21 June 2010

Silat Kalam - The Brooklyn Monk learns silat

Guru Mazlan man stood in a neutral stance, hands at his side, feet side by side, a natural and relaxed stance, which is the starting point of all Silat Kalam movements. I threw a punch at his face. He blocked my punching arm, knocking it skyward. Next, he drove his knee into the tendons at the back of my knee joint. He was only going at a quarter speed, but the pain was incredible. After 50 years of martial art practice, the Guru was perfect. In every movement, I could feel his bones cutting through my flesh and digging into my nerves.

He placed his shin bone against the back of my knee and leaned forward. I had no choice but to fall down, on one knee. Next, he stomped down hard on my calf muscle which was flat on the ground. Then he backhanded me in the face, and I fell backward. My body was completely locked. My own natural skeletal structure had betrayed me. The only way I could stand back up was if the Guru removed his foot from my calf muscle and then reached a hand down, to help me stand.

This was Silat Kalam, an art designed to completely subdue an attacker, but never to be used as an attack.
“I breathe because of God. I drink because of God. I eat because of God. I practice Silat because of God.” This is a portion of the mantra which Guru Mazlan Man had the students recite on a daily basis. He explained his philosophy this way. “We must remember that we only do things because of God. And if we only do things because of God, we will not do bad things. You cannot say, I steal because of God.”

17 June 2010

Pencak silat benefitting from increased popularity

Ruly Kurniawan clenched his fists, swinging his left hand to the right while keeping his feet planted on the ground during a practice session of Indonesian traditional martial art pencak silat in South Jakarta’s Jagakarsa subdistrict.

The 15-year old took a brief time-out, then repeated his movements several times to perfect his balance.

Ten men spent Monday night performing pencak silat combinations at the H. Hasbullah Traditional Beksi School of Pencak Silat, one of the city’s oldest pencak silat schools.

“At first, it was difficult to master all of the stances. But because I have kept on practicing for two years, now I can perform 12 routines,” he said.

Ruly admitted preserving local culture was the main motivation that had driven him to take up the martial art.

Wahyudi Tejo S. shared a similar reason for enrolling at the pencak silat school.

“I’d like to develop the Betawi culture. Apart from that, I want to master pencak silat,” the 21-year old man said.

Five years of studying at the school, he said, had helped channel his fighting spirit into a positive force.

“I used to be very naughty and loved drinking. I even failed to graduate from senior high school because of my ill-tempered character. Being a Beksi fighter has helped me to leave behind those bad habits,” he said, referring to the Beksi style of pencak silat.

Muhali Yahya, the chairman of the school, said scores of people, both young and old, had registered at the school’s 27 branches across the capital.

The company has schools in Rawa Belong in West Jakarta, Pancoran in South Jakarta and Kemayoran in Central Jakarta.

Since 2005, the school in Jagakarsa has received about 150 students, 72 of whom were street children, Muhali said.

“Many young people are enthusiastic to learn the style. Therefore, we run classes for children and women in Jagakarsa,” the 43-year old man said.

Beksi, he said, was a style of martial art that originated in Tangerang, Banten, in 1828. It was introduced to Jakartans by Chinese fighter Lee Chenk Oek in the 1950s.

Muhali said that Beksi consisted of four defensive styles. “The style aims to teach how one can defend against attacks from all directions,” he said.

He said Beksi was a “hard” fighting style that required fighters to land quick and strong strikes on their rivals.

Another pencak silat style, called Si Bunder, utilizes mind reading techniques to predict an opponent’s attacks.

“Learning Si Bunder is quite difficult because it teaches fighters to read an opponent’s mind to know which side they will attack from,” said Babe Nung, a senior coach.

Si Bunder, he continued, required “never ending stance development”. “We always come up with new movements and it may take up to five years to master all 17 stances.”

Unlike the Beksi style, there are not many records chronicling Si Bunder’s history. “We do not have any schools or specific training attire. We do not classify our student fighters into beginner, intermediate or advanced. We simply practice in accordance with the necessities,” Babe said.

He said that although hundreds of students had dabbled in Si Bunder, few had chosen to pursue it to an advanced level, preferring instead to learn the basics and incorporate them into other styles.

“Most of them leave the style once they have gotten what they really need. They do not want to develop and preserve it,” he said.

The 50-year old man said he was selective in choosing his students.

“Now I have 30 pupils, all of whom are devoted to continuing to develop Si Bunder,” he said.

He holds practices four times a week in Kuningan, South Jakarta, and in Menteng Park, Central Jakarta.

For Babe, pencak silat serves not only as a means of self-protection but also as a source of personal pride and confidence. “It is possible for a fighter to quit altogether if he loses a fight simply because his pride has been damaged,” he said.

According to the City Culture and Tourism Agency, the city has about 300 traditional pencak silat styles, including Bayang Gerak Lodaya, Sabeni, Sipecut, Bandrong and Syah Bandar.

