30 December 2008

Of abilities and possibilities

The late Ustaz Hanafi Haji Ahmad had a talent for couching life learnings in the most beautiful of verses. Among his more famous expressions are captured in his pantun which I've documented here: http://silat-melayu.blogspot.com/2008/05/pantun-silat-cekak.html

However, he also had the penchant for coining controversial proverbs. Controversial because they used the basest of language to deliver the most fundamental of messages.

For those of us who studied any of the Silat Cekak variants from his lineage would most probably have heard some of these. In some, they mirrored paraphrased ayatul Qur'an or Ahadith, in others, recognisable nasihat from the Auliaullah of old and others still, original spouts of wisdom of his own crafting.

Throughout my short life on earth, I've found that during the direst of moments, his pearls of power gave me strength to continue my battles against my nafs and to use my head instead of my heart when deciding on the most crucial of matters.

This is my favourite, transmitted to me by my teacher Tuan Guru Md Radzi Haji Hanafi:

"Nabi saja kita tak boleh jadi. Lain, semua boleh"

There's nothing you can't be. Only the door to propethood has been closed by Allah. Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was the last Prophet and Messenger. The meaning is straightforward and motivational. If ever I feel that I can't go on, I remember this and, like a key that opens a door, I remember all the ayat and ahadith that attest to its truth.

Seven years ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to helm Malaysia's premier martial arts magazine (which then became its only MA magazine soon enough) and the experiences I gained there enriched my life and continue to enrich it still.

Unfortunately, life didn't seem to be progressing for me. My family had been moving around for years, renting others people's homes. I was looking to settle down, but didn't have the finances to do so. So, life's hardships forced me to move on for the sake of finding greener pastures. I left the magazine, but not the world of martial arts writing. I continue that love here on this blog.

I moved on to something wholly unfamiliar and scary, marketing and corporate training in fitness. When that proved unpromising in the long term, I made my way to something equally unfamiliar, public relations. An error in judgement saw me part ways with the PR firm, a mistake I regret to this day, but has served as a costly lesson to me.

Even though that provided me the opportunity to do freelance work and run my own business, it also proved to me that I wasn't ready for it. I fell into a deep depression and woke up every day not knowing how the next day would play out.

Had I knew then the truth that Allah never leaves His Servants when they are most in need, I would taken what happened next more seriously. I was given the chance to meet an amazing human being by the name of cikgu Jeff Davidson, a Silat Kuntau Tekpi instructor from the USA. With nothing more than chat messages, we supported each other during our common blue periods.

This was the time when Ustaz Hanafi's words rang true for me, day after day. It gave me the impetus to move forward and after six months, I landed a job that paid almost 50% more than the previous one, doing something scarier, corporate training in documentation. Five months later, barely out of financial strife, I got married.

Two years later, a large consultancy firm called me up and asked if I would like to be part of their regional training centre team. A few months later, my daughter was born. In short, what I thought was impossible three years ago has already happened.

As I look back on those few short years, I realise that there was nothing to worry about, as long as I believed that I could be what I wanted to be. Ustaz Hanafi's words weren't my amulet, but they sure as well might have been.

So, to all those friends out there who have yet to make it, believe me, every man has his day, and I believe it will come for you too. Salam persilatan. Ila ruhi al marhum al mudarris Hanafi ibn Ahmad. Al Fatihah.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

29 December 2008

Maal Hijrah 1430

It's the new year again, and Muslims rejoice because on this day 1430 years ago, the Holy Messenger Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was ordered by Allah to commit to the Hijrah, the migration from Makkah to Madinah.

In some nomenclature, the Hijrah is termed the Flight, which means the Muslims were fleeing from their tormentors. In a way, this is true, as they escaped torture and persecution by their own people.

In other conceptions, the Hijrah is the moving on, the development, the continuous cycle of existence. Of finding greener pastures to graze in, of finding a better way of doing things, of becoming a better self.

As for me, I have my plate full with a new baby, a new home and a new environment to adapt to. I often get calls and sms's from friends and fans who read the blog who ask me, "What silat are you doing now?".

My canned response is "Silat Kehidupan" or "Silat Mencari Rezeki", because in a world where financial uncertainty and personal security issues run rampant, my first priority is always my family.

A quick survey amongst friends from my former training group proves that I'm not alone. Everyone else has committed their own Hijrah. Some have new children to feed, travel hundreds of kilometers to work every day, struggling to make ends meet, finding the funds to keep those ends together and more.

Although my time has shrunk down to the rare post on this blog, every time I pass my trusty sword Saiful Azraq or my sturdy keris Al-Bahr, I can't resist unsheathing them and going a few rounds of imaginary wounding. I miss those days, and those days miss me.

My only consolation so far, is that friendships last longer than training arenas, and even though keeping in touch with silat mates has become more difficult, the odd sms here and there gives me the strength to carry on with my Hijrah.

To all pesilat around the world, Maal Hijrah to a better us. Wassalam.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

28 December 2008

Al Fatihah - Pakcik Bakar passes away

It is my sad duty to report that Pakcik Bakar, the son-in-law of famed Pendekar Mat Kilau has passed away in Pahang today. He is expected to be buried before Zuhur prayers.

Pakcik Bakar was one of the few masters still carrying on the personal silat styles of Pendekar Mat Kilau. His passing is a great blow to Malaysian pesilat. Al Fatihah.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

19 December 2008


KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 (Bernama) -- Malaysian silat exponents won three more gold medals from silat at the Tunku Chancellor Hall, Universiti Malaya here today.

With the medal haul, Malaysia ended the campaign with five gold, nine silver and three bronze.

The three gold today came from Hafifi Hafiez Habibilah (men's class A), Mohamad Asuha Sacdan (men's class E) and Wan Nurul Hidayu Wan Abdul Razak (women's class C).

Twelve gold were at stake today.

National silat manager Ahmad Faizal Abu Bakar said Malaysia fielded only three national athletes, Amir Ikram Abd. Rahim, Wan Rosrahimah Wan Mustafa and Emy Latip.

"We could have won more gold had we enlisted the services of more national athletes like other countries," he told Bernama.

Hafifi Hafiez made short work of his Indonesian opponent 3-2, Wan Nurul Hidayu beat her Vietnamese rival 5-0 and Mohamad Asuha defeated her Vietnamese opponent 5-0.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-36164875_ITM

17 December 2008


KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 (Bernama) -- Malaysian silat exponents put up a scintillating display to win two gold and two bronze from silat at the Asean University Games 2008 at Dewan Tunku Chancellor, Universiti Malaya today.

Sakilah Sapar and her sister, Salihah made it a family affairs when they lifted the gold by scoring 561 points in women's ganda puteri by defeating Herdayani and Eka Murdiati (Indonesia).

Mohd Azahar Che Abdullah and Mohd Faizul Sarif contributed another gold in men's ganda putera when they also collected 561 points to beat Dedi Sefiah and Rhandika Asiani Wijaya (Indonesia).

Radiah Hassan, who collected 466 points in women's tunggal puteri event had to settle for bronze.

Kurnita Rahayuni (Indonesia) won gold while Thi Thao Vu (Vietnam) silver in the event.

Emy Latip contributed another bronze for Malaysia in women's class D after losing to Thi Phuong Anh Nguyen (Vietnam) in the semi-final.

In men's tunggal putra, Viet Anh (Vietnam) won gold, I Gusti Ngurah(Indonesia) silver and Mohammed Noor Firdaus (Singapore) bronze. Abdul Rahim Talib (Malaysia) went home empty handed.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-36134756_ITM

02 December 2008

Silat group officiates new training ground

More than 20 members of the Silat Seni Warisan Pelangi performed various forms of self-defence moves to enliven the opening ceremony of the official launching of Persilatan Seni Warisan Pelangi group at the Seria District Office last Saturday evening.

The guest of honour who officiated the opening of the Silat ring was Belait District Officer (DO) Awg Hj Jamain Momin.

Also demonstrating the traditional self-defence moves were chief of Mukim Seria, Awg Hj Jamail Hj Linap and two group instructors, Awg Ahmad Ismail and Awg Hj Naseer Kifrawi.

In his welcoming remarks, Awg Hj Jamail said the main objectives of the opening of the ring was to further develop the martial art sports and to encourage youths' participation in the nation's traditional art of self-defence.

"Silat is not only a physical training exercise, but it also helps the participants to be disciplined, to have patience and to persevere," he added.

The martial art was introduced in the district in 1995 and has received recognition from the Brunei Darussalam Persekutuan Pencak Silat last year.

The Persilatan Seni Warisan Pelangi group has also become a national champion for eight consecutive years and has been activated by housing residents of STKRJ Lorong Tiga Seria in 2006 where trainings are conducted at Lorong Tiga Seria barracks every day.

Following an application to the District Office, the group has been allowed to utilise the office's training ground every Monday and Friday from 8pm to 10pm.

Written by Liza Mohd
Sourced from

21 November 2008

Passion alone is not enough

What drove Sheik Alau'ddin to two World Silat Championships gold medals in 1990 and 1994 was passion - plain and simple.

Now the Singapore Silat Federation (Persisi) chief executive director, he said: 'If you ask Jasmine (Yeong-Nathan) if money motivated her to the World Cup title, she will definitely tell you no.

"When you go into sports, it cannot be because of money."

