22 December 2004

Viet Nam revel in world title

22 Dec 2004, VIETNAM - Viet Nam’s pencak silat artists retained their world beating position at the martial art’s world championships that wrapped in Singapore on Sunday.

The Vietnamese team bagged eight gold, nine silver and three bronze medals, beating second-placed Malaysia, and third-placed Indonesia.

Viet Nam’s 26-member squad took part in 24 events including six seni (performance) and 18 tanding (combat).

In the tanding competition, Vietnamese artists dominated with eight gold, eight silver and a bronze, and in the seni competition they took a silver and two bronze.

"Although faced with many difficulties during the championship, our artists played with their best spirits, showing the pride of world champions," said national coach Nguyen Ngoc Anh at Noi Bai International Airport on Monday.

Ngoc Anh, 32, said as the title defenders, which they won for the past two years in Malaysia, Viet Nam showed "we are still the leading country in pentjak silat".

Le Thi Hang opened the event with a gold in the 50kg class, her teammate Le Thi Thu Huong added a gold in the 60kg division, and Le Thi Hong Ngoan took home the top prize in the heavyweight 75kg category.

The men completed a gold haul with Nguyen Ngoc Anh, in 60kg, Le Anh Tuan, in 70kg and Dinh Cong Son in the 75kg class.

Tunggal competitor Nguyen Viet Anh pulled off a perfect performance to snare gold in men’s singles, and teammates Nguyen Huy Bao, Le Quang Dung and Nguyen Dang Linh took out the team (regu) event.

The world championship attracted 250 artists from 31 countries competing in seni and tanding events.

Viet Nam is widely touted to host the 2006 World Championship, according to the national coach.

Sourced from Vietnam News at http://vietnamnews.vnanet.vn/2004-12/21/Stories/27.htm

21 December 2004

Vietnam Remains World's Best in Pencak Silat

Vietnam had an outstanding performance at the eighth World Pencak Silat Championship in Singapore last week, topping the medal standings with eight gold, nine silver and three bronze medals.

The country took home the gold in seven men and women weight divisions as well as gold in the men's group division.

However, according to Vietnamese experts, their players would have won more gold medals if the judges had been fairer.

At the tournament, Malaysia ranked second with five gold medals and host Singapore ranked third with four gold medals. Indonesia earned two gold medals.

Meanwhile, the World Pencak Silat Federation will consider submitting a proposal for the sport to be officially included in the competition events of Asian Games 16 in 2010.

Pencak Silat is a type of kung-fu marital arts and traditionally comes from Southeast Asian country Indonesia. But for years, Vietnam has dominated the sport.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-18293917_ITM

19 December 2004

Dont' use abilities for wrong purposes, silat exponents told

BUTTERWORTH, Dec 19 (Bernama) -- Members of silat associations were today reminded to use their martial arts knowledge for the good of the people and the country.

Penang Federation of Malaysian Silat Associations (Pesaka) Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said exponents should not abuse the silat knowledge they have to create trouble and disturb the peace enjoyed by the people.

He was speaking to reporters after the opening of the Penang Silat Nusantara 2004 Carnival by the Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas at Dataran Pemuda Merdeka here today.

Some 600 silat exponents from 10 silat associations participated in the one-day carnival: Seni Silat Garuda Malaysia, Seni Silat Pusaka Gayong Malaysia, Seni Silat Cekak Malaysia, Seni Silat Gayong Malaysia, Seni Silat Melayu Asli, Seni Silat Pancaindera Lintau, Seni Silat Lincah Malaysia, Seni Silat Sendeng Tujuh, Seni Silat Sundang Pusaka and Seni Silat Gegaran Petani.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-18282877_ITM

12 December 2004

For fitness & self defence

A former sports journalist turned silat exponent is now promoting `Senaman Tua' for developing mental and physical prowess, to both local and foreign students. FAZLI IBRAHIM has the story.

A REVOLUTION HAS BEEN sweeping through some martial arts gyms in Kuala Lumpur of late.

These days, the students in their black getup are not just there to learn the basics of silat - rather they're here to exercise, thanks to a system formulated by former sports journalist Azlan Ghanie.

An exponent of Silat Lok Sembilan, a style of the Malay martial arts he inherited from his father, Azlan has taught students as far afield as the Netherlands and edits Seni Beladiri, a monthly dedicated to the Malaysian martial arts scene.

He developed an exercise system called Senaman Tua based on the movements found in Silat Lok Sembilan aimed at developing mental and physical fitness.

Each movement is based on a petua or old maxim, which can be developed into any number of variations, which in turn opens the door to endless possibilities.

"There are 1001 petua and each petua can be broken into 1001 movements." Many find it unusual since it is an exercise rooted firmly in Malay culture, just as Yoga is to Indians and Qigong to the Chinese.

In Senaman Tua, there is a lot of emphasis on regulating breathing, as well as correcting the body's posture.

The movements vary from slow and deliberate stances to faster hand and leg movements.

Someone with a grounding in the martial arts can easily turn these simple exercise movements to effective defence techniques.

More importantly, Azlan believes that through the exercises, students are able to absorb innate martial arts skills, as well as to inculcate alertness, which helps you to sense danger and ward off unnecessary confrontation.

While Senaman Tua can be studied on its own, it is also as much about preparing the body with the strength, suppleness and agility needed in Silat training sessions as well as to drill silat students in important movements.

The movements have evocative Malay names such as susun sirih or arranging betel leaves, tari piring, or saucer dance and selak dahan or parting the branches.

"If we understand the body, seronok, it is a lot of fun," he says, outlining one of Senaman Tua's purposes.

Each session is an hour long and usually precedes a Lok Sembilan training slot.

He claims that with frequent sessions, the exercises can help alleviate the symptoms of asthma, gout and even heart disease.

"Someone with a history of heart disease approached me and I told him to try it out. After two months of Senaman Tua sessions, he went for a checkup at the National Heart Institute. The doctor says his heart is now stronger," says Azlan.

The popularity if this exercise has been steadily increasing over the years, with training centres opening all over the Klang valley. An indication of its popularity is the adoption of Senaman Tua as one of the activities of the Malaysia Airlines Silat Club, based in Subang Jaya.

These days, Azlan personally instructs several Senaman Tua classes around the Klang valley, especially in Setapak, Sungai Buloh and Ampang.

He's even recorded a VCD copy of a Senaman Tua workshop and seminar and is planning a book detailing this exercise with the help of a friend.

"I hope people everywhere will one day adopt and derive benefits from Senaman Tua and see it as a contribution of Malay heritage to the world," he concludes.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-18209222_ITM

30 November 2004

Evening Warrior

Though he may not come across as a health freak, Mohd Nadzrin Wahab’s brief at Whyfit Sport Adventure Sdn Bhd is to market health and fitness based team-building programmes for corporations.

But on certain nights of the week, he sheds his workwear for a dark blue tunic, loose pants and headgear and starts getting physical with a group of undergraduates. Nadzrin is an assistant instructor for Persatuan Seni Silat Cekak Ustaz Hanafi Malaysia, a popular form of Melayu martial arts taught in many universities in the country.

He is currently helping out with the training sessions at the International Islamic University Malaysia Matriculation Centre, where he and seven others help instruct the undergraduates in silat techniques. During the twice weekly sessions, Nadzrin works under the supervision of instructor Mohd Azhar Mohd Ali.

“What we do basically, is to teach the syllabus and try to guide them as best as possible, so that they can reach the proper level of proficiency after six months. In universities, we have to stretch the programme longer because of the semester breaks and exams.”

He adds that to teach the technique, the student must experience for themselves the punches, parries and locks as shown by the instructor and his assistants before they try it out on their partners. Each assistant is in charge of about 10 students.

Nadzrin recalls that he developed an interest in silat early in his life. “I’ve been interested since I was a small boy. I naturally gravitated towards silat, even when there was a lot of Jackie Chan movies on TV. Naturally when I was much younger, I was really active. I liked to jump off the stairs, climb trees. I had way too much energy. And I’m also a fan of Spider-man,” he says.

His introduction to martial arts was when he was in primary school. At first, the school held only taekwondo classes. But when Nadzrin was in Standard Three, it offered silat classes as well.“I joined but I didn’t stay long. I wasn’t dedicated back then and the training was too strenuous for me at that point of time,” he explains.

