22 December 2010

UBD To Play Grudge Match For Bronze

Yaneva and teammates Eka Ardiana
and Wulan Nurhasanah took home
silver with 451 points.
Bandar Seri Begawan - Team Brunei have a chance to clinch another bronze medal at the 15th Asean University Games should they win in the futsal third-place play-off today in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

However Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) would have to give their 100 per cent against Malaysia, who previously thrashed the Sultanate side 4-1 in the preliminary stage.

Though they were hammered in all three matches of the preliminary stage, with only four teams competing in the event UBD were already guaranteed a berth in the semi-final.

Hosts Thailand dealt a 15-0 defeat to Brunei in the semi-final on Monday.

The victory sets up the former on a date with Indonesia in the final at the 700th Anniversary Chiangmai Sports Complex today.

Indonesia defeated Malaysia 2-4 in the other semi-final to pit the latter against UBD in the battle for third spot at the same venue today.

After five days of competition, UBD have notched three bronze medals via pencak silat and karatedo so far.

The Sultanate bagged two of the three medals at the Payap University gymnasium yesterday.

Nurul Aimi Amalidya Zainidi scored 454 points in the women's seni tunggal to add bronze to the Sultanate's medal tally.

Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Thanh Mo (466 points) and Indonesian Yaneva Febriana (459 points) captured the gold and silver medals respectively.

Later in the day, Nurul Aimi made it a double as she took onto the mat again in the women's seni regu with compatriots Faehaanah Sabaraya and Farhanah Hj Abdullah.

The trio amassed 444 points to place in third.

The gold once again went to Thi Thanh Mo, who scored 460 points with countrymen Nguyen Thi Loan and Tran Thi Mai La.

Muhd Suhrawadi Hj Suhadi bagged the Sultanate's first medal after he managed to enter the men's kumite -84 kilogrammes semi-final on Friday.

The 25-year-old, however, failed to progress after Malaysian Roney Roger Sining won 9-1 in the match.

Sutthichi Akhiao edged the latter 7-5 in the final to claim gold for the hosts.

Defeated semi-finalist Le Trung Dung of Vietnam placed as joint-third alongside Muhd Suhrawardi.

Brunei's table tennis representatives were shown the exit door out the tournament after failing to notch a single win to their name.

Abdul Hadi Zulfadli Hj Yahya and Tzu Min Wee were unable to progress past the table tennis men's single preliminary rounds after being dealt three consecutive losses each to their respective opponents.

The duo also lost 3-0 in the men's doubles match against Vietnam at Chiangmai University yesterday.

Other results yesterday include the mixed double's team 3-0 defeat to Malaysia and the men's double team 3-0 lost to Vietnam.

Written by AMIR AMIN
Sourced from http://www.brudirect.com/index.php/2010122235820/Sports-News/ubd-to-play-grudge-match-for-bronze.html

Abdul-Malik Ahmad, Pencak Silat Athlete

American Abdul-Malik Ahmad had never heard of pencak silat when his friend introduced him to the martial art at their local mosque in Washington, DC.

Now he fights in competitions all over the world and plans to promote the sport back home in the United States.

We caught up with Abdul-Malik at the 14th Pencak Silat World Championship in Jakarta last week to find out what it’s like to be the only American in the competition, why he’s hooked on Indonesia’s traditional martial art and how to keep your sarong on in a fight.

How long have you been doing pencak silat?
The actual pencak silat I’ve been doing for about 20 years, since I was 15. I’m 35 now. But the sport aspect of pencak silat, which I’m here to learn, this is my first time.

So I came here and was participating in two divisions: The tanding , the fighting, and tunggal , the single form. So that was fun.

I’m surprised there aren’t more Americans here.
Me too! My goal is to go back and really promote pencak silat more and hopefully, by the next competition, we’ll be able to bring maybe a dozen people from the United States.

What do you like about Jakarta?
Jakarta seems like a very active place — a lot of diversity. People are nice and hardworking. I’m not really into big cities, but I like Jakarta. The weather is great, the food is great. It has a good spirit to it.

What do you dislike about Jakarta?
The bad thing obviously is the traffic. I think it could be a little cleaner, but that’s all big cities. I’ve been to New York, to Cairo, to Dhaka, which is in Bangladesh. I’ve been to several real big hustle-and-bustle cities, and they all have a similar vibe. Jakarta is no different.

What is it like to practice pencak silat in the country where it originated?
Oh, it’s great. That’s why I’m back. It’s authentic. I’ve been doing pencak silat for 20 years in America, but coming over here, you get to see what the art really means to the people.

How did you first get started in pencak silat?
Actually, [in Washington, DC] there’s a local mosque and there was a friend who invited me to go to this silat class. I didn’t really know what silat was, I hadn’t heard of it before. But then I was interested in it and I really enjoyed it. It was a great school and he was a great instructor too. So I just kept with it and when that class finished, I went to the Indonesian embassy in DC and I continued my practice there.

Why do you like pencak silat?
I think pencak silat encompasses so many things. It’s artistic, it has the self-defense side, it has the sport side, it has the spiritual side, it has so many weapons, it has so many aspects you can’t get bored of it. There’s always something new to learn.

So you went straight to the World Championship?
Yes, I went straight to the World Championship [laughs]. But I’ve done what they call open tournaments in the United States.

It’s much different. The rules are: No sweeps or takedowns, just punches and kicks. So I just use the aspects of silat that I know are similar and I leave out the other aspects.

What’s it like to be the only American athlete here?
Well, actually, everyone is very nice here. I got a warm welcome from the South African team because we shared the same silat school. Everybody’s been very nice and I’ve really been enjoying myself.

Do you think pencak silat is growing in popularity in the United States?
No. It’s on my shoulders and all the people in the United States to really push it. Nobody knows about it, and we don’t have any real instructors except for our school. So we’re hoping that maybe the Indonesian community will help us promote it in the United States a little bit more.

And you’re also an instructor?
I am. I’m officially a black belt, or pelatih [trainer] as they say, so I do instruct. I’ve been teaching for about 10 years. We have about 60 students right now in our school. Most are young, around 9 and younger. We’re trying.

Is this your first time in Indonesia?
This is my second time in Indonesia. The first time was in December 2008 for about two weeks. I stayed with a friend of mine just a bit outside of Jakarta. But we practiced in Jakarta at Al Azhar Indonesia University, which was right in the middle of the city.

How did you do in the competition this week?
Oh, I didn’t win. I got beat by Malaysia. Everyone said I did well, but — I had a wardrobe mishap. So my sarong fell off and that’s, like, 20 points. But I enjoyed myself and I took some video and it was a great learning experience. I think next time I can do pretty well.

Sourced from http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/myjakarta/my-jakarta-adbul-malik-ahmad-pencak-silat-athlete/412754

21 December 2010

Viet Nam dominates at international martial arts event

HA NOI – Viet Nam has finished top of the medal table at the World Martial Arts Pencak Silat Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia after bagging eight gold, eight silver and three bronze medals.

Vietnamese artists maintained their domination of the competition with 10 athletes making the finals, eight of whom stepped up to the victory podium.

Viet Nam has won four world titles since 2002.

Pencak silat has become one of Viet Nam's strongest events at the Southeast Asian Games, and together with wushu, taekwondo and karate, the sport is considered a "gold mine" for the country in both regional and international tournaments.

At a meeting of the Asian Pencak Silat Federation, the deputy head of the elite sports department of the national sports administration, Nguyen Ngoc Anh, was appointed as general secretary of the federation.

The martial art was a demonstration event at the Asian Games in Busan in 2002, but has yet to be officially included at the Games.

Sourced from http://vietnamnews.vnagency.com.vn/Sports/206924/Viet-Nam-dominates-at-international-martial-arts-event-.html

20 December 2010

Brunei Silat to gold

Khuzaiman Ahmad (inset) won a gold for Brunei while teammate Hj Md Khairul Bahrin Hj Duraman (pic) bagged a bronze for the coutry in Jakarta last week.

Bandar Seri Begawan - The national pencak silat team claimed their best finish ever at a world tournament last week - taking home one gold and three bronze medals at the 14th World Pencak Silat Championships in Jakarta.

Khuzaiman Ahmad clinched the sole gold medal for the Sultanate after winning the men's tanding Class E (65-70 kilogrammes) event. The victory also earned him the "Best Male Athlete" award at the tournament held from Dec 12-17 at Padepokan Pencak Silat Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in Jakarta.

In August, Khuzaiman became the first Bruneian to beat a Vietnamese in an international tanding (match sparring) event, the 21-year-old national silat exponent downing Nguyen Duy Chien in the semi-finals of the men's Class E match en route to his gold medal-performance at the 2nd Southeast Asian Silat Championships 2010. The Bruneian beat Malaysia's Mohd Al Jufferi Jamari 3-2 in the final at the Thanh Hoa Gymnasium, Thanh Hoa, Vietnam, to finish first in the event.

Khuzaiman's gold in Vietnam was the country's second at the tournament - Nurul Aimi Amalina Zainidi winning the other in the women's tunggal (single) event.

Meanwhile, the 25th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold-medallist Hj Md Khairul Bahrin Hj Duraman bagged a bronze in the men's pencak silat tunggal. Hj Md Khairul Bahrin last December won Brunei's only gold medal at the Laos SEA Games.

Norleyermah Raya, who won a bronze medal in the previous edition in Kuantan, Pahang, returned with another bronze in the women's pencak silat tunggal.

