21 September 2006

Book Review: Panduan Pukulan Tujuh Hari

In my previous posts, I highlighted some concern from two buyers who failed to receive their copies of PANDUAN PUKULAN TUJUH HARI and were quite distressed that the merchant involved did not reply to their inquiries. Today, I received a review on the title by one of the buyers. Read his comments below.

Dear Nadzrin,

After an almost 2 month wait, the book finally arrived at my mailbox, thanks to your aggressive approach of highlighting the issue on the web. You are right, poor customer service. Allow me to provide a short review of this book. I'll refer this book as PTH. Some of my personal comments about this book...

I think the publisher of PTH could have produced something better than this. I mean, the book looks like a cheap menu for some cheap restaurant. It does not follow any publication standards. No ISDN. No publisher. No company address, except for the web address. It uses thin color papers as covers. It has about 10 printed pages with no table of contents and no indexes. Small fonts were used. What an economical way to produce books. I would suggest the author to venture into the eBook business for cost savvy way to produce books.

What's interesting is that it looks like someone's printed research notes, but without the references. It's more like a collection of short 'how to' articles rather than a book. From a unique angle, looks more like a lost secret guide from warriors of gone days! ;-)

At first glance, this book reminded me of concepts I once read from Jeet Kune Do books. The book covers the topic mentioned in the advertisement in a very simple and straight manner, which adds to the concept of the author's PTH . In my opinion, most of the content and combat philosophy is of no surprise to intermediate level pesilat from 'Pukulan' aliran (Sendeng or maybe Lian as example).

Anyone familiar to Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do will straight away recognize some of these tactics from the guide. First, Progressive Indirect Attack (PIA). Attacking one part of the opponent's body followed by attacking another part as a means of creating an opening and Attack By Combinations (ABC). This is using multiple rapid attacks as a means of using volume of attack to overcoming the opponent. The author mentioned few of these examples in the PTH book step by step, which is a good point.

There's not much technique in the book. My opinion is that the author's target audience is not someone with no martial arts background. Explanations require some martial arts background (not necessarily silat) to visualize. He might want it to be as a concept to build your techniques around. The reader has to look for other techniques to fit the concept themselves.

In the book the author did not clearly explain what PTH is and where the term comes from but he briefly stressed the importance of 'simplicity'. So, my guess is the author is trying to convey PTH as simple fighting concept or tactic using simple but effective techniques.

My personal opinion is it looks more like a subset from Tao of Jeet Kune Do with better Bahasa Melayu explanation and interpretation with some street psychology plus few petua. Sendeng veterans would agree there's a lot more to Tujuh Hari than mentioned in the book.

I would say that people who are looking for basics of 'petua menyerang' might find the tips quite useful. Recommended if you don't mind paying RM 20 for this kind of knowledge.

Plus points: Good tips if you want to learn theories ot effective timing in launching attacks or intercepting them.

Minus points: The appearance, limite content, quality of visuals used and printing material. No citations to substantiate theories.

Interesting: More and more people are interested in using the term Pukulan Tujuh Hari nowadays.

Sincerely,
Peluru Perak

18 September 2006

Silat Movies Available on DVD

A chance visit to the Ampang Park shopping centre allowed me to survey a video store. Since TN2006's earlier comments on my blog were still fresh in my mind, I took it upon myself to see if the movies from which he sourced his collection of silat video clips were available.

Lo and behold, they now have on DVD, Tuah and Kelisa (a movie I had never seen before, but was reading about in several issues of PENDEKAR I had borrowed from a good Sendeng friend the night before). Tuah starred Jamal Abdillah as Tuah and Faizal Hussein as Jebat, while the former World Silat Olahraga champion Ruzaidi Abdul Rahman starred in Kelisa, the one movie proudly touted by local pesilat as the silat movie to watch.