Yet years later, he developed the dedication and discipline needed to learn the art. In 1994, during the long break after his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia exams, his interest in the Malay martial arts was rekindled by the introduction of the Rakan Muda programme. “What happened was that I filled up a form for Rakan Wajadiri. We waited months for a reply. One fine day, a letter came from the ministry inviting us to a martial arts demonstration at the field near the old A&W in Petaling Jaya.”

On that day, exponents of 30 different martial arts movements demonstrated their hand-to-hand combat skills en masse on the field. It gave the new Rakan Muda members an opportunity to window shop and to weigh the merits of each form and style before joining up. But only one form caught Nadzrin’s attention.

“I saw this one style of silat, with about 15 people participating in the demo. There was one person at the centre standing erect and he was deflecting the attacks from the rest of the group. One by one his opponents fell. That caught my attention because this martial arts form shows its true capability,” he recalls.

This was his introduction to Persatuan Seni Silat Cekak Ustaz Hanafi Malaysia. Later, when he enrolled in the Matriculation Centre of the International Islamic University Malaysia, Nadzrin witnessed further Silat Cekak Hanafi demonstrations and fell in love with the art.

“The reason I chose Silat Cekak Hanafi was because of its unique characteristics. In this form of silat, minimal movement and minimal use of force can defeat an enemy. You do not use a lot of stamina. Since I’m naturally energetic and prefer high kicks and physical movements, I did not appreciate this until after studying this form of silat for a few months. In silat cekak, the kicks are never executed higher than the navel for safety considerations. And on another level, it shows a high regard for politeness and manners, even with your enemies.”

Silat cekak also stresses defence techniques over offence. “We don’t attack unless we’re attacked first. In fact, in Silat Cekak Hanafi, to go on the offensive is to open yourself to danger because you don’t know your enemy. He might very well be a black belt holder!"

“However, we are taught offensive techniques, but only as a necessity. Overall, you learn 99 per cent defence and just one per cent offence,” he says.

Nadzrin further explains that when you study the empty hand forms, you are already preparing yourself to use weapons in your defence strategy.

“You just need to modify it a little bit, but most of the time, you are taught empty hand techniques because you are assuming the worst case scenario, being attacked and not having any weapon. But you are prepared to face an armed opponent.”

The official weapon of the Silat Cekak Hanafi movement is the parang lading, a form of the traditional Melayu machete used by the warriors of old Kedah.

“In this form of silat, a parang lading is awarded to people who have done some service to the movement. The guru utama or lead instructor will select and award the weapon to deserving members. The uniqueness of this weapon is that it is held in a reverse grip position, meaning that it is a defensive weapon, not an offensive one.”

The Silat Cekak Hanafi philosophy states that you do not retreat, and you do not avoid blows by turning left or right. All attacks are countered with a forward movement.

Through his previous job as a writer and editor at SENI BELADIRI, a magazine dedicated to traditional Malaysian martial arts, he also became acquainted with many masters and instructors, which allowed him to appreciate other forms of silat, apart from what he practises.

“To me, silat is one of the last bastions of Melayu culture. Through silat, traditional Melayu values are transmitted, sometimes without people realising it.“Many of the masters inculcate moral values in their instruction. For example, Silat Cekak Hanafi places great emphasis on truthfulness, keeping promises and respect for parents and teachers.”

Has he ever had to put his silat skills to the test?“Thank God, no and I hope I never will. My personal view is that in any combat situation, there will be only two outcomes — you will either get hurt or your opponents will — I don’t think we should harm another human being. But if push comes to shove...”

Sourced from New Straits Times

28 November 2004

Hairulhasanah's fighting fit

STUDENT Hairulhasanah Shahbudin, who was recently in Pyongyang, North Korea to participate in the First International Martial Arts Games, tells SUZIEANA UDA NAGU about her passion for silat.

IT TOOK Hairulhasanah Shahbudin a while to figure out why her mother Siti Fatimah Ahmad had banned her from taking up silat when she was small.

For years, Hairulhasanah's mother gave her the typical "martial arts are for boys" excuse to keep the international business student at University College of Technology and Management Malaysia (or KUTPM, its Malay acronym) from pursuing it.

"I have been in love with silat since primary school. I love the graceful moves but, at the time, my mother thought it was a rough sport," says 23-year-old Hairulhasanah.

What really concerned Siti Fatimah were the myths surrounding silat, among others, that it involves the practice of ilmu batin (mystical powers) which conflicts with the teachings of Islam. She was worried that her daughter would be influenced.

Today, Siti Fatimah is happy that she gave her daughter a chance to try out silat. In just five years, Hairulhasanah has shown tremendous progress in the sport.

Two months ago, Hairulhasanah and three other members from the Seni Gayung Fatani Society were invited by the Youth and Sports Ministry to perform silat demonstrations at the First International Martial Arts Games in Pyongyang, North Korea. (see accompanying story) It is no surprise that her mother is now Hairulhasanah's No. 1 fan.

Hairulhasanah, a black belt holder, says times have changed and so has silat.

"There may have been silat groups in the past which incorporated `black magic' into their teachings but I assure you that silat today is not what it used to be," she adds.

Two years ago, the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry, the Education Ministry and Pertubuhan Silat Kebangsaan endorsed the Seni Silat Malaysia curriculum, which is considered the most comprehensive and up-to-date syllabus.

One masters silat by completing seven-level modules of training.

The curriculum is based on the one used by the Malaysian Seni Gayung Fatani Society.

Although it is an intensive programme, students are not subjected to unnecessary examinations and tests.

The curriculum has given silat a modern feel without compromising its originality.

For example, the curriculum does not mix silat movements with those from other martial arts. Silat performances are still accompanied by baku music, whether it is practised in Malaysia or in Europe.

"The curriculum has attracted martial arts lovers to come to Malaysia to deepen their knowledge about silat," says Hairulhasanah, who enrolled in her first Gayong Fatani silat class in 1999.

"Despite being a late-starter, I managed to finish six levels and earned my black belt in just four years. It is not that hard if you are committed," beams the Kuala Lumpur-born lass.

Hairulhasanah is currently a certified silat instructor and teaches the sport at KUTPM (where she is currently completing her Bachelor's degree in International Business) and, more recently, at the Malaysian Cultural Office which is next to Malaysian Tourism Centre in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

Hairulhasanah feels it is time that Malaysians accepted homegrown martial arts like silat.

Currently, silat is mostly practised by the Malays. "So, before we start claiming that silat is a Malaysian sport, we must make sure that all Malaysians embrace it," she says.

She and fellow members from the Seni Gayung Fatani group plan to teach silat to primary school pupils, particularly those from Chinese and Tamil schools beginning next year. There have been mixed responses from school heads.

"The headmistress of Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina Lai Meng whom we approached welcomed our initiative. She even asked when we can start the class," says Hairulhasanah.

But others question her motives.

"A headmaster of a national school we approached was not keen on having his students learn silat at all. He bombarded us with plenty of questions about our intentions. That was when I realised how badly some people perceive silat and those who practise it," she says.

The incident made Hairulhasanah more determined to prove disbelievers wrong.

For Hairulhasanah, silat has opened many doors for her. It has also taken her to places she never imagined she would visit.

Typical of an all-rounder, Hairulhasanah does not neglect her studies. Indeed, she's a regular on the Dean's list and has even been named her college's Best Student.

Hairulhasanah graduated from Pusat Teknologi dan Pengurusan Lanjutan (PTPL), KUTPM's affiliate college, with a score of a 3.95 cumulative grade point average.

Between studying and coaching, one can imagine how busy Hairulhasanah is.

"If I am not home, I'll be at college or teaching silat. I rarely have time for leisure but I don't regret it one bit," she says.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-14631247_ITM

An eye-opening trip to North Korea

ONLY few people can claim that they have set foot in North Korea and 23- year-old Hairulhasanah Shahbudin is one of them.

Two months ago, she and three fellow members from the Malaysian Seni Gayung Fatani Society were in Pyongyang, North Korea to take part in the First International Martial Arts Games at the invitation of the Youth and Sports Ministry.

It was the silat trainer's first international sporting event and her excitement is still visible today.

"North Korea is an entirely different experience. I learnt a lot of new things there," recalls the wide-eyed Hairulhasanah.

The international business student was particularly impressed with the young North Koreans she met at a youth centre in Pyongyang.

There, children and teenagers are given training in fields of their interest such as martial arts or ballet for free.

"I caught some students at martial arts practice and I was impressed by what I saw. I have never seen children that young perform difficult selfdefence moves with such perfection. They never complained even when they were clearly tired!" she gushes. Her six-day stay in Pyongyang has made her more appreciative of the freedom Malaysians enjoy.