Compatriots Abd Malik Hj Ladi, Abd Rahman Hj Asli and Juffri Hj Junaidi added to the tally with a bronze in the men's regu, repeating their achievement at the 2nd SEA Silat Championship 2010 held from Aug 5-10 in Vietnam.

The medal haul, aided by Khuzaiman's gold, put Brunei fourth in the biennial competition which was participated by a total of 32 countries.

Hosts Indonesia emerged as the overall champions. Vietnam and Malaysia placed second and third respectively.

"This is our best result ever at the tournament. Khuzaiman's feat, to be honoured as the 'Best Male Athlete', is a first for the country," said team manager Pg Hj Abd Karim Pg Hj Metassan in an interview yesterday. The silat team returned from the Indonesian capital yesterday morning.

Fifteen experienced silat exponents, who have oil proven themselves capable of rising to the challenge at international competitions, represented the Sultanate at the world championships.

Written by AMIR AMIN
Sourced from http://www.brudirect.com/index.php/2010122035679/Sports-News/brunei-silat-to-gold.html

19 December 2010

Brunei struggling in Thailand

Bandar Seri Begawan - The Sultanate's representative at the 15th Asean University Games, Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), are still seeking for their first win in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

After three days of competition, the contingent have yet to notch a single win in three sports contested.

With only four teams competing in futsal, UBD were hammered in all three matches of the preliminary stage, losing to Indonesia (7-0), Thailand (12-2) and Malaysia (4-1).

The same story of failure repeated itself in karatedo, held at the North Chiangmai University Stadium gymnasium.

In the women's individual kata, Brunei lost 3-0 to Laos before being shown the exit door in the semifinal against neighbours Malaysia by the same scoreline.

Meanwhile, the men lost their only match to Laos 3-0. While the men's kumite -84 kilogrammes exponent was ousted out 1-9 against Malaysia in the semi-final.

In table tennis, the men's team failed to secure a single win against opponents Singapore (0-3), Laos (0-3) and Thailand (0-3).

UBD's pencak silat team, who won bronze in the men's regu during the previous edition back in Kuala Lumpur in 2008, will make their debut in the tournament tomorrow.

Sourced from http://www.brudirect.com/index.php/2010121835573/Sports-News/ubd-struggling-in-thailand.html

Pencak Silat Links Indonesia to Athletes Around the World

Harriet Zuidland of the Netherlands, right, fights Tran Thi Luyen of Vietnam during her finals match at the Pencak Silat World Championships on Friday. (JG Photo/Jurnasyanto Sukarno)

Jakarta. The common way of introducing Indonesian culture to foreigners is serving them the delicious nasi goreng or sop buntut.

Or sharing with them stories of how beautiful Bali is or how majestic the Borobodur temples are.

Dutch national Patrick Pronk took quite a different approach in discovering Indonesia.

He got into the martial arts of pencak silat.

“Pencak silat means almost everything to me,” he said.

“When I don’t practice, I don’t know what to do.

“I just sit at home.”

Pronk’s passion for the game led him to Jakarta last week, when he competed in his maiden World Pencak Silat Championships.

He was one of only two Europeans to land a berth in the final, before he lost 5-0 to Indonesian pesilat Sapto Purnomo in the men’s D class (60 to 65 kilograms).

A second Dutch pesilat, Harriet Zuidland, bagged the silver in the women’s 70-75kg.

“I’m happy because I got into the final, but I’m not happy because I didn’t fight my best,” Pronk said.

“I was thinking too much. I almost knew that I was going to meet an Indonesian in the final.”

Pronk got into pencak silat in 2005, when his father took him to the martial arts club Bongkot Friesland in the city of Leeuwarden.

While most of his friends were into football, Pronk said pencak silat appealed to him almost immediately.

“I just love the culture in pencak silat, the people I meet. They’re generally nice and supportive. It’s not just fighting, it’s the style that goes with it.”

Pronk has competed in a number of European events, and his most notable accomplishment so far is his third-place finish in the European championship. He, however, wants more exposure.

“At this moment, the competition in Europe is not very big. We only have five tournaments in Europe the whole year,” he said.

“We’ve been trying to set up more events in the Netherlands. I hope the Netherlands can be the center of pencak silat development in Europe.”

Pencak silat was introduced in Europe in the 1960s by Henri de Thomis, who brought the pencak silat style of Bongkot Harimau to the Netherlands.

Raoul de Thomis, Henri’s son, said that promoting the sport was challenging.

“Kids nowadays are more interested in Internet games. They’re not much into sports anymore,” Raoul said.

To find new talent, Pronk and his fellow Netherlands-based athletes go from school to school to educate the youth about pencak silat, adding it’s not unusual for them to be asked by kids, “What is pencak silat?”

“Of course, it’s not as big as football in the Netherlands,” Pronk said.

“It’s not even as big as kickboxing, because the Dutch are good at kickboxing.”

Even though he considers pencak silat as just a hobby, Pronk, who works as a nurse, says he is focused on improving his skills by training two hours every night five days a week.

“I want to become a world champion, and I’ll try again [at the next world championships] two years from now,” said Pronk, who hopes to one day study under an Indonesian master.

Prabowo Subianto, the recently elected president of the International Pencaksilat Federation (Persilat), said the sport has a solid following in 45 countries.

“It’s such an honor for Indonesia to know that other nations are willing to learn our culture through the sport,” Prabowo said with pride.

“They even want us to send more coaches to these places. Persilat will answer this challenge by holding more coaching clinics in the future.”

Sourced from http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/sports/pencak-silat-links-indonesia-to-athletes-around-the-world/41259

18 December 2010

Indonesia victorious at pencak silat championships

Hosts Indonesia were crowned overall champions at the 14th Pencak Silat World Championships in Jakarta, carting a total of 10 gold, five silver and six bronze medals on Sunday.

2007 overall winners Vietnam trailed in second with eight gold, eight silver and three bronze medals, while Malaysia came third with four gold, six silver and six bronze.

Indonesian Pencak Silat Association head Prabowo Subianto said he was proud that his team became overall champions as planned.

“We failed to get the title in previous championships,” he said. “But this time we made it. I really hope this victory could be a good start for Indonesia to regain its glory in martial arts.”

Prabowo is also the newly appointed president for the international pencak silat organization Persilat.

In the previous championships in 2007, Indonesia finished fourth.

Prabowo said the 2010 championships were the largest pencak silat event with a total of 30 participating countries.

In Friday’s final, Indonesia’s Pranoto, Dian Kristanto and Sapto Purnomo in the men’s tanding (fight), and Rosmayani in the women’s tanding all won gold.

Indonesia failed to meet its initial goal of six gold medals. Vietnam picked up eight gold medals from its 10 fighters.

Dian said he was proud to contribute to the Indonesian team’s overall win.

“This is my comeback performance after a two-year break from a ligament injury in my right leg.
And today I did well,” he said, referring to an injury he sustained at the inaugural Asian Beach Games in Bali in 2008.

“It was actually a challenge to fight [defending champions] Vietnam. Now I’m happy with this win,” he added.

Dian admitted the Vietnamese were hard to beat because they had little to lose at the event. “They went all out, which is why they got this far,” he added.

Dian thanked the home fans for their support during the bouts, saying it boosted the fighters’ morale.
“I think home supporters are now very appreciative. And it really affected us.”

He said he hoped Indonesia would grow in strength at the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in the country next year and in the 2012 world championships.

On Wednesday, the Indonesian team clinched all six gold medals in the men’s singles seni (demonstration), women’s singles demonstration, men’s doubles demonstration, women’s doubles demonstration, men’s groups demonstration and women’s groups demonstration.

The only representative from Europe, the Netherlands, lauded host Indonesia for organizing the tournament.

“Despite Indonesia leading [the tournament], I really think pencak silat in Vietnam has been well developed. The team has been performed really well in the championships,” Dutch team coach Raoul de Thomis said.

Sourced from http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/12/18/ri-victorious-pencak-silat-c%E2%80%99ships.html

17 December 2010

Action must complement vision and ideas, youths told

Warriors: Ahmad (left) with silat master Mustapa Kamal Shariff during the launch ceremony.

Youths must be more pro-active and move fast nowadays in order not to be left behind, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

He said the youths, being the generation who would shape the country’s future must not only have vision or ideas but also action.

“Without concrete actions, whatever you plan will not materialise,” he said when launching the 1Borneo Gayong Martial Arts Programme at the Kuching Waterfront yesterday.

“The future of the country depends on the youths who carry the responsibility to ensure the success of the nation,” he added.

He also urged the youths to be knowledgeable and disciplined which they could acquire from practising martial arts.

Written by CALVIN YEO
Sourced from http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/12/17/sarawak/7637822&sec=sarawak

Indonesia Fights Its Way to Regain Pencak Silat Crown

A young athlete demonstrates his self-defense skills at the finals of the Pencak Silat World Championship 2010 in Jakarta on Friday. Indonesia broke Vietnam’s decade-long hold on the sport by emerging with the most gold medals. (JG Photo/Jurnasyanto Sukarno)

JAKARTA - After being in the shadow of Vietnam in the last three years, Indonesia has finally regained its place at the top of the martial art it gave the world.

The hosts emerged the overall champions at the conclusion of the 14th World Pencak Silat Championships in Jakarta, on Friday, bagging 10 gold medals, five silvers and six bronzes.

Vietnam finished second with eight golds, eight silvers, and three bronzes, followed by Malaysia (4-4-6) and Brunei (1-0-3).

Vietnam was the overall winner of the 2007 world championships and also took the most golds at the 2009 Southeast Asian Games in Laos.