But there are some things which have to change, according to Sheik.

If an athlete makes it to the top, but misses out on the monetary incentives because the competition is not listed in the Multi-Million Dollar Award Programme (MAP), then the relevant parties have to take it upon themselves to see that the athlete is fairly rewarded.

Said Sheik, who did not receive any monetary incentives when he twice became world champion: "The point I'm trying to make is that an athlete cannot go into a sport expecting financial rewards.

"But when they make it, we have to ensure that he or she gets the deserving reward.

"Hopefully, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) can come in. If not, the national sports associations (NSAs) should look into it.

Sheik feels that the best solution is for the SSC and NSAs to sit down and discuss the issue at length.

He added: "It's about time we come up with a blueprint and list out the other competitions that deserve to be included in MAP.

"But we have to be careful about the world champion tag.

"How many countries take part in it, what is the standard of competition, and is there prize money involved?

"The monetary reward has to be on a case-by-case basis, not a common figure across the board. Then, it will be fair."

Sourced from http://newpaper.asia1.com.sg/sports/story/0,4136,184266,00.html

15 November 2008

Silat: Getting a kick out of exercise

Heru, 54, an Indonesian national champion of Silat and two other instructors, Bambang and Indra Kusuma are based in Abu Dhabi where they offer lessons in martial arts.

Silat is an umbrella term used to describe the martial art forms practiced throughout the Malay Archipelago. Internationally it is now called Pencak Silat. Silat is a combative art of fighting and survival and it has been evolved in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam civilisations for centuries into social culture and tradition.

"Silat originated in seventh century, based on the principle 'knowledge and bare hand' (in Indonesian language, ITK - Ilmu Tangan Kosong)," explains Kusuma.

"It is a combination of art and sport which gives you physical power. It has three kinds of basic breathing exercises that keep a person's inner body clean," he added.

Many Indonesian families Gulf News interviewed were all praise for Silat, saying that the weekly classes that are offered at their embassy in Abu Dhabi are helping keep them physically fit and happy.

Ita Sarosa, 49, a housewife and her daughter Naadiya, 12, said their interaction in the family and society has been happier, because of practicing Silat.

"I feel fit and young," said Sarosa, who has been practicing it for the past year. "It's good for self defence and at the same time it keeps one fit," she said. Her daughter was able to reduce her weight after regular practice. "It has made me more confident," said Naadiya.

Revin, an 11-year-old boy said the techniques learnt help him deal with a bullies at school.
While going through the moves, at least one of the hands has to be free, which makes the movements attractive, he added. "It shows the importance of art in Silat. The basic movements called 'kata' are also artistic," he says.

Each stage of learning gets you different belts, starting from white. Next stages are yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, black, black with red stripes and red belts, said Kusuma.
Twenty six-year-old Diana Correa Sanchez from Peru who married an Indonesian, said Silat was an introduction to her husband's tradition and culture. "Practicing Silat means energy to me," she said.

"We got married while my husband was working in Peru and I did not know much about Indonesian culture. After coming to Abu Dhabi, the weekly Silat classes gave me a chance to meet more Indonesian families who became my friends," she said.

Oki Loekito, 38, a housewife and her daughter, Yasmin, 9, and son, Daffa, 7 are taking classes for fun and entertainment also.

"It is nice to attend it with children because it has become a family affair," said Loekito. "You feel you are powerful, not only physically, but mentally also," said Yasmin.

The eldest student in the class, Lalan Purnama, 50, says he has been enjoying a stress free life since he started it six months ago with his children. "It involves sport, self defence, art and culture," he said.

Written by Binsal Abdul Kader
Sourced from http://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Leisure/10259732.html

11 November 2008

Raja Muda Selangor Installation

A Bersilat display during the Raja Muda Selangor, installation ceremony; 13.5.1950


Installation ceremony of Raja Muda Selangor. A display of "Bersilat" to entertain the guests. G.396 (N.118/85)
Picture courtesy of Malaysian National Archives http://www.arkib.gov.my/

08 November 2008

Al-Bahr is now mine

If you notice, the Keris For Sale box is missing on the sidebar. There's a very good reason for this. The keris now belongs to me.

The keris, named Al-Bahr was presented to me by Ustaz Saiful Muhammad of Silat Telapak Nusantara Malaysia as a gift. I say gift because the dowry which took its place in his hands is too measly a sum to compare.

We don't know much about the keris except that the hulu and sarung are made of buffalo bone and bears a striking resemblance to ivory. I intend to have it inspected by several keris experts to determine its type and age.

In the meantime, I invite anyone reading this blog to contribute their knowledge of the design and if they have ever seen it before, to provide some historical background to the weapon. It's exciting for me, because, although some people might never believe it, it is actually my first keris. I've never owned one before this.

So, welcome Al-Bahr, to our humble home.

Update 5 Feb 2009 I spoke to the previous owner, Ustaz Saiful and he told me that the keris is approximately 30 years old and was made by an empu in Johor of Bugis descent. The name Al-Bahr was given by Ustaz Saiful to commemorate the keris's elegant make.

I sent a photo of Al-Bahr to a keris collector friend, Fazli Ibrahim. He gave his first impressions that the keris isn't very old and the blade has been blackened by warangan (In fact, ustaz has been using his own homemade keris oil on it). As with Pok Nik's assertion, Fazli determined that it was a keris Melayu with heavy Madura influences.

Listening to these opinions has made me realise uniqueness of the blade and the sheath, of which I (nor anyone else I have met) have never seen before. This makes this keris one of a kind.

I recently introduced the keris to the public in Melaka when I performed a Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 wardance for PETRONAS staff attending a team building program. As luck would have it, one of them immediately recognised the form as Lok 9.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

05 November 2008

Suhartono: Taking pencak silat overseas

Indonesia suffered a setback when pencak silat champion Diyan Kristianto was injured while fighting Brunei Darussalam's Amirul Ahati during the recent Bali Asian Beach Games. Ironically, the man who brought the Bruneian competitor to the point where he could vanquish a master of Indonesia`s home grown sport is himself Indonesian.

Suhartono, a former Indonesian pencak silat champion himself, began his journey to international prominence in 1995, when Vietnam asked the Indonesian Pencak Silat Federation (IPSI) to help them find a coach for their pencak silat team. Suhartono, who at the time was helping Jakarta's team prepare for the 1996 National Games as head coach, said he initially refused the offer.

"I asked them to look for another coach, because I was preparing the team for the national games. I said I would only go if they didn't find anyone else. It turned out they couldn't, so I had to go, because I had promised," Suhartono said.

The father of two took coaching the Vietnamese athletes very seriously. "The Vietnamese are a spirited people. They took learning silat maneuvers seriously. Their country's dedication to the sport helps silat's development," he said.

Suhartono helped Vietnam reach the top of international competition. Vietnam first demonstrated their new-found abilities at the 1999 Southeast Asian Games in Bandar Seri Begawan, where they earned three gold medals, three silver and two bronze.

Indonesia, however, dominated the games with five gold medals. At the 2001 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, the Vietnamese got revenge, defeating Indonesia. Suhartono's athletes brought home seven gold medals, three silver and two bronze. Indonesia won five golds, followed by Malaysia with three.

The achievement was repeated when Vietnam hosted the 2003 SEA Games. The hosts swept the games with seven golds, while Indonesia only brought home five. In 1999 Suhartono's success in coaching the Vietnamese athletes bought him the prestigious honorable star medallion class III, an award bestowed on him by Vietnam's then president Tran Duc Luong.

Suhartono also received the Huan Chuong VI Su Nghiep The Duc The Thao award from Vietnam's National Olympics Committee. After his success in coaching Vietnam's silat team, the Philippines' government asked him to train its athletes - he accepted the challenge.

When coaching the Philippines team, Suhartono had an uncomfortable experience, caught between his team members and Philippines' intelligence agents. Three months before the 2005 SEA Games, at the French Open, the Philippines team won six gold medals and became the general champion, but six out of the 10 athletes refused to return to their home country.

Suhartono had to ask for help from the president of the International Pencak Silat Association (Persilat), Edi Nalapraya, to stop his interrogation. Suhartono persevered, and prepared the four remaining team members for the 2005 SEA Games; they won one gold and two silver medals.

But, his former team, Vietnam emerged as general champion, with seven gold medals. Indonesia followed with five gold medals. After handling the Filipino athletes, Suhartono returned to Vietnam for a year to train the country's junior athletes before being asked by Thailand's Olympics Committee to train their team.

Seven months of training with Suhartono led the Thais to victory in the 2007 SEA Games with four gold, one silver and five bronze medals. Indonesia won five gold medals, while Vietnam won three. In April 2007, Brunei's Olympics committee asked the master to handle their athletes until 2010.

Suhartono said he might stay in Brunei for the next five years. "It's a process. Within the first two years of my time in Vietnam for example, we could only win two gold medals in a world championship," Suhartono said. In all his time coaching overseas teams, he faced a dilemma, knowing that he was sharing the knowledge and skill of his home land with its rivals. But, standing on a base of professionalism, his strong will to develop the sport kept him focused.

"Many questions were raised concerning my nationalism, but I have to say that my goal is to develop silat around the world, so that Indonesian's traditional sport can be known everywhere.

"My calling is to prove my professionalism. It's not a question of nationalism. I will be ready at any time if Indonesia needs me," said the man, who returned to Indonesia to train the Bali team for the July National Games.

Suhartono says the key to his coaching success is research. "A coach is not merely responsible for coaching but should become a researcher too. He should be up to date on the various techniques and know what to expect from a rival team," he said.

"Through this method a coach can combine techniques or even develop new ones," said Suhartono. Suhartono is currently preparing a book on the development of pencak silat techniques throughout history, as well as a video on the fighting techniques.

The man, who began learning pencak silat when he was just 10 years-old, said he explored other martial arts, such as boxing and karate, to combine their techniques with traditional Melayu martial art techniques. To explore pencak silat techniques further he had to learn how to use computer visualization programs.

Before leaving for Vietnam, Suhartono modeled for an illustrated book on fighting techniques, prepared by IPSI's research and development division, in collaboration with the ministry of education. However, the book was never published.

"After the head of IPSI's research and development division died, nobody paid the project any attention and I was already abroad. What I taught abroad is actually the content of the book," said Suhartono.

English may also be one of the 51-year-old coach's keys to success. Before forging his path as a professional pencak silat coach, Suhartono worked as a salesman of nuclear laboratory equipment, which gave him the opportunity to learn English. "One of my advantages as a coach is my language skills, many coaches have problems communicating with foreign athletes," he said.

Suhartono said that the many perguruan (schools of pencak silat), each with its own stances, hampers the sport's development. With more than 800 perguruans, he said it would be hard to combine techniques and tricks - especially if each perguruan was unwilling to cooperate.

"The problem with Indonesia is we have many systems but no willingness to sit together and evaluate the techniques and tricks or come up with new techniques to win fights". He also cited the bad relationship between IPSI's leaders as an impediment to pencak silats development in the country.

"There is an unharmonious relationship among the leaders. Everybody should be at peace with each other to make good decisions for the development of pencak silat".

He urged them to come up with up to date techniques and work hard on research and development in order to win.

"A coach is not only a physical trainer but a technical and tricks trainer. Someone may be big and have great power, but without the right techniques and tricks he will lose easily".

03 November 2008

Kebatinan: Spirituality & Inner Strength

Most people know about spiritual or inner strength, but not many accept the fact of its existence. In the Melayu world, it is almost impossible to separate the spiritual aspect from their life practice.

The existence and practice of this unique knowledge has been influenced by diverse beliefs that have been practiced by the Melayu, before and after the advent of Islam. This element always is the core in many practices like in traditional healing methods, certain special practices, and martial arts in general, and Silat, and even in daily mundane activities.

In 'Silat', this element seems almost impossible to be separated from it. Sometimes it can be the core, even though the Silat may be perceived as just a physical form of martial art. The exponent will feel emptiness when they are without this unseen - yet powerful - element. Due to scepticism, some ignore the importance of this element by denying it completely.

Some just simply accept it without proper knowledge, and ignore the terms and conditions in learning it for the sake of getting a temporary superiority that leads to destruction. Because of their ignorance they are against human nature, and the teachings of Islam, with or without realizing it.

It is undeniable that the spiritual element contributes so much to the continuity of Silat legacy in the Melayu world. There are so many Silat styles in Malaysia, some are practicing purely spiritual Silat, and others are using the spiritual by merging it into the physical aspect. The development and spread of the spiritual world looks rapid in the world of modern and high technology nowadays. This is really an unexpected development.

There are a few basic ways or methods in practicing or training of this spiritual element. Among them are:

1. Recitation of certain special and unique words

2. Practicing a unique practice like fasting, isolating oneself or certain unique way of bathing

3. A form or just a movement known as ‘Gerak’ or ‘Jurus’.

Most experts and the Islamic scholars agree that the recitation of special words with clear meanings and the purpose of it are in accordance to Islam are allowed, even if it is in the form of a foreign dialect or language. For recitation of the zikr or verses from The Holy Quran, the source of it must be pure, and can only be taught by a well qualified person.

In most cases, the recitation of words that are not a zikr or verses from The Holy Quran, the meaning of it is often confusing. Some even mention or call to something that isn’t pure; this kind of practice must be avoided.

Many of the so-called masters of spiritual Silat don’t even have the basic qualification in teaching Zikr and verses of The Holy Quran. The pronunciations of it are being amended, or are simply not accordance in accordance to the original. The real meaning and purpose of it are far from the original, most of the time they don’t even know the source of it. Many didn’t even attain the proper qualifications from a qualified Islamic scholar. Even though all it is wrongly learn and practice it still can produce results which are impure and evil.

Practicing pure isolation can lead to leaving important daily routine and responsibilities including compulsory Islam practice. This isolation practice normally will be done in places like graveyard, caves, mountains or places that can challenge the bravery of the practitioner. It is done to cultivate the spirit of bravery, to gain special ability or to find something for certain special purpose.

Many Islamic scholars agree that practicing isolation with strict Syariat or Islam manners is permissible as long as it is for the sake of focusing on remembering Allah (swt) but not doing it for other reasons that are against Islamic teaching.

Some isolation practice fasting or special practice of starvation. During the period of fasting or starvation, the practitioner can only eat according to a specific time and can only eat special kind of selected food. There are also a special practice of bathing using flowers, limes of various kinds, special type of water and a few other remedy. There is quite a number of the said practice influenced by other belief systems that is not in accordance with Islam. Some of them are practiced separately and can also be combined with a few levels of practice.

Internal energy, spiritual strength or "kebatinan" can also be attained by practicing specific movements with special techniques or flowery movements accompanied by some other special spiritual or semi spiritual practice. There are techniques that use a minimum of movements or seemingly no movement at all. The movement can be attained by practicing the aforementioned practices or be taught by masters directly to be practiced to get the special spiritual ability.

There are many names used to name these movements. Among them are "gerak keputusan" or result movement, "jurus kebatinan" or spiritual form, "ibu jurus" or mother of spiritual form, "gerak batin" or spiritual movement and many other different names depending on the style.

The results coming out from practicing those movements can be so powerful and far beyond the effort in doing it. Many styles claim they get the result from a pure source or claim they are practicing it in accordance with Islam. It is shocking because the consequences from practicing and using very simple effortless movements can result in a very powerful outcome that is beyond logic.

There are also specific semi spiritual techniques:

1. Breathing

2. Eating

3. Special or weird practice

Breathing is among the most common practice. Scientifically, it give many benefits because it surely supplies enough and consistent oxygen to the whole body. Specific breathing systems will give more additional benefit. While doing the breathing, the spiritual ability seekers will sometimes have to focus on material or immaterial things.

Unique unimaginable eating rules like consuming specific parts of animals or plant also exist. There are practitioners that are willing to eat weird or even filthy things just to gain special spiritual ability or strength. Some of them are even willing to practice weird or unacceptable actions; that are far beyond the natural human behaviour.

For practice that is obviously wrong is easy to rectify and avoid, that is if one judge it with wisdom. To make sure the purity of thoughts and faith, delicate matters like spirituality or inner strength must always be guided by knowledgeable people especially true Islamic scholars.

Spiritual matters concern very deep and complicated knowledge and practice in the Silat world that require deeper understanding with high levels of concentration to learn and master. In choosing the best way of attaining spiritual strength and ability, the purest and safest way will always be the best. Let Islamic knowledge be the only guidance.

Recitation of zikr or verses of Quran used must have clear source and pure meaning and purpose. So are the other recitations or mantra if any. Try avoiding using mantras or other recitations that is not known as zikr or verses of Quran. There are so many recitations that come from The Companions (ra.hum) of our Prophet Muhammad (saw) and also come from The Prophet (saw) himself.

There are also recitations proven by our previous pious Islamic scholars. All these recitations are proven to be pure and effective in their own unique way. Fasting is also very good for health physically and will also improve one's spiritual state thus will develop inner strength. Fasting in accordance with the way of our Prophet Muhammad (saw) has more obvious pure physical and spiritual effects compared to any other way.

Let’s make sure that our practice is in accordance with Sunnah so that it will not be useless practise. Practicing Sunnah with knowledge and guidance surely will prevent oneself from being influenced by bad things.

We must continue focusing on such beneficial practises. Not practice that will only give super abilities for wrong purpose. Any ability attained will purely from the blessing of Allah (swt). Let the practice and ability be for the purpose in elevating oneself in becoming a better Muslim not for gaining any kind of mortal strength.

The proper function of spiritual practice or movements will be to synchronize the focus of one’s physical and spiritual self. These delicate and detailed techniques will show us how hard is it to be totally focused when doing any action. When physically and mentally aligned, the results will surprise us.

Let this be the function for spiritual Silat knowledge and practice. Due to this synchronization, the merging of all senses will result in the maximum ability of any human being. To attain this level, one must master one’s own unique movements until the movements will always be accurate no matter how spontaneous it will be. The ability to control the mind so that it can control oneself emotionally will be the next level.

The next level from merging both physical and mental is the ability in controlling the environment or situation. One must always elevate both physical and mental capacity. From here, the effectiveness of form and formlessness of action will be obvious.

If during that journey, there is any result that is beyond logic, it can never be the goal and must always make sure the effect and purity of it. No matter what will be our effort, the result will not always be there. Allah (swt) is The Almighty, The Strongest and He (swt) solely has the right to give or take anything on His (swt) creations. Let’s judge everything with clear fact that came from Quran and Hadith as core, mind to support it with guidance from pious Islamic scholars.