North Koreans are banned from keeping in touch with outsiders, so Hairulhasanah cannot correspond with the locals she befriended.

"They would not give their addresses.

Thankfully, all the memories I have of them are captured on camera," she adds.

Outsiders are prohibited from bringing out any printed material from North Korea.

"My team received a lot of coverage in the local publications. Naturally we wanted to keep a copy of the articles but the organisers wouldn't allow it," she says.

At the end of the games, the Malaysian team was given the highest diploma for its effort.

"I suppose it was because of our performance.

We did not want the crowd to get bored so we added new choreography to each silat demonstration. We were the only team which was asked to perform daily (at times twice a day) throughout the games," she says.

Hairulhasanah is glad to be able to introduce silat to an international audience, particularly the North Koreans, who are very proud of their taekwondo.

"They found silat to be an art form. Groups from Nepal, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan even encouraged us to set up silat academies in their countries," she says.

The Malaysian group has already received an invitation to perform in Italy next year.

You can bet Hairulhasanah and gang will wow the Italians as well.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-14631248_ITM

20 November 2004


Manado, N Sulawesi, Nov 20 (ANTARA) - Two "pencak silat" players from Indonesia's North Sulawesi province will join players from other provinces to represent the country in the Pencak Silat World Cup to be held in Singapore on Dec 9-14.

"The two are in Jakarta, training with the other players," head of the technical commission of the local branch of the Indonesian Association for Pencak Silat, Ventje Simbar, said on Saturday.

The two are Royke Maengkom and Kasaman Hulinggi.

"Pencak silat" is a traditional art of self-defense.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-14534726_ITM

12 October 2004

Dancing with silat

Seni Silat. It's amazing how human ingenuity can give birth to such a breathtaking art form.

Meet the lanky Radin Samsudin Reduan, 48.

Soft-spoken and articulate in manner, but be ready for a good thrashing if you mess with him.

He's your modern day Hang Tuah - a black belt in karate-do and taekwando, hand-to-hand combat instructor at the Ulu Kinta police academy, tok guru of the Seni Silat Gerak Kilat order and a highly decorated assistant superintendent of police.

Baddies scurry away like startled lizards at the sight of him.

Despite his prowess, the man preaches peace. "The ultimate goal of seni silat is to acquire character that depicts good moral and ethics." Pretty deep, huh? Maybe the most difficult part is deciding which style to go for; bearing in mind more than 70 to choose from.

Silat has evolved into a wondrous variety such as Cekak, Gayong Fatani, Kuntau Kepayang and even one called Siamang Laut.

Training academies combine various traditional techniques and create hybrids like Seni Silat Polis, Pencak Silat Tentera and Seni Tangkas Penjara.

"Wish there's a gelanggang silat in every big town, like the ryokan hall in Japan," said Zainal Abidin Jamaludin, director of Jabatan Muzium and Antikuiti Wilayah Tengah.

It's a swell idea considering silat groups are mostly found in kampungs and you'll only catch their gig at elaborate Malay weddings.

Silat has a heritage merit and tourists would surely be delighted to catch a glimpse of the myriad martial art form.

And perhaps take home some "moves" for self-defense.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-13655271_ITM

20 September 2004


KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20 (Bernama) -- Malaysian exponents for the World Silat Championship will be from among those who performed well at the National Silat Tournament in Kuantan on Oct 4-9.

The World Silat Championship will be held at Beduk Sports Hall, Singapore on Dec 12-20.

National Silat Association (Pesaka) assistant secretary Bahrain Ibrahim said 19 teams would be competing in Kuantan.

Speaking to Bernama here today, he said all shortlisted exponents would train at Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex next month.

Malaysia would send 29 competitos to Singapore. Seventeen exponents including six women will compete in silat olahraga while 12 including six women are in silat seni category.

Bahrain said Malaysian silat exponents were capable of winning three to four gold medals at the World Championship.

He said United Kingdom, France, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, Belgium, Netherlands and Saudi Arabia were among 31 nations taking part in the Singapore tournament.

Bahrain also said Malaysia won six gold and two silver medals at the Swiss Open Silat Championship last month.

Among the gold medallists were Mohd Azrin Abdul Malik, Mohd Zubir Osman, Emy Latip, Ahmad Sharil Zainuddin and Siti Jameelah Md Japilus, he said.

They also performed well to win four gold medals at the Belgium Open last April and European Invitational Championship in United Kingdom in June.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-13432353_ITM

14 September 2004

Fighting to promote silat heritage

THE normally placid ground of Perak Museum in Taiping will see a bustle of "fighting" action.

Beginning Aug 21, visitors will be fascinated by seni silat groups of various disciplines taking turn to show off their skills and promote Malay martial art as a national heritage product for tourism.

"Accomplished silat practitioners are mostly found in rural areas and it is difficult to gather them. We are honoured to have them here in the interest of our heritage," said Zainal Abidin Jamaludin, Central Perak Museum and Antiquities Department director.

The month-long festival was officiated by Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali, recently.

"Besides Japan and Korea with their karate and takwondo, we are one of few countries that have their own form of martial art. Silat is indeed a national treasure which we must preserve," he said.

Silat exponents wage an impressive display of hand-to-hand combat and amaze audiences with their ingenuity in traditional weaponry such as the keris, parang and todak.

For details of schedules, contact 05-8072057.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-13357065_ITM

13 September 2004

Students urged to fight for peace

Pencak silat, the traditional Malay martial art, is being promoted at private Islamic schools in a bid to encourage students to spend their time usefully and turn away from unlawful activities.

Several private Islamic schools in Pattani, being closely watched by the army for suspected separatist activities, have changed their image by promoting pencak silat.

Among those schools is Azizsatan Foundation school in Pattani's Khok Pho district. The school, which has drawn the army's attention over the use of foreign funding, has urged male students to learn pencak silat and perhaps become national athletes. Teachers believe the sport protects students from being lured into separatist movements.

In the Malay martial art, an attacker is met with quick and gracefully deceptive movements. Hard contact is avoided.

Some 30 students joined the pencak silat training programme at the school, which hired former national athlete Buslee Sama-ae to train the students.

"Pencak silat training will be held every weekend so students can spend their free time usefully aside from praying five times a day. If they have nothing to do, they may be lured into breaking the law," said Sumet Adin Raksa, 17, who is studying at level 2 of Azizsatan Foundation school, equivalent to Mathayom Suksa 5 or Grade 11.

The school was locally called "pink school" since its buildings were painted pink and its students wore pink

Mr Sumet Adin said he did not want people to have a negative image of private Islamic schools in the deep South after some students were involved in the April 28 violence.

"I don't want people to view most students at private Islamic schools as bandits or separatist members as only a few students made the wrong decision to join the separatist movement," he said.

Prior to the bloody April 28 uprising, several members of a separatist group led by Ustaz Soh Isma-ae Rayalong had persuaded several students at private Islamic schools to join the separatist movement. "Playing sports is better than joining [the separatists] as sport is good for health. Pencak silat teaches us self-defence techniques," he said.

"We also preserve a local martial art. Pencak silat is a Malayu sport and we are Malayu people.

"We hope to become national athletes," said Mr Sumet Adin.

Yakoh Salae, 48, principal of Azizsatan Foundation school, said he had asked teachers to closely monitor students to prevent them from being lured into the separatist movement.

Background checks of some 160 teachers following the April 28 attack uncovered no links to the separatist movement.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-13326769_ITM

12 September 2004

Silat in Los Angeles

12 Sept 2004, USA, California - September 2004 was the inaugural date of the first seminars of EastWestStudios system of Pencak Silat in the USA. At the joint invitation of Guru Dan Inosanto and Guru Cliff Stewart, Guru Steven Benitez took his team out to formally introduce Traditional Pencak Silat to the martial arts capital of America. Guru Dan Inosanto is the legendary Torch-bearer of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do system and Guru Cliff Stewart is a legend in the world of personal protection and martial science. These two men have nearly a century of martial arts experience behind them so one can understand what an honour it was for Guru Steven to be invited to share his teachings with them.

On Thursday September 16th 2004 Steven Benitez along with his Chief Assistant Alvin Guinanao & apprentice instructors Mark Wilenkin and Tony Felix arrived in the usual warm southern Californian heat looking forward to an interesting week ahead. On the agenda was a combination of private classes and seminars for both groups.

