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.
The Wira Laga (sparring) and Tanding (sports) categories are today's most popular silat forms and are widely practised among the younger generations in Brunei.
Therefore, it is regretted that the two mentioned categories were not included in this year's contest due to some complications, he noted.
Haji Zabidi added that there are over 10 silat organisations in the Belait District and it is very much alive in the district.
The pencak silat competition is held annually to promote the Malay cultural heritage, in the hope that the traditional Malay art of self-defence could be preserved from generation to generation.
Yesterday afternoon, eight contestants took part in two Silat categories namely Cakak Asli and Kuntau.
Winners were presented with trophies and prizes by the Assistant Belait District Officer Haji Hamid bin Dato Paduka Haji Abdullah, who was the guest of honour.
Haji Zabadi who is also the Chairman of Pertubuhan Pencak Silat Negara Brunei Darussalam (PERSIB) for the Belait District is inviting martial arts enthusiasts to join any of the silat organisations in the district.
Written by Liza Mohd
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