Some are recognized by the Indonesian Pencak Silat Association and the Indonesia Traditional Silat Conservers and Lovers Forum.

Written by Eny Wulandari
Sourced from

15 June 2010

Pencak Silat Competition In Temburong

Temburong - A `Pencak Silat' competition was held at the Community Hall of Kampung Rataie National Housing Plan yesterday, as one of the many programmes held by the Temburong District in conjunction with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam 64th birthday celebrations.

It was organised by the Brunei Darussalam Pencak Silat Association (PERSIB).

A silat presentation was performed by invited youths from `Pesilatan Terjurus Sembilan' from Limbang and was headed by their leader, Affendi Haji Suhaili, who further enlivened the competition by performing the Silat Helang Putih'.

Omar Ali Aziz Haji Ismail won the champion for the Pencak Silat Cekak category while Khairul Fitri Abd Wahab won the Silat Kuntau category. Nurul Amal Mazidah emerged as the young champion for the Silat Kuntau category.

The guest of honour, Haji Afero Eswandi Haji Mohammad in his capacity as the Acting Assistant Temburong District Officer, was on hand to present prizes to the winners.

Written by Hj Md Said Arshad
Sourced from http://brudirect.com/index.php/2010061523162/Local-News/pencak-silat-competition-in-temburong.html

11 June 2010

Aussie vows to make silat top martial art down under

NO DISCRIMINATION: Rowbottom demonstrates some techniques of
Pencak Silat Helang Putih Perkasa at Rumpun Silat Hall at MJC in Batu Kawah yesterday.

Hailed from Perth, Rowbottom recalled that he fell in love with the self defence since five years ago when he was first introduced to Muhd Haneef Ali, the Silat Master for Pencak Silat Helang Putih Perkasa, one of the famous silat schools of thought.

He said he had started to discover his passion for the martial arts since 13 years of age and became the number one fan of it.

Since then, he never looked back and started to travel around the globe for the past 27 years to learn various self defences.

Married to an Iban woman from Sri Aman, Rowbottom recalled his first Silat lesson was under the tutelage of Muhd Haneef Ali and practiced the beautiful yet deadly techniques ever since.

Back in his country, Rowbottom said he had formed the Silat school in Perth and began teaching the lesson, located nearby to a small mosque in the area.

“Over the five years of my involvement in this silat, I have learned the spirit of cooperation and respect to each other regardless of their background, history and characters. This is one of the stunning elements which I found in learning the arts of Silat,” he said.

His various experience travelling around the world have made him knowledgeable in the various martial arts such as Taekwondo, Jujitsu, Muay Thai (Thai kick-boxing) and Australian Prison Police Martial Arts.

He highly praised his master, Muhd Haneef Ali for instilling a good inner faith and strong beliefs, making one silat apprentice more determined, in concentrating and devoted to his leaning process.

“For Pencak Silat Helang Putih Perkasa, I have found it is more focusing than other aggressive martial arts, but still it is deadly and capable of generating inner power to defeat your opponent or enemy. The tradition of its pattern is strongly preserved like the origins of it,” he added.

Rowbottom said, to date he had received blessing from his master to recruit more apprentice to learn silat in Australia and apparently the response towards it is encouraging.

“There are six silat schools of thought and I must say that Pencak Silat Helang Putih Perkasa has the largest followers so far,” said Rowbottom.

A well-known Silat master in his country, Rowbottom said that early January this year, he had brought six Australian enthusiastic apprentices from his silat academy in Perth to meet Muhd Haneef Ali to learn more about the arts.

Rowbottom also had taught Kuching City North Commission (DBKU) enforcement officers the Australian Prison Police Martial Arts method, the reality situation based art of self defence when he was attached with the local authority previously.

Back in Perth, Rowbottom himself is working as the investigative prison police officer.

“My mission is to teach more people about this art of self defence especially to women. This will enable to assist them to dealing with difficulty situations such as robbery, attempting rape, sexual harassment or extortion,” said the red belt holder of silat martial arts.

He added that he had attended World Silat Martial Arts Tournament held in Kuantan in 2006 and Indonesia to expose himself to various silat techniques.

He even took part in the competition but has yet to win any medals.

Sourced from http://www.theborneopost.com/?p=36363

09 June 2010

Silat Exponents To Compete In Vietnam Before Heading To The World Championship In Indonesia

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 (Bernama) -- Twenty-two national silat exponents will compete in various competitions in Hanoi, Vietnam in August before heading to the World Silat Championships in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

National Silat Federation of Malaysia (PESAKA) coordinator Osman Nok said the competitions in Vietnam would help gauge the performance and capabilities of the silat exponents before facing their opponents in the World Championships.

The main task of the Malaysian team would be to retain the five gold medals won at the last World Championships which was also held in Indonesia, he told Bernama here Wednesday.

He added that though Malaysia are ranked second in the world behind Vietnam, it would not guarantee a safe passage in the quest for gold medals.

Sourced from http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=504661