Unfortunately, I have no DVD player, so I gave it a pass. However, I now regret it since I wonder how much longer they'll be on the shelves. The licensed DVDs are sold for RM9.90 each. Many other late 80s and early 90s Melayu movie titles are available including the A.R. Badul and Mr. Os favourites (with Panglima Badul being the only silat-themed one, albeit a comedy, but the fight scenes are downright funny).

Other silat-themed or silat-player movies include Iskandar (with an Awie and Bob Omardin [son of Mahaguru Omardin of Lincah fame] climactic warehouse fight, which bears a scant silat look anyway) and Raja Laut (a Navy movie starring Ustaz Mokhtaruddin of Silat Pancang 12 fame), although I'm unsure of what silat scenes are included in this one.

So, for TN2006, if you're looking to update your collection, DVDs are definitely clearer than old RTM video shots. And for those who want to start building their own collection, you can start your journey at LOVE MUSIC CENTRE (M) SDN BHD, 190, GROUND FLOOR, AMPANG PARK COMPLEX, JALAN AMPANG, KUALA LUMPUR. For those who are unsure, just take the Putra line LRT to the Ampang Park station and you're there!

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

15 September 2006

Malaysia's Ultimate Warrior

There's been quite a buzz lately about the 'Ultimate Warrior' championship that's going to take place at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on the 15th-17th of September 2006. When I saw the newspaper advert announcing a total RM100,000 prize money, I thought, "Every single tok guru in the country will crawl out of the woodworks to refresh their buah".

Then, I saw the categories. What at first appeared to be a No Holds Barred competition turns out to be a nothing more than a Silat Olahraga, Karate and Taekwondo competition, all categorised according to weight. Back to collecting points, it looks like.

However, since it is open to all, it should make for an interesting watch. Anyone wanting to report the event from their own perspective may email me at silatmelayu [at] gmail.com
If you're interested in participating, more information and the registration form can be found here.







Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

14 September 2006

Collection of Silat Melayu Videos on YouTube

Thank you to Tn2006 for bringing to our attention the collection of video clips concerning Silat Melayu he has posted on YouTube. There are currently 35 clips in the collection. If you wish to view them, click on this link Silat Melayu Videos

11 September 2006

Have a bath, or IT will follow you everywhere...

I live in an area in Petaling Jaya where the population is majority Melayu. As expected, the more common vanguards of modern Melayu are also present, UMNO and PAS (both political parties), PEKIDA (a Muslim-Melayu missionary group), Silat Gayong and Silat Lincah.

Recently, however, I discovered a gelanggang teaching Silat Tongkat. A coincidence, since barely a day before, I had found a research paper written by Tuan Ismail Tuan Soh on another Silat Tongkat style in Kelantan. Although interesting, what was more intriguing was a chance meeting with a female pesilat who had recently joined their ranks.

She claimed to be the granddaughter of a famous freedom fighter who was among the band of pendekar in Johor during the era of the Communist Terorrist Threat. Her grandfather had never allowed any of his children or grandchildren to be 'given' what he has, according to her.

"But, among all my siblings, I was the only one who had the audacity and courage to practise with a parang. I'd wave it about like a toy," she said, much to my chagrin. Her smooth, well-built arms rested on the table we sat at.

"Can you tell I'm a pesilat? I don't tell anyone. Do I look it? The pakcik over there immediately knew who I was descended from. Some people have the ability to tell, I suppose," she smiled, indicating the old man busily burning his satay next to the food stall she owns.

"Although I never learnt anything, but recently, these last few years, I've been getting strange dreams, now I have my own silat techniques, they come naturally. And now I can naturally do massages and medicinal baths. It's strange," she lamented, inviting debate.

"Guess how old I am," she coaxed.

"Nope," I said vehemently.

"Oh, come on."

"Nope". I hate these types of games.

"I'm 30," she says triumphantly. "People say I use susuk, but I don't. My mother, to this day, doesn't have a line on her forehead".

Okayyyyyyyy.

"Where do you think it comes from?"

