A championship of pencak silat (Indonesia traditional martial art) is opened today (2/27) by Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo. In this event, as much as 2,083 students of junior high school (SMP), Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTs) Islamic school, senior high school (SMA), and vocational school (SMK) from all over Jakarta will be competed in 2,015 matches. The championship itself is held by Jakarta Education Department and took place at Padepokan Pencak Silat Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII), East Jakarta, until Saturday (3/3).
According to Fauzi, pencak silat is one of nation’s cultural heritages. Therefore, it must be preserved. And one of the ways to preserve it is by holding championship like this. “Jakarta Provincial Government very much supports this competition. Because, it has strategic values as mentioned in the competition theme, which is pencak silat as means in creating Indonesia students and generations with characteristic, sportive attitude, and tough,” he stated, Monday (2/27).
Moreover he mentions that pencak silat for Betawi people is an effective means to create strong soul and tough mental. Therefore, he asks the students in this championship not to give up easily and must improve their martial art skill as well as respect their opponents by upholding sportsmanship.
“I’m happy that pencak silat championship is continuously being held. I was once led Jakarta Indonesian Pencak Silat Association (IPSI). Nowadays, pencak silat training is very amazing. Surely I hope this cultural heritage would be continuously preserved. Continuous training is needed, like this competition. And for the future I hope that Jakarta students can join the National Sports Week (PON), National Students Sports Week (Popnas), and Regional Sports Week (Popwil) and come out as the overall winner,” expressed Fauzi.
Head of Jakarta Education Department Taufik Yudi Mulyanto told the 2,083 students in this championship are consist of 1,250 SMP/MTs students and 833 SMA/SMK students from 328 schools in Jakarta. “This championship aims for further training and development from extracurricular activity in school as well as to channel student’s talent and interest in martial art, beside to preserve nation character’s values through pencak silat. In addition, this championship is also to prepare candidate athletes for the 2012 Popwil event,” he explained.