Steven had previously met Guru Dan when they were co-instructors at a seminar for the UK’s Martial Arts Illustrated magazine. Guru Dan had since gone on to say that Steven Benitez is probably one of the best Silat Teachers in the world and that he is ‘The man to learn Silat from’. Tony Felix had already been a guest instructor at Cliff Stewart’s Lost Art Silat Masters Camp earlier in the year-Tony had assisted Cliff when he was Wesley Snipes’ bodyguard-and the introductory workshop Tony conducted on traditional Silat had led to great curiosity about the Silat practiced at EWS. Steven was then contacted by Cliff and he had already maintained contact with Guru Dan. So it was great to see these two icons cooperating and jointly hosting the EWS seminar team.

The teachings began with private group classes for Cliff Stewart’s LA Pencak Silat group. Guru Cliff Stewart has been studying martial arts for 47 years and studying Silat for nearly 20 years but was looking to further his studies in the more traditional aspects of the art. It is so refreshing that such a well respected and highly regarded teacher-of-teachers was willing to look further into the art that he loves. His previous teachers had not really emphasized the traditional aspects of Silat so he was happy for the opportunity to continue his evolution in a more complete manner. He had been impressed with the rounded approach to Silat at EWS. He noted the syllabus contained the traditional footwork-langkah, handwork-jurus, training methods and usage of weapons. He particularly smiled when he found out EWS had their yoga and conditioning.

Cliff Stewart’s Lost Art Silat group were aware of the ground-fighting aspects of the Art-traditionally Silat players may spend up to 2 years ‘on the ground’ building the foundation. In fact they had been feverishly preparing for Guru Steven’s visit, not wanting to seem out of sorts with the ground systems. The system the group previously trained in did not contain the Silat ground-fighting systems.

Guru Inosanto requested 2 private classes for his personal small group and 2 larger open seminars at his Inosanto Academy at Marina Del Rey. The small group were his long term instructors and more experienced training partners. The open seminar attendees were a broad mixture of students from the various classes held at the Academy. A large number of these were Grapplers generously urged by Guru Dan to attend the seminars.

Guru Steven believes in not deviating from the traditional methods taught to him by Guru Ma Prem so as always all the sessions began with the traditional conditioning. Many people see the positions of Pencak Silat and laugh - that is until they try the postures and feel the strength they build. The conditioning of Silat is unique in the fact that the warm up postures are the self-same postures used for the application but done much slower. Guru Ma teaches that all Silat is ‘One’ and you begin to understand this concept after going through the traditional conditioning. Many people there including grapplers and some yoga practitioners commented on the connectivity of these postures-through the warming up and later on during the application phases.

Let’s say they were pleasantly surprised at the non-sports approach to fighting on that ground that Silat has. It was interesting for them to not be able to ‘rest’ in the guard position and not be looking for ‘pin’ and ‘control’ positions. A few of them kept asking about various scenarios for ground fighting. They also welcomed the concept of multiple-opponent awareness by training in groups of three.

The Academy was treated to another traditional aspect of Silat when Alvin & Tony Felix did a knife-fight within the circle of people training. The catch was that they were only allowed to stay on the ground and not come to their feet. Then later Alvin was told to remain on the floor unarmed while Tony was allowed to get to his feet and continue ‘trying’ to attack him with the knife. Alvin’s performance during this exercise is a testament to how well he studied and been trained by Steven. The gathered southern Californians were suitably impressed. The ending of all the classes held were met by generous applause and warm congratulations for Guru Steven and his team.

A lot of praises are often spoken about Guru Dan Inosanto and you may wonder at how accurate the statements are. But when you meet him, see him train and talk to him you understand why. To spend time with him is truly humbling. He is in his late 60’s and trained along with his students in the open seminars. In fact when the EWS team left he returned to the mats to practice the postures. His knowledge, enthusiasm and love of martial arts is truly something to behold.

Being Hollywood there was naturally some star presence at both sets of seminars. With famed fight choreographer and stuntman Jeff Imada at the Inosanto academy and with Cliff taking the group to meet Judge Joe Brown at the taping of his top-rated TV show. In fact the Judge came to visit the EWS team at Cliff’s house and stayed chatting until the early hours. He is now keenly practicing the ground aspects of EWS Silat.

So the trip ended memorably with smiles all around and with both groups setting up dates for EWS Silat seminars next year. Since the return there have already been congratulatory e-mails for the team. There are now smiles on both sides of the Atlantic and the path has been made for the spread of the little seen traditional Pencak Silat.

Sourced from http://www.reelcombat.com/news.htm

08 August 2004

Silat Kegayungan Acheh Helang Putih

FOR a man who can cause a lot of damage with his bare hands, Raja Abdul Aziz Mohd Ali certainly has an unassuming air about him. He’s even uncomfortable being called a mahaguru, or grandmaster, of the silat style he teaches.

“‘Maha’ means godlike, and I am not like that!” said the 56-year-old in his affable manner during a chat at his house in Kampung Dusun Tua in Hulu Langat, Selangor.

Friends said the man had squirmed sheepishly when meeting them after they had read a magazine article that had bestowed the title on him. But the article wasn’t too far off the mark. Raja Aziz has, almost single-handedly, formalised and spread the teachings of Silat Kegayongan Acheh Helang Putih, an ancient style of fighting that belongs to his family. His is one of the most popular silat organisations in the country with a membership of about 35,000. Currently, there are Silat Helang Putih organisations in 10 states in Malaysia and one each in France and Canada.

In 2001, Raja Aziz was invited, along with 21 other grandmasters, to the residence of the then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Wisma Perdana, Putrajaya, to give a pledge of loyalty to the Government.

That moment on March 10 when he took the pledge has spurred Raja Aziz to work even harder to propagate Silat Helang Putih. Not that he needs much encouragement. He’s been almost obsessed with taking this ancient “way of the warrior” nationwide and even worldwide. So focused has he been since he took up the art when he was 12 years old that his 10 older siblings all prophesied that he would angkat sampah (“carry garbage” – become a garbage collector) when he grew up!

According to legends handed down within the family, Silat Helang Putih was taught to an ancestor by a celestial warrior who, after committing an impropriety, had been cursed into taking the form of an eagle. The ancient form of Silat Helang Putih was a killing art, said Raja Aziz. The modern version is more moderate and can be safely demonstrated to the public. Students practice stylistic moves, and piercing shouts, screams and shrieks that are reminiscent of an eagle.

Raja Aziz himself has reportedly taken the form of an eagle. He is supposed to have demonstrated to a sceptical Caucasian martial artist the “internal” (kebatinan) aspects of silat, in the process transforming himself into a giant white eagle simply by mouthing incantations. Displaying typical modesty, Raja Aziz didn’t want to talk about the incident as it is “not good form to flaunt one’s ability”.

Not that Raja Aziz was always this modest. It seems that when he was in his 20s, he was rather taken with his own abilities. He was studying under an elderly silat master in Johor when he decided to issue a challenge – but the master knocked the young man’s lights out with a deft gesture even Raja Aziz “the young terror” didn’t know!

It’s not surprising, though, that the young man was a little overconfident. After all, he was still in his teens when he was instructed by his then master to begin teaching the art. Still training under different masters himself, Raja Aziz had only a handful of students, but he went ahead and opened a gelanggang (silat school) where his parents were living in Kampung Pandan, Selangor.

He ruffled quite a number of feathers with that move. One 80-year-old master of a different style of silat confronted Raja Aziz and insisted the young man pass a test or accept the master as his teacher. The old master wanted the young upstart to escape from his infamous “death lock” hold. Though Raja Aziz politely declined, the old man, a Javanese master with many gelanggangs in the area, kept insisting on the test. Finally, with his father’s blessings, Raja Aziz accepted the challenge.

“The master approached me and I allowed him to apply his lock on me. After he had done so, I asked him to confirm whether he had completed applying his lock as I did not feel uncomfortable at all. The man became angry and dared me to free myself if I could after I queried him for the third time.

“With a few swift movements, I easily freed myself. He applied three different locks on me but I easily escaped from each.

“Many of the master’s schools closed when word (about the test) got around,” Raja Aziz added.

In those early days, Raja Aziz struggled not only to teach his art but also to learn other styles of silat as well as other martial arts – and to do all this while holding down a regular job to support his wife and, eventually, 11 children! He studied Silat Sheikh Baginda Ali, Silat Harimau and Silat Sendeng Kuno in Johor and in Indonesia, juggling his silat with work in an electronics firm in Brunei and then a period of study at an electronics institute in Finland while in his early 20s.