"Excuse me?," I ask.

"This silat knowledge. I have these dreams..."

Yeah. Yeah. Dreams. Okay. I have your answer, but I don't think you'd like it.

"So you want to study Silat Tongkat?," she asks, her topic dying away like a bad joke.

"Yes. What do I have to bring?"

"Nothing, just come and learn. Wait, have you studied any other silat before?" she asks, almost oblivious to the t-shirt with the fighting pendekar I'm wearing.

So, I rattle off everything I learned. I'm honest. So sue me.

"Have you had a bath yet?"

Excuse me??? I don't smell THAT bad.

"Mandi limau, mandi minyak?"

Ahhh. Yes, I have. Mandi limau I say.

"Good. Because if you haven't, then IT will follow you. It's okay if your guru is still alive. He can take care of you. But if he dies, then IT will follow you forever," she says matter of factly.

That's my cue. I take her phone number, give my salams and tell her I'll drop by the gelanggang if I have the time. Currently, the class times clash hard with my other activities (really!!!). I had to pick up my car at the workshop. The brakes should have been changed by now.

And so, I walk to the workshop in the drizzling rain, satisfied that one weirdness a day is enough.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

09 September 2006

Anyone else been scammed?

I've gotten quite a few emails regarding the PUKULAN TUJUH HARI book in the previous post from friends thanking me for bringing this to light. Many of them have even forwarded their correspondences with the person selling the book.

The initial responses from the seller are interesting and descriptive, but after several inquiring emails, he seems to have disappeared (even after ultimatum emails were sent), which convinced these buyers they were duped.

I include below, some of the seller's responses about the book. In reply to a question about the content and quality of the book, he wrote (translated to English):

"P7H is only a name given to one martial art's technique. Silat Melayu calls it P7H, Karate calls it sen no sen, Kungfu calls it jeet tek, western fencing calls it attack on preparation and development. western boxing calls it quarter or half beat. The P7H guide is the result of the author's journey and research into the martial arts world for 15 years. The methods are the same but the names differ. Delivery of the P7H guidebook will be done as soon we receive your order. P7H needs minimal practise to develop skill. P7H is more the concept than the technique itself".

If anyone knows how to contact the company Bayan Juta Enterprise, please direct the owners to this blog and contact us at silatmelayu [at] gmail.com. We'd like to hear both sides of the story. Have you also bought the book? Tell us what you think.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

07 September 2006

Pukulan 7 Hari Scam?

I recently became aware of a website purporting to sell a book titled 'PANDUAN PUKULAN TUJUH HARI'. For silat enthusiasts, Pukulan Tujuh Hari is a secret striking art that is claimed to have originated from the Bugis and was brought over to Malaysia via their clans. The art is well known especially among Sendeng stylists and have achieved a notoriety for secrecy and deadly effectiveness.

Unfortunately, a friend who has ordered and paid for the book has not received his copy within the alloted time, prompting him to declare it a scam. I shall keep this post up, not to discredit the website owner (who hasn't even stated his name on it), but as a mention of caution to those who would buy the book, at least until my friend gets his copy.

If you feel this post is irresponsible, I shall take it down immediately and issue and apology. But, until a protest is lodged, especially if it's by the site's webmaster, I shall keep it here.

To visit the alleged 'PANDUAN PUKULAN TUJUH HARI' site, click here.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

06 September 2006

SENI BELADIRI September 2006 Issue 10 (vol. 2)/106

The latest issue of SENI BELADIRI magazine has hit the stands! Of interest in this issue include:

Feature
Guru Amran's passion for silat drove him to study style after style. Then, an old man who appeared to him in a dream changed it all prompting the founding of a new style based on the old man's cryptic words.

Secrets of the Ancient Warriors
The Melayu warriors of old knew their omens well. Calculations and spiritual measurements based on maxims that foretold of dangers or opportunities, whether it was to sit down to a meal, or in meeting a King or persons in power.

