31 December 2009

Maul-ing his way all over the world

MORLAHNE HJ MORNIE, better known as Maul Mornie, is making the sultanate known via Silat Suffian Bela Diri.

Hailing from the oil town of Seria in the Belait District, the 32 year old is introducing the art around the world, having training groups in Australia, Germany, Italy, South Africa, United Kingdom, USA, Hong Kong and others.

In this year alone he had been booked for 47 weekends, there are 52 in a year.

He had been featured in several magazines and newspapers abroad, even appearing in Australian television twice.

Maul has been a fan of the martial arts since the age of 12, continuing to perfect his form throughout the years until he was invited to conduct his first seminar in Italy mid 2007.

“Back when I was still a student (in Cardiff), I was interested in joining martial arts classes.

“However, I mean no disrespect, some of the moves taught were not convincing enough,” he said.

“So I started making videos teaching knife defense and uploaded it to some discreet website where at first I thought no one would see it.

“Then within six months I started getting emails from people interested to learn which led to the first seminar in Italy in 2007,” he added.

From then on Maul has been conducting seminars in countries such as Germany, Holland, Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, France, Hong Kong and the US particularly in New York and Florida, each time bringing with him the Bruneian flag.

“I have had other invitations to countries such as Russia, which I had to reject due to my tight schedule as I don’t have the time to secure a Visa.”

Maul’s schedule is currently packed until mid 2011 with few others yet to be confirmed.

When asked what his aims are and what motivates him to do it, Maul humbly replied, “I want to promote and introduce the diverse culture and heritage of Negara Brunei Darussalam in the Southeast Asian region. To help the world and educate people on how to defend themselves in the most efficient and best way they can.”

In his seminars, Maul not only teaches self defense but also the history and culture of our country.

“When I teach silat, I explain to them the significance behind each movement, for example why it is polite and why we dress the way we do.

“By bringing the Bruneian flag into each seminars I am able to introduce our culture and heritage.”

Silat Suffian Bela Diri has gained quite the reputation overseas in recent years especially law enforcement agencies, some of which he had instructed for are the US Marshals, NYPD, the Italian Guardia Di Finanza, the German Riot Police and the Belgium Army.

“They are keen into what I do because of its’ self defense aspect.

“It carries forward the traditional aspect of the art for survival instead of recreation, for survival not trophies.

“This is why when I hold a public seminar it always attracts a lot of participants.” he added.

When asked what his plans for the future are he said, “Within the next three or four years I plan to propose a project to the tourism board to introduce Silat as one of the attractions of coming into the country.

“There are interests by those who had participated my seminars from countries such as the US and Italy but I have no resources. So I would like to work together with other associations that are interested as I believe that Silat can be the best medium to educate people of our culture.

“I believe that this could make the difference between promoting Brunei to the western world and the rest of Asia.”

When asked the proudest moment in his life, he replied “It was in November when I held my seminar in Italy. About 80 people attended and they were all excited to learn about Brunei and wanted to take pictures with our national flag. As a Bruneian (to witness that), I just felt proud.”

Maul then offered some words of wisdom, “In three years I have conquered most of Europe and the US. As a fellow Bruneian, anything is possible if you put your mind into it, as long as you work hard and always have a positive outlook on life.

Written by AMIR AMIN
Sourced from

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