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.
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