was still studying at his secondary school in Pasir Putih .

Shaiful Hakim came to France in January 2003 to study the French language at Colmar, in eastern France. His first Silat Seni Gayong demonstration in France took place in October 2004 during an Open Day event held at the Technology Institute of Colmar, where he was a second year student. Students and visitors were impressed with his Silat Seni Gayong demonstration as the martial art was unknown to them. They found the spiritual and the cultural aspects of Silat Seni Gayong so fascinating that many came to Shaiful Hakim to learn the art.

The French Association of Pencak Silat (AFPS) spotted Shaiful Hakim’s talent and invited him to demonstrate the Malaysian Silat Seni Gayong at its recent ‘Premier best of the best of Pencak Silat’ event held in Paris on 18 March 2006. The event was attended by about 3,000 spectators including H.E. Dato’ Hamidah Mohd Yusoff, Ambassador of Malaysia to France and YM Tengku Azamiah Tengku Majid, Counsellor of the Embassy of Malaysia in Paris. Also present was H.E. Ambassador Arizal Effendi, the Indonesian Ambassador to France. During the demonstration Shaiful Hakim performed the Pukulan, Kunci Maut, Gerakan Anak Harimau, Pentas Pisau, Keris and Parang. The French Pencak Silat association, a member of the International Federation of Pencak Silat (PERSILAT) was created in 1994 with the objective to promote and develop the Pencak Silat in France.

Shaiful Hakim has travelled around France to promote Silat Seni Gayong. In October 2005 members of the ‘Silat Seni Gayong France’ led by Shaiful Hakim participated for the first time in the “Interstyle Pencak Silat Meet’ and met with members of other French Pencak Silat clubs in Ile d’Oléron (west coast of France).

Shaiful Hakim’s Silat Seni Gayong instructors also came and toured France during its ‘Silat Seni Gayong French Tour’ program last December. The tour program included giving demonstrations and courses in Silat Seni Gayong at Lille, Paris, Montluçon in France and also in Belgium. The members of the ‘Seni Silat Gayong France’ was invited again to Belgium in February this year where they demonstrated the Tari Bunga Tanjung, Kombat Keris and Kombat Tongka to the Belgians.

Given the interest shown in Seni Silat Gayong, it won’t be surprising if in time, Seni Silat Gayong becomes as popular as Taekwondo, among the French public.

Sourced from http://www.maf.online.fr/2006/press_release/silat_gayong.html

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