At Jakarta’s Padepokan Pencak Silat complex, Indonesia swept all six golds in the artistic events (seni), with the other four coming from combat events (tarung).

Prabowo Subianto, president of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Federation (IPSI), praised the athletes for their achievement.

“I hope this will mark the reawakening of our own martial arts, which has been dominated for some time by Vietnam,” said Prabowo, who on Thursday was elected president of the International Pencak Silat Federation (Persilat).

“Our next target is to help the country win the overall championship at the Southeast Asian Games next year,” he added.

In the 2009 SEA Games, Indonesia managed to win only two golds, while Vietnam had six and Malaysia four.

Among the gold medalists in this week’s tarung events were Pranoto and Dian Kristanto.

Pranoto, who used to compete in the men’s H class (80-85 kilograms), was fielded in the J class (90-95kg), where he beat Malaysia’s Nik Mohd. Noor Rashdan 5-0.

“When I arrived at Padepokan to join the training camp, I was overweight,” Pranoto said. “Since it was impossible for me to reduce weight quickly, my coach decided to field me in a heavier weight class.”

Dian defeated Diep Ngoc Vu Minh of Vietnam 5-0 to top the men’s A class (45-50kg) despite not having seen action since injuring his right leg at the inaugural Asian Beach Games that were held in 2008.

“I was groggy and not quite sure if I can make it or not. I’ve only been practicing all this time, but now I’ve done it. I’m so satisfied and I’ve gained more confident,” the 26-year-old said, adding that his next target was suiting up for the SEA Games.

The other two tarung gold medals came from Sapto Purnomo and Rosmayani.

Sapto bagged his gold medal after beating Patrick Pronk of the Netherlands 5-0 in the men’s class D (60-65kg) final.

Rosmayani defeated Malaysian Malini Binti Muhammad 5-0 to win the gold in the women’s class C (55-60kg).

Sourced from http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/sports/indonesia-fights-its-way-to-regain-pencak-silat-crown/412384

Nine Indonesian into final in world pencak silat championship

Nine athletes of host Indonesia secured final spots at the 14th pencak silat world championships after a tight semifinal Wednesday, a media reported here on Thursday.

The Championships has started since Sunday in Jakarta and will end on Friday.

"We also aim for golds in the arts event," Indonesian team manager Edi Prabowo was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying here. Indonesia had 15 fighters in the semifinals round. However, six of them failed to progress to the finals.

Separately, team Thailand withdrew from the championship because it felt it was being treated unfairly by referees when it faced Malaysia in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

The championship is participated by athletes from Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.

Sourced from http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90779/90867/7233992.html

16 December 2010

Indonesian fan attack Vietnamese sports official

An Indonesian fan suddenly drop-kicked the chief of the Vietnamese Pencak Silat delegation at a game between a Vietnamese and Indonesian pencak Silat player on December 16.

Nguyen Ngoc Anh, chief of the Vietnamese delegation to the World Pencak Silat Championship in Jakarta, didn’t agree with the referee’s decision to record a point for the host player because he broke the rules. Ngoc Anh stood near the playground and he ran to the referee to protest the referee’s decision.

Suddenly, an Indonesian fan appeared and a drop-kicked the Vietnamese official. When the fan felt down. A Vietnamese Pencak Silat coach rushed into to defend Ngoc Anh.

Some members of the Indonesian delegation and some audience members joined the battle, creating a scene of chaos at the game. Referees and security guards intervened to stabilize the situation.

After the incident, Ngoc Anh said that that the organizing board and the Indonesian Pencak Silat Federation offered an apology to the Vietnamese delegation.

The tournament closed on December 19 and Vietnam took the first place. The team defended its championship title with eight gold medals, especially one gold gained from the seni event, which is the strength of host Indonesia .

The WPSC, opened on Dec. 12, drew the participation of 425 athletes from 32 countries worldwide.

Sourced from http://english.vietnamnet.vn/en/sports/2950/indonesian-fans-attack-vietnamese-sports-official.html

14 December 2010

MSU Martial artist

"My involvement in Kelab Seni Silat Gayung Fatani (KSSGF) at the Management & Science University (MSU) was initially only to develop my interest in martial arts but it has taken me far," said Mohd Hairulnizam Ibrahim, 26, on the beginning of his involvement in martial arts.

He was then a student of Biomedical Sciences at MSU and was one of the earliest members in KSSGF, MSU. "I was impressed with its sense of movement and the beauty of its dance movements, as each movement of the hand has its own meaning," he said. He is now a lecturer in the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences at MSU in addition to acting as an instructor for the Pertubuhan Seni Gayung Fatani Malaysia (PSGFM).

Proud moment - Hairulnizam is second from right.
Besides being active in KSSGF, Hairulnizam was in the Student Representative Council at MSU. "Participation in extra-curricular activities helped me better focus on learning and help polished my soft skills," he added.

He said the most memorable time of his involvement in martial arts was when he was selected together with five PSGFM coaches to represent Malaysia in March in the Festival des Arts Martial Bercy, in Paris, which involved 32 types of martial arts from around the world.

MSU emphasises academic performance and active participation in extra-curricular activities for the development of graduates who are competent, and have the soft skills that will add value to their marketability.

Sourced from http://www.thesundaily.com/article.cfm?id=55120

12 December 2010

Ten countries absent from pencak silat championships

Ten countries have confirmed that they will not be competing in the 14th Pencak Silat World Championships, which will be held from Sunday to next Friday at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in Jakarta.

“The 10 countries in absence are Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Turkey, Yemen, Austria, Italy and Mozambique,” Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) secretary Erizal Chaniago said Saturday, as quoted by Antara.

The 10 countries cited various reasons for their withdrawal from the event, but the main reason was insufficient transportation budgets, he said.

Despite the recent confirmation, the event will still feature about 400 fighters from 30 countries, including Indonesia.

Athletes from Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam began arriving in the capital on Friday, Enrico said.

IPSI development chief Tafsil Rimsal said that participants from Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand began training sessions Saturday morning.

As the host country, Indonesia will be represented by 29 athletes at the event. Most members of
the Indonesian team have been training for the world championships and the 2011 Southeast Asian Games.

“The event is a perfect opportunity for our top athletes to sharpen their fighting morale against international fighters,” said Tafsil, adding that he had cautioned the athletes to never underestimate their opponents.

“I’m hoping for the best for Indonesia, becoming overall champions, if possible,” he said.

IPSI chairman Prabowo Subianto acknowledged that despite Indonesia’s hopes of becoming overall champions, their chances could be slimmer than when the event was last hosted here in 2000.

As countries such as Vietnam begin to master the sport, Indonesian fighters have been sliding down the rankings in international competitions. At the 2009 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos, Indonesian pencak silat fighters only bagged two gold medals, while Vietnam pocketed six.

Pencak silat has been featured at the SEA Games since 1987.

Sourced from: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/12/12/ten-countries-absent-pencak-silat-c%E2%80%99ships.html

01 December 2010

Pencak silat dying at home

Despite the fact that the sport now has roots in 40 countries around the world, pencak silat, a traditional martial art, is dying a slow death in its homeland: Indonesia.

Eddie Marzoeki Nalapraya, known as the country’s father of pencak silat development, expressed hope that the government would provide financial support to rejuvenate the neglected discipline.

“It is about time we received support as we’ve been building padepokan [pencak silat facilities] for the past 30 years without any assistance from the government,” Eddie said at a media conference to announce the 14th Pencak Silat World Championship to be hosted from Dec. 12 to 17 at Padepokan Pencak Silat Indonesia in East Jakarta.

There are hundreds of pencak silat schools scattered around the archipelago, but less than 30 padepokan are qualified to hold training sessions.

“Supporting pencak silat means both developing the sport and also preserving our culture,” Eddie said, adding that he was concerned about the Korean government’s involvement in developing taekwondo in Indonesia.

“The Korean government and Korean companies are involved in building a taekwondo hall at an Islamic boarding school in Sawangan [West Java]. They even hired a Korean taekwondo coach,” he said.

Eddie retired as chairman position of the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI) in 2003, after 22 years at the helm. Although not an athlete himself, Eddie was the founder of PERSILAT — the International Pencak Silat Federation —in 1981. It now has 40 countries as members.

Through the federation, Eddie popularized pencak silat at the international level by sending pencak silat coaches to teach in places such as Vietnam, Iran, Yemen, Turkey and Russia.

As countries such as Vietnam begin to master the sport, Indonesian fighters are starting to perform poorly in international competitions. At the 2009 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos, Indonesian pencak silat fighters bagged only two gold medals, while Vietnam pocketed six. Pencak silat has featured at the SEA Games since 1987.

IPSI chairman Prabowo Subianto acknowledged that despite Indonesia’s hopes of becoming overall champions at the upcoming World Championship, their chances would be slimmer than in 2000, when the event was last hosted here.

Indonesia will have 28 fighters in the championships, which will feature a total of 425 athletes from 32 countries, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, India, Uzbekistan, the Netherlands, Russia, Germany, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

“We still wish be overall champions, but it is not a rigid target as other countries are also highly motivated [to win this event],” Prabowo said.

Sourced from http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/12/01/pencak-silat-dying-home.html

23 November 2010

The Mask of Silat

The reporters were being led on a visit through the Moro section of the Philippines, Mindanao, the southernmost part of the archipelago, which comprises several provinces: Surigao, Misamis Oriental, Occidental, Zamboanga, Ausan, Budidon, Lanao, Davao, Gotobato and the Sulu archipelago.

