The grand celebration held at the Toh Puan Norashikin Hall, Darul Puteri Complex in Cheras here was organised by the Malaysian Martial Arts Grand Masters’ Association (MAGMA) and the MAGMA Martial Arts Academy, Asia Pacific Open University and was attended by martial arts practitioners to pay homage to the sacrifices of their teachers in spreading their knowledge to the masses.
The event was officiated by Minister In The Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Haji Ahmad bin Haji Maslan. He commended MAGMA’s efforts to raise the status of martial arts in Malaysia to a more academic station.
“This convocation proves that the martial arts, especially silat is now recognised and will continue to be preserved. I hope that all MAGMA members will continue to safeguard and build upon the knowledge and discipline of their respective schools in unison by organising such events on an annual basis. May Malaysia be recognised as the best destination for all martial arts practitioners worldwide,” he said in his offication speech.
A total of 20 doctorate graduates in the martial arts and 4 doctorate graduates in complementary medicine accepted their scrolls witnessed by students and members of their schools. Additionally, there were 14 masters’ graduates, 6 bachelor graduates and 9 diploma graduates, all in the martial arts.
Among the doctorate graduates were: mahaguru Raja Aziz Raja Ali, founder of Silat Kegayungan Acheh Helang Putih, grandmaster Tan Ghee Lip, founder of Free-Style Martial Arts Self-Defence, mahaguru Dahlan Karim, founder of Silat Setiabakti, sensei Ramlan Ahmed from Aikido Shudokan, sifu Alex Loh Oon Teik from Goh Chor Kung Fu, mahaguru Mohammed Hashim Mohammed Salleh, founder of Silat Lian Padukan, and master Shuhaizy Saad, founder of Stealth Taekwondo.
To qualify for the MAGMA educational programs, candidates need to be involved in a martial art school for a certain period and attend MAGMA organised courses in addition to preparing a thesis paper on their research into the martial arts. Only the highest ranking and experinces teachers in a school are allowed to apply for the doctorate program.
Among the exciting events of the day included the theses presentations by the doctorate graduates in the form of practical demonstrations and explanations about their martial art schools.
Besides that, the audience was also surprised by the conferral of the highest appreciation award to Eddie M. Nalapraya, former President of the International Silat Federation (PERSILAT), for his efforts in helping promote silat around the world.
According to MAGMA President, Datuk Haji Baharom bin Haji Kamari, who is also a doctorate graduate, “MAGMA was founded to raise the status of martial arts masters to a higher station. This approach is the most effective and is the best vehicle to propel MAGMA to greater heights in making that happen,” he said. He also launched the MAGMA Martial Arts Academy which will soon be the primary motivator in producing new graduates in the martial arts.
Dr Zam@Ab Razak Zamri, Chief Executive Officer of the MAGMA Martial Arts Academy, Asia Pacific Open University reminded graduates that as martial arts practitioners, they have a heavy responsibility in educating the future generation of Malaysia.
“Commit yourselves to honesty, trust and sincerity in carrying out the responsibilities that have been entrusted to all of you,” he advised.
The theses produced by the graduates will be archived to enable and enhance local documentation into the martial arts. This first batch of graduates will tour the country within the next year to conduct courses and train the next group of candidates under the banner of the academy.
MAGMA or the Malaysian Martial Arts Grand Masters’ Association is an associative body of martial arts instructors from all over Malaysia. MAGMA has a membership spanning 45 martial styles with a membership totaling 500,000 people. Under the banner of the MAGMA Martial Arts Academy, Asia Pacific Open University, MAGMA has launched Diploma, Bachelor’s, Masters’ and Doctorate programs in martial arts, encompassing self-defence, culture, arts, sports, self-development, medicine and many more.