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