If Looks Could Kill
Pak Teh defines the movements that answer the question, just what should silat look like?

Available at newsstands throughout Malaysia at RM5.90.

05 September 2006

Silat exponent dies after falling during display

SUNGAI PETANI, Sept 5 (Bernama) -- A silat exponent, Muhamad Hafiz Che Pin, 21, died on his way to a clinic after falling during a silat display at Aman Jaya, near here, today

Muhamad Hafiz and another exponent were in the midst of a display at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Aman Jaya, Sungai Lalang near here at 10.15am when he suddenly fell

One of his friends who declined to be named said, he was brought to a nearby clinic but died on the way

Muhamad Hafiz was a member of the Selekoh Tengah silat association and was invited to give a display as part of the school curriculum

He was said to be healthy before the show

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-151080388/silat-exponent-dies-after.html

Tekpi in the USA


Following in the footsteps of other Malaysian Melayu Martial Arts, Silat Kuntau Tekpi has found its way to America via the famed Pekiti Tirsia instructor, guro Omar Hakim.

Omar Hakim, who came to Malaysia several years ago, became a certified instructor of Silat Kuntau Tekpi and was given an exclusive mandate by Pak Guru Sani Zainol Abidin, the principal, to take the art to the United States.

There, he ran candidate instructor courses that produced several Cikgu Muda including Robert Slomkowski; Steve Slomkowski; Ricky Rillera and Jeff Davidson. The official Silat Kuntau Tekpi [TM] USA website is http://tekpi.org/.

Cikgu Muda Jeff Davidson's blog, Balisong Journal also describes Silat Kuntau Tekpi and his experiences in teaching it.

To all Silat Kuntau Tekpi Cikgu Muda, I bid you syabas!


Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

04 September 2006

Brunei: Recognition for silat exponents

A certificate presentation ceremony to silat instructors and members of Perguruan Persilatan Panca Sukma was held yesterday at the RBRC Sports Complex in Berakas.

The event was organised by Perguruan Persilatan Panca Sukma in collaboration with RBRC Silat Club and Kg Keriam, Tutong of PPPS branch as well as PDS School of PPPS branch, Sengkurong Primary School Brunei III and OKAWSD Primary School of Kupang.

Present as the guest of honour was Awg Hj Arsad bin Abd Adis, Director of Co-curriculum, Ministry of Education. Also present were Awg Hassan bin Hj Tuah, President of Perguruan Persilatan Panca Sukma; committee members of the association, Ketua Kampong of Keriam, and principals of PDS Jangsak Gadong, OKAWSD Primary School of Kupang and Sengkurong Primary School Brunei III.

Silat is a form of martial art that has been practised in Brunei and is part of the local culture and accepted as a sport in the region.

The presentation of certificates to the instructors, leaders of silat clubs and members of Perguruan Persilatan Panca Sukma was done by the guest of honour.

There was a showcase of silat styles by various silat clubs under Perguruan Persilatan Panca Sukma. There was also a silat performance by members of the Brunei Sports School.

Silat activities conducted by the members were also on display at the RBRC gallery. It was aimed at informing and attracting the public on silat activities.

Written by JON TAMPOI
Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-150889494/brunei-recognition-silat-exponents.html

Ustaz Hanafi Haji Ahmad: The man behind Silat Cekak

To all practitioners of Silat Cekak Hanafi, the late Ustaz Haji Hanafi Haji Ahmad is a supreme leader in the realm of Silat Melayu. This title is given to commend his efforts in giving new life and meaning to a Melayu martial heritage.

This was proven on the 5th of Ramadhan 1385 Hijriah coinciding with the 28th of December 1965 AD, when after much effort on his part, Ustaz Hanafi learned this art from Yahya Said.

Served posthumously, this title also credits his innovative teaching system and silat method whereby its benefits and martial qualities could be scientifically and logically valued as a method of self-defence by the public. He was also the first silat teacher to succeed in placing Silat Melayu on par with a modern professionally-managed organization.

