30 March 2008

Al Fatihah - Condolences to the Tekpi family

Al-Fatihah

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of, Allahyarhamah Che Puan binti Matdin, the wife of Allahyarham (late) Pak Guru Zainol Abidin Endut and mother of Pak Guru Sani Zainol Abidin of Silat Kuntau Tekpi at 4:35pm today.

She was the pillar that supported two generations of masters and she will continue to be so in our hearts. The Tekpi family will miss her greatly.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

25 March 2008

Silat finally comes to gaming

Codemasters has a presence in Malaysia, working with local outfit VisionNew Media. And Electronics Arts is setting up shop with the nation's southern neighbour, Singapore. These are gaming industry heavyweights that would be a boon for the local creative content development industry ifthey decide to grace our shores.

There are, of course, notable games developers in Malaysia such as Phoenix Game Studios and GameBrains. But it seems that in most cases, the local games development industry still lacks its own intellectual property (IP).

Most projects handled bylocal players are outsourced jobs, with the IP belonging to foreignentities. The interactive entertainment industry is very enticing, especially when one considers the fact that video game software worldwide sales reached a staggering US$9.5 billion (RM30.4 billion) last year.

Compare that to the Top 10 Hollywood blockbusters, which generated US$2.6 billion last year, and the excitement in the gaming market immediately becomes relevant. Unless the local gaming industry gets a boost, it is likely that the games development industry will remain at a service provider level for along time.

Not owning unique IP can spell disaster if a games developer decides to shift to other places that offer lower wages and other incentives. But there is hope, as established foreign games entities realise Malaysia's potential to produce quality work. There are some resources in the country in terms of multimedia and animation talent, but it takes more expertise to make a computer or videogame.

A game requires more people than a movie production. In that respect, relying on an established gaming engine is a good way to jumpstart the gaming industry.

Growing Gaming Developers Community
Datuk Abdul Hamid Mustapha, executive chairman of Online e-Club Management Sdn Bhd, which owns NOESISInteractive Sdn Bhd, believes that one of the best ways to break into the games industry is by creating mods, or game modifications. Mods is a key reason why games such as Counter-Strike (running on theHalf-Life engine) refuse to die.

In 1996, alterations to id Software's Doom resulted in modified versions. These mods extended the life of the game beyond the point where its excitement would have died down. Since one must have the original game to play mods, sales went beyond the shelf life of normal computer games.

Using this template, Half-Life has made Valve Software's revenue stream steadily increase. Valve Software is based in Bellevue, Washington, US. Valve Software mainly attributes its success to three mods: Day of Defeat, Team Fortress and Counter-Strike. In the first year, Half-Life sold two million units. In its third year after launch, it sold 3.8 million units. Overall, the franchise sold over11 million units.

NOESIS Interactive intends to offer gaming development courses through franchisee universities and colleges. Courses are scheduled to start in June. Leveraging on partners Valve Software and NOESIS Interactive USA, NOESIS Interactive believes that it has an ecosystem to welcome a new generation of games developers from training, community development right through to digital distribution of games for commercialisation opportunities.

In simple terms, it means that budding games developers can take up the course from participating universities and colleges and get a certification in respective programmes such as 3-D content creation with Softimage XSI, character design and integration with Half-Life 2, custom props and animation for source-powered games, advanced character animation for games with Softimage XSI, and advanced source level design bundle and source level design essentials. These certifications mean that the holder can work on games that specifically use the Half-Life engine.

Besides Softimage XSI, other three-dimensional animation tools such as Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max-based courses are offered. Such project-based training is open to all students, teaching professionals or those who want to upgrade their skills.

"NOESIS Interactive is a project conceived, produced and managed by Online e-Club Management to address the inadequacies of the Asian electronic games industry. Currently, there is only a handful of local game titles that have been released in this region," Abdul Hamid says. This, he thinks, is largely due to lack of resources and more crucially, lack of access to any game engine.

Also, NOESIS Interactive believes that the pool of skilled designers, artists and coders is small and scattered, with most young talent yet to be discovered. The company hopes to leverage on its connections in Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam since Online e-Club Management is the regional official distributor for ValveSoftware.

With that, locally produced IP coming out from this collaboration has a good chance of being distributed as mods to these countries. The IP rights will also remain with Malaysians.

"Malaysia can use this opportunity to market its unique culture and IP as well. Placement of facts or cultural objects can pique one's curiosity and influence them to find out more. This has a similar effect to placing products in movies," Abdul Hamid points out.

Cultural Advantage
Silat, the Malaysian form of martial arts, forexample, has been eyed by a Dutch-based company DGames. According to its adviser Azlan Ghanie, also a respected martial arts expert and chief editor of local martial arts magazine SENI BELADIRI, DGames representatives are keen to create an online computer game where players from around the world can band together to fight the "forces of darkness".

DGames is synonymous with child prodigy Paul du Long, who created his first online game when he was only 11 years old. His father, Glenn duLong, intends to have his son mentor local talent, as he has done for thousands of children in Europe.

"We are scheduling the launch of the proposed game sometime in May or June in Kuala Lumpur," Azlan says. DGames is keen to have Malaysia as a hub for developing online games.

Clearly, Malaysia has hidden gems which can attract established names from the gaming development industry. But to build up the industry, it takes more than a bunch of companies. The pool of talent needs to be polished enough to gain the confidence from the would-be employers from overseas.

And players in the local gaming development industry need to first learn what they can from the tried-and-tested formulas, just like the Japanese animators, before branching out on their own.

Written by Hazimin Sulaiman
Sourced from New Straits Times

24 March 2008

3rd Tekpi.Org Podcast

The third Tekpi.Org podcast is here. Cikgu Muda Jeff Davidson continues his interview with Cikgu Omar Hakim and they discuss Donn Draeger's writings on Silat and one of Draeger's encounters with a real Silat Master.

They also touch upon the four largest Silat systems in Malaysia (Silat Gayong, Seni Gayung Fatani, Silat Lincah and Silat Cekak), Silat Lian Padukan, Silat Keris Lok Sembilan, Silat training methodologies, Silat initiations, combat vs. beladiri (self defense), an introduction to the spiritual foundations of Silat and the true purpose of Silat.

21 March 2008

Mother of all Silat

Recently, I persuaded Ustaz Saiful Muhammad to publish his article Journeying In Silat: A Master's Monologue in this blog, the SMC Forum and his own website. He asked that I edit out a reference to Silat Bongsu being the 'mother of all martial arts', but I argued that it needed to stay in, because I wanted provoke a reaction from readers. No one wanted to take the bait, except in the SMC Forum, and that started his explanation on the actual meaning of the statement.