Each reporter had been on a “cultural” assignment, and the Philippine Tourist Bureau had whetted each writer’s palate for the benefits of the Philippines and the reasons for tourists to come to the islands.

Before being invited, the tourist board wanted to know who the reporters were, what magazines or newspapers they represented, and any or all of their special interests. The increasing interest in Philippine culinary arts had captured the fancy of many daily newspaper cooking columnists and the delicacies of the islands were spread out before them. I represented Black Belt. I wanted to know more about silat, the legendary, death-inflicting martial art that had been kept under wraps whenever any publicity about the Philippines was released.

“Silat?” asked the Philippine representative. “Oh yes,” he said with a smile that came too easily. “Yes, we can arrange for you to see some silat.” He called over an assistant and whispered into his ear.

A Quaint Dance
I was shown silat, at least the silat the tourist men wanted me to see. It was a dance that one of the journalists called “quaint.” Frankly, it was a dance movement accompanied by music. This “modification” is “quaint,” but it is not real silat, true silat. Langka, the modification, has as much terror connected to it as Red Riding Hood against the Big Bad Wolf.

For the tourists to the Philippine islands, such entertainment is satisfactory for the movements do smack of the cultural aspects of the islands, but when you consider the origins of this martial art, it is a pretty weak stew.

The art of silat, known to the Samals and Tausogs, is believed to have been introduced by the Bugi (sic) natives of Cebes (sic) during the second half of the 19th century. According to some Moros, silat is a Malayan word that means “offense and defense with bladed weapons.” It also refers to actual combat. It is more than a dance; it is a form of war.

There is a historical reason behind the martial art. To begin with, the Moros have a record of defiance to both Spanish and American authority. Hatred by the Moros toward any foreign domination runs rampant and the feeling is still intense. Gen. “Blackjack” Pershing, who commanded the Allied armies of World War I, gained much of his battle experience through the encounters with the Muslims of Mindanao before going to the battlefields of Europe.

The Americans were the only ones to wage a winning war with the Moros using heavy artillery against the armadas of silat-trained Moros to gain their ground. The despotic Spaniards, however, those conquerors of many lands, put up fortifications along the coasts, but whenever they ventured within the interior of the country, they came out bloodstained and weary for their efforts.

The Lanao Muslims have built a long reputation for their fierceness of attack in the art of silat, and the Moros are expert, to this day, in the use of the kali, a native style of fencing played by a selected few in royal places. With this background, to have summoned up this watered-down routine and call it silat is like calling Bunker Hill a tea party.

The Secretive Moros
Through constant prodding of the secretive Moros, I was promised a display of true silat, which is now practiced by the Samal tribe of Sibutu and Simunol in Tawi-Tawi. This deadly sport has since been introduced to the natives of Jolo and Mindanao and has been practiced in combat sport by the Moros.

Seeing silat is an unforgettable experience. The art is never played, it is fought, and it is not a martial art where the combatants walk away without some shedding of blood. Moro tradition observes the secrecy of instruction. Silat lessons are considered top secret by both teacher and students, and not everybody can witness the exercises and play. Perhaps, the tourist bureau actually believed that what they had shown me and other reporters was the true silat. The combat art is practiced in the home, all windows and doors are barred and no outsiders are allowed until my persuasion opened those doors and windows to me.

Some of the silat masters I talked to alleged that the originators of the art in Mindanao were Tubba, Suhudah and Wabulongs. These are the very same people who were war-oriented and brought the art of kuntao, a karate-like sport to the Philippines.

Usually, an expert in this Mohammedan combat art only exhibits his knowledge of the art by body maneuvers like pivoting, parrying, hitting, turning at four corners, leaping, evading, swinging the bladed weapon for hit and parry. Silat, when executed by Muslim players, gives the rendition of coordinated movements with modification of various techniques. It is sometimes combined with the rustic and graceful striking movements of the Amis. The real silat is unlike arnis in that two people cannot hold bladed weapons and start executing the hit and parry strokes for practice. The Moros believe that if two players were allowed to perform practice face to face before a crowd, the enthusiasm of the audience might drive them on, excite them into killing each other upon such provocation.

Some basic strokes of silat are similar to arnis, “cinco tiros” or five strokes in that they are a right high cut, a left low cut, a right low cut, a left high cut and thrust. These skills are practiced with a Moro dagger called the kris, or a barong.

Metaphysical Aspect
In talking to the combat players, they are extremely enveloped in the metaphysical aspects of the art. They claim to feel the supernatural powers of the anting-anting charm, and many wear ornamental decorations such as lockets or amulets on their neck. There are unbelievable stories that are related by the teachers about certain phrases spoken in time of danger and actual combat.

Because of the precision movements necessary in the martial art, the student learns the lagot (hit) and the tangkis (parry) after he has mastered the graceful art of walking, jumping and balancing on one foot and swinging the forearms like a fan called the bunga. Silat, except for the undeveloped form and moods of skill, can compare favorably with foreign fencing. Individual techniques, however, can be degenerated into graceful steps and dance movements, the kind I was shown by the tourist bureau.

The art of silat, because of its martial effectiveness, spread through the efforts of Ussin, the son of Tubba, who journeyed as far as Mindanao to earn a living. However, his pupils propagated the Muslim art of combat in various places in Mindanao. Today the deadly art introduced by the Samals has become a patrimony and a legacy of the Philippine nation. However, up to the present time, the ancient art of fighting with bladed weapons still survived in the southern islands of Mindanao.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Corrections in terminology to this article include Bugi to Bugis and Cebe to Celebes or Sulawesi. Aside from these, although words like Kris do not conform to Silat Melayu: The Blog and Silat Melayu Community's language policy, this article has not been edited to respect the language use of the time.

Originally published in BLACK BELT Magazine, September 1967.
Sourced from http://www.blackbeltmag.com/archives/542

22 November 2010

Bersilat Is Like a Dance: This Popular Art of Self-Defense Is Serious Business in Malaysia

In Malaysia, they say a man is not really capable of defending himself against an attacker unless he knows something about bersilat. It is a self-defense art that dates back to the early 15th century and today is still popular.

The art enjoys such popularity that it can be practiced by anyone whether he’s 8 or 60 years old.

When the art was first introduced to the Malacca Court by a religious teacher from North Sumatra, Indonesia, it became a necessary part of a young man’s education.

There have been considerable changes made in the original style, and through the years, it was practiced in secret with complicated rituals and customs.

In Malaysia, bersilat attracts many men to its evening classes. Particularly youths living in villages and suburban areas indulge in the art. They are taught the fine points of parrying or avoiding an attack by an opponent who may be armed with a kris (Malay knife) or pedang or parang panjang (Malay sword).

Young folks nowadays take up bersilat as an artistic form of physical exercises, and they often demonstrate the art at ceremonials.

Instructors emphasize its use as a form of self-defense. Basically, bersilat exists in two forms. One, the silat pulot, is purely for exhibition at weddings and other ceremonials. The other is known as silat buah and is used for serious fighting.

One can tell by the opening graceful movements the type of bersilat the performer has mastered. With a leap, he will begin moving to the rhythmic strains of an orchestra, demonstrating the techniques of defense against one or several assailants.

The movements consist of quick parries and counter-strokes with the arms, well-timed steps and swift kicks.

There are many versions of self-defense bersilat. The most common are the bersilat gayong and bersilat harimau. To a lesser or greater extent, most of the movements involve a spiritual aspect, with the performer uttering religious incantations and blessings. This, say its devotees, helps bring out supernatural strength and provide the body with protection.

All of the training and exercises in use today have been handed down from the original bersilat masters and are passed on by the loyal disciples from generation to generation.

Malaysians interested in the art like to speak of its early beginnings. They tell of the legendary hero Hang Tuah of Malacca, who lived in the 15th century and is considered the father of bersilat in Malaysia.

With his friends, Hang Tuah traveled great distances in his day to learn the art, and his glorious exploits are vividly described in many Malay classics.

With four of his friends, Hang Tuah made long and difficult journeys to reach Mount Rundok to meet mahaguru (grandmaster) Adi Putera to learn the defensive tactics employed in bersilat.

After long training and plenty of strenuous exercises, Hang Tuah continued his studies at Majapahit in the Mount Winara area with mahaguru Persanta Nala as his instructor.

The knowledge he acquired through his vigorous training taught him how to face an enemy and this he passed on to his followers. Many later proved to be loyal warriors to the State.

The movements involved in bersilat when used for defense or on the attack can be summed up as follows:

1. salutation movement (gerak langkah sembah).

2. art of bodily movement, a dancelike affair in which the performer employs weapons. This is known as penchak seni tari dan seni tari bersenjata.

3. avoiding movement, which Malaysians call elak mengelak.

4. side-striking tactics, which Malaysians refer to as tepis menipis.

5. kicking and falling techniques or sepak terajang.

6. stabbing tactics, called tikam menikam.

7. art of warriorship, classified by Malaysians as ilmu keperwira’an.

In addition to being an excellent form of physical training, the art of bersilat has great spiritual value, serving, according to its devotees, as an important aid of enhancing one’s spiritual development. As a bodybuilder, it helps in the achievement of general fitness, it provides alertness and gives the participant the courage he needs to meet his daily challenges.

To the people who take part in this great art of self-defense, many significant benefits are offered.

According to the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Malaysia and Selangor Silat Seni Gayong Association of Malaysia, the value of bersilat can be summed up as follows:

As a dance, it develops an aesthetic feeling of a cultural nature. As a form of physical training, it promotes good health, and as a form of spiritual education, it develops such qualities as calmness, tolerance, observance, mental efficiency, courage and self-confidence.