Ustaz Hanafi Haji Ahmad hailed from Kedah; born in Kampung Sungai Baru, Mukim Gunung, Alor Setar in 1923. Following the norm of the day, he received his early education in a Melayu-vernacular school in Kampung Gunung, Alor Setar, Kedah and continued his religious studies at a few Religious Schools with a few Islamic scholars in Kedah.

Searching for true understanding towards Allah and following the Holy Prophet’s example, Ustaz Hanafi Haji Ahmad decided to sacrifice his youth to deepen his religious knowledge with a few famous scholars throughout the country, going as far as Singapore. The learning process to become a true servant of Allah, required him to support himself by selling pastries, traditional medicine and travelling throughout Malaysia to find a true teacher.

As a result of his patience and perseverance, it was Allah’s Will that Ustaz Hanafi met with Pak Haji Zain Abdul Rahman, who succeeded in explaining and summarizing for him the reality of divinity towards Allah using the book Al-Hikam written by Ibni Ataillah Al-Iskandari as a guide.

The struggle for independence of British rule struck a chord in the nationalistic soul of Ustaz Hanafi Haji Ahmad to fight for the rights of the Melayu people. The field most suited to him as a true Melayu was Silat Melayu. Ustaz Hanafi was sure that the Melayu people had a combat form that was no less powerful than the martial arts of other cultures.

A detailed research into many Melayu martial arts was carried out. The process of searching for one silat that could truly be effective for self-defence once again required that Ustaz Hanafi travel, becoming a servant to teachers, learning many different silat, and selling traditional medicine all around Malaysia. Finally, with the Will of Allah, he met Yahya Said.

Yahya Said practiced Silat Cekak and for 40 years, had sought a replacement worthy of the art itself. With his impressive knowledge of the Malay language, Ustaz Hanafi encapsulated Silat Cekak in simple but accurate verses, now immortalized in the Silat Cekak poems and philosophy.

He was also the man responsible to breathe new hope and faith to Silat Melayu as an art worthy of study by the Malay people. He revived the respect of the masses towards an art tarnished by ignorance and superstition; an art that has withstood the riot of rain and the sear of shine. As a dynamic pioneer in organizational management, he provided a new image to Silat Melayu in a silat organization.

It is clear that a huge part of the success of Silat Cekak’s popularity among the Malay masses today is the result of the vision of Ustaz Hanafi; the supreme leader of Silat Cekak. Now, Silat Cekak Hanafi is available to be learnt at most learning institutions. Friend or foe, respectful or disrespectful students, acknowledge and appreciate him as a Principal with caliber, courage and perseverance.

Ustaz Hanafi Haji Ahmad passed away on the 13th of August 1986 at Kuala Lumpur at the age of 63 years leaving behind a widow Maimunah Haji Othman and six children. His vision continues to this day as led by his fourth son, Md. Radzi Haji Hanafi.

"His speech and actions were always in concert. In all things, he practiced it first before teaching it. His speech and opinions were easy to understand and in line with the purpose of life. He was also a master of many situations. There were times, he would be a teacher, times he would be a father and others he would be a friend.” -The opinion of the Silat Cekak Hanafi Principal, Md. Radzi Haji Hanafi, of Silat Cekak’s supreme leader, the late Ustaz Hanafi Haji Ahmad.

Education
1929 - Received early schooling at Sekolah Melayu Gunung, Alor Setar, Kedah.
1933 - Enrolled in a religious school at Kampung Alor Gonchar, Mukim Gunung, Alor Setar, Kedah under the supervision of Haji Osman bin Lebai Zain.
1936 - Enrolled in the Guar Chempedak Religious School, Gurun Kedah. Religious education was led by Haji. Abdul Majid and Arabic language was taught by Yahya bin Jonid.