In fact, there's nothing inherently wrong with the statement itself. It just sounds too much like a brag. The problem is, depending on who is reading it, it's often confused with the 'best of all martial arts' statement or the 'my style is more authentic than yours' statement. Thus, the problem doesn't lie with the words, it lies with the reader.

Words are a human being's channel of communication. It is unfortunate that, unless you share similar experiences with another person, you will never be able to communicate with them using those words. Because of the variant differences between silat styles, no one can claim to have the exact same experience in studying. Therefore, what silat means to me, will not be the same to you.

For many people, the 'mother' is an event, an occurence, when they achieve that 'eureka' moment, when all strands of life suddenly merge into one, and they see what silat really is. In reality, their understanding has bypassed silat's original meaning at the lower level, that of a fighting form.

But silat has many levels of definition, depending on who is defining it. The paradox is that, there are so few people who attain the higher levels of silat and will publicly define it from their perspective, that the majority definition becomes the default. That means, it is the beginner students who tell you, "This is what silat means" when in fact, it should be the wizened masters who define it for them.

Democracy over truth, I'd say.

Ustaz Saiful defends his statement by saying, "The word mother of all this and that sound so good or great to others, in truth, in our style, it is just mean that the style is open for evolution process."

"It can easily be evolve personally according to practitioner understanding and experience. The versatility in it makes it easier to adapt practitioner’s own ability and necessity."

So what does it mean?
If you're still reading, then you still might not get what he means. Look at it this way. 'Ibu' or 'mother' denotes that something gives birth to another being, but in itself does not become part of the new creature. It only gestates and helps bring it into the world. The new creature only slightly resembles the mother, but takes in many other influences from other people, events and things to become an individual.

Thus, the 'mother' of silat is something that allows an individual to make his or her own choices based on the wisdom and knowledge of the past accumulated by the mother and their mothers before that. They are still dependent upon the mother's DNA (the unchangeable aspect), but they need to imbibe food and knowledge from outside the mother in order to survive (the changeable aspects).

When a child stands next to her mother, the resemblance is easy to see, but so is the individuality. This is the reason silat people can recognise various aspects of silat in other hybrid or eclectic arts, (oh, you must have studied silat before) even though it has been subsumed within another style.

So, what is the mother of all silat? It is the knowledge, that is held tightly with ultimate sureness of its truth in the breast of its practitioner. It is the understanding of where you came from, your purpose in life; which is to survive (and the purpose you survive) and the development to keep surviving in order to achieve that purpose.

For Muslim pesilat, all this is a moot point. They would summarise the last 12 paragraphs into only one word: Islam.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

20 March 2008

Control Part 2

The following article was written by Ustaz Saiful Muhammad in response to my article "Control".

Silat is supposed to be an art of control. Controlling oneself will be the fundamental in Silat. Today Silat practitioners lack this knowledge and skill of control. Today Silat practitioners, whether among beginners, experts or masters, seem to be ignoring this very important part of Silat. Many easily lose control when confronted with their own fear or anger.

Fear and anger towards others can become completely uncontrollable. Even those amongst masters can easily lose control just by a few words from others or from the opponent. Mastering Silat is supposed to assist the attainment of wisdom within oneself. Wisdom will be the key in mastering the art of control.

One is supposed to gain wisdom when the understanding of Silat is attained. Let us all ask ourselves, where is our understanding in Silat? Would it be enough just learning the knowledge of "skin" which is the physical knowledge? What is the real essence of Silat?

As Melayu, we can learn so much, too much, from our ancestors. Their history proves to us the effectiveness and efficiency of Silat knowledge as knowledge of survival. We don't need any tournament or others to recognize the wonder of Silat. We can also learn how our ancestors mastered the art of control. We are also blessed with the knowledge of Islam. Islam gave us more meaning in our life, even in Silat.

With the guidance of Islam, we gain more understanding and clearer purpose in life. The art of control will be perfected when we embrace Islam in every part of life. Why don't we look deeper in learning, understanding and spreading Silat with the wonder of Islam knowledge?

Among the most important traditions in the Silat community that has existed for more than a thousand years ago will be embracing the diverse Silat styles and philosophies. Let us share the wonder of Silat diversity. Let us stop looking towards others with such negativity. Let us master the art of control. Let us embrace Silat with the wisdom of Islam.

"Berlapang dada, bina wibawa" (Open heart, build dignity)

Written by Ustaz Saiful Muhammad

19 March 2008

Beach Silat?

Local Sports Bodies Not Keen To In Asian Beach Games

KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 (Bernama) - The First Asian Beach Games, to be held in Bali, Indonesia from Oct 18 to 26, failed to attract the interest of sports associations in the country, said Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi.

He said this was probably because the purpose of holding the meet was vague and the associations had to bear the cost of participation themselves.

"The OCM itself is not clear on the purpose of holding the meet. Although it is being organised by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), the OCM feels that the events offered for competition are not relevant to the events held at the Olympic Games. Asian games of the SEA Games," he said when contacted here today.

Among the events offered for competition are beach softball, beach kabadi, beach silat, beach sepaktakraw, beach football, beach volleyball, beach wrestling, bodybuilding, dragon boat race, jet-skiing, swimming, marathon, para-gliding, sailing, water surfing, wind-surfing, triathlon, and woodball.

Kok Chi said the OCM was now focusing on the Olympics, Asian games, Commonwealth Games, and the SEA Games.

Sourced from http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news_sports.php?id=321553

18 March 2008

Bersilat hingga ku nafi

Apapun silat aku pelajari
Manfaat amalan hingga sebati
Aku bersilat hingga ku nafi
Buah, bunga, tapak dan tari

Baru silatku menjadi murni
Berjuang aku ke titis muktamad
Bergantungku hanya pada Illahi
Syahidku moga diredhai Al-Ahad

Walau dicerca, walau dibenci,
Tetapkan iman, kuatkan hati,
Aku melalui lorong berduri,
Untuk kembara menuju firdausi.

Walau tiada lagi pengikut,
Aku teruskan berjalan jua,
Tidak ku sunyi, tidak ku takut
Kerana Allah ada bersama.

Kaulah Kekasih, Kaulah Teman,
Aku sangat cinta padaMu,
Kan kuhancur segala kebatilan,
Demi menegak kebenaran yang satu.

Para pesilat saudari-saudara,
Marilah kita bersama-sama,
merasai agungnya hikayat cinta
Yang pasti kekal selama-lama

Cetusan Hati :Pok Nik yang hina disisiNya

17 March 2008

Silat - Malaysian Martial Arts

At last, a Malaysian version of silat as told by Malaysians. Following is an article edited from Wikipedia about Silat from a Malaysian perspective. Most of this article is sourced from the thoughts and research of guru utama Anwar Wahab of Pertubuhan Seni Gayung Fatani Malaysia.