Don't even begin the journey of spiritual elevation in any kind without purifying our faith with proper Islam knowledge and guidance. Physical health must also be perfected, not only clinical health but healthy attitude towards The Creator (swt), creations and self. After that we can begin to start the spiritual Silat journey with physical side of it.

When the proper way is practiced, the effectiveness of just the physical knowledge will amaze oneself and others.Due to the proper manners of practice in this journey of knowledge, one will gain spiritual strength and abilities without even really starting to learn it formally. The physical aspects of Silat are very important in fulfilling the protocol of tawakkal or surrendering to Allah (swt) in defending ourselves. In realizing the way of surrendering to Allah (swt), one must not easily choose any way which is beyond logic without judging it first with knowledge and wisdom of Islam.

During the time of Prophets (as), Prophet Muhammad (saw), The Companion (ra.hum) and their successive followers, things that are beyond logic happened to them. It also happened to other pious people during their time. Let us learn the teaching from this precious history knowledge. They never want special ability or things beyond logic will not be their goal in their practice. They don't want to be occupied by it in any way.

They practice everything and live their life to please Allah (swt).Talking about things that are beyond logic, the knowledge and practice of Islam is also beyond logic with such truth, love and compassion. Some practice can't be clarified with logic. But practicing Islam to the fullest is truly a blessing and any results will always be beautiful and rewarding.

Let us focus on this special kind of spiritual knowledge and practice rather than other so called spiritual knowledge and practice that lead to uncertainty, deceit and most of the time will lead to destruction.

Written by Ustaz Saiful Muhammad Sourced from http://www.silat.tv/profiles/blogs/2043066:BlogPost:21645

02 November 2008

Of dreams and seminars

The TekpiWorks 2008 Seminar has seen a lot of response with interested participants contacting me from all over Malaysia, and even one from Singapura thus far.

The whole thing took an interesting twist a couple of days ago when a would-be participant called me (you're probably reading this blog right now) and told me of a strange coincidence.

The night before he called me, he claimed to have dreamt of the late founder of the silat style he's currently affiliated to. This style was one of the variants that stemmed from Allahyarham Mahaguru Yahya Said's (Pak Yah) teachings.

In the dream, the founder advised him to study the tekpi in order to complete his education in the style. To do that, the founder told him to track down Yahya Said's heir.

Imagine his shock the very next day, when he reads of the TekpiWorks Seminar being conducted by guru Pak Jaafar, Pak Yah's own nephew, who coincidentally claims to have inherited his knowledge from the old man himself.

That phone call wasn't just eerie for the caller, but for me as well. I told him how hesitant I was to even post the article but Allah works in ways we can never understand. After the call ended, I was left dumbfounded. The coincidence of the dream and the blog post was uncanny.

Sometimes, a small decision can make a big impact to another person's life. But, as much as we would like to think that we only do what we want, it was then I realised how little power we have in our lives, and how much Allah truly owns us.
Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

29 October 2008

TekpiWorks Seminar 2008

I considered keeping this post to myself, chiefly because I was jealous that anyone other than me would know it. However I feel, the greater good must be allowed to happen.

For the last several years, a mentor of mine, ustaz Abdul Hakim Abdul Rashid, a well-respected silat lover from Gurun, Kedah has constantly taunted me with his discovery of a great silat master up north. His famed line of "Mai Gurun" (come to Gurun!) always makes me envious of those who actually do take up his offer.

However, a recent sms from him just before Aidilfitri was the greatest taunt of all.

"Selamat Hari Raya. Mai Gurun. Guru tua nak perturun mainan 24 jenis senjata. Age 85. Anak saudara Yahya Said. Ada mainan 4 jenis tekpi. Guru P.Ramlee. Ada bukti dan saksi. Ada 12 jenis ikatan tanjak. Ada simpan mainan dan tekpi Panglima Nayan. Sundang Dato Maharaja Lela. Cindai dan lain-lain. Low profile. Mai le sebelum dia mati."

"Happy Aidilftri. Come to Gurun! An old master wants to impart 24 weaponplays. He's 85 years old. Nephew of Yahya Said. Learn 4 methods of tekpi play. He is P.Ramlee's teacher. There are evidence and witnesses to this. Learn 12 ways of tying your headgear. He possesses the method and tekpi of Panglima Nayan and the Sundang of Dato Maharaja Lela, cindai and others. He's very low profile. Come visit before he dies."

Everyone knows my affinity for anything related to Mahaguru Yahya Said's (more fondly remembered as Pak Yah) arts, even those slightly related to it, including Silat Kuntau Tekpi.

Add that to the fact that ustaz Hakim mentions that this old master, guru Jaafar, once asked Pak Yah to teach him Silat Kalimah, but all Pak Yah did was give him an exercise to perform, which apparently allowed him to extrapolate the whole of Silat Kalimah on his own. Interesting? Very! Now you know why I wanted to keep this all to myself.

But then ustaz Hakim's sms which came late last night forced me to change my mind.

"Assalamualaikum. Minta tolong. War-warkan iaitu Pertubuhan Seni Silat Harimau Bentara Garang dengan kerjasama guru tua Pak Jaafar menganjurkan Seminar Mainan Tekpi. Pada 29-30 November 2008. Fees RM200. Pak Jaafar ialah anak saudara pada Pak Yahya Said."

"Assalamualaikum. I require your assistance. Please advertise that Pertubuhan Seni Silat Harimau Bentara Garang with the cooperation of Guru Tua Pak Jaafar is organising a TekpiWorks Seminar on the 29th and 30th November 2008. The fees are RM200. Pak Jaafar is the nephew of Pak Yahya Said."

For more information, please sms me at +6016 3085 789 (Nadzrin) or email webmaster@silatmelayu.com.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

28 October 2008

Martial Arts expert shows off his moves

An internationally acclaimed martial arts guru showed off his skills at the Beachcomber Inn in Brean.

Unarmed knife defence expert and blade awareness instructor Maul Mornie from the Brunei school of martial arts visited the resort to hold a seminar with local people.

The art, which is known as 'Silat Suffian Bela Diri', teaches people how to protect themselves from knife attacks and instructs solid techniques for self defence and combat.

Frank Ellul, a teacher at St Johns School in Highbridge said: “Having Maul Mornie here is a bit like having Bruce Lee in Burnham. He is internationally known.”

Written by David Hemming
Sourced from

24 October 2008

Virtual Silat Cometh

Ever since silat became popular with the internet generation, there has been a group of them who have been largely marginalised. Realising this, two forces representing the old and the new in silat have got together to fulfill this groups needs: Silat Gaming.

For those of us unfamiliar with the concept and only refer to the genre as 'video games', martial arts gaming has been popular ever since Street Fighter broke onto the scene in the last two decades.

Since then, there has been an increase in other gaming genres like strategy games Counter Strike and first person shooters like Doom and racing game Need for Speed (although the lines blur between them once in a while) while martial arts games take a back seat.

However, Azlan Ghanie, advisor of DGames Asia, a Dutch-based gaming company that has set down roots in Malaysia, believes that Silat can revitalise the genre, and this December will see whether his prediction rings true.

"The online and DVD version of our silat-referenced and Malaysian-based games will begin operations this December and will be marketed across Europe in April. I ask for the prayers and hopes of all pesilat that we succeed in introducing Malaysia and Silat to the world," he said in a statement today.

On behalf of everyone at Silat Melayu: The Blog and SMC, we wish DGames all the best!

Further reading: http://silat-melayu.blogspot.com/2008/03/silat-finally-comes-to-gaming.html

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

23 October 2008

From bad boy to prominent national pencak silat hero

Diyan Kristianto could not hide his sheer disappointment when his gold hopes at the first Asian Beach Games crumbled.

"I'm very disappointed, but what can I say?"he said.

Diyan failed to continue his semifinal match against Bruneian Amirul Ahat after he suffered an injury. He was diagnosed with a torn ligament to the back of his left knee.

The debacle dealt a blow for the 23-year-old who was looking to add another laurel to his achievements. He came to the competitions the favorite following his win at last year's Southeast Asian Games and July's National Games.

Both sporting events are testimonies of his achievement attributable to his commitment, for which he has sacrificed his study.

Registered as a student of Sebelas Maret State University in Solo from 2005, Diyan has not found the time to return to study due to training camps and competitions.

"I hardly had time to begin my studies after enrollment because I was a called to a national training camp," said Diyan during the early stages of the pencak silat competition at the Games.
"I haven't had a break yet to go back to campus and attend class."

He said he would have returned to university except he didn't want to sacrifice his sport. "I have to sacrifice one or the other. I have sacrificed everything, including time with my family.

Therefore, in pencak silat I don't want to be half-hearted. I will hurt if I fail at one while I have sacrificed another."

When he was about 12 years old, Diyan said, he was "pushed" to train in pencak silat by his parent because he used to fight with the kids in his neighborhood.

"Finally, I forgot about street fighting and plunged into training, winning several competitions and becoming a national athlete."

He said his achievements at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and National Games were financially beneficial for his family. He said he wished his father would quit his job as a truck driver.

"I told him to quit driving, but he objected," said Diyan about his 60-year-old father Yatimin. His mother Jumiati is a housewife.

"I'm Javanese and usually when we earn big money we spend it on something like a plot of land for a rice plantation or a house. Also I put some in bank,"he said.

Diyan received Rp 200 million (US$19,900) in cash bonuses from the government for his gold winning performance in the 45 to 50-kilogram category at the SEA Games. He also pocketed Rp 150 million from the Central Java government for winning gold at the National Games in Samarinda.

Diyan said he had learned a lot from his seniors, such as former pesilats Roni Saefullah and Haris Nugroho, during his time at training camps and competitions while on the national team.

"They are very good to me. They are great athletes who spend their time mostly for their country," Diyan said, adding that he wished the Asian Games held a pencak silat event.

Beach pencak silat is harder than indoor pencak silat because the sand absorbs more energy, he said.

Diyan said he was anxious to prove that he was not only a champion indoors but a champion outdoors.

"It's a challenge for me." At the Games, the cruelty of the battleground sealed Diyan's ill fate.

Sourced from http://old.thejakartapost.com/detailsports.asp?fileid=20081023.U06&irec=5

Indonesia grabs three more golds in pencak silat

Indonesia wrapped up the beach pencak silat competition at the Asian Beach Games on a high note, sweeping all three gold medals at stake on the last day of competition Wednesday.

Balinese pesilat Ni Nyoman Suparniti barely broke a sweat as she outclassed Siti Zuliza Omar of Brunei Darussalam for a 5-0 win in their 55 to 60-kilogram division final to take Indonesia's gold medal tally to five in the sport.

"During the fight I learned that some of her techniques do not work.

Obviously she tried to tackle me several times but to no avail," Suparniti said after the match.was lucky she didn't win any point from that trick." Suparniti thanked hundreds of boisterous home spectators who packed the competition venue at Tanjung Benoa Beach, 30 kilometers south of Denpasar.

"Their constant cheers gave me a morale boost. When the official called out my name at the beginning of the match, I could hardly wait to fight." Suparniti defeated Emy Latip from Malaysia in the preliminary round before dousing Thai Monruthai Bangsalad's fire in the semifinals.

Earlier in the day, Ni Luh Putu Spyanawati and the pair of Hamdani and M. Yusuf Effendi presented Indonesia two gold medals in the women's artistic singles and men's artistic doubles competitions.

The jury awarded Spyanawati the highest score of 454, followed by Vietnamese Thao Vu Thi on 449 for the silver, and Norleyermah Haji Raya of Brunei Darussalam on 446 for the bronze.

The men's doubles team, Hamdani and Yusuf, collected 576 points to bag the artistic gold, followed by Tung Nguyen Thanh and Nghia Tran Duc of Vietnam and Mohamad Hafiz Mohamad Arif and Mohamad Helmi Aziz of Malaysia, with both teams scoring 562 points. The Vietnamese pair was granted the silver because they demonstrated a greater variety of techniques and expression of movement.

"We predicted that Komang would win the gold. But amazingly the rest of the team performed convincingly to win all the four gold medals on offer in the artistic category," head coach Indro Catur Haryono said referring to Suparniti.

Indro set a target of winning two gold medals in the non-combat discipline.

"Looking at the way they played, those competing in artistic category were better prepared for the Games than their teammates in the combat category,"Indro said.

Artistic coach Wayan Suwita also said Spyanawati, Hamdani and Yusuf won the favor because of the comprehension in their movements and the variety of their techniques.

"The jury unanimously awarded them with a high score. They beat their opponents by a margin of more than three. This means they dominated the competition," Suwita said.

"I think people would raise their eyebrows if the Indonesian artistic athletes didn't win today." Indonesia collected five out of the eight gold medals on offer in the beach pencak silat competition. Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand won one gold medal each.

The team exceeded the National Sports Committee's target of winning four gold medals.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-187664658/indonesia-grabs-three-more.html

21 October 2008

Kristianto succumbs to injury, Supartini marches into final

Indonesia's chances of winning gold through its ace pencak silat fighter Diyan Kristianto are dashed after he was stretchered off with a knee injury during his semifinal Monday.

The Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Kristianto was unable to finish his match against Amirul Ahat of Brunei Darussalam.

"What can we say? It's an accident and nobody wants it, but it happened," coach Dani Wisnu told The Jakarta Post after the match was suspended in Amirul's favor.

Wisnu said he asked the referee to stop the contest after seeing Kristianto could not stand following a fall.

"I didn't want him to suffer anymore. I am thinking about his performance at the next SEA Games,"Wisnu said.

The accident happened as Kristianto was trying to defend an attack from Amirul, but his feet sank deep into the sand,Wisnu said.

Kristianto was taken to Sanglah Hospital. Later in the day, Indonesian team manager Bambang Rus Effendi confirmed that the 2007 SEA Games gold medalist was diagnosed with a torn ligament tothe back of his left knee.

"I'm very disappointed, but what can I say? No one is to blame, not even the Brunei's pesilat," Kristianto told the Post by phone."We fell together and unfortunately I was not in the right position. I hope I will get well soon." Effendi said Wisnu made the right decision to withdraw Kristianto from the fight.

"Kristianto is one of our top players,we didn't expect this to happen but it has,"Effendi said. Brunei's Indonesian-born head coach Suhartono said the injury was unintentional, adding that the result might have been different if the match was not postponed.

"It happened too quickly and my pesilat had no intention of hurting his opponent.

Compared to indoor pencak silat, athletes playing beach pencak silat are more prone to injury," said Suhartono, who has coached Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand and Brunei Darussalam over his 12-year career.

Indonesian pesilat Ria Puspita Sari, who played in the women's 45 to 50-kilogram category, also bowed out in the first round. She lost to Nga Latip of Vietnam.

In the women's 60 to 65-kilogram category, Ni Nyoman Supartini made short work of Monruthai Bangsalad for a 5-0 win. Supartini will play Siti Zuliza Omar of Brunei Darussalam in the gold medal match Wednesday.

"Ria is a newcomer, butthat Supartini stands a good chance in her final match. Based on her track records, she should be able to control the match," Wisnu said.

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-187537790/kristianto-succumbs-injury-supartini.html

Setiabakti Aidilfittri & Silaturrahim 2008

The Setiabakti Academy will be organising an Aidilfitri & Silaturrahim 2008 get together for all current and senior members of Silat Setiabakti, wherever they may be.

The event will take place on Monday, 27th October 2008 (Diwali Day) from 2.00pm - 6.00pm.

Fees are RM20.00 per person or RM30.00 per family.

For payment, please contact your instructors cikgu Hamidi/ cikgu Hassan/ cikgu Asmawi/ cikgu Rizal/ cikgu Azlan/ cikgu Razlan or just bank in your fees to Maybank Acc. No: 162478140787 (under the name Hamidi Md Nor) before 25th October 2008.

20 October 2008

Pencak silat gives Indonesia first two golds

Balinese pencak silat athletes led Indonesia's medal hunt at the Asian Beach Games on Sunday, winning the first two gold medals at stake in the martial arts competition.

Gusti Ngurah Arya Yudapandita gave a breathtaking performance at his international debut to grab the first gold for the national squad.

Competing in the men's singles artistic category, Yudapandita silenced the cheering crowd at Tanjung Benoa Beach near Nusa Dua with his skillful movements.

The jury awarded him 457 points and the gold medal.

Anh Nguyen Viet of Vietnam scored 450 for the silver and Muhammad Khairul Bahrin from Brunei Darrusallam collected 449 points to win the bronze.

"I couldn't be happier. This is my first international event and I won the gold medal," Yudapandita said. "The recent National Games I only took silver, but three months of training helped me prepare for this event very well."

Indonesia's celebrations lasted longer as the women's doubles artistic team, Sang Ayu Ketut Sidan and Ni Made Dwiyanti, booked the second gold medal.

Sidan and Dwiyanti earned 570 points to top Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Binh and Thao Vu Thi, who scored 562 for the silver and Malaysia's Maslinda Zakaria and Kamilah Sulong, who collected 535 points for the bronze.

Both junior high school students, Sidan and Dwiyanti said they had set a target of winning the gold despite the tough challenge from their experienced rivals.

Indonesian artistic coach Wayan Suwita said he predicted the Indonesian athletes to take advantage of playing in front of a home crowd and being able to adjust to competition ground for about three months.

"It's clear from their performance that our athletes were rich in technique," Suwita said. Other athletes made good movements, but without much technique.

"In the end they seemed to wear out. Our athletes displayed their expertise in terms of the logic of movement, the correctness of movement and good stamina."

Coach Dani Wisnu agreed that the Indonesian athletes were dominant in technique and in stamina."They deployed a variety of good techniques on every block of the ground, while other athletes seemed to repeat the same movements."

Bronze medalist Muhammad Khairul Durahman of Brunei Darussalam said he was satisfied with the result.

But the artistic category is based on the subjective opinion of the jury, he said, who can sometimes deliver unpredictable decisions.

"The beach pencak silat is of course harder than usual pencak silat, but that's not the problem," said Durahman, who is an army private in the Brunei defense force. "The problem is that it depends on the subjectivity of the jury."

Coach Dani Wisnu rejected Durahman's view. He said technical skills in pencak silat could be measured.

"It's not totally true," he said. "Of course the jury has their own subjectivity, but they also have guidelines and rules to measure the performance of the athletes.