Independently sought learning from the following teachers:

  • Haji Bukhari Hassan of Batu 4 1/4, Kampung Pinang, Mukim Pengkalan Kundur, Alor Setar, Kedah.
  • Hj. Hanafiah – His own uncle from Anak Bukit, Alor Setar, Kedah.
  • Haji Lah from Chegar, Pantai Johor, Kedah.
  • Studied with Pak Ngah Shariff, known to be a powerful man in Kedah at the time. In order to study, he had to serve his teacher beforehand, doing heavy work such as chopping wood, gardening and fieldwork. It was during times of leisure that Pak Ngah Shariff would teach self-defence and spiritual knowledge.

Gained experience through travel, involved in discourses with:

  • Che Salleh bin Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong in Terengganu.
  • Kiyai Muhammad Fadlullah Suhaimi from Singapura whom he met in Pahang.
  • Sheikh Osman Cincin from Perak who was reportedly famous for his knowledge of invulnerability.
  • Abdullah Salleh – known as Che Lah Keramat; famous for his traditional medicine in Terengganu.
  • Met a teacher named Pak Haji Zain Abdul Rahman. The teacher who managed to summarise his knowledge of the Divine Unity (Ilmu Tauhid). Pak Haji Zain guided his education using the book Al-Hikam written by Ibni Ataillah.

Experience

  • Sold medicine throughout the country.
  • Active in politics in the 1940s. Joined the Parti Seberkas and Parti Negara led by the late Dato' Onn Jaafar.
  • Zakat Director in 1963 at the Kedah State Religious Office.
  • Sold apam balik in Yala, Thailand and Pekan Rabu, Alor Setar, Kedah.
  • Led Seni Silat Cekak from 1965 to August 1986.

Translated from Cekak Hanafi Dunia Digital http://cekakhanafi.com/

03 September 2006

Jeff Davidson: The Lost Melayu

This is probably the most embarrassing entry I'm going to post on this blog. A good friend of mine, someone I have never met before but have had the pleasure of having inspired silat discussions with, has posted an entry about me on his blog.

Jeff Davidson, who writes at his blog Balisong Journal is a teacher of Silat Kuntau Tekpi in Michigan, America and has a long history in South East Asian martial arts and the sufi traditions. Known online as JD Tekpi and also likes to be called Jaafar ibn Daud, Jeff has shown great interest and admiration for silat. I have found him to be a careful proponent of the Melayu arts, and has tried to keep as true to the traditions they were founded upon. You can read his article on Silat Kuntau Tekpi at silatmelayu.com.

Jeff has, on several occasions, admitted himself to being a land displaced or a closet Melayu, due to his taste for our arts, our food and our women (just kidding). Here's hoping he'll actually make it to Malaysia to complete the transformation.

I have never ceased to learn something new from Jeff everytime we have our discussions and our lives have paralleled each other's within the last one year. To Jeff, thanks for the compliment. Here's mine in return, deficient as it may be.

See his post http://balisongplayer.blogspot.com/2006/09/silat-melayu-on-move.html

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

01 September 2006

Terms and conditions of Silat

As with many things cultural, there are those that are popularly accepted, even though by mistake and there are those terms that are reserved exclusively.

For example, for a layman, silat can mean any martial art. Kung fu would be called Silat Cina, Kalaripayat would be called Silat India and so on.

However, some masters take issue with this and claim that anything with Kuntau influence cannot be called silat.

A particular style in Malaysia even claims that only martial art styles that adhere to Islam can be called Silat while all other styles with philosophies or methods deviant from Islam be termed Gayung.

Since the Melayu culture and Islam in Malaysia are so synonymous, it would be natural for the Melayu to guard their terms jealously. This includes the ban from using the term Allah in Melayu Language Bibles because of their understanding of the exclusivity of the name. Whereas in fact, Allah is common in Arabic Bibles.

This jealous guarding of terms also affects the term Pendekar. Depending on who you speak to, Pendekar can either mean saint (wali) or a politician.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab