SEREMBAN, Feb 3 (Bernama) -- Malaysians check this out! The host of a martial arts programme on German television, "Karate For My Life" is a man born in Rasah, Negeri Sembilan 60 years ago.
Jamal Measara who stands at 5 feet and 9 inches is not a personality in Malaysia but is well known abroad right from the United Kingdom to Japan for he is a karate Grand Master to some 80,000 martial arts students worldwide.
Jamal, the son of a former British soldier, started to make a mark in the art of self-defence when he won the Malaysian Karate Championship in 1970.
He later represented the country and won the South Pacific crown at the Kyokushinkai Full Contact Championship.
The grand master in karate and aikido, Jamal established the Bavarian Shorin-Ryu Seibukan Karate Association, Shorin-Ryu Seibukan Karate Union of Germany and European Shorin-Ryu Seibukan Karate Association in Europe.
Recently, Bernama had the opportunity to meet Jamal and a television crew from Finland that shot scenes of a documentary on the Melayu art of self-defence, silat, and the Indian silambam.
According to Jamal, silat and silambam drew the interest of many martial arts enthusiasts in Europe.
He said, the Europeans are very keen to learn silat and silambam. At times they are more Asian than the Asians themselves.
"It's really a shame to say that they take martial arts from us and modified them. In Europe, they are now practising yoga and everybody is practising the likes of silat, taekwondo and karate. When they completed the class, they still want to come again", said Jamal.
Not a sport
Jamal expressed his unhappiness upon seeing that despite there are many martial arts schools in Malaysia, most of the students are children. "If there are adults among the students, they would stop (attending the classes) once they reach their mid 30s", he said.
Jamal is also despondent over what he saw as the martial arts being 'commercialised' and said the art of self-defence should not be treated as a form of sports.
This had 'spoilt' the martial arts and today it is difficult to find the true form of karate and silat, said Jamal.
"Grapping is allowed in martial arts and you can hit your opponent with your knee and butt and all these are perfect self defence techniques for the streets but in the sport version, they have so many rules and all these techniques are taken away...so where is the martial arts value?", he said.
Now, activists of these martial arts are more interested in money and fame, and ultimately the fine aspects of these arts would be lost, said Jamal.
Only aikido manages to retain its 'authenticity' as this art has never been made a sport, he added.-- BERNAMA
Written by Shahrullizan Rusli
Sourced from http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsfeatures.php?id=387278