11 April 2007

Silat Pusaka Gayong gaining popularity with teens

No holds barred:Two female exponents using sticks to demonstrate attacking and defensive moves during the 'Buka Gelangang' ceremony at SM Teknik Balik Pulau.

Silat gayong (traditional martial arts) is gaining popularity among teena-gers in Balik Pulau, Penang, thanks to a training programme held at Balik Pulau Sports Complex.

About 100 youths throng the complex every Wednesday and Saturday to learn the skills from experts. After mastering basic skills, they will proceed to the advanced stage.

Persatuan Seni Silat Pusaka Gayong Malaysia Sungai Ara branch chairman Rusli Hashim said the programme was gaining popularity among the younger generation because of ongoing promotional activities.

“We are aggressively promoting this martial art among students. With the support from school authorities, many young talents have signed up for the programme in recent months,” he said.

Rusli said the response from the students, especially from secondary schools, had been very encouraging.

“Silat gayong also promotes self-discipline and mutual respect. Even parents support this programme because it keeps their children from being involved in undesirable activities.

“That is why we have extended the classes to many schools, especially those in Balik Pulau,” he said.

“Sungai Ara is the main location for silat gayong activities on Penang island,” he said.

He said the association had 200 members comprising school students and adults. Rusli added that classes were also conducted in Batu Uban Sports Complex.

“A person can go far in life with discipline and sense of respect. The training sessions also provide an avenue for the participants to hone leadership skills. It also helps boost self confidence,” he said.

By Nik Khusairi Ibrahim
Sourced from http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/4/11/north/17221248&sec=North