"Nevertheless, today's games clearly show that our athletes were dominant in terms of technique and stamina."

The medal presentation of the first gold medal of the Bali Asian Beach Games was attended by the Olympic Council of Asia president Sheik Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah and director general of Bali Asian Beach Games Organizing Committee (BABGOC).

"Today, Indonesia wins two gold medals which (in the past) they could only have won at regional games," Sheik Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah told The Jakarta Post.

"Now they have the same standard of all the other Asian championships. This is the idea of it. As the president of OCA I'm very happy that we are giving more chance for our athletes to compete."

Written by Matheos Viktor Messakh
Sourced from http://old.thejakartapost.com/detailsports.asp?fileid=20081020.T01&irec=0
Picture sourced from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/7684206.stm

Pencak silat gives Indonesia first two golds

MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2008 -- Balinese pencak silat athletes led Indonesia's medal hunt at the Asian Beach Games on Sunday, winning the first two gold medals at stake in the martial arts competition.

Gusti Ngurah Arya Yudapandita gave a breathtaking performance at his international debut to grab the first gold for the national squad.

Competing in the men's singles artistic category, Yudapandita silenced the cheering crowd at Tanjung Benoa Beach near Nusa Dua with his skillful movements.

The jury awarded him 457 points and the gold medal.

Anh Nguyen Viet of Vietnam scored 450 for the silver and Muhammad Khairul Bahrin from Brunei Darrusallam collected 449 points to win the bronze.

"I couldn't be happier. This is my first international event and I won the gold medal," Yudapandita said.the recent National Games I only took silver, but three months of training helped me prepare for this event very well." Indonesia's celebrations lasted longer as the women's doubles artistic team, Sang Ayu Ketut Sidan and Ni Made Dwiyanti, booked the second gold medal.

Sidan and Dwiyanti earned 570 points to top Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Binh and Thao Vu Thi, who scored 562 for the silver and Malaysia's Maslinda Zakaria and Kamilah Sulong, who collected 535 points for the bronze.

Both junior high school students, Sidan and Dwiyanti said they had set a target of winning the gold despite the tough challenge from their experienced rivals.

Indonesian artistic coach Wayan Suwita said he predicted the Indonesian athletes to take advantage of playing in front of a home crowd and being able to adjust to competition ground for about three months.

"It's clear from their performance that our athletes were rich in technique," Suwita said. Other athletes made good movements, but without much technique.

"In the end they seemed to wear out. Our athletes displayed their expertise in terms of the logic of movement, the correctness of movement and good stamina." Coach Dani Wisnu agreed that the Indonesian athletes were dominant in technique and in stamina."They deplored a variety of good techniques on every block of the ground, while other athletes seemed to repeat the same movements." Bronze medalist Muhammad Khairul Durahman of Brunei Darussalam said he was satisfied with the result.

But the artistic category is based on the subjective opinion of the jury, he said, who can sometimes deliver unpredictable decisions.

"The beach pencak silat is of course harder than usual pencak silat, but that's not the problem," said Durahman, who is an army private in the Brunei defense force. "The problem is that it depends on the subjectivity of the jury." Coach Dani Wisnu rejected Durahman's view. He said technical skills in pencak silat could be measured.

"It's not totally true," he said. "Of course the jury has their own subjectivity, but they also have guidelines and rules to measure the performance of the athletes.

"Nevertheless, today's games clearly show that our athletes were dominant in terms of technique and stamina." The medal presentation of the first gold medal of the Bali Asian Beach Games was attended by the Olympic Council of Asia president Sheik Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah and director general of Bali Asian Beach Games Organizing Committee (BABGOC).

"Today, Indonesia wins two gold medals which (in the past) they could only have won at regional games," Sheik Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah told The Jakarta Post.

"Now they have the same standard of all the other Asian championships. This is the idea of it. As the president of OCA I'm very happy that we are giving more chance for our athletes to compete."

Sourced from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/article-1G1-187475145/pencak-silat-gives-indonesia.html

18 October 2008

Athletes grapple with new pencak silat rules

Pencak Silat, a martial art originating from Indonesia, will be played outdoors during the Asian Beach Games.

As a result, the athletes will face new challenges, forcing the organizers to adjust the rules and regulations.

The organizers made adjustments to the rules during a workshop in Jakarta, Oyong Karma Yuda, Bali Asian Beach Games Organizing Committee (BABGOG) competition manager for pencak silat, said.

"Among them is the use of sunglasses to protect athletes eyes, but it is not mandatory. There are also penalties for those who deliberately toss sand at their rivals' eyes,"Karma Yuda told The Jakarta Post at the pencak silat venue, Tanjung Benoa Beach, on Friday.

He said BABGOC had also held several training sessions for referees on the additional rules and regulations.

Indonesian team manager Bambang Rus Effendi said he brought the team to the site in early August so they could get used to the venue and the climate.

"During training we tried every possibility, including wearing every kind of glasses such as swimming goggles, beach volleyball glasses and even snorkeling goggles, but most players finally found it more comfortable not to use any glasses," Effendi said.

The team discovered a special trick to deal with the possibility of getting sand in their eyes, he said.

Bambang said that playing pencak silat outdoors was akin to bringing it back to nature as the martial art, which is practiced throughout the Melayu archipelago, was traditionally played on the beach.

The Pencak silat competition starts Sunday and will provide the first gold medal of the Games.
The National Sports Council (KONI) is optimistic that after Indonesia's domination in the region in the indoor competition, the team will win at least four of the eight gold medals on offer.

"Every team member has the opportunity to win gold. We have lots of champions. I don't want to specify one because it will place a burden upon them,"Bambang said.

"Although KONI expects only five medals to defend our reputation, I would like to say that we aim to win all eight."

The Indonesian team has 10 athletes who will play in eight categories. They are Diyan Kristianto (men's 45 to 50 kilograms), Pranoto (men's 80 to 85 kilograms), Ni Nyoman Supartini (women's 60 to 65 kilograms), Ria Puspitasari (women's 45 to 50 kilograms), Hamdani and M. Yusuf (artistic men's pair) , Ayu Septiana and Dwiyanti (artistic women's pair), I Gusti Ngurah Arya Yudha (artistic men's singles) and I Putu Sepyanawati (artistic women's singles).

Ni Nyoman Supartini said beach pencak silat provided greater challenges because playing on sand made players prone to exhaustion.

"It's definitely heavier to move around and to kick. Sometimes we have to be more careful because you can easily lose your footing,"Supartini said.

However, Supartini, who won gold in the 45 up to 50 kilograms category during the 2007 Nakhon Ratchasima SEA Games, said she was ready to fight. She is cautious, however, about the rivalry posed by the seven other countries participating in the pencak silat event.

"Although we became the champion of the discipline at the last SEA Games Vietnam is right behind us. We won five gold medals and they won four gold medals, so there is not much difference."

Coach Dani Wisnu said the athletes would be less agile and their pace would be slower because their feet could dig into the sand up to 10 centimeters.

"They have to deal with the sun and the sand. It definitely requires more energy than the usual pencak silat," Wisnu said.

To become acclimatized, some teams such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore begun training in Indonesia long before the event.

The Malaysian team arrived in Benoa two weeks before the host team. Vietnam has trained at several beaches in Bali for about a month and Singapore, which arrived in Bali on Thursday, sent its athletes to neighboring Bintan island to train for about two weeks.

"We are a bit worried because the sand is softer and drier than the sand in Bintan where we previously held our training," Singapore team official Sheik Alau'ddin bin Yacoob Marican said, adding that the heavy equipment of the sport would also cause a problem.

"Other sports will wear beach suits, but pencak silat athletes will still wear their formal suits. It will definitely cause a challenge," Marican said, adding beach Pencak silat would be featured at the next Singaporean national games.

Written by Matheos Viktor Messakh
Sourced from http://old.thejakartapost.com/detailsports.asp?fileid=20081018.T01&irec=0

15 October 2008

Kembara Ilmu

Dalam Gersang Kembara Bermula
Titisan Air Jadi Buruan
Buat Membasah Tekak Yang Hiba
Hausnya Sudah Tiada Tertahan

Tidak Tertahan Rasanya Diri
Sungguhlah Jahil Tiada Ketahuan
Kosongnya Jiwa Tiada Terperi
Dambaku Sungguh Ilmu Ya Tuhan

Kembara Temu Pelbagai Laku
Ujian Datang Pelbagai Wajah
Segala Itu Semua Dilalu
Berjalan Terus Biarpun Payah

Bertemu Sijahil Maka Berbalah
Baik Mengalah Elaknya Punah
Begitulah Laku Jadi Tarbiah
Jika Tidak Semuanya Musnah

Musnahlah Diri Tiadanya Ilmu
Musnahlah Akhlak Jika Sengketa
Hilang Akal Amarah Bertemu
Rosak Rohani Jadilah Buta

Bertemu Ilmuwan Maka Bertuah
Terisi Cawan Sehingga Tertumpah?
Dahaga Hilang Alhamdulillah
Pujian Hanya Pada Al-Ilah

Adakah Sungguh Kendi Terisi?
Ilmu Barokah Dari Pendita
Bukan Dahaga Dihilang Tadi?
Nampakkah Kurang Empunya Mata?

