JOHOR BARU: Some 300 silat exponents gathered at a shopping mall in Kulai to participate in a three-nation silat tournament recently.
Silat experts from Johor, Singapore and Riau islands came together at IOI Mall in Kulai to pit their skills against each other at the Sixth Sijori Silat Tournament 2009.
The event’s organising chairman Ismail Ahmad said the tournament kicked off on May 15 and was aimed at forging better ties between the participants.
“Sijori held its first tournament in 2002 in Riau, Indonesia,” he said, adding that it had about 100 participants.Ismail said the organisation had come a long way since it was established.
“When we started, we did it as a friendly encounter between the three countries.
“Although the spirit of competition was high, everyone made friends and learned of the different cultures,” he said.
He said that nine teams took part in this year’s event with six teams from Indonesia, two from Johor and one from Singapore.
“The majority of the participants were from Indonesia and each team needed to pay a RM2,000 entry fee,” he said.
The teams were divided into the male and female categories.
Participant Raja Nazaruddin said the event gave him the opportunity to meet new people.
“I have been competing in Sijori tournaments since 2002 and it has been fun and interesting,” he said, adding that he was proud to represent his community in Bintan.
The event was launched by state Youth and Sports Committee chairman Md Jais.