Returning from Finland, Raja Aziz gave up his job in Brunei and moved to Kuala Lumpur where, among other jobs he held, he moonlighted as a cleaner at a sports club in Jalan Hicks. There, he had the opportunity to watch judo and tai chi classes. Of course, with his background in silat, it wasn’t long before he was interested enough to try out the movements he had seen after everyone was gone.

One day, the Japanese master, one Mr Hirakawa, caught Raja Aziz practicing judo moves and was so impressed that he ordered the young man to attend classes – for free and with a uniform thrown in, too! Raja Aziz went on to win medals at tournaments and achieve the rank of second dan in judo. He also fared well at tai chi and received a teacher’s certificate.

“Yes, I studied other arts but I have decided to focus on silat since it is from my own culture. I also find silat stances superior in strengthening the waist and other relevant muscles.

“Silat incorporates all the fighting distances with wide use of the hands for gripping, chopping, hitting and blocking,” he said.

But among Malays, silat is not faring very well, reckoned Raja Aziz: “ Malays are slow to take up silat as they look down on their own culture and favour imported arts.”

As for the art’s sometimes unsavoury reputation, Raja Aziz said that silat practitioners have only themselves to blame: ”Many young practitioners can’t wait to teach silat although their skills are below par, and some practice black magic while others impose unreasonable conditions.

“If foreigners can appreciate silat, I do not see why we cannot make silat known to the world,” he said, referring to the two foreign students he has taught, Joseph J. Vanrooy and Ta’am Kamal, who are now teaching the art in Canada and France respectively.

“It is up to the Malays to take up silat to popularise their own culture as promotion efforts for the art is almost negligible,” said Raja Aziz ruefully.

He’s certainly doing his bit for silat despite suffering all sorts of set backs over the years – from teachers who don’t pay him to teach his art to students who learn from him and then “steal” his techniques and claim them for their own.

Since he set up his organisation in 1967 when he was only 19, Raja Aziz has performed for Prime Ministers and royalty as well as ordinary folk all over the country and produced a book, Teknik Bela Diri Helang Putih (Siri 2), and a VCD of the same name in his bid to popularise this art.

For all that he has done for silat, especially in his home state of Selangor, he was given the title of Raja Aziz Laksamana Hojak Andak by the late Tengku Khalid, the Orang Kaya Maha Wijaya of Selangor in the 1980s.

Not bad for the kid they said would become a garbage collector when he grew up!

For enquiries about Silat Helang Putih and to order Raja Abdul Aziz Mohd Ali’s book (RM30) and VCD (RM20), contact him at 013-668 2523 / 03-9021 2714 / No. 589, Batu 15 1/2, Dusun Tua, 43100 Hulu Langat, Selangor.

Sourced from http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2004/8/8/features/8490103&sec=features

28 July 2004

Victim broke off with suspect months ago

KAJANG: An economics graduate under investigation for the murder of medical researcher Norzi Ayu Md Noor, had told the victim's father that he had been intimate with her.

The 23-year-old suspect, who works in a bank in Serdang, had visited Norzi Ayu at her family home in Taman Maznah in Klang two weeks ago where he had "vowed" to marry her, despite her refusal to have anything to do with him.

This was revealed to The Malay Mail yesterday by Norzi Ayu's father, Md Noor Dahari, 52, as he waited to claim her remains at the Kajang Hospital mortuary.

Md Noor, a sea traffic controller attached to North Port, said the suspect, believed to be a Kelantanese, was adamant about marrying Norzi Ayu.

"He even had the gall to tell me that he slept with my daughter on several occasions and that gave him the right to marry her," the father said.

"Of course, I did not believe him.

I asked my daughter and she vehemently denied the allegations." Md Noor said he knew the suspect had a crush on his daughter but she broke off the relationship several months ago.

"She was seeing someone else, one of her colleagues and they had planned to get engaged soon," Md Noor said.

Norzi Ayu, 27, is the eldest of five children.

She was pursuing her Masters in genetic research at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

She was also an officer with the Insitute for Medical Research in Kuala Lumpur.

She had been renting a unit at the Sri Tanjung Apartments in Section 7, Bandar Baru Bangi with three housemates.

Norzi Ayu was attacked while she was alone in her flat on Monday afternoon.

She is believed to have been stabbed twice in the abdomen.

She died several hours later at the Kajang Hospital.

Selangor CID chief Senior Assistant Commissioner II Abu Bakar Mustafa confirmed that a suspect was in custody and that he was arrested at 8.30pm on Monday when he went to the Kajang Hospital to visit Norzi Ayu.

He said the suspect will be remanded for two weeks to help in investigations.

The Malay Mail learnt that the suspect entered Norzi Ayu's apartment about 3pm and that there was a loud argument before she was stabbed.

Norzi Ayu is believed to have put up a struggle.

She even managed to send an SMS to her silat instructor, to whom she was close.

Investigations also showed that the victim had scribbled a note on a piece of paper, saying that she was in danger.

She also urged the reader to contact the silat instructor whose cell phone number was written in the note.

The note was thrown out of a window on her first floor unit.

It is also learnt that someone picked up the note and immediately contacted the silat instructor.

It is further learnt that the silat instructor had confronted the assailant, who was holding Norzi Ayu hostage (see accompanying story).

But despite the silat instructor's efforts to "calm" him, the assailant stabbed Norzi Ayu twice in the abdomen before escaping on foot.

The silat instructor took her to the hospital.

Yesterday, the silat instructor was at the Kajang Hospital morgue with Norzi Ayu's family members.

He was seen accompanying Norzi Ayu's remains to the Klang Muslim cemetery where she was buried.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-12786954_ITM

Norzi Ayu and attacker were both silat exponents

KAJANG: Despite being a silat gayung (martial arts) exponent, murder victim Norzi Ayu Md Noor was no match for her assailant who was bigger.

Her silat instructor, identified only as Man, who rushed to her apartment after hearing that she was in trouble, saw the assailant grab Norzi Ayu from behind, holding a knife to her side.

"I tried to talk him into releasing her but he would not listen.

He was shouting and kept warning me not to come any closer," he said.

"He then pulled her into a room and that was when she was stabbed.

He then walked out and I rushed in to see if she was allright." Man, a silat gayung instructor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, refused to say anything more except that he was close to her and he knew her family as well.

It is learnt that the suspect and Norzi Ayu were Man's students.

Norzi Ayu's neighbour at the Sri Tanjung apartments, Ibrahim Rifqi, in his 30s, said he was at home taking a nap when he was awakened by shouts from Norzi's unit.

"I got curious when the argument went on for almost 30 minutes," Ibrahim said.

When he opened his front door, he saw the victim sitting at her doorway and she was being attended by a man who told him that she had been stabbed.

"He pointed out the assailant to me.

The assailant was wearing a white shirt and a crash helmet.

He was walking down the corridor," he said.

Ibrahim gave a chase but the suspect managed to escape.

It is learnt that the suspect went to a stream 2km away where he was believed to have disposed of the murder weapon.

Yesterday, the suspect led police to the river where he had allegedly thrown the murder weapon.

Scuba divers from the Putrajaya Fire and Rescue Department searched the river for almost two hours for the murder weapon but could not find it.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-12786955_ITM

25 July 2004

The potent flower

A drama academic returns from Latvia, exposing a gathering of international theatre people to the use of silat in the contemporary stage, and HIMANSHU BHATT, who visits him, leaves knowing a few more things about the ancient Malay art of self defence.

A VISIT to Dr Zainal Abdul Latiff at his office at the Performing Arts Centre in Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang will see you in a room crammed with piles of books, manuscripts and old play posters.

One hardcover sticks out, lying in the middle of his table, as if undaunted by the academic clutter. It is titled The Art of Stillness. "It is about the animal energy in the actor," Zainal explains, leafing through its pages. "Even though an actor does not have any lines, he is alive. In the stillness there is movement." The book deals with a revolutionary dramatic technique of Tadashi Suzuki who took elements from the old noh and kabuki theatres of Japan to put together a performance methodology for the contemporary stage.

Drawing on strengths of traditional disciplines is something very close to Zainal's heart. And he has tried for the last 25 years, using the very martial arts training of his own culture and childhood, for the great love of theatre.

Zainal, an associate professor at USM, was recently in Latvia as the only Asian participant at a festival on theatre methods organised by the International University "Global Theatre Experience".