Adakah Tidak Dituang Airnya?
Nikmat Rasanya Tiada Diduga
Cawan Kosong Kemana Isinya?
Lenyapnya Air Hilang Dahaga

Maka Kembali Mencari Lagi
Untuk Mengisi Bejana Lopong
Diri Berilmu Itulah Resmi
Bertambah Isi Terasa Kosong

Gersang Kembali Kembara Ini
Hanya Mengharap Redha Ilahi
Sudahlah Tentu Kekal Abadi
Berserah Bulat Pasrahlah Diri

Tintanya Ilmu Tiada Sempadan
Mentaati Allah Paling Utama
Lenyaplah Diri Dalam Celupan
Disisi Allah Abadi Selama

Dhaifnya Diri Sudah Ternyata
Adanya Ilmu Jauh Sekali
Yang Baru Itu Semua Binasa
Akuilah Kini Lemahnya Diri

Binasa Juga Kalam Yang Ini
Kalamnya Hamba Diri Yang Hina
Tidaklah Kekal Jasadnya Ini
Ilahana Anta Maqsuduna

Ustaz Saiful Muhammad
16 October 2008, Seremban 2

14 October 2008

A Gayong Eid in Nirwana

Pertubuhan Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia is hosting a Hari Raya Aidilfitri gathering at Gelanggang Wajadiri Taman Nirwana in Ampang this Saturday, 18th October 2008 at 8.30pm and everyone is invited.

I spoke to cikgu Jazwan Kahar (son of cikgu Kahar Redza) last night and he allowed me to extend an open invitation to the readers of this blog. This is a prime opportunity for pesilat and martial artists from various backgrounds to get together and just mingle.

It's also a rare chance to meet cikgu Kahar, who was Allahyarham Mahaguru Datuk Meor Abdul Rahman Uda Hasyim's personal driver. Cikgu Kahar admits to studying Gayong in a unique manner from him during his lifetime. Ask and he might tell!

If you need more information, please email me at webmaster [at] silatmelayu.com

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

11 October 2008

An Aidilfitri Visit

Over the last one week, emails, SMSs, chats, phone calls and wall comments were exchanged by a group of friends we call the Bukit Mas team, a group of silat-mad folk who bounce around looking for masters to study from. Together.

The gamut of communication was to arrange a trip to visit several of our masters for Aidilfitri.

I know, I know, Aidilfitri lasts for only a day in Makkah and most of the world, but this is Malaysia, where we love a celebration and will absorb as much fun from it before it passes. Therefore, Aidilfitri lasts a month over here.

Unfortunately, only 3 of the original 9 members of the team could make it as we live closer to our masters. We had no contact with one, another is in Sarawak, 2 are in Johor and another one simply too far away to make it in time. Our ninth member, Mahrizal, passed away several years ago. May Allah bless his soul and relieve him of his burdens in the hereafter.

Several days before, I represented the group to arrange a visit to guru Dahlan Karim's (Silat Setiabakti) house. I called him again just as I was leaving the office at 6pm, and he confirmed that we should be arriving at his home at 8pm. We normally wouldn't visit him that early, but he had a 9.30pm class last night and we didn't want to impose on him.

We did a virtual roll-call. Who would be attending? Myself. Cikgu Norazlan Wahid of Silat Kuntau Tekpi (and also administrator and co-founder of SilatMelayu.Com - yes... there are plans to rehabilitate that site) and cikgu Zainudin Ismail, whom we call 'ustaz' because of his penchant for religious coffee table talk (which we love, by the way).

Tagging along, is the mercurial cikgu Firdaus, whom we call Maulana for his facial similarity to the sheikhs of old and cikgu Yazid Abdul Rani and family of Lian Padukan Pak Mat Kedidi, who would be meeting us there.

I left Putrajaya a little after 6, made my way through the mad traffic and heavy rain along the MRR2 and managed to land at Surau Al-Taqwa in Keramat (where I studied Silat Kuntau Tekpi) an hour later. After Maghrib, I intended to stop by my instructor's house, but it was dark inside, and I didn't want to be late. It was already 7.30pm.

I called cikgu Norazlan, whom I call 'Coach' and requested that he begin making his way to cikgu Dahlan's house while I rush over to ustaz's house to pick him up. The traffic was worse than I thought. It was already 8 when ustaz jumped in my car. At least, Coach and Maulana would be there early.

It took us another half hour of wading through cars and water only to be shocked by a phone call by Maulana asking for cikgu Dahlan's address! They weren't even there yet! In all the confusion, I got lost and it took the two of us another 30 minutes to find his house. It was now 9pm.

Cikgu Dahlan was gracious as ever. He invited us in. Coach and Maulana were already there, browsing through the dozens of Silat Setiabakti books cikgu Dahlan had written, but had yet to publish. As we entered into his humble double-storey terraced home, signages, logos and weapons hung on the wall greeted us, the Setiabakti brand adorning all of them.

Cikgu Fuad, SENI BELADIRI's current editor, was also present to visit cikgu Dahlan.

"I'm getting old," cikgu Dahlan told us over a bowl of sumptuous noodles. "I worry that no one wants to continue studying silat," he confided to us. "But I will continue doing what I'm doing to keep this art alive."

"Quick, simple and effective," he declares, as he quotes Setiabakti's motto.

"That's why I can produce instructors in a short time. The system that I've spent years to build is now complete. Anyone who wants to be an instructor, I welcome wholeheartedly," he baited us.

Just then, his student, Tengku Musa, walks in. "Nadzrin, right?" he asks me and we greet each other. We recognised each other immediately. Tengku Musa is the elusive TM of http://gayanglima.blogspot.com/ and http://silat.tv/.

Tengku Musa recently appeared in SENI BELADIRI magazine with his master, Pak Atan "Air Batu", master of Silat Gayang Lima. Tengku Musa was given permission by cikgu Dahlan to teach Gayang Lima under the auspices of the Akademi Silat Setiabakti in the bangsal he built. The roofed gelanggang cost him RM18,000 to build and includes basic amenities like electricity (by generator), running water and male and female toilets.

"I'm open to anyone who wants to use the gelanggang to teach their styles. I pity those masters who depend on an open air gelanggang. When it rains, they're forced to cancel their class. I built the bangsal for that reason," he sighed.

"Now, I don't hold anything back. If anyone wants to come and learn, I will teach. I'll show them the most effective techniques, nothing kept. Come one day," he said excitedly.

Coach suddenly asked cikgu Dahlan, "Are there no more gendang classes?"

"None. The kids aren't interested. I paid for the lessons," he replied with a sad smile as we chatted over cups of black coffee.

To be continued...

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

06 October 2008

The Origin of Pencak Silat as told by Myths

It is not easy to trace back the history of pencak silat because written documentation is limited and oral information handed down from the guru or masters cannot fully answer all the riddles.

In particular, it is very complicated to determine when and from where pencak silat begun, and who pioneered its spreading. Still, all the experts believe that our Melayu ancestors created and used pencak silat as self-defense technique already in prehistoric times.

Mariun Sudirohadiprodo, a renowned Indonesian pencak silat master and pendekar, for example claims that the animal's character was an inspirational source in the creation of pencak silat techniques and styles:

At the time, the ferocity of wild animals threatened the life of prehistoric people in the archipelago. Being the wild animals their natural enemy, humans had to pay attention to the animals' moves and adopt similar movements as self-defense techniques. They copied the movements of tigers, eagles, snakes, crocodiles, monkeys, scorpions and dragons.

Gradually pencak silat styles were developed out of these observations such as the harimau (tiger) and garuda putih (white eagle) styles. (Marijun Sudirohadiprodjo 1982:1; see also Tisnowati Tamat 1986:15; Murhananto 1993:7)

During my research from 1994 until 1998 I gathered many myths and legends about the origin of pencak silat that stress the role of nature on the development of self-defense techniques in the archipelago. Although the historical value of such myths can be questioned, from an anthropological point of view they are worth attention since they express people's explanations of a certain cultural phenomena.

In this case, pencak silat is considered an integral part and at the same time product of the surrounding environments. For example, in the small island of Bawean on the North coast of Jawa, the dominant legend claims that monkeys were the "pioneers" of pencak silat movements:

Rama Sukana went to the river to do the wash. Suddenly, she saw on the side of the river a pair of monkeys fighting. One of the monkeys repeatedly attacked the other one with a tree's tack while the other monkey was jumping and moving aside to avoid the blows.

Rama Sukana stopped her activities and took notice of the monkeys' fighting techniques. She was so enthusiastic that she did not finish her works and arrived late at home. The husband, Rama Isruna who had been waiting, become hungry and tried to beat her but she used the techniques she had just learned from the monkeys to avoid the husband's attack.

In the end, Rama Istruna became tired and asked his wife where she had learned such fantastic techniques. After Rama Sukama explained to him her experience, the husband asked her to train him. Now these techniques are known as pencak Bawean.

Similar stories are also told in other Indonesian provinces. In West Jawa, the Cimande style is said to derive from the wife of Mba Kaher who learned her techniques from a tiger fighting with a monkey. In Sumatra, the myth narrates how silat techniques were conceptualized by observing the fight of a big bird with a tiger. Also in neighboring Malaysia, such stories are popular:

One day in a village, a housewife who was carrying food in a basket above her head was attacked by a group of birds that tried to steal her food .The housewife tried to move from the right to the left and from the left to the right to avoid the attack of the birds. She also kept moving forward and back, trying to skim them with the hands. Doing so, she lost time and arrived late at home.