An expert who specializes in the throwing and unbalancing techniques of bersilat says any Malaysian can defend himself against an attacker by using very little physical strength if he knows bersilat.

The expert, who is skillful in the use of a technique of hitting the vital spot known as seni sendi, points out that there are 12 critical nerve centers in the body. “All of these spots are vulnerable to severe pain at the slightest touch of an expert’s hand,” he says. “The technique will make an assailant react as though he had suffered an electric shock.”

According to this authority, a small man should never try to rely on his own strength when he goes up against a bigger man who happens to be a sheer brute. Instead, he should make use of the opponent’s strength for counterattacking.

“If attacked,” he explains, “one must think quickly, clearly and analytically about the position one is in and how best to get out of it. All this is more or less automatic.”

As he further describes it, “Just screaming and struggling may not avert tragedy. For example, if grabbed by the throat from behind, the victim of an attack will be thrown back and probably lose his balance and fall if he becomes panicky and pulls forward. However, if he grabs the attacker’s wrist and pulls the arm away from his neck, he can flip the attacker to the ground. The confidence and know-how a bersilat performer displays is often enough to send an attacker running for dear life.”

Another technique taught to bersilat students is kunchi, a locking procedure. It’s a handy way of giving a prowler or a burglar the bum’s rush once you sense his presence and give it to him in a very painful way.

If an attacker grabs his victim from the front, an expert can startle him by hitting a nerve center. The attacker will then loosen his grip and he can throw the attacker backwards by using his legs, the expert says. However, if the assailant grabs the victim by the neck from the rear, the defender can grasp one of the attacker’s fingers and bend it back. The pain is unbearable.

One of the simplest locks is to hold the attacker’s arm flat on the ground by pressing the knee on the outside of the attacker’s elbow. Once a person is pinned down, you can take all the time you need to decide what to do with the culprit. One thing is sure, the rascal will never get away.

One passing thought in the use of bersilat. Its teachers always stress that its followers must not use it to initiate an attack. It is strictly for self-defense, for counterattacking when one is in danger.

Only then, they say, is one justified to use it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Although words like Malay, Kris and Bersilat do not conform to Silat Melayu: The Blog and Silat Melayu Community's language policy, this article has not been edited to respect the language use of the time.

Written by C.K. CHANG
Originally published in BLACK BELT Magazine, September 1967.
Sourced from http://www.blackbeltmag.com/archives/537

21 November 2010

Silat associations must contribute towards human capital development - Muhyiddin

KEPALA BATAS (Nov 20, 2010): Malay silat associations in the country must play a role in contributing towards human capital development for the next generation, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said they should also make efforts attract the younger generation to the martial art at the school level, higher education institutions and community centres, including mosques.

"At the same time, we must remember that the younger generation of today are the inheritors of our religion, race and country in future," he said when officiating a gathering organised by the Malaysian Seni Silat Lincah Association here today.

At the function, Penang Yang Dipertua Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, who is also the association's first 'Ulul Amri', conferred the same title, the association's fourth, to Muhyiddin.

Muhyiddin said silat training modules had proven to be able to mould individuals of strong character, which could positively impact others in society, Malays and non-Malays alike.

"The government from early on has been supportive of silat movements, and in relation to this, through the Youth and Sports Ministry, Information Communication and Culture Ministry and Islamic religious departments has been cooperating with silat associations so that the martial art gains recognition and is in line with Islam, which is the official religion of the country," he said.

He added that the 'espirit de corps' prevalent among members (of silat associations) if expanded in the context of leadership, would lead to fostering greater unity among the people irrespective of politics, economic power or ethnicity.

Sourced from http://www.thesundaily.com/article.cfm?id=54232

22 October 2010

From Majapahit to PWTC

KUALA LUMPUR: An avid collector of antique keris for 17 years, S. Amin Shahab had never given any thought of parting with any of his prized possessions.

However, his dream of owning the Sundang keris, the biggest in the keris family, which can fetch up to RM20,000, has forced the award-winning movie director and music composer to let go some of his cherished items with a heavy heart.

“This is the best way for me to raise funds to buy the Sundang,” Amin told The Malay Mail when met at his stall at the Umno General Assembly in Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday.

13 October 2010

Successful silat convention

Deadly moves: The Helang Putih Perkasa team showing some of the movements in sparring.

The 4th Sarawak Silat Masters Convention 2010 in Kuching recently was a huge success.

Rumpun Silat Sarawak (RSS) secretary-general Muhammad Haneef Ali said the objective of the four-day convention was to encourage and promote the art of silat among the people especially the younger generation.

“Through the convention we were able to develop the art of silat through ideas and discussions among the participants,” he said, adding that the participation of the young was vital in keeping silat alive.

The convention, which started last Friday and ended on Monday, was jointly organised by RSS and the Social Development and Urbanisation Ministry.

The opening ceremony at the Sarawak Indoor Stadium in Petra Jaya last Saturday, where 400 silat masters showed their prowess, had attracted some 5,000 spectators.

“I think this year’s silat convention is very interesting especially the silat demonstration by the Debus Team from Java,” said a spectator, Mohd Fezull.

He said the performance by the silat exponents from West Kalimantan also thrilled him and the other spectators.

Mohd Fezull hoped this art of self-defence would also be extended to other races apart from the Malays.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said at the opening of the convention that greater effort was needed to encourage the participation of the younger generation. He also said women should take up silat to protect themselves.

“I will personally sponsor anyone who wants to spread silat teachings in Sarawak,” said Taib.

Silat originally developed in Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, southern Thailand and Singapore. It was also traditionally practised in Brunei, the Philippines, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

There are 23,000 RSS members from all over Sarawak but many students had not join the association.

Written and Photo by REEN REIRA
Sourced from http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2010/10/1/southneast/7129451&sec=southneast

09 October 2010

Fourth Sarawak Silat Convention today

KUCHING: Some 400 silat masters statewide are expected to attend the Fourth Silat Convention here today.

Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is expected to officiate at the event at the State Indoor Stadium.

Troupes from the Rumpun Silat Sarawak (RSS), and the Social Development and Urbanisation Ministry will display their prowess in this enduring Melayu martial art with a special appearance by a team from Kalimantan Barat.

07 October 2010

Perlis all out to spur silat activities

KANGAR, Oct 7 (Bernama) -- All Kampung and Security Development Committees (JKKK) have been asked to submit proposal to set up a silat court in their respective kampungs in efforts to popularise the Malay martial art.

Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the state government would ensure that each silat court would be used only for healthy and proper activities.

"We want silat activities placed on proper footing although exponents could have come from different political beliefs," he said when closing the Perlis Silat Carnival 2001 in Arau, near here today.

Shahidan, who is also president of Perlis Silat Association, also advised silat exponents not to forget their duties to the nation and not to be influenced by groups with narrow-minded views of things.

Some 260 silat exponents took part in the three-day carnival.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-78978698/perlis-all-out-spur.html

03 October 2010

PM hails nation’s ‘third line of defence’

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has paid tribute to members of the country’s largest silat seni gayong or Malay martial arts association who he said had contributed much to peace.

He described members of the National Silat Seni Gayong Association as the country’s defenders who were willing to make sacrifices, including giving up their lives, to protect the nation.

“I consider the silat gayong association as one of three important groups in our line of defence, who can protect the country’s sovereignty and security. The first two are members of the armed forces and the police.

01 October 2010

10 Silat Exponents To Represent Country In August

KULAI, Oct 1 (Bernama) -- Ten silat exponents, including two national silat exponents, will represent the country in the Asean University Games (AUG) to be hosted by Thailand, in Chiangmai from Dec 15-23.

Silat team manager Azli Puddin said with the presence of the two national silat exponents, the silat team has been targetted for two gold medals.

"We believe the target of winning one gold medal each in silat seni and silat olaraga can be achieved," he told Bernama here Friday.

Malacca government needs RM135mil to recreate Hang Tuah villlage in Kg Duyong

Site visit: Mohd Khalil (centre) visiting the proposed Hang Tuah village site while accompanied by Mohd Ali and other guests.

MALACCA: The state government is seeking RM135mil to recreate the village of 14th century legendary Malay warrior Hang Tuah in Kampung Duyong, which has been identified as a tourist attraction.

The project, will cover a total area of 24.7ha within Kampung Duyong, next to Sungai Duyong with Hang Tuah’s well being one of the main attractions.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said 20 of the existing homes in the village would be restored while 25 kampung styled homes from all over the state would be also restored and relocated here.

“We have applied for the funding from the Federal Government and we are awaiting approval which we will know by the end of November.

“If all goes well, we can start the tender for the project by December,” he said, adding the project would be carried out in phases and was expected to be completed in 2012.

He told reporters this after accompanying Malacca Governer Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob on a visit to the proposed site in Kampung Duyong here on Monday.

Besides restoring and preserving the homes, he said the village would also house a museum and gallery, as well as homes of the five famous Malay warriors during the 14th Century Malay Sultanate (Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekir, Hang Kasturi and Hang Lekiu).

“We also plan to build an arena for playing tops as well as a silat arena to showcase the art of silat, especially those that was practiced during Hang Tuah’s time,” he added.

Kampung Duyong is said to be the birthplace of Hang Tuah, the legendary warrior who served the Malacca Sultanate Empire.

The present village is said to be the Hang Tuah’s home, owing to the presence of an ancient well, believed to have healing properties and said to have been dug by Hang Tuah.