He trained 50 theatre specialists from Europe and America in a special programme called Pencak Silat in the Training of Theatre Practitioners. The trip was sponsored by the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and USM.

For three days, participants were acquainted with the philosophy and techniques of silat - the old Malay-world art of self-defence - and how they can be adopted for preparation towards acting.

Zainal has been using silat in his classes since 1979 when he returned from Hawaii where he was pursuing a master's degree in drama and Asian theatre.

"One of the lecturers at the University of Hawaii was doing Shakespeare when he saw me practising silat," Zainal remembers. "He made his actors go through my movements for agility and concentration - it turned out to be very good for them." Properly guided, the sudden moves, the reflexes, the intense body focus of silat, can become highly acute tools in training the actor for any role - conservative or radical, realistic or avant garde.

There is an enormous awareness of the self, a mastery of physical alignment and a sense of confidence that silat imbues in its devout practitioner.

"Actors like Ahmad Yatim and Rahim Razali have taken up silat themselves. Look at their stage presence - they are very strong." Pencak means "systematic, trained body movements" and silat connotes "the application of systematically-trained body movements in a fighting situation".

But Zainal regrets that the original philosophy, way of life and the fluid body-mind movements of silat have been lost to youngsters only interested in fighting.

"Silat is as old as the race," he says. The youths, however, have missed the beauty and relevance of the bunga (flower) in the old Malay saying: In the move, lies the dance In the dance, lies the flower In the flower, lies the fruit In the fruit, lies the punch In the punch, lies the crunch Zainal was first acquainted with this potent, beautiful flower in silat as a child in his kampung in Malacca. "At one time, to be an adult you had to learn this art. We would train from eleven at night till one in the morning." Now he allows himself to be exposed to other martial art forms being adapted for theatre. The experience has helped him modulate the tenets and principles of silat for a similar purpose.

He talks keenly of Prof A.C. Scott who in 1954 introduced tai chi for his acting classes at the University of Wisconsin, and reads the works of Phillip Zarilli who uses the ancient Indian martial art of the kalaripayattu for actor training.

He also studied kabuki for a year, acting in the classic tragedy Chusingura or The 47 Royal Retainers - a story about a chieftain's warriors who are not supposed to take revenge on another lord, but do so anyway and commit suicide in the end.

And two years ago, he participated with John Knobbs of the Brisbane- based Franks Theatre Company - a devout follower of the Suzuki technique - taking the role of Macbeth's conscience, using minimal movement packed with powerful stage presence, and speaking only Malay.

In Malaysia, silat has been done before, though very infrequently, for the contemporary stage. Zainal remembers Belgian academic Tone Brulin directing the improvised play Naga-Naga Dimana Kau? Naga-Naga Siapa Kau? (Dragons, where are you? Dragons, who are you?), composed by Salleh Joned and Kishen Jit in the 70s.

"Salleh cycled from KL to Penang to see it!" The great challenge of silat, Zainal says, is how the actor personalises the ancient practice for his own characterisation work.

"An actor must drown himself into it; then he is able to absorb the audience, to pull them in. And only after the show is over is the audience released." "It is an internal thing. Only the actor who practices properly knows. In the end, silat is you. You become the silat."

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-12754833_ITM

08 July 2004

2006 Asian Games shun pencak silat

Hopes for pencak silat, a martial art originating here, to be among sports contested at the 2006 Asian Games in Qatar were dashed, after the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) decided against its inclusion.

The news was announced by Djohar Arifin, the secretary-general of the National Sports Council (KONI), here on Wednesday.

Djohar said at a recent OCA board meeting in Doha that pencak silat did not meet the council's criteria for inclusion at the games.

While, according to the OCA, the sport must be recognized by four of five Asian regions in Asia: East Asia, West Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Currently, Djohar asserted, pencak silat is popular only in Southeast Asia and West Asia.

Pencak silat associations only exist in 15 countries, one less than the minimum number set by the OCA.

"Besides, the sport is not represented by an Asian body. The only (continental) existing body is merged with another region under the name of the Asia-Pacific federation," Djohar said.

The decision dampens recent optimism that followed a demonstration of pencak silat at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea.

"We had already discussed the issue informally with the OCA. They said they would accept the sport," Djohar said.

He added that Indonesian team's leader Eddie M. Nalapraya -- who is also president of the International Pencak Silat Federation (Persilat) -- had already discussed possible venues, participants and the schedule of events with the OCA.

"We can only hope that pencak silat will be competed at the next Asian Games in Guangzhou, China in 2010," Djohar said.

The choice of Guangzhou as the next host, over Malaysian capital city Kuala Lumpur, was also taken during the forum.

The 2006 Asian Games will include 40 sports and comprise 411 events. Six of the sports will debut at the quadrennial sporting event: bodybuilding, baseball, softball, rugby, rowing and canoeing.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-21914986_ITM

21 June 2004

Silat should be shared with the world

KEPALA BATAS, Sun. - Silat, a martial art mostly known in the Malay archipelago, should be shared with the rest of the world.

In making the call today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi also urged more non-Malays to learn the art as it teaches followers values like discipline and self-control.

He said these were among qualities which the Government hoped would be possessed by all Malaysians.

"As silat gains popularity among Malaysians, efforts should be made to introduce it in other countries," he said at the Malaysian Silat Lincah national gathering and presentation ceremony at SMK Datuk Haji Ahmad Badawi here.

Abdullah's views were echoed by Culture, Art and Heritage Minister Datuk Rais Yatim who said silat had the potential to be recognised like taekwondo and karate.

He said a proposal to officially recognise silat as part of the country's heritage would be forwarded to the Government.

Also present were Penang Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, several Cabinet ministers and local and international silat exponents.

Abdullah was later conferred the title "Ulul Amri ll", one of Silat Lincah's highest awards, by Rahman.

He was also presented with a headdress (tanjak), keris, sword, a replica house and a sash.

Others who received awards from the association were Koh, Rais, Information Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir and Penang Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Abdul Rashid Abdullah.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-21708189_ITM

20 June 2004


KEPALA BATAS, June 20 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today received the Second "Ulul Amri", the Silat Lincah Malaysia's highest award.

Penang's Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, who is the First "Ulul Amri", presented the award at a ceremony here.

The award comprised a "selendang kehormat", "tanjak", a keris, a sword and replica of a "rumah adat".

Information Minister Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim and several others also received the honorary award for their contribution to the Malay martial arts.

Abdullah also received a sword of honour, signifying the highest award from the Datuk Bandar Cebilang Satun, Thailand, Arshad Langi.

Abdul Rahman and the "mahaguru" of Silat Lincah Malaysia Datuk Omar Din Mauju were also awarded similar swords.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-21717637_ITM

17 June 2004

Brunei: Silat umpire course participants awarded

A certificate presentation for participants of the Silat umpire/jury course was held Tuesday at the multipurpose hall of the Menglait Sports Complex.

Participated by several expatriates, the course - which ran from June 11 to 15 - aimed to enhance skills as well as share the knowledge of a Silat umpire/jury.

On hand to award participants with certificates was the President of the Silat National Team Federation of Brunei Darussalam (PERSIB) cum guest of honour Pg Jaya Indera Pg Hj Moktar Putih bin Pg Hj Rajid, who is also Vice President of the Silat International Federation (PERSILAT).

The day also saw the Head of Silat Umpire/Jury Board Cikgu Dua bin Hj Gharib as well as Chairperson of the Board Pg Hj Metali bin Pg Hj Md Daud furnishing participants with words of wisdom.

Special awards were also presented to the best participants of the 5-day course.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-21669583_ITM

11 June 2004

Pencak Silat in the UK

11 June 2004, UNITED KINGDOM - Pencak Silat is a traditional martial art from the Indonesian-Melayu Archipelago. This month, London hosts the first ever UK International Pencak Silat Championships - a great opportunity to check it out.

With a history going back over 1,000 years, Pencak Silat as a warrior art, greatly influenced the history and culture of the region. Today Pencak Silat can be practised as a method of self-defence, as a competitive sport, or for the chance to learn one of the world's few remaining complete traditional martial arts systems. Like many martial arts, it can develop physical co-ordination, poise, fitness, as well as self-confidence and responsibility amongst its students.

The International Pencak Silat Federation has developed this martial art into sports ('tanding') and artistic ('seni') competition events, which are included in the South East Asia Games. At the moment Silat is not included in the Olympic Games, but has won recognition in the Asian Games. While the sport side is very comabtive, the artistic side is beautifully choreographed and as difficult as any specialised dance form.

