However, what I do dispute is a similar statement that many in the silat world make, that those pesilat in the current generation are undoubtedly of lesser quality than those that came before. Because if it is true, then it really means that our previous masters weren't any good in passing along their knowledge.
Yet, we hear of the mesmerising abilities of pendekars long-gone and we firmly shake our head, thinking, we will never be as good as them. Granted, a modicum of humility is virtuous, but not when it totally deprives a pesilat from moving ahead in improving himself.
I speak not of others, but of myself, of my own doubt that exists inside of me, telling me that I can't be as good as others, and I wonder, why should this be true? I am constantly amazed by the unnerring accuracy of sharpshooters, the unswerving focus of fencers, the unwavering speed of swimmers and the unabated stamina of runners and I marvel at the world records that are broken almost every single day.
These events serve to prove that humanity can challenge, and can overcome, can improve over what their forefathers had done before them.
I refuse to believe that silat will end up as nothing more than a memory. A memory that says, "We can't possibly live up to those dreams". I want to believe and I will believe that I can be better than what I am, and we can take silat to a higher place.
To all the athletes who have risked their lives, poured their sweat, blood and tears to get where they are, let no one say to you that all you did was for nought, that you play foolish games with one another with no end in mind.
However, remember that you now represent the pinnacle of human achievement, as living proof that a focused mind can mimic magic, that drugs, lies and evil dan never cloud a vision as clear as yours. Your power is now in your abilities to influence millions of children to mimic your spirit, if not your sport. Take care of that responsibility.
I do not represent the silat world when I say this, but I am sure many will echo my sentiments. I wish we all had your wills, your courage and your dedication. Because if becoming pendekars is what we strive for, we will certainly need that the most.
I salute your efforts, and salute your dedication. Congratulations on a job well done.