Written by CINDY TAN
Sourced from http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2010/10/1/southneast/7129451&sec=southneast

30 September 2010

237 IPT Silat Exponents To Fight It Out In DPM Cup

KULAI, Sept 30 (Bernama) -- The Deputy Prime Minister Cup International Silat championships has attracted 237 silat exponents studying in Higher Learning Institutions (IPT) from four countries.

The inaugural championships featuring 29 IPT teams and 12 junior teams, started on Tuesday at the IOI Mall and comprised students from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Head of secretariat for the Championships, Azli Puddin said from the 237, 146 would feature in the men's events while 91 compete in the women's category.

04 August 2010

Brunei Silat Team Leave For Southeast Asian Tourney

Bandar Seri Begawan - The national pencak silat team left the Brunei International Airport in Berakas yesterday to gauge their skills at the 2nd Southeast Asian Silat Championship 2010.

Ten men and three women will represent the Sultanate at the seven-day tournament, which is being held in Vietnam from August 4-10.

"We intend to use the competition as a warm-up for next year's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games," said Pg Hj Abd Karim Pg Hj Metassan, team manager and vice-president of Brunei Darussalam National Pencak Silat Association (Persib).

14 July 2010

Focus on Malay martial arts

Warm welcome: Wan Ali greeting Mawan (second from right) while RSS secretary-general Mohammad Haneef Ali (left) and the ministry’s acting permanent secretary Hamdan Sharbini look on in Kuching.

Some 400 silat masters from all over Sarawak will converge at Stadium Perpaduan for the 4th Silat Convention from Sept 28 to 30.

Rumpun Silat Sarawak (RSS) president Datuk Wan Ali Tuanku Yubi said the convention was aimed at promoting Malay martial arts and getting the teachers updated on silat’s latest developments.

“The idea is to get the teachers to learn new techniques and familiarise themselves with updates in martial arts which they could incorporate in their lessons,” he said during a courtesy call on Social Development and Urbanisation Minister Datuk Seri William Mawan Ikom in Kuching yesterday.

A total of six working papers will be presented and deliberated upon at the convention to be attended by some 5,000 people.

Among the paper presenters will be Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, Housing Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and Special Adviser in the Chief Minister’s Office Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who is the RSS patron, is scheduled to officiate at the event’s opening.

Mawan said his ministry was supportive of silat’s development in Sarawak because it had cultural and social significance.

“We will help coordinate the convention as it is part of our social outreach programme. Our silat exponents have done us proud by winning a gold, two silver and five bronze at the recent Sukma,” he added.

RSS has 11 regional branches and 23,000 members.

Sourced from http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/7/14/sarawak/6657916&sec=sarawak

12 July 2010

Lowest Participation In Belait Pencak Silat Competition This Year

Kuala Belait - Competition for the traditional martial arts of pencak silat in the Belait District to mark His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam's 64th birthday celebrations was held at the Kuala Belait Municipal Hall yesterday afternoon.

Chairman Haji Zabidi bin Ali who has been organising the contest for over a decade said he had recorded the lowest participation in the competition so far, with only eight people taking part.

Haji Zabidi said the exclusion of two popular silat categories had contributed to this low participation.

10 July 2010

Guru Nizam Unveils Online Silat Martial Arts Training Course For Beginners

Guru Nizam Unveils Online Silat Martial Arts Training Course For Beginners Who Want to Discover How to Tap Into The Energy of The Primal Forces of Nature.

A silat martial arts expert has created an online video package aimed at teaching beginners how to master the basics of the ancient Malaysian practise within just a few days.

Black-belt Guru Nizam, chief coach for Malaysia’s Pusat Cemerlang Silat (PCS), a silat centre of excellence set up in 2002, claims his step-by-step video training program reveals secrets that have been closely guarded by martial arts exponents down the centuries.

21 June 2010

Silat Kalam - The Brooklyn Monk learns silat

Guru Mazlan man stood in a neutral stance, hands at his side, feet side by side, a natural and relaxed stance, which is the starting point of all Silat Kalam movements. I threw a punch at his face. He blocked my punching arm, knocking it skyward. Next, he drove his knee into the tendons at the back of my knee joint. He was only going at a quarter speed, but the pain was incredible. After 50 years of martial art practice, the Guru was perfect. In every movement, I could feel his bones cutting through my flesh and digging into my nerves.

He placed his shin bone against the back of my knee and leaned forward. I had no choice but to fall down, on one knee. Next, he stomped down hard on my calf muscle which was flat on the ground. Then he backhanded me in the face, and I fell backward. My body was completely locked. My own natural skeletal structure had betrayed me. The only way I could stand back up was if the Guru removed his foot from my calf muscle and then reached a hand down, to help me stand.

This was Silat Kalam, an art designed to completely subdue an attacker, but never to be used as an attack.
“I breathe because of God. I drink because of God. I eat because of God. I practice Silat because of God.” This is a portion of the mantra which Guru Mazlan Man had the students recite on a daily basis. He explained his philosophy this way. “We must remember that we only do things because of God. And if we only do things because of God, we will not do bad things. You cannot say, I steal because of God.”

17 June 2010

Pencak silat benefitting from increased popularity

Ruly Kurniawan clenched his fists, swinging his left hand to the right while keeping his feet planted on the ground during a practice session of Indonesian traditional martial art pencak silat in South Jakarta’s Jagakarsa subdistrict.

The 15-year old took a brief time-out, then repeated his movements several times to perfect his balance.

Ten men spent Monday night performing pencak silat combinations at the H. Hasbullah Traditional Beksi School of Pencak Silat, one of the city’s oldest pencak silat schools.

“At first, it was difficult to master all of the stances. But because I have kept on practicing for two years, now I can perform 12 routines,” he said.

Ruly admitted preserving local culture was the main motivation that had driven him to take up the martial art.

Wahyudi Tejo S. shared a similar reason for enrolling at the pencak silat school.

“I’d like to develop the Betawi culture. Apart from that, I want to master pencak silat,” the 21-year old man said.

Five years of studying at the school, he said, had helped channel his fighting spirit into a positive force.

“I used to be very naughty and loved drinking. I even failed to graduate from senior high school because of my ill-tempered character. Being a Beksi fighter has helped me to leave behind those bad habits,” he said, referring to the Beksi style of pencak silat.

Muhali Yahya, the chairman of the school, said scores of people, both young and old, had registered at the school’s 27 branches across the capital.

The company has schools in Rawa Belong in West Jakarta, Pancoran in South Jakarta and Kemayoran in Central Jakarta.

Since 2005, the school in Jagakarsa has received about 150 students, 72 of whom were street children, Muhali said.

“Many young people are enthusiastic to learn the style. Therefore, we run classes for children and women in Jagakarsa,” the 43-year old man said.

Beksi, he said, was a style of martial art that originated in Tangerang, Banten, in 1828. It was introduced to Jakartans by Chinese fighter Lee Chenk Oek in the 1950s.

Muhali said that Beksi consisted of four defensive styles. “The style aims to teach how one can defend against attacks from all directions,” he said.

He said Beksi was a “hard” fighting style that required fighters to land quick and strong strikes on their rivals.

Another pencak silat style, called Si Bunder, utilizes mind reading techniques to predict an opponent’s attacks.

“Learning Si Bunder is quite difficult because it teaches fighters to read an opponent’s mind to know which side they will attack from,” said Babe Nung, a senior coach.

Si Bunder, he continued, required “never ending stance development”. “We always come up with new movements and it may take up to five years to master all 17 stances.”

Unlike the Beksi style, there are not many records chronicling Si Bunder’s history. “We do not have any schools or specific training attire. We do not classify our student fighters into beginner, intermediate or advanced. We simply practice in accordance with the necessities,” Babe said.

He said that although hundreds of students had dabbled in Si Bunder, few had chosen to pursue it to an advanced level, preferring instead to learn the basics and incorporate them into other styles.

“Most of them leave the style once they have gotten what they really need. They do not want to develop and preserve it,” he said.

The 50-year old man said he was selective in choosing his students.

“Now I have 30 pupils, all of whom are devoted to continuing to develop Si Bunder,” he said.

He holds practices four times a week in Kuningan, South Jakarta, and in Menteng Park, Central Jakarta.

For Babe, pencak silat serves not only as a means of self-protection but also as a source of personal pride and confidence. “It is possible for a fighter to quit altogether if he loses a fight simply because his pride has been damaged,” he said.

According to the City Culture and Tourism Agency, the city has about 300 traditional pencak silat styles, including Bayang Gerak Lodaya, Sabeni, Sipecut, Bandrong and Syah Bandar.

Some are recognized by the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association and the Indonesia Traditional Silat Conservers and Lovers Forum.

Written by Eny Wulandari
Sourced from

15 June 2010

Pencak Silat Competition In Temburong

Temburong - A `Pencak Silat' competition was held at the Community Hall of Kampung Rataie National Housing Plan yesterday, as one of the many programmes held by the Temburong District in conjunction with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam 64th birthday celebrations.

It was organised by the Brunei Darussalam Pencak Silat Association (PERSIB).

A silat presentation was performed by invited youths from `Pesilatan Terjurus Sembilan' from Limbang and was headed by their leader, Affendi Haji Suhaili, who further enlivened the competition by performing the Silat Helang Putih'.

Omar Ali Aziz Haji Ismail won the champion for the Pencak Silat Cekak category while Khairul Fitri Abd Wahab won the Silat Kuntau category. Nurul Amal Mazidah emerged as the young champion for the Silat Kuntau category.

The guest of honour, Haji Afero Eswandi Haji Mohammad in his capacity as the Acting Assistant Temburong District Officer, was on hand to present prizes to the winners.

Written by Hj Md Said Arshad
Sourced from http://brudirect.com/index.php/2010061523162/Local-News/pencak-silat-competition-in-temburong.html

11 June 2010

Aussie vows to make silat top martial art down under

NO DISCRIMINATION: Rowbottom demonstrates some techniques of
Pencak Silat Helang Putih Perkasa at Rumpun Silat Hall at MJC in Batu Kawah yesterday.

Hailed from Perth, Rowbottom recalled that he fell in love with the self defence since five years ago when he was first introduced to Muhd Haneef Ali, the Silat Master for Pencak Silat Helang Putih Perkasa, one of the famous silat schools of thought.

He said he had started to discover his passion for the martial arts since 13 years of age and became the number one fan of it.

Since then, he never looked back and started to travel around the globe for the past 27 years to learn various self defences.

Married to an Iban woman from Sri Aman, Rowbottom recalled his first Silat lesson was under the tutelage of Muhd Haneef Ali and practiced the beautiful yet deadly techniques ever since.

Back in his country, Rowbottom said he had formed the Silat school in Perth and began teaching the lesson, located nearby to a small mosque in the area.

“Over the five years of my involvement in this silat, I have learned the spirit of cooperation and respect to each other regardless of their background, history and characters. This is one of the stunning elements which I found in learning the arts of Silat,” he said.

His various experience travelling around the world have made him knowledgeable in the various martial arts such as Taekwondo, Jujitsu, Muay Thai (Thai kick-boxing) and Australian Prison Police Martial Arts.

He highly praised his master, Muhd Haneef Ali for instilling a good inner faith and strong beliefs, making one silat apprentice more determined, in concentrating and devoted to his leaning process.

“For Pencak Silat Helang Putih Perkasa, I have found it is more focusing than other aggressive martial arts, but still it is deadly and capable of generating inner power to defeat your opponent or enemy. The tradition of its pattern is strongly preserved like the origins of it,” he added.

Rowbottom said, to date he had received blessing from his master to recruit more apprentice to learn silat in Australia and apparently the response towards it is encouraging.

“There are six silat schools of thought and I must say that Pencak Silat Helang Putih Perkasa has the largest followers so far,” said Rowbottom.

A well-known Silat master in his country, Rowbottom said that early January this year, he had brought six Australian enthusiastic apprentices from his silat academy in Perth to meet Muhd Haneef Ali to learn more about the arts.

Rowbottom also had taught Kuching City North Commission (DBKU) enforcement officers the Australian Prison Police Martial Arts method, the reality situation based art of self defence when he was attached with the local authority previously.

Back in Perth, Rowbottom himself is working as the investigative prison police officer.

“My mission is to teach more people about this art of self defence especially to women. This will enable to assist them to dealing with difficulty situations such as robbery, attempting rape, sexual harassment or extortion,” said the red belt holder of silat martial arts.

He added that he had attended World Silat Martial Arts Tournament held in Kuantan in 2006 and Indonesia to expose himself to various silat techniques.

He even took part in the competition but has yet to win any medals.

Sourced from http://www.theborneopost.com/?p=36363

09 June 2010

Silat Exponents To Compete In Vietnam Before Heading To The World Championship In Indonesia

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 (Bernama) -- Twenty-two national silat exponents will compete in various competitions in Hanoi, Vietnam in August before heading to the World Silat Championships in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

National Silat Federation of Malaysia (PESAKA) coordinator Osman Nok said the competitions in Vietnam would help gauge the performance and capabilities of the silat exponents before facing their opponents in the World Championships.

The main task of the Malaysian team would be to retain the five gold medals won at the last World Championships which was also held in Indonesia, he told Bernama here Wednesday.

He added that though Malaysia are ranked second in the world behind Vietnam, it would not guarantee a safe passage in the quest for gold medals.

Sourced from http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=504661

18 May 2010

Silat Coaching Course

Bandar Seri Begawan - Some 41 pencak silat coaches participated in the national-level pencak silat coaching course class III and II yesterday.

The course held at two venues -Lecture Theatre Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium and Hassanal Bolkiah National Indoor Stadium - was officiated by the Acting Director of Youth and Sports Department, Haji Muhd Zamri Dato Paduka Haji Hamdani yesterday.

In his speech, the guest-of-honour said he hoped a disciplined, quality and systematic coach will be produced after attending the course, organised by the Youth and Sports Department and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports and Brunei Darussalam National Pencak Silat Federation (Persib).

"It is hoped that the participants will not only hold a recognized certificate but also to be a very qualified coach. The participants must remember that they need a sustained strength and intelligence in this pencak silat course," highlighted Haji Muhd Zamri.

He also hoped that the course facilitators would show and teach participants from a basic technique to a sophisticated and up-to-date pencak silat movement.

"It is important for the participants to give full attention during the course as pencak silat has its meaning and certain purpose," Haji Muhd Zamri added.

Out of the 41 pencak silat course participants, 17 are taking class III and 24 in class II. The 8-day coaching course will end on May 24 with a certificate presentation.

Written by SAHROL DAUD
Sourced from http://www.brudirect.com/index.php/2010051821481/Sports-News/silat-coaching-course.html

13 May 2010

Brunei silat exponents work hard for SEA meet

Finally back in intensive training, the national silat team are eyeing the 2010 Southeast Asian Pencak Silat Championship to be held in the central province of Thanh Hoa in Vietnam from May 28 to June 4.

The team’s last international outing was the 25th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos last December when Hj Md Khairul Bahrin Hj Duraman bagged the only gold medal for the Sultanate by winning the men’s tunggal event.

However, this time around Suhartono, the national silat coach, is taking the Vietnam trip to provide experience and exposure for the junior exponents that have moved up the ranks.

“We are looking to compete in Vietnam since this will be a good chance for the junior athletes that have been promoted to the national squad to get exposure. This is also a very good chance for them to prove themselves that they belong in the elite team,” said Suhartono, in an interview with The Brunei Times, during a training session at the Indoor Stadium of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas yesterday.

Being held for the second time, the inaugural edition two years ago saw Brunei return home with one gold, three silver and five bronze medals and Suhartono is hoping to improve on that medal haul but knows that it will be a difficult task.

“We’re aiming for more gold medals this time around. I want the athletes to put up a good performance and make a name for themselves,” said Suhartono.

“But it is going to be tough especially with the competition coming from the defending champions (Vietnam). I believe they prepared early, but we’re also expecting tough opposition from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia,” added the Indonesian.

Unlike the junior team that started training back in December to prepare for the Malaysia Games (Sukma), the senior squad only returned to full training about a month ago.

“Some had been training since returning from the SEA Games, but then those from the army (Royal Brunei Armed Forces) only just got released from their work commitments to return to training,” said the national coach.

In addition, Suhartono highlighted that they are hoping to get an early selection done to prepare for next year’s SEA Games as well.

The tournament will be used by the coach as a curtain raiser for the World Pencak Silat Championship from July 25-31 at Samarinda, Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the Brunei Darussalam National Pencak Silat Association (BDNPSA) will be holding a Pencak Silat coaching course on May 17 at 10.30am at the lecture theatre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Sourced from

08 May 2010

Al Fatihah - Pak Mat Kedidi passes away

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of another great master. Mohammed bin Chik, better known as Pak Mat Kedidi, passed on peacefully at his home in Endau, Johor at 1.05am this morning.

Silat Melayu: The Blog, Silat Melayu Community and SMC Innovations wish to convey their deepest condolences to his family, students and those who gained benefit from his knowledge.

Al Fatihah.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

14 April 2010

The Brooklyn Monk returns to Malaysia

The first time I trained in Malaysia was in August of 2009. At that time my Chinese-Malaysian friend, Sheung Di, arrange for me to train and film at several locations and in several arts in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.

On that first trip, we hit: Boxx Warrior, Kru Jak Othman Muay Thai, Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 Guru Azlan Ghanie, and Silat Kalam with Guru Mazlan Man. On my return trip, in March 2010 I revisited each of them and added several new ones.

We began our Malaysian martial arts odyssey at Boxx Warrior, Ampang, which is a pro Muay Thai gym. The owner, Kirsty, a bright and educated Malay woman is a huge fan of Thai boxing. She brought four trainers from Thailand and runs her gym exactly like gyms in Thailand.

The Gym opened at 5:00 PM. I went in, warmed up and worked the heavy bags. Next, the trainers, who were all happy to talk to me in Thai, took me on the pads for three rounds of Muay Thai and two of boxing. What I really appreciated about the training was that the trainers made corrections. They watched my form and explained to me where I was off and what I need to improve on.

Kirsty told me, “My instructors know if they aren’t good, I will send them back where they came from.”

After pad work, we sparred. Once again, the trainers were excellent sparring partners, making you work for your supper, but they didn’t injure me or any of the other students. Of course, out of frustration, I often took cheap shots.

In addition to taking their fighters to Thailand for competitions, Boxx Warrior, Ampang is involved in promoting professional Muay Thai tournaments in Malaysia. Their leading boxer is Ediey Selendang Kunning (born Mohd Zandi Bin Mohd Zawawi) from Kelantan, where all of the great Malay boxers come from.

He weighs 63 kg of solid muscle and zero fat and has had 55 fights with only 4 loses. He fights often in Lumpini stadium in Bangkok, and during my second visit to Malaysia Ediey fought and defeated Zidov Dominik, the Croation Muay Thai fighter who was featured on the TV show “The Contender Asia”.

Next, we trained with Kru Jak Othman who owns a chain of Muay Thai schools. Kru Jak is also a recognized, high level Guru of many Silat styles. So, we shot multiple shows with him. Kru Jak and I hit it off extremely well, because he had trained in Kelantan, which is the fighting region of Malaysia.

Kelantan, in north Malaysia, borders on Thailand and Muay Thai or Tomoi as the Malays call it, is extremely popular. He grew up training Muay Thai and could also speak Thai. So, when we met, we were able to connect on the basis of both having been fighters and on understanding Thai culture.

Because of my first book, “The Monk from Brooklyn,” my nickname on the internet and in the press is often, Brooklyn Monk. Kru Jak is funny because he insists on calling me Monk. He also tells his students, “When the Monk is around, show him some respect.” Kru Jak also gets a kick out of the fact that I always call him Kru, which is the title for a Muay Thai teacher, and never Guru which is the title for a Silat teacher.

The Muay Thai program at Kru Jak’s place was really interesting. His students were primarily college students or working young people with executive jobs who needed to release stress. “They come to my club and punch it out.” Said Kru Jak. Jak knows that it is an interest in hard-core professional Muay Thai that brings people into the gym, but in his words, “If you put them through a real Muay Thai workout on Monday, you’d be all alone on Tuesday.”

He recognizes that Muay Thai training is hard and injuries and pain are inevitable. The only reason Thais, Khmers, and Kelantanese do it is because they need to go fight in a ring to earn money. But middle-class Malaysians aren’t motivated by a need to earn $60 USD in a fight. They want to have fun and get in shape. If the program was as injurious as pro Muay Thai training, students would quit right and left. And Chinese parents would never allow their kids to practice a sport where they might get kicked in the head.

In response to the needs of the students, rather than to the stated needs of the students, Kru Jak developed an innovative training program to suit the modern educated, city dwellers. The program starts with Phase One, where students learn cardio kickboxing. I say cardio kickboxing, but this isn’t Thai Bo. They actually learn real kicks and punches and use the pads and gloves, but the intent at this level is to teach very basic techniques and fitness.

At Phase Two, students put on belly protectors and body guards, and they practice hitting each other with set combinations. Eventually, at Phase Four they start sparring and can also fight in professional or amateur Muay Thai competitions. In addition to Muay Thai, Kru Jak has special evening seminars where he teaches Muay Boran or ancient Tomoi techniques to his students. He also teaches Silat Tomoi.

Many of the Silat styles taught in Malaysia involve one or more blades. Kru Jak’s hands move at the speed of light, and with a knife in each hand he absolutely shreds anything he attacks. In Silat Tomoi, the same techniques are added to Muay Thai. So even in unarmed combat, Kru Jak moves in close and shreds his opponent with his hands, elbows and knees.

In the old days, in Kelantan, this is how professional fights were done. There were no gloves. Fighters wrapped their hands with cords and then they fought, using kicks, punches, knees, elbows, grappling, and Silat style, ripping and tearing.

One of my projects on this second trip to Malaysia is that Kru Jak and I are producing a professional quality DVD on Silat Tomoi which should enjoy a US and Australian release in June of 2010.

Another Silat teacher I trained with on my first trip was Guru Azlan Ghanie who teaches Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9, an internal style of Silat which is good for health and could almost be considered a Silat version of Tai Chi. In addition to his special style, he was knowledgeable about a number of Silat styles and weapons. In fact, his office looked like a cutlery factory, with swords, knives and bladed weapons of every description.

When I trained with him, Guru Azlan asked me to get him various wrestling holds, and in spite of being much smaller than me, he was able to break free. It was a very interesting style and reminded me so much of Chinese styles where old men and women are able to preserve their health but also break free of the grip of much younger assailants.

On that first trip, I also trained with Guru Mazlan Man, who teaches Silat Kalam, a highly practical fighting form of Silat. Silat Kalam included a lot of grappling and locking, as in Hap Kido and practical, no energy throws, like Aikido, but the locks and finishing holds were very unique, different from any other martial art or MMA style I had been exposed to.

Guru Mazlan was very religious, a devout Muslim, and only agreed to let me train with him after a lengthy interview process. During that interview, he told me that everything we do in life, all good things, are because of God. “We breathe because of God. We walk because of God. And we can use Silat, because of God.” I liked that phrase and it became the title of our video, “Martial Arts Odyssey Because of God.”

Guru Mazlan Man invited me to return to Malaysia and become his full time student and work as his assistant. And that is what I am doing at the time of this writing. Each day, I train with the Guru in the afternoon, then I train with Kru Jak Othman, learning Muay Thai and Silat Tomoi.

Guru Mazlan’s style includes a limited number of movements and only takes a few months to learn, but of course, to truly use the techniques you need to practice intensely and over time. The Guru wants me to be ready to help him teach courses to the Malaysian national police force, beginning in two months time.

One of the very special aspects of my relationship with Guru Mazlan is that he has never agreed to teach his style to a non-Muslim before. I feel very honored. And we both agree that his teaching me sends a signal of inclusion to the different races and religions of Malaysia and to the world. Right now, the government of Malaysia is pushing a slogan of “Satu Malaysia”, or “One Malaysia.”

Malaysia is an amazingly unified and stable country, considering that it is home to some many completely different languages, races, and religions. My association with the Guru embodies this spirit of unity.

Because the art is so closely tied to religion, I also receive daily lessons in the religion and language of the Muslim people of Malaysia. I feel extremely honored and lucky because not many westerners have had an opportunity to be so closely associated with this important world religion which plays so deeply on our foreign relations.

Guru Mazlan hopes that we will be doing a series for Malaysian TV about my training with him. After that, in addition to working as an instructor here he hopes that I can spread the art outside of Malaysia. “Send it to the world.” He said. “You will spread the teaching, either through your direct teaching or through your videos and books.”

Insha Allah.

In doing Martial Arts Odyssey, I travel from place to place, meeting different masters. Some I film with and interview. Others, I actually stay and study with. The brand new styles that I have added to my own repertoire during these many years include: Khmer Boxing, Bokator, Kuntaw, and Muay Chaiya. But now I have added Silat Tomoi, Silat Kalam, and Kyokushin Karate to my list of arts I am actually studying and hope to absorb.

On the Malaysian Island of Penang, I met with Grand Master Anbananthan, a teacher of the Indian martial art of Silambam. Silambam is an Indian stick fighting art, which has nearly died out in India. In all of the research I have done, every source has credited Grand Master Anbananthan and his team in Penang as having preserved the art.

The Grand Master returned to India recently and said that the Silambam he saw practiced there was no longer pure, it had become influenced by other martial arts and possibly movies.

Silambam is a very unique form of stick fighting in that the stick is an odd length. In most other martial arts, you use a long stick, such as a staff, which is close to the height of a man. The stick is held in three sections and is wielded with two hands. Or you use two short sticks, one in each hand.

But the Silambam stick is shorter than a staff but much longer than two short sticks. It is also wielded with two hands, but normally the two hands are close together and you swing the length of the stick at your opponent. The practice is all about learning to control and direct the stick on these huge, lightning fast swings.

Finally, on this trip, we visited Kyokushin Karate and I immediately added it to the list of martial arts I am now practicing. My first exposure to Kyokushin came from my Khmer boxing trainer, Paddy Carson, who is a Second Dan or second degree black belt in Kyokushin.

Paddy loves western boxing and had been involved in professional western boxing as well as kick boxing, Muay Thai and Khmer Boxing for more than forty years, but he always spoke with love about the ten or more years he was involved in Kyokushin.

Kyokushin is full contact karate. They fight barefisted and they kick with their shins, like Muay Thai. The only thing they can’t do in a fight is punch in the face, but they can kick in the face, and they wail on each other’s bodies with punches, knees and kicks. The founder of Kyokushin is Mas Oyama, who is on my list of top five greatest martial artists who ever lived. His personal training regime was insane and I never tire of reading biographies about him.

In Malaysia the primary Kyokushin school is located in Selangor, minutes from my apartment, and is run by Shihan Michael Ding. Before we began training, I watched Michael doing his conditioning work. He was pounding a bamboo post with his shins and fists to harden the bones and toughen the skin.

In my training with Shihan Michael and a senior student named Chris Tan, I was asked to do countless knuckle pushups on the hard, wooden floor. I say “asked” because I only managed about fifty, when I thought my knuckle bones would come through my skin. After that, we did a number of painful drills, including drills where you stand still and let someone kick you and punch you. Then you switch, and your partner stands still and you kick and punch him.

It was brutal, wonderful, and tough. I loved Kyokushin and now I am making arrangements with Shihan Michael so I can train on a regular basis while I am in Malaysia.

I took an apartment in Selangor, right behind Kru Jak’s club so I can train everyday and also so I can attend practice for the DVD filming. The apartment is near the train, so I can go see Guru Mazlan each day. Hopefully we will find an acceptable way to work Kyokushin training into the routine. And, of course, I continue to do Martial Arts Odyssey episodes about other martial arts.

Antonio now has a paypal account. The only way he can keep filming and writing is with the help and support of people who enjoy reading his stories and watching his videos. You can donate through Antonio’s facebook profile, or you can click on this link and donate directly. If you can help, thank you so much. If you can’t help, don’t worry about it. I know things are tough out there. But, either way, please keep watching and enjoying Martial Arts Odyssey. I never wanted this to become a huge business, and I wanted everyone in the world to be able to watch for free.

Sourced from http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/04/14/my-malaysian-masters/