The first UK International championships take place between 11-13th June at the Kensington Leisure Centre. Teams from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Europe, Australia and the UK will take part. Competitors will include Gold medallists from the most recent South East Asia Games, the last World Championships, and the European Championships of 2003.

The event aims to raise awareness of Pencak Silat as a competitive sport with Olympic potential, and to promote the PSF UK to officials from national sports bodies, and to local sports development teams. By presenting young local people in competition with world class athletes, the Championships aims to new audiences, and increase participation in this unique aspect of Indonesian and Melayu culture.

The Championships will be officially opened by the Indonesian Ambassador on the evening of Friday 11 June. The opening ceremony will include performances of Indonesian music and dance, and demonstrations of different Pencak Silat styles. Competition events will start on the Saturday morning.

UK International Pencak Silat Championships
Indonesian Martial Arts, 12-13th June 2004
Kensington Leisure Centre, Walmer Road, London W11
Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 9am-6pm
Adults £5 under 16's £3,
free for under 12's - 2 day pass £8/£5
Tel: 020 7737 5488

Sourced from http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/yourlondon/unitedcolours/roots/pencak_silat.shtml

09 June 2004

Silat exponents glitter with four golds in UK

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 (Bernama) -- Five national silat exponents did the country proud with glittering performances, winning four golds and a silver at the European Invitational in the United Kingdom which ended on June 13.

The team comprising Mohd Azrin Abdul Malik, Ahmad Sharil Zainudin, Mohd Zubir Osman and Emy Latip performed beyond expectations to surpass the three- gold target set for the meet.

If not for an ankle injury suffered by Sarah Iskhak during her semi-final bout, the Malaysian team may have returned with five gold medals.

Sarah who won her semi-final bout despite her injury, had to settle for the silver.

The Malaysian Silat Association (PSKM) honorary secretary Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din said the five exponents put up a tremendous performance although they were up against strong challengers from Indonesia, Holland and Singapore.

"We are certainly proud of their achievement as the tournament was part of their preparations for the December World Silat Championships in Singapore," he said.

Megat said the determination and fighting spirit, displayed by Sarah despite suffering the injury is highly commendable.

He added the Malaysian squad for the biennial World Championships in Singapore starting on Dec 14, would be made up of 35 exponents, 26 men and nine women.

According to him, PSKM have yet to set any targets as it is still early.

The PSKM will continue to sent their exponents for competitions abroad before gathering them for the intensive centralised training in Bukit Jalil starting September.

During the last World Championships held in Penang, Malaysia won three golds through Ahmad Faizal Omar, Ariff Khamis and Ahmad Shahril.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-21805203_ITM

07 June 2004

Kedah dominate with five gold medals

KEDAH clinched five out of the 11 gold medals offered as they dominated the Malaysia Games silat events at the Seremban Municipal Hall yesterday.

Kedah, with nine of their athletes in final matches, took the top spots in the men's G, H and J categories and the women's A and B categories.

National athlete Siti Jameelah Japilus took the gold in the B category with an aggressive display beating Selangor's Nur Azilah Azidin 4-1.

Vietnam Sea Games silver medallist Siti had failed to clinch a medal in the 2002 Games.

"I am very happy to win my first medal in the Games as I have been training for the past two years in preparation for the event," she said.

In the E category, Kedah's Nur Shuhada, however, fell 5-0 to a more determined Siti Sharnani from Malacca.

Kedah's Norshaniza Azizan was in top form as she defeated Kelantan's Nur Liyana Nik Li 5-0 in the women's B cateory.

Abdul Ghofur (Kedah), after a hard-fought battle, took the gold in the men's J category when he beat Noradzimi Mohamed Nor from Penang 3-2.

"I am very proud since this is my first Malaysia Games and I have achieved my dream of a top finish," said the Kuala Kedah fireman.

Pahang's Mohamed Zulhanafiah, last year's national junior gold medallist, managed to clinch the gold medal in the D category when he thrashed Kedah's Mohamed Syafiq 5-0.

Kedah, however, had a disappointment in the E category as national athlete Mohamed Amin Saadun was thrashed 5-0 by a more agile and aggressive Hafifi Hafize from Kuala Lumpur.

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06 June 2004

Zuraidi wins amidst controversy

UNDERDOG Mohamed Zuraidi Abu Bakar of Sarawak kept his calm despite controversy to take gold as Kedah fans protested decisions violently at the Malaysia Games silat competition at the Seremban Municipal Hall yesterday.

After beating Kedah exponent Mohamed Khoharullah Abdul Majid in a controversial semi-final that saw fans hurl chairs onto the court and a photographer assaulted, Zuraidi stayed focused because he wanted to take the gold home for Sarawak.

In the final, although still nursing an ankle injury sustained in training, Zuraidi played through the pain barrier to beat Perak's Megat Iskandar Abdullah 4-1 in the final.

The gutsy 19-year old was disappointed that things got out of hand in the semi-final but had to keep focus because he had a point to prove.

"The Kedah team and officials had nothing to do with the fracas, it was their fans, but I blocked it out of my mind because I wanted to take the gold home for Sarawak." "You can be a natural, but if you do not listen to your coaches, then you will amount to nothing.

Sarawak, who had Mohamed Zairi Johari in the men's class F final, can count themselves unlucky not to take gold as well after he injured his knee in the match against Penang's Hilmi Jafni Zakaria and could not continue.

In other finals yesterday, Kelantan's Wan Nurul Hidayu beat Kuala Lumpur's Siti Jasili 4-0 in the women's class C while Penang's Syahizan Marzuki beat Labuan's Irwan Rapai to take the men's class B gold.

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05 June 2004

Cameraman assaulted during fracas in silat venue

SEREMBAN, June 5 (Bernama) -- A cameraman from a private television station, covering the 10th Sukma's pencak silat events, was assaulted during a fracas at the Seremban Municipal Hall here today.

Mohd Raes Rajab, 27, a cameraman with Silversports Sdn Bhd alleged that he was assaulted twice, first inside the competition hall and later outside the hall.

Mohd Raes said he suffered injuries to his lips during the attack while his camera was snatched away by a group of spectators, believed to be family members of a Kedah silat exponent, who lost his earlier bout. He was filming a commotion that broke out at the venue.

He said while filming a bout between Perak and Labuan, a number of spectators interrupted the match by throwing chairs into the competition area, believed to be an act of protest against an earlier decision by the judges to award the match to Sarawak.

"I focused on the incident and continued rolling my camera when the group turned on me," said Mohd Raes.

He added that during the commotion, he was punched in the face and his camera taken away and when he came out of the hall, the same man had assaulted him.

"I lost my camera and when an official managed to find it later, I found that it was already damaged," said Mohd Raes who received outpatient treatment at Hospital Seremban.

He later made a police report at the Rahang Police station, Seremban.

The Malaysian Pencak Silat Association secretary Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din who confirmed the incident said the commotion started after the men's 45-50kg (Silat Olaraga) category, quarter-final match which featured Kedah's Mohd Khoharullah Abdul Majid and Sarawak's Mohammad Zuraidi Abu Bakar.

"The match was a 50-50 encounter but Mohammad Zuraidi was declared the winner by a 3-2 score. The action of the camareman to film the incident must have upset them," said Megat.

He added that no officials, athletes, coaches or judges were involved.

"The association views the incident very seriously as it is shameful. We have asked Kedah to submit a report immediately. For now we will allow the police to handle the matter," he said.

Meanwhile, the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia's deputy president Abu Bakar Atan referred to the incident as shameful and an act of irresponsible people.

"Nobody should obstruct the media from carrying out their duties. They are not looking for trouble but merely doing their job," he said.

He urged the organisers and the police to take immediate action against the culprits.

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01 June 2004

Hafizudin bags State's first gold medal

HAFIZUDIN Mohamed, to the delight of the Terengganu fans present at the packed hall, took the first silat gold medal when he beat Hadi Hassan from Johor 218-209 in the Malaysia Games solo putera discipline at the Seremban Municipal Hall yesterday.

Hafizudin's smooth flowing routine and skillful display in weapons handling outclassed Hadi as Jaafar Sidek from Negri Sembilan took the bronze with 206.

It was a tight battle in the men's team as Johor team (451 points) beat Sarawak by a single point with bronze medallists Negri Sembilan a further point adrift.

"The team is very happy but did not expect to win because the mats we performed on were slippery which resulted in a very cautious routine," said Hafiz Hasan.