Silat is an umbrella term for a number of martial art forms originating from the countries of the Melayu Archipelago. This art is widely known in Indonesia and Malaysia but can also be found in varying degrees among the Melayu-affiliated communities in Berunai, Singapura, Vietnam, Philipines, Thailand and Cambodia. The art has also reached Europe, and is especially popular in the Netherlands and France. There are hundreds of aliran (styles) ranging from animalistic to human styles and schools or perguruan.

Terms other than Silat are used in certain regions where it carries a specific or special meaning. For example, the term ‘gayung’ is generally used by the Melayu community in the northern region of the Melayu Peninsular. The word Gayung more specifically carries the meaning of spiritual practices in that are inherent in Silat.

The word ‘pencak’ is more normally used in Indonesia, especially by the Jawa community. It is the name for thousands of styles in and originating from Indonesia. It is believed that the word pencak originates from the word panca or manca which originates from the pronouncement of the Minangkabau which carries the meaning of a Silat curriculum with five or seven langkah or steps. The term ‘kali’ or ‘basilat’ is used by the Philippine Melayu community who developed the skill of tongkat (walking cane or staff) weaponry made of wood or cane.

Terminology
The origins of the word ‘Silat’ itself are uncertain and most hypotheses link it to any simliar sounding word. There are two theories which are most widely accepted. One states that Silat may have originally come from sekilat which means "as (fast as) lightning". This may have been used to describe a warrior's movements and was eventually shortened to silat.

Another theory says that it comes from the term ‘Si Elat’ which is the name given to the practitioner where elat carries the meaning of efforts to confuse, deceive, trick the opponent. A similar term, ‘ilat’, means an accident, a misfortune or a calamity.

History
Silat once played the role of forming the nation’s defence forces since the south east Asian empires of the Melayu Archipelago like Langkasuka, Gangga Negara, Champa, Funan, Pattani, Beruas, Minangkabau, Srivijaya, Majapahit, Melaka, Makassar and other kingdoms in the realm of the Melayu Archipelago.

Silat had existed in the Cham (Vietnamese Melayu) communities approximately 2000 years ago with the discovery of a copper Keris in that region and also drawings on the Borobudur temple in the Jawa region. Commanders of Champa often earned places in and was held in high esteem by the Melayu kings for possessing knowledge in silat and for being highly skilled in the art of war.

Studies show that silat had a strong presence in the Malay community for 2000 years. The empires of Funan and Champa were two kingdoms that neighbored each other in the same cluster and era. Yet, in the same century, the kingdom of Champa frequently waged wars with China while refusing to submit to China.

Silat was once placed under the protection of the palace, to form the king’s war troops. The Melayu kings encouraged princes and children of dignitaries to learn Silat and any other form of knowledge related to the necessities of war. Prominent warriors were elevated to head war troops and received rank and bestowments from the king.

In Sejarah Melayu (Malay History) it is told that Sultan Muhammad Shah had chosen a Cham official as the right hand or senior officer because the Chams possessed skill and knowledge in the administration of the kingdom. Up until the 19th century, history has shown that Silat education continuously spread and formed Melayu leaders of war fighting against colonialists, such as Mat Kilau, Bahaman, Dato’ Sago, Tok Janggut, Raja Haji, Mat Salleh and others.

The communist era saw figures such as Kiai Salleh, Kiai Osman, Kiai Samsuddin, and Haji Abbas among others. This means that Silat was not deprived of leaders who continuously invigorated and instilled the spirit of ‘love of country’ and ‘fighting to the last drop of blood’. Those mentioned above are among several names that have gone down in history that fought sincerely for their country. Their eminence has a history of and is closely related to the knowledge of Silat and other such knowledge that allowed them to become effective leaders.

In Malaysia, Silat is not only a necessity in defending one’s self, but is also the symbol of the racial persona and cultural art of the Melayu which has become accustomed to the rise and fall of the Melayu kingdoms through time and together has endured the trials and tribulations in fighting for and establishing the sovereignty of the Melayu race.

Since its disassociation with the palace, Silat did not develop in the national defence institution as it had originally, for approximately 460 years (T.M. 1511-1957). Silat returned to the countryside community and focused on the teaching of the person and the skill of self defence without using weaponry or using one’s body to face an adversary with or without weapons.

Silat only continued the training of skill in using traditional weapons such as the keris, sword, sickle, golok, lading, kelewang, tongkat (walking stick/staff), etc. In Silat, a weapon is an object that can be suited to circumstance and need. Silat also plays a role in the effort to contribute to the nation as an alternative to joining the Police or Askar Melayu (Malay soldiers). Wherever they may be, Silat is an inherent knowledge which will help them become good officers and workers who are productive.

Throughout the British occupation in the Tanah Melayu (Malay Regions/Realm), Silat continued to be left out of the national educational curriculum. Silat did not receive a place and be arranged into a subject unlike other subjects such as lessons on exercise, dance, singing, workmanship besides health education, nature education, history, English language, Melayu language and arithmetic.

Until today, Silat continues to be left out of the national educational curriculum and is only accepted as a uniform corps holding the same status or level as other forms of self defence arts from foreign countries. Although so, Silat continues to be conveyed to the community by means of the ‘gelanggang bangsal’ Silat education system carried out by Silat teachers.

Aspects
Silat education continuously faces transformation in its role and meaning in the socio-culture of the Malaysian people, relevant to time and the needs of the community. Silat education focuses on the development of the person internally and externally which will enable the formation of a community that embodies discipline, morals, patriotism, self identity and citizenship which can contribute towards the development of thinking and the forces of race, religion and country.

Combat
A student is first and foremost taught how to defend himself or herself. This is done in stages where the students learn the basics, such as langkah or steps (how to step, where to step) and techniques. Once the student has learned this, they are taught how to attack before being attacked, in self preservation. For that reason, Silat exponents are entrusted to ensure that their knowledge does not fall into the hands of the irresponsible, to use their knowledge confidently and to use or place their knowledge in its rightful place.

Art Forms
The seni or art form in Silat is an integral part of it as it serves to distinguish one style from another and Silat from all other martial arts. The seni aspect, also known as bunga or tari is the aesthetic form of Silat. It is portrayed through slow, graceful movements performed for aesthetic value but rooted in an essential principal of Silat, which is trickery and deception.

Through the performance of seni or bunga, an exponent is able to display his skill or hide it from the opponent in combat. In this sense, the exponent can trick the opponent into letting his guard down or committing blunders, making the opponent easier to defeat.

Despite this, the seni or art form in Silat is not rooted purely in aesthetics as there are certain styles where the seni or bunga holds its own meaning. In this case, the seni takes on a whole new dimension as it is used to practice techniques or stances that can be used in combat against an opponent.

Spiritual
To create a balanced person, Silat also focuses on the spiritual aspect. In this sense, the education aims to bring the sudent closer to his Creator and to recognise and know his God. In Silat,nowadays spirituality is largely based on the religion of Islam especially tasawwuf (knowledge of Islamic esoteric teaching). In this way, the exponent learns to repect life and his surroundings and see it as a gift from God. But in some regions the spirituality of Islam blends with the philosophies and practices of Hinduism, Buddhism, Kejawen, Animism.

Cultural
Silat is essentially, a traditional martial art. It still continues to practice the values and practices carried out by the ancient warriors in their time. these practices extend to include the cultural aspects of Silat, such as clothing and music.

Clothing
All ethnics and cultures in archipelago has its owns silat's clothing. For example here, is in the Melayu tradition, especially in Malaysia. The full dress or clothing of a Melayu warrior consists of the tengkolok, baju melayu and samping tied with a bengkung.

The tengkolok is the traditional Melay headwear which is tied around the head. It has various styles, cloth types and ways of tying which is determined regionally and by status.

The baju melayu which is the traditional costume for Malay men. The style of the Baju Melayu varies according to the region.

The samping is a piece of cloth tied around the waist of an exponent and is also part of the traditional Malay dress.

The bengkung is a cloth belt or sash, tied around the waist of the exponent, on top of the samping, to show the exponent's status, level and also to secure the samping.

Music
Silat music accompanies all Silat performances. Traditional Silat music in the Malay Peninsula (Malaysia) is known as gendang baku, muzik silat baku or gendang silat baku. It consists of a gendang ibu (literally, mother drum), gendang anak (literally, child drum), a gong and the serunai which gives the music it's distinct sound.

The rhythms and melodies of the music is based on the pace of the game or Silat performance, the song itself and the region. Styles and melodies may differ from region to region. In addition to that, the type of serunai used also differs as there are two types of serunai, a longer one and a shorter one.

Styles & Techniques
Silat is a type of sport which utilizes agility in attacking and defending one’s self. This means that it is a type of traditional sport that which contends two exponents who are highly skilled in their knowledge of self defense whether with or without weaponry. Such a sport is to allow the identification of the best pesilat (silat exponent) or for performance purposes.

Thus, this sport of silat or the traditional sport of the people requires skill and agility both mentally and physically. This sport is held during leisure time, bertamat silat (finishing of one’s instruction in silat), official events, weddings or feasts which include the consumption of pulut (sticky/glutinous rice) accompanied by gendang bersilat.

This sport of silat is frequently associated with the name silat pulut or gayung pulut because each player will receive a gift in the form of a bunga telur with a small lump of pulut. This means among all others, the word Silat in Melayu socio-culture is better known as this traditional sport of the people, that is a sport that is able to uphold the ilmu kepahlawanan (values and skills of a warrior or in becoming a warrior) and the Malay art of war in the form of seni rakyat (the people’s art form).

Thus, performances of this Silat sport or Silat competitions are accompanied by the rhythm of the pergendangan silat which is now known as the muzik silat baku Malaysia or the silat baku music of Malaysia.

The regard of silat as a performing art or silat pulut follows the portrayal of Silat as a performing art or a sport/game. This meaning of Silat does not touch specifically on Silat educational services or Silat as an ilmu kepahlawanan or Melayu art of war with ties in the national defence institution.

Moreover, at that time Silat had long been disassociated from the palace. Silat did not have the space or the opportunity to develop and advance with the advancements of the defensive system alongside the developments in defensive systems in other countries around the world.

Western colonialists like the British introduced western defensive systems by incorporating the police and askar sepoi ( soldiers who were local citizens) to handle the nation’s defence which at that time, was receiving opposition from former Melayu fighters. Consequently, silat teachers were very cautious in letting Silat become apparent in the community because the colonialists had interpretations and experience in war against Melayu warriors.

Silat was not seen as an educational institution of the kepahlawanan Melayu that would contribute to the shaping of socio-culture through the traditional gelanggang bangsal education system of silat (teaching of silat in a bangsal (shed or barn) as the gelanggang [place where one learns silat]) as how the infamous religious education in the Malay community through the pondok (hut) institution was.

In the traditional Melayu community, these two institutions contributed largely in the development of the physical and spiritual or the knowledge of life and the afterlife. The combination of the gelanggang bangsal and pondok institutions had formed an albeit deprived traditional Melayu community which is able to defend its self, cultural and religious values from alternating colonialists. The education of the pendekar silat way of life which is balanced in each of the aspects of knowledge, practice and Silat skill can form a perfection of life or person.

Practices
As Silat is a traditional martial art, there are several inherent practices tied to the practice and learning of Silat. These elements are present in Silat education and transcends style and school.

Jurus
A set of movements, made up of strikes, blocks and maneuvers to teach students how to combine movements, langkah, tapak and to practice them in their strikes, blocks and fighting stances (sikap pasang).

Bunga
Bunga (flower) or seni is an integral part of Silat. The aesthetic movements teach the student grace, fluidity of movements and in some cases is a hidden form of practice for certain techniques. Despite this, there are, however, certain Silat styles that do not have bunga or seni.

Beladiri
Beladiri or self-defence is taught by all styles of Silat.

Tempur
Tempur basically means a battle, duel or fight between two pesilat but it can also be expanded to mean a battle or fight in general, disregarding the number of participants.

Weapons
Along with the human body, Silat employs the usage of several martial arts weapons. Among the hundreds of styles are dozens of weapons. Listed here are a few examples;

  • Keris: A curvy blade made from folding different types of metal together and then is washed in acid, giving the blade it's distinct look.
  • Pedang/Sundang: A sword, either single or double edged.
  • Parang/Golok: A machete/broadsword, commonly used in daily tasks, especially those involving farming or harvesting.
  • Lembing/Seligi: A spear/javelin made of either wood or bamboo.
  • Kayu/Batang: Stick, staff or rod made of bamboo, steel or wood.
  • Tekpi: Three-pronged knife thought to derive from the trisula (trident)
  • Kerambit: A small claw-like curved blade or dagger worn in the hair. Easily concealed and is known as a woman's weapon.
  • Sabit: A sickle, commonly used in farming, cultivation and harvesting of crops.
  • Tongkat: A walking stick carried by the elderly or travellers.

16 March 2008

Vietnam to host first Southeast Asian pencak silat champs

Vietnam, the world’s top pencak silat nation, will hold the first Southeast Asian championship in Ho Chi Minh City next May.

The government has given its approval for holding the event, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and entrusted the organization to it.

To prepare for the event, members of the national team will train at the National Sports and Training Center.

No. 1 in Hanoi besides taking part in the National Pencak Silat Championship to be held April 10-15 in the northern province of Hai Duong.

Vietnam bagged 12 gold, eight silver and three bronze medals at the world championships last October in Malaysia, to finish top of the medals tally.

Malaysia followed with seven golds and Singapore was third with three.

15 March 2008

Happy 2nd Anniversary SMTB!

Silat Melayu: The Blog is officially 2 years old today! Many happy returns and hope you'll last much longer than your predecessors!

14 March 2008

Experience And Application Of Silat Melayu

Having combat experience doesn’t necessarily improve one’s ability in Silat. In fact, sometimes real fighting or combat experience contributes extremely little to the mastering of true Silat Melayu as a whole. One must broaden one's understanding of the word “experience”, this is particularly true in Silat.

Acquisition of knowledge in diverse Silat styles can be used as a tool in improving oneself, by focusing intently on the knowledge acquired. This can be done by finding the key components in every Silat style learned, and trying to gain a deeper understanding of it. Through extensive practice and under proper guidance, one will find the best way to deepen their understanding of Silat. True understanding only comes when proper knowledge and guidance is involved.

During my first few years of training in Rumpun Seni Silat Syeikh Ali, I was instructed by my masters in a variety of very strict methods of physical, mental and spiritual training that were exceptionally difficult, but also required both a deep understanding and great determination to perform to their satisfaction. This began in 1987. I subsequently received permission to teach (known as Ijazah) the first level of Rumpun Seni Silat Syeikh Ali in 1989, almost 3 full years after I completed the first level of Silat in Rumpun Seni Silat Syeikh Ali, which is the Seni Silat Bongsu style.

During those 3 long years, I committed myself to learn, master and feel my newly acquired knowledge. This is the key to embracing the pure essence of Silat; learn, master and feel. I was asked by one of my masters, Cikgu Muhammad Khairuddin of Hulu Langat, Selangor, Malaysia, currently the Guru Besar Utama of Seni Silat Bongsu, to make Seni Silat Bongsu literally as if it were the very clothes on my back (“sebagai pakaian”) whilst in practice. In other words, it must become second nature whenever utilizing Silat.

Whilst under the tutelage of my late grandfather, Allahyarham Tuan Haji Ibrahim, the Guru Kaka and Guru Besar of Seni Silat Peninjauan, he forbade me from practicing any physical aspects or techniques of Silat. This was always the case throughout my early years of life and whenever I occasionally trained with him right up until he passed away 3 years ago at the age of 90 years old. But at the same time, I had to master my Silat, both physically and spiritually. Throughout his 60s and 70s he would always ask me to spar with him, but would never allow me to train myself in the physical techniques of Silat.

During my study-years at “sekolah pondok” (a type of traditional malay college for Islamic studies), I had the opportunity to learn more about Silat, both physically and spiritually. I met a master that was well known for his expertise and skill, named Ustaz Abang Solihin of Guar Cempedak, Kedah, Malaysia.

Even though he was a much respected Silat master and Islamic scholar, his character was remarkable for his utmost humility and simplicity, both spiritually and physically, words and actions. I had the good fortune to study his exceptional and very rare “Ilmu Jurus 17” that was famous of the deadly results achieved from its techniques and feared by many. He taught me for one week and said I had already completed the course. It is so simple but it yet took me many years after that to understand it fully and be appointed as a master of.

There were many other Silat related episodes in my life that shaped the way I look at Silat. All are unique and very precious to me. I was forced to view many different and similar things in very different ways with each following master I studied under. Many of their ways were at that time unacceptable to me, largely due to youth and, of course, ignorance. Their ways often seemed strange or startling, but were also very rewarding experiences and proved so effective in achieving the goal that I was supposed to achieve. These were among the stories of my simple and humble journey through Silat that contributed to my personal Silat evolution.

Evolution and progression (of one’s skill) in Silat can only occur when one truly focuses and reflects upon those lessons learned through the course of their Silat studies. This evolution must always be guided by true masters, both physically and mentally. Evolving in Silat is actually a personal journey for each individual. It will develop in a very unique way, and solely for that individual.

The proper traditional Silat Melayu adab (or manners) has always been not to create new styles but to teach the traditional styles, whilst only sharing the core of one’s own evolution with others. Guiding others in their own development is the traditional way that Silat Melayu has been passed down since time immemorial. Not by creating another different style.

By creating another style, one only dilutes the original Silat knowledge which always guided others towards their own unique journey of Silat anyway. This transformation, which occurs jointly by attaining proper knowledge and understanding of authentic Silat, is a wonder that has been in practice since times of yore in the Silat world. Silat is a survival art that may have a beginning but seems there is no end, with regards personal development. By creating another style, we are in fact contributing to the destruction of each individual’s chance of personal evolution in the ancient and time tested systems.

There is nothing that is not combative in Silat. From the basics (ie, tapak, kelok, buah, langkah, bunga, etc.) until the more advance techniques (e.g. rasa, rapat, sobok, gompo, tinjau and many others) everything is versatile and very effective as a combat technique. The only weakness will be in one’s own understanding and explanation of the deeper secret of Silat, physically and spiritually.

If one has the key of understanding in any martial art, there are no ineffective or useless techniques. The blink of an eye, the sound of breathing or the slightest movement will always have seen and unseen effects. Even not moving at all can be considered as an effective technique.In our Silat School style, we use the techniques of “tepat sipi, sipi lepas” when facing opponent as the fundamental of defense. “Tepat” literally means accurate, which mean assuming the accuracy of opponent strike. “Sipi” means inaccurate, which mean we will make the opponent’s strike inaccurately or missed with techniques. After doing the “sipi” we will do the “lepas” which means escape safely from any kind of current and future threat from the opponent.

In offensive mode, we will adapt the techniques of “umpan, pecah, Silat”. “Umpan” means luring the enemy in static, movements or striking but with such effectiveness that it can even end the fight if it accurately land on the opponent.

“Pecah” means breaking (while bridging) the enemy’s defense or plan mentally or if really necessary, physically. This breaking can result from “umpan” or can be done using another techniques followed after “umpan”, which is in “pecah”. “Silat” will be the final result meaning the closing in ending the fight with wisdom.

Result doesn’t necessarily come from kicking, punching or locking. It can also come from just a simple movements or not moving at all but result with severe physical or mental or spiritual effect to the opponent. “Silat” can also mean not fighting at all, just an act of wisdom in gaining victory. In fact the word “pendekar” which mean “pandai akal” literally means intelligent (“pandai”) mind (“akal”) signify a higher level of “pesilat”. The absolute truth is Silat is always about knowledge and wisdom.

Experience doesn’t necessarily mean what we want it to be. It can be just the understanding of knowledge itself, and not its applications. Development can only occur where there is a proper source of knowledge, constant practice whether in reality or training and understanding (that is the fruit of the whole process). Guidance must always be at the core of any kind of journey towards knowledge, guidance that comes from a true master, a true scholar, guidance that is in harmony with the teaching of Islam that is accepted with humility and sincerity by students.

Written by Ustaz Saiful Muhammad, President, Pertubuhan Seni Silat Telapak Nusantara Malaysia

13 March 2008

Silat Pulut blends graceful dance form and art of self defence

One may liken ‘silat pulut’, (a series of self defence moves stylised into a ceremonial dance for celebratory occasions performed to the strains of traditional instruments) as our very own version of capoeira – the Afro-Brazilian combination of martial art, game and dance.

For silat exponent Baharudin Ghani, 48, a Kelantanese who migrated here in 2000 to open a laundry business, the whole affair is one big exercise to remind the new generation of their roots. Baharudin pours lime water on a student's head to symbolise spiritual cleansing after a sparring.

Recently, a silat pulut graduation ceremony held at the Seri Samudra flats along Jalan Samudra Timur 1 in Batu Caves, revealed how the art of self defence can also present itself as a graceful dance form.The father of four, who is also the leader of a dikir barat troupe, also sees this as an opportunity to engage his community in some sort of activity. According to Baharudin, one must realise that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.

Blowing his horn: Shafic Aminuddin playing the serunai to inspire the exponents.

“The core lesson taught here is how to control one’s emotions. Another important aspect that we want to impart is for the young to uphold values such as courage, discipline, fairness and to maintain harmony. If you notice, before every silat performance, the exponent will shake hands with the audience to seek their blessings,” he explained.

Baharudin added that after each bout, the exponents will hug each other as a sign that the confrontation in the arena has been forgotten and they will not hold grudges against each other.

Offerings: Bunga telur, yellow glutinous rice and roasted meats to give thanks for safety and goodwill within the arena.

In explaining how ‘silat pulut’ got its name, Baharudin surmises that it may be due to custom that requires the offering of yellow glutinous rice as gifts to the ‘pesilat’ (silat exponents) during the graduation ceremony.

Another influencing factor may have its links to the exponent feeding newlyweds or VIPs with sticky rice upon completing his steps.

But far from being a showy attraction at public events, Baharudin reveals the ‘silat pulut’ is in actual fact a sport that requires skill and agility. Though the soft movements may appear harmless and satirical, it hides an intricate game of steps and techniques that could be devastating when applied in combat.

Dwelling back into history, Baharudin reveals that the martial arts was developed as an avenue for practitioners in colonial times to fool others into believing that it was merely a harmless folk game.


Seeking blessings: The silat exponents must get the blessings of the audience before a sparring round.

At a time when the colonial masters were receiving opposition from Malay freedom fighters, silat teachers were cautious in letting these defence skills out in the open for fear that they may be used against them in times of battle. Thus, in order to preserve tradition, teachers disguised the steps as a dance form so that the art may live on.

Today, rather than teaching his students on how to engage in combat, ‘silat pulut’ has become an effective form of exercise to nurture body and soul. As for adult practitioners, not only have they found a way to de-stress but an opportunity to be the star of their own performance at weddings and VIP receptions.

By Grace Chen
Sourced from
http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2008/3/13/central/20615814&sec=central

Close Combat - Human Weapon airs in Malaysia

Silat master Azlan Ghanie (right) teaching Human Weapon hosts
Bill Duff (in blue) and Jason Chambers (left) a few silat techniques
.

Human Weapon, an expedition-type documentary which charts journeys to foreign continents in search of martial arts, comes to Malaysia for its premiere episode. By SHEELA CHANDRAN

People all over the world have always had a fascination for martial arts. Even at the movies, it is frequently used as a subject matter. From Seven Samurai to Enter The Dragon, Blood Sport and Karate Kid, martial arts movies can draw in the crowds. Hong Kong stars Jackie Chan and Jet Li as well as Hollywood celebrities like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Segal, Chuck Norris and Cynthia Rothrock have all made names for themselves as martial arts exponents, and not just movie stars.

What exactly are martial arts? They are defined as codified practices and traditions of training for combat. Although the art forms have been studied or passed down through many generations, everyone who learns the art shares a common goal – to defeat a person physically or to defend oneself from physical threat. Martial arts can be divided into three categories – striking (boxing, shaolin kung fu and capoeira), grappling (judo, sambo, aikido and wrestling) and weaponry (fencing, silambam and jukendo).

With so many martial arts techniques around, it's no surprise The History Channel has embarked on a journey across the globe to reveal the history behind one of humankind's most ancient skills – the art of hand-to-hand combat.

Titled Human Weapon, the 16-parter programme will see hosts – martial artist and professional fighter Jason Chambers and former professional football player and wrestler Bill Duff exploring the history and practice of various time-honoured combat forms from around the world.

Throughout history, martial arts have had a significant impact on world events; cultures and civilisations have emerged and perished as a result of military prowess, especially when it came to hand-to-hand combat. It was not only seen as an art of self-defence but also served as a platform of preparation for young men to move into adulthood. Through this training, a child learnt important values such as self-respect and self-dependence.

Each episode on Human Weapon charts an expedition through various parts of the world to unveil distinct forms of combat where viewers will see some of the gruelling training the hosts undergo.

The series premieres tonight with the ancient art form of silat, which is an umbrella term used to describe Melayu martial arts form.

Silat is a combative art of fighting and survival and it has evolved in Indonesia and Malaysia civilisations for centuries, and has seeped into social culture and tradition. In ancient times, silat served as a self-defence tool as well as a platform of preparation for young men to move into adulthood.

The first episode sees the hosts travelling to Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Melaka where silat is practiced. Part of their training requires them to undergo rigorous silat techniques – Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia, Lian Padukan and Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 Malaysia, while learning the culture behind this heritage. At the end of the journey, one of the hosts will face the ultimate test – trying to survive a fight with six silat masters.

“Silat is one of the world's and diverse martial arts form. One of the key characteristics of silat movements or aliran demonstrates the gracefulness of how exponents fence and defend themselves,” said silat master Azlan Ghanie who practises Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9.
Azlan added that the documentary was recorded over a span of 10 days last September. He explained that prior to the filming, the hosts had never heard of silat and had no expectations of the martial art form.

“They assumed it was a 'gentle' form of martial arts. They only realised how tough it was after receiving a few hard kicks, which left them close to tears. After undergoing training, they now say silat is an indescribable and tough experience.”

In the following weeks, the hosts learn about different art forms from around the world. Stick with them to find out more about Thailand's Muay Thai (Thai Boxing or “Science of Eight Limbs”), Philippines' Eskrima (involving stick and sword fighting techniques), Japan's famed Judo and Karate, France's Savate or French foot-fighting, Greece's Pankration (a combination of boxing and wrestling) and Israel's Krav Maga (a form of hand-to-hand combat).

Sourced from http://www.star-ecentral.com/news/story.asp?file=/2008/3/13/tvnradio/20599181&sec=tvnradio

12 March 2008

Silat Pusaka Gayong master appointed Pulau Pinang Co-Deputy Chief Minister

Pesilat were surprised today to hear of guru Mohd Fairus Khairuddin's appointment as co-deputy Chief Minister of Pulau Pinang following the recent upset elections, which rocked Malaysia.

Guru Fairus is the current Gurulatih Tertinggi and Chairman of the Wilayah Persekutuan chapter of Pertubuhan Seni Silat Pusaka Gayong Malaysia. He has been titled by the perguruan as Imam Khalifah Besar and Panglima Singa Malaya.

He has also received recognition as Grandmaster by the International Grandmaster Society, Japan, USA & Saudia Arabia, Master & Life Membership by World Organiser of Martial Arts, USA (WOMA-USA) and Master Instructor from the World Head of Society & International Council of Masters & Grandmasters.

Pulau Pinang chief minister Lim Guan Eng today announced PKR's Penanti state assemblyperson Mohd Fairus Khairuddin and DAP’s Perai representative P Ramasamy as his deputies. Mohd Fairus will be the Deputy CM (I) and Ramasamy, Deputy CM (II).

"This decision is to ensure all the communities in Penang are represented and this government is for all," Lim, who was sworn in yesterday, told a press conference at his office in Penang this morning.

The new chief minister hoped that with the arrangement, Penang will be propelled to a higher level.

"We do not sideline any community which certain quarters are trying to portray. We want to be your (Penangites) friend and it is our strong commitment that all Penangites will have a stake in the state government," he added.

Today’s announcement came as a surprise as party insiders have earlier indicated that the new state government has no intention to retain the deputy chief minister position.

Mohd Fairus, a newcomer in politics as well, said he will look into issues which are of concern to the Malay community in the state, such as education.

"That will be one (aspect) but it is not all because we are here to represent all communities," said the 32-year-old politician, who holds a master’s degree in business administration from United Kingdom.

We at Silat Melayu: The Blog and SilatMelayu.Com congratulate guru Fairus on an amazing upward move in his life. We pray that he serves his community well and continues to prove that values within Silat can be translated into everyday life.

Edited from malaysiakini.com

11 March 2008

Limits, real and imagined

In many martial arts, including silat, there are aggregated forms intended to provide a structure to the movements of the human body, to add physical and psychological limits to the person.
But the body already has a structure and its own limits. There are the bones, the joints, the muscles that connect them and their ranges of motion. Thus, what these forms really do is just add an artificial structure with artifical limits onto the practitioner. Which is why silat is well-known for its formlessless before form. Exploration and expression rather than recession and repetition.
The body should be allowed to move through all its possible articulations and record its own sureties of each limit and potential it possesses. Not only the body, but also the mind and the soul.
Guru Idris bin Alimuda of Silat Firasah often stresses the education of the mind before the body. It is considered normal in traditional styles for the master to reorient the thinking of the student, to remove misconceptions and prepare them for a more holistic view of reality.
To do the opposite (i.e. train the body first), would result in a useless outcome. The limits of the physical structure is further limited by what exists in the mind. Thus, the mind has to be reformed first before imparting physical techniques.
Without this prerequisite, physical training but be fruitless. The only products you get are robots.
Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

10 March 2008

Control

A martial artist goes through about the same progression throughout his life, pesilat or otherwise.

He starts out thinking of silat as a method of combat. Then as fair combat. Then he realises that fair combat can only exist in a social, physical, cultural and religious vacuum, which is impossible.

He realises that too many variables contribute to the outcome of a battle and seeks to master and control those other variables, either directly or by proxy.

And most often, he discovers that, he controls nothing, but exists as a dot on an intricate web of reality, insignificant, and stops struggling, acheiving exactly what he gave up trying to achieve in the first place.

Control.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

09 March 2008

Fear: A view

I admit, I'm a coward. Many people are surprised by my admission, and often assume I'm just being humble. Unfortunately, as many close friends know, humble I'm not. For many a year, I struggled with this complex, which drove and guided my self-development and the directions I decided to go in.

The late Ustaz Hanafi of Silat Cekak once asked, "Where does fear go when courage appears? And where does courage go when fear appears?" Although the matter was couched in question form, but I never found an answer for it.

Guru Azlan Ghanie runs a column in SENI BELADIRI magazine titled 'Berani Kerana Benar' which means Courage In Truth. The obverse of this would of course be Cowardice In Falsehood. I asked him once, how do we become courageous when we are in the wrong? He answered, "Apologise".

From a purely Islamic point of view, the concept of taqwa exists. When translated into English, it approximates Fear. However, the nuance is Godliness, not simply fear of Allah's displeasure and pining for His pleasure. Fearing Allah and only Allah forms the basis of the fearlessness of a Muslim.

"If you fear man, you harbour the illusion that you can instill fear in men. But if you fear Allah, you are under no such illusions. Do not contrive to instill fear and Allah will instill fear of you into the hearts of men."

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

08 March 2008

Museum Volunteers Malaysia Graduation Ceremony on 15 March


The newly-upgraded Muzium Negara will hold a special graduation ceremony on March 15 for its 49 new volunteer docents and several of its junior museum club members.

Mr. Ibrahim bin Ismail, Acting Director General, Department of Museums, will host the awards ceremony. The guest of honour will be Datin Seri Masnah Rais, wife of Datuk Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage.

There will also be craft demonstrations, and a chance to join one of the museum docents on a tour of the highlights of the museum.

"Our new group of Museum Volunteers will be providing free, enjoyable and informed tours of the galleries at Muzium Negara," said Marie-Christine Tseng, the founder of Museum Volunteers Malaysia (MVM). "We hope they will help to increase knowledge about the National Museum."

The MVM consists of volunteers from Malaysia, France, Britain, Australia, The Netherlands, Japan, Lithuania, Germany and New Zealand who have undergone a three-month training programme to become a Docent (or Museum guide.) The programme involved a weekly series of lectures from excellent speakers who covered Malaysia's rich and complex heritage, its history, ceramics, textiles, jewelry and traditional customs.

In particular, the Docents have garnered much knowledge on the artifacts and pieces on display in the museum, and how to talk about them in an interesting and informative manner."I wanted to learn more about my culture and heritage, which I had largely taken for granted," says Zahara Shariman, from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Zahara qualified in the first batch of Docents in 2007 and is now pioneering the children's programmes.

"Now I am learning lots and passing the knowledge on, particularly to children. The bonus is that it is fun."

"I love living in Malaysia, and now that I am learning in more depth about its culture and history, I am able to give something back and hopefully encourage more visits to the museum," says Lorien Holland, from London, England. Lorien will graduate in the 2008 batch.The first group of 21 Docents graduated from the MVM programme in 2007.

They have led tours in English and French in the Muzium Negara for the past year. They have also hosted more than 500 school children and started to develop booklets and self-guided trails for the museum.

The new group of 49 will enable the MVM to offer tours in Bahasa Malaysia and a number of other languages, including Dutch, German and Japanese.MVM is a non-profit, non-governmental, non-political and non-religious group whose aims are to promote public and government awareness of museums, and to encourage and promote an appreciation and understanding of the cultures of Malaysia. MVM is hosted by Muzium Negara, which supports and promotes MVM projects and activities.

MVM guided tours are available as follows:
In English Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11 am
In French Thursday mornings (9-12am) at the main entrance desk
Guided tours in Japanese, Dutch, German, Malay, Danish, Russian and Polish are also available on request. Tailored tours can be arranged for Embassies, Companies and Schools. Please email mvmqueries@yahoo.com for further details.

MVM has three projects for its volunteers:
GUIDING – Volunteers will provide free tours at the museum.
SCHOOLS PROGRAM – Volunteers will organize special tours for school children at the museum and in schools.
RESEARCH – Volunteers will find and organize material to help the guides and school programme volunteers.

Anyone can apply to join the Docent programme. Classes for 2008 will run on Tuesday and Saturday mornings.

For further information, please contact:
Catherine Bossis mailto:Bossiscatherine.bossis@gmail.com 017 302 1799
Chrissy Lioe chrissy_lioe@hotmail.com 012 524 8365
Lorien Holland lorien.holland@koryogroup.com 012 303 0105

07 March 2008

Human Weapon & Silat comes to Astro


Silat takes the spotlight on Astro's History Channel, with its hosts even battling exponents of the stylised martial art form. SHARMILA BILLOT watches from afar.
This month, the History Channel embarks on a journey across the globe to reveal the history behind one of humankind’s most ancient skills: the art of hand-to-hand combat. Human Weapon will take you into the realm of one of Malaysia’s oldest heritages. Its focus, Silat: The Martial Arts of Malaysia, will be shown first on satellite in Southeast-Asia as the first episode of a 16-part series. It begins Thursday.
Pro-fighter Jason Chambers as well as pro-football player and wrestler Bill Duff will venture into the unknown realm of silat, as taught by local silat masters, while learning the culture behind this Malaysian heritage. The two hosts will also face the ultimate test of survival – they will take on six silat masters.
“Bill and Jason had a shock when they first saw the silat moves, said Azlan Ghanie, a silat master.
“They immediately realised how dangerous and deadly the martial art form could be. It’s a beautiful art of combat that uses animalistic movements. There are 1,000 styles of silat but the programme highlights three famous forms – Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia, Lian Padukan and Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 Malaysia.
“Silat is one of the world’s rarest and most diverse of martial arts. I believe we have provided viewers a rare glimpse into a world few had seen before,” he added.
Silat is not only a tool of self-defence. During ancient times, it was also a platform which prepares young men for adulthood. Through the silat training, a child learns to be independent as well discipline, self-respect and respect for others.
“Each episode of Human Weapon charts an expedition through Asia to uncover distinct forms of martial arts, with hosts battling challenging situations,” said Louis Boswell, the general manager of AETN All Asia Networks. A&E Television Networks comprises the History Channel and the Biography Channel among others.
Some of the martial arts forms covered include Cambodian Bloodsport (March 27), Sambo: Russia’s Extreme Fighting (April 17), Eskrima Stick-fighting from the Philippines (May 25) and Muay Thai (June 5).
Catch Silat: The Martial Arts Of Malaysia on Astro, Channel 555 on Thursday at 9pm. The series airs every Thursday.

Sourced from NSTOnline

06 March 2008

I guess it's official for PESAKA

I've been trying to access the official PESAKA website for the last couple of months. Unfortunately, it seems permanently true that they have not renewed their domain name.

And anyone who understands cybersquatting knows that they'll never get that domain name back again. It's not the first time it's happened. The first time the PESAKA website was launched, the current Prime Minister was still the nation's deputy and was hosted at pesakamalaysia.com.

When they allowed THAT domain name to pass away without renewal, the name got squatted and they were forced to register pesakamalaysia.org instead for the second version of the site. This happened to senibeladiri.com once upon a time, and now we're forced to contend with the .com.my suffix.

I'll try my best to make sure that SilatMelayu.Com doesn't suffer the same fate.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

05 March 2008

Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 Family Day and Adab Melayu Seminar

Persatuan Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 has announced that it will organise the Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 Family Days on the 9th-11th of May 2008 to be held in Cherating, Pahang. An Adab Melayu Seminar will also be conducted on the 10th of May 2008. More details as we get them.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

02 March 2008

Pantun di hati Pok Nik

Gayung gayut kata bersahut
Dari hamba peminat setia
Semoga pantun terus disebut
Melayu takkan Hilang di Dunia

Silat Melayu Silat Yang Asli
Digemari oleh seluruh dunia
Semoga Allah terus memberkati
Segala bentuk Perjuangan kita

-Pok Nik
13/12/2007

01 March 2008

24

Once upon a time, a silat master was interviewed over the telephone by a researcher in the United States. The researcher was a martial artist with many years' experience in various arts. For his doctorate, he decided to do a comparative look between different martial arts around the globe and how much time each master dedicates to their training per day.

When he called the Silat master in Kuala Lumpur, he asked several background questions to set up the main research, and finally asked the golden query: "How many hours a day do you train?" to which the master answered "24".

The researcher, unable to properly quantify, or even make sense of this answer, struck the master's name off his list of interviewees.

When the Silat master related the story to me, and explained the reasoning behind his answer, he set me on a road to understanding silat, a road which I have not stopped travelling on. On this road, I have met many kindred spirits who have developed their skills to amazing extents.

One thing connects them all. They all train 24-7, but nobody actually sees them doing it.