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