Sarawak were a class above in the jurus tunggal baku putera when Mazlan Manaf took the gold with 448. Negri Sembilan's Mohamed Razif (445) clinched silver while Rasfan Halim from Kelantan was a point behind for the bronze.

In the regu puteri, Sarawak took gold with 453. Kuala Lumpur's smooth and coordinated display proved to be the deciding factor as they edged Johor for the silver since both teams shared the same score of 449.

Penang's Nur Fitriyah Baid (217) was the solo puteri gold medallist with Pahang's Siti Noreyisah Abidin (206) clinching the silver as Selangor's Siti Rahayu's aggressive performance resulted in a bronze finish with 203.

Negri Sembilan took the gold in the tempur ganda when they defeated Perak 209-204 while Johor edged Pahang 202-201 to take the bronze medal.

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24 May 2004

Azrin, Hui Yee receive honours

NATIONAL silat champion Mohd Azrin Abdul Malik and gymnast, See Hui Yee won the 2003 Pahang Sportsman and Sportswoman Awards at the Dewan Wisma Indera Mahkota, Kuantan on Saturday.

Twenty-five-year-old Mohd Azrin's selection was based on his outstanding performances last year, winning gold medals at the National Silat Open championship in Kuala Lumpur, the International Invitational, the Philippines Open as well as the Vietnam Sea Games gold in the J Class.

Gymnast Hui Yee captured the team gold and the individual bronze in rhythmic gymnastics in Hanoi. She was the only nominee for the award.

Azrin and Hui each received RM3,500 in prize money, a trophy and certificate.

Triple gold medalist at the Asian Junior Weightlifting championship in Manila, Zulkifli Che Ros captured the "Most Promising Sportsman" award.

Rising long distance star K. Ghanthimanthi bagged the "Most Promising Sportswoman" award for winning gold in the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m at the Pahang AAA Open and two gold medals at the Malaysian Schools Sports Council's (MSSM) athletics championship last year.

National hammer champion, Siti Shahida Abdullah received the "Elite Athlete" award.

In recognition of their efforts to promote sports in the State, special awards were given to the outstanding district sports council, sports association, coach, sports personality, sports leader, and paralympiads (male and female).

New Straits Times stringer Pritam Singh received a special "Sports Journalist" award.

Each winner received between RM1,000-RM1,500 in prize money, a trophy and certificate.

Pahang Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob presented the awards.

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20 May 2004


KUALA LUMPUR, May 20 (Bernama) -- Five National silat exponents will charter unfamiliar territory when they compete in the European Pencak Silat Invitational next month, as preparations for the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.

The Malaysian Silat Association Assistant Secretary Bahrain Ibrahim said the Invitational would be a good platform to gauge the strength and weaknesses of the National exponents.

"The five were selected based on their performances in International competitions throughout last year. They are also in the 2006 Gemilang Project," he told Bernama, today.

The five are Mohd Azrin Abdul Malik, Ahmad Shahril Zainudin, Mohd Zubir Osman, Sarah Iskhak and Emy Latip.

Ahmad Sharil had won a SEA Games gold two years ago while Mohd Azrin is the winner of a silver during the 2002 World Silat Championships in Penang.

"We expect a strong challenge from Vietnam and Holland as they are the seeded teams in the Invitational. But our exponents stand a good chance to win three gold medals," said Bahrain.

The event starting from June 11-13, will see participation from 11 European and four Asian countries.

Among the countries competing are the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Turkey, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.

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14 February 2004

Silat instructor suspected of molest freed on police bail

TAIPING, Fri. - A 47-year-old silat olahraga instructor suspected of molesting four of his female students was released on police bail after his five-day remand expired today.

His hands were still handcuffed when he was escorted from the Taiping magistrate's court today.

A father of eight, the man had friends, students and relatives waiting for his release at the compound of the magistrate's court, but they were not allowed to communicate with him.

He surrendered to the police on Monday and was detained to assist police investigation into the allegations of molest.

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Molest case: Silat instructor released on police bail

TAIPING: A silat instructor remanded for five days to help investigations into molest allegations made by his female students, was yesterday released on police bail.

The 47-year-old man was whisked away from the Taiping magistrate's court with his hands still cuffed.

Friends, students and relatives who waited to see the father of eight were not allowed to talk to him.

One of his victims had even alleged that she had been raped several times by the instructor from June 2002 until June 2003 before she garnered the courage to report the matter.

She said the first time was at his gym in Taman Air Kuning, Taiping.

The girl, one of his students, claimed she was grabbed by the hand from the back and immediately blacked out.

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12 February 2004

Assaults took place in the gym

TAIPING: It was more than just groping her body.

This was the shocking revelation made to The Malay Mail by a teenager who had earlier alleged that her 47-year-old silat instructor had molested her.

She said it had gone on for an entire year before she gathered enough courage to report the matter.

The 16-year-old school dropout claimed that she was first raped in June 2002 after training at a gym in Taman Ayer Kuning.

Recounting her ordeal, she said the man grabbed her from behind when she was about to leave the gym.

"I blacked out.

When I came to, I found myself naked," she said.

She said she left immediately, after putting on her clothes without confronting the father of eight.

The girl, who was 14 at the time, said the silat instructor had made suggestive overtures.

She said he had offered her so-called magical powers to maintain her beauty and physical strength.

"He was not happy when when I turned down his offer, but I never thought he would turn on me physically," she added.

She said she was not sure what had happened and thus kept the matter to herself.

Each time, the sequence of the instructor's alleged `rapes' was the same: A grab on any part of her body, followed by blackouts.

However, she remembered that her instructor had warned her not to tell anyone of what he did.

"He threatened me with black magic if anyone were to find out (what happened)," she said.

Her instructor's lust did not stop at the gym.

Once, she was instructed to fondle the man's penis when they were travelling on a bus for the Royal Pahang Martial Arts Festival in Kuantan in June, last year.

Just before she was about to compete, the man suggested a `mandi bunga' ritual, with him giving her the bath.

"I was baffled by his suggestion.

It was four hours before I was due to compete.

I refused," she said.

"I had enough of his antics, I just quit the sport after that," she said.

Courage to confront the matter came with the help of another silat instructor, who had taught her previously.

Accompanying the girl during the interview yesterday, the man, who is in his late 30s, said he saw a distinct change in her behaviour and suspected that something was wrong.

"She is a bright kid.

Very talented and dedicated to her sport.

The six months I observed her showed a different person from the one I knew," he said.

He said initially she merely said that the man had groped her, but admitted later that it was more than that.

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10 February 2004

Molest of students: Instructor detained

IPOH, Mon. - A 47-year-old silat instructor wanted in connection with several molest cases was detained in Taiping this morning.

Perak Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner II Wan Mohamad Wan Abdullah said the man surrendered at the Taiping police station at 10am after four of his female students, aged between 15 and 16, lodged reports against him last Friday.

The alleged molests took place at a gymnasium in Ayer Kuning, Taiping, during training from 2002 until this year, Wan Mohamad said after attending the Perak Police Contingent monthly gathering here.

Wan Mohamad said the incidents took place when the instructor was ostensibly teaching the victims how to maintain their "image and beauty" and "protect their skin from wrinkles".

The instructor, who is married with eight children, has managed the training centre for the past 10 years.

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09 February 2004


IPOH, Feb 9 (Bernama) -- A silat teacher being hunted by the police in connection with reports of molestation by his female students surrendered at the Taiping Police Station today.

State CID Chief SAC II Wan Mohamad Wan Abdullah said the 47-year-old man, from Air Kuning, Taiping, surrendered at 10am and had been remanded for further investigations.

He said the arrest followed reports by four students, aged 15 and 16, last Friday that he molested them during afternoon silat sessions at a hall in Air Kuning some time between last December and January.

He said the father of eight, who had been teaching silat for 10 years, was said to have called the girls separately into a room off the hall on the pretext of teaching them facial massage but took the opportunity to grope their private parts.

Wan Mohamad also urged other victims to come forward and lodge police reports.

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Silat makes debut at Busan Asiad

BUSAN, South Korea: Pencak silat martial arts, native to Southeast Asian countries, made its debut at the Busan 2002 Asian Games, although the medals will not be counted in the final medal tally.

In a bid to be included in the Doha 2006 Asiad, the International Pencak Silat Federation (Persilat) is holding a two-day Pencak Silat Sport Cultural Event at the Pusan University of Foreign Studies gymnasium.

Opened by organizing committee chairman Kim Soo-il on Saturday, the event featured pesilat from eight countries: Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

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