She tried to explain to her furious husband what had happened, but he would not accept it. He attacked her and she had to defend herself with the same movements she had just practiced with the birds. The husband was unable to touch her, eventually got tired, and finally asked her to teach him the techniques she had just employed. With dedication, he practiced with his wife and developed what is now known as seni silat. (Tuan Ismail Tuan Soh 1991:36-37)

It is interesting to note that most of these myths give a prominent role to women as the initiators of pencak silat, in sharp contrast with today reality where men dominate the pencak silat world and only few women pendekar can still be found. Women's dominance does not imply that mythology totally neglects men as can be seen from the following Jawa legend:

There was a young man who watched some flowers fall into the river and being carried by the stream flow towards the waterfalls. The young man thought that the flowers would be completely shattered by the waterfalls but to his surprise this did not happen. Every time the flowers ended under a waterfall they soon reappeared pushed up by the upside down stream. From this experience, the young man was inspired to create attack and counter-attack movements. (Summary from Chambers and Draegar in Tuan Ismail Tuan Soh 1991:37-38)

Notwithstanding the different sex of the various protagonists, all these myths concur that pencak silat was inspired by nature. Our ancestors spontaneously developed their self-defense techniques by observing natural phenomena that occurred in their daily life. With this new knowledge, tribal groups were able to contain the many dangers that surrounded them. In the following centuries, these instinctive movements were adapted to new arising needs and in due time became a well-thought self-defense system.

References Marijun Sudirohadiprodjo 1982 Pencak Silat Kita Dihari Kemudian, Bulletin KONI no.7, hlm.10-14 Murhananto 1993 Menyelami Pencak Silat, Jakarta: Puspa Swara Tisnowati Tamat 1986 Pelajaran Dasar Pencak Silat, Jakarta: Maswar. Tuan Ismail Tuan Soh Silat Sekebun; Seni Silat Melayu Dengan Tumpuan Kepada Seni. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Kementrian Pendidikan Malaysia. Sourced from Rapid Journal, Vol 4, No. 3 (Book 13, 1999: 38 – 39)© O'ong Maryono www.kpsnusantara.com

30 September 2008

Eid Mubarak 1429

Eid Mubarak, Min al Aidin wal Faizin, Maaf Zahir dan Batin. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all readers of Silat Melayu: The Blog. We will be taking a one week break for the festival and we'll see you back here soon.

In the meantime, do drop by Silat.TV to express your support. That's where everyone is. Is that where you aren't?

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

29 September 2008

SEAArch recommends this blog

A big thank you to SouthEastAsian Archeology Newsblog for mentioning Silat Melayu: The Blog in their Wednesday Rojak #28 post. We appreciate the acknowledgement.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

28 September 2008

PSSKTM Annual Gathering & Silat Festival

Pertubuhan Seni Silat Kuntau Tekpi Malaysia is organising its Annual Gathering & Silat Festival and cordially invite all interested pesilat and martial artists to attend.

The event will be marked by silat demonstrations and the opportunity to network among different martial stylists, regardless of origin.

For those who know, it will be held at Pak Guru Sani Zainol Abidin's home in Baling.

Date: 30 Nov 2008
Time: 10.00am
Venue: Kg. Siput, Mukim Weng, Baling, Kedah

If you want to RSVP your attendance, click here

For more information on the event or specific address, contact Cikgu Norazlan Wahid

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab

27 September 2008

Romancing The Gendang, Hamid's Way Of Keeping Traditions Alive

"I feel something is amiss if I go through the day without once playing the gendang (drum) - just like a forlorn person pining for his missing loved one," quipped a cheerful-looking Hamid Abdullah, to the rapturous guffaws from all those within earshot.

The affable 48-year-old Hamid, whom residents of Kampung Kuala Lanjut affectionately call Pak Tih Mid, was all smiles as he related his experience at playing the gendang silat (traditional Melayu drum which usually accompany a silat demonstration) to journalists, at his home here.

Grabbing the 53.3 cm-long drum that hung on the wall of his house, Hamid placed the musical instrument on his lap, his fingers caressing the skin as he strike forcefully onto the drum face, letting out a staccato of thumping beat.

Occasionally adjusting his headgear, Hamid related his gendang-playing legacy.

Among the 15 siblings, Hamid is the fifth and only child who took up the cudgel from his father and is carrying on with the musical tradition, which has been in the family's patriarchal lineage for the past three generations.

"I started playing the drum at the age of 14 and have never stopped to this day," claimed Hamid, who still keeps the first drum that he made some 30 years ago. He also keeps the drum his father made some 70 years ago.

Earning a living playing the gendang
Hamid, who formed his own musical ensemble called Gendang Budaya Warisan Pak Tih (Hamid's Cultural Drum Heritage) 20 years ago, said playing the gendang silat has enabled him to support his family.

Besides playing at silat demonstrations, he also gets invited to perform at wedding receptions as well being a regular act at government functions like the Merdeka celebrations and VIP receptions.

Hamid charges from RM600 to RM2,000 depending on the location, time, the nature of the function and whether other traditional instruments would be required.

Hamid demonstrated his musical prowess by playing five drums simultaneously.

"The thinner the leather used, the better and sharper would the sound of the beat be," said Hamid.

He said the quality of the beats produced by a drum depends on the tautness of the leather used for the drums surfaces.

Usually, cowhide leather is used to form the bam or inferior surface of the gendang that emits low-pitch beats while sheepskin leather is used for the superior surface or cang that emits high-pitch beats.

"Rattan is used to reinforce the tautness of the bam," said Hamid who keeps 10 pairs of various Melayu drums used for silat and joget routines.

For Hamid, even though the task to create a gendang is really meticulous, the interest in keeping his father's legacy alive keeps him going on.

"A good gendang is that made from either the jackfruit, coconut or cempedak wood. I would usually seek out the wood from the jungle", said Hamid who also teaches the art of self defence, Silat Gayung Melayu.

He said the ideal length of a gendang is around 55cm as it would not strain the arms and can be comfortably held.

Such gendang may cost up to RM800 and making one, takes about one month, he said.

Assistance from Kraftangan
Hamid felt as if he was over the moon when the Kedah-branch of Kraftangan Malaysia offered him RM5,000 assistance.

Hence, from the money, Hamid built a workshop next to his home in an effort to conserve the Melayu drums heritage.

Apart from the gendang-making work, the workshop also doubles up as a kind of a showroom for those who wish to view the finished products.

Kraftangan Malaysia also channeled RM20,000 worth of cowhide leather and machine for Hamid's gendang-making effort.

Fifth generation
Now Hamid is a relieved man as three of his children have shown that they are keen to follow his interest.

Hamid's sons Mohd Sabri, 25, Mohd Shabi, 17 and Mohd Faizal, 16, frequently follow their father and his Gendang Warisan Pusaka troupe to their performances.

According to Mohd Sabri, ever since he first started to hear the performance of the gendang when he was a child, his interest in the tradition has built up.

"I started to play the gendang when I was in standard three, and now I work fulltime to make them. If not my brothers and I, who else would continue this legacy, furthermore performing with the gendang is able to give us a good income.

"Sometimes, we have our hands full in meeting the invitations to perform", he said.

Mohd Sabri is also learning how to perform with the serunai like his father who is adept at performing the traditional tunes like Mak Inang Lama, Layang Mas and Didikku.

This was proven when Hamid charmed the journalists when he performed the Ayam Didik tune with the serunai.

Written by Nurul Halawati Azhari
Sourced from http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news_features.php?id=361283

26 September 2008

100 days to masterhood

Silat in Malaysia is a hodge podge of methods, lineages and styles. You'll even find some Oriental and Japanese styles masquerading as silat, simply because of the very open definition we have for it here.

Generally, traditional Silat Melayu styles which map very closely to Sumateran styles take far longer because it's often deemed to be a comprehensive human development system which includes physical (as in phys ed), combat (as in war), philosophical (as in introspection), spiritual (as in relationship with Allah) and social(as in relationship to man).

There are two main traditional methods, the live in uchi-desi-like method, where students study for 100 days straight to graduation in a system (3 months and 10 days, actually only 88 days, because Thursdays are reserved for religious studies) day and night.

They then leave as a qualified master of the system and are expected to travel to improve their skills and develop their own style (not as in founding a style to teach others, but finding their own applications and expressions that work best for them).

This means that the student's knowledge will have a different starting point than a student who studied later in a common master's life, who by then would have further developed his skills, understanding and method of teaching.

The second method is the full-time live in student cum adopted son. He studies the same way, but after his 100 days are up, continues to explore his skills with his master, his skills just barely behind the old man as he progresses. This provides daily training for the student and an opportunity to the master to constantly improve himself as well.

Buah-based systems in Malaysia are fairly new and catches on faster than traditional systems because of their simplicity. This has caused the majority view that buah-based systems are the norm in silat, which is not the case. They just have a higher profile.

Their syllabi are also noticeably shorter more focused on combat and don't have fully developed whole-person development systems in place. Thus, many of them only provide hints or directions for the students to improve themselves. Students are forced to look elsewhere to add on to their skills.

Original Article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab