Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
In the world of the Malay Silat, the keris (a wavy bladed dagger or knife) is the principal form of weapon for defense and offence. It is a deadly weapon unique to the Malay world, and in the centuries past, it was the dreaded weapon of the Malays, and normally carried around by the adult men especially for self-defense purpose.Those were the days when carrying a keris is a normal thing, akin, in the western world, to the days of the cowboys when carrying pistols are normal and rife.
In the old days, a keris once taken out of its sheath must "eat" or taste blood, as they say, and if not the enemy’s, one’s own blood. So, it is not a plaything -- it is a deadly weapon to be respected.
Normally the handle of a keris has elaborate carvings as the hilt and the normal creature carving is birdlike called the jawa demam. The blade of the keris is wavy and has different number of waves depending on the owner’s criteria.
From the structure of the handle, we can see that the keris is used only to be held in one hand. It cannot, and is not meant to be held by two hands unlike the big swords of the western world.
The usage of the keris is therefore in consonant with the silat movements where the hand is used in combat with or without the keris in hand. A keris in hand would however be an added advantage.
The sheath (or home) of the keris is also an art form and a beauty to behold. It is normally made of wood with silver or iron coverings at its mouth, and mostly with carved designs.
One of the most famous kerises that has been recorded in the Malay history books is named "Taming Sari". It is said that with this keris, Hang Tuah became invulnerable or invincible, and he defeated all opponents with this keris in his hand.
During his battle with Hang Jebat, the Taming Sari was in fact in the possession of Hang Jebat, as he had taken it during Hang Tuah’s exile. Hang Tuah was only able to defeat and killed Hang Jebat only after he had tricked Hang Jebat into exchanging their kerises.
Multi-purpose instruments like the Sai became especially useful, since an opponent's weapon could be blocked and/or trapped with one Sai with the other could be used to deliver a thrust to an open vulnerable area of the body. Three sai were often carried, with one placed behind the back in the belt, where it could serve as a replacement for a hand-held sai that was thrown at an opponent.
Spears are either called Tombak in the Javanese world or Lembing in the Malay Peninsular culture. The spear is probably older than the Keris. Some argue the Keris blade was originally a spear head mounted on a short hilt. For instance, Vajrayana flagstaff points from the old Javanese kingdoms have a distinctive Keris shape.
One of the earliest weapons fashioned by human beings and their ancestors, it is still used for hunting and fishing, and its influences can still be seen in contemporary military arsenals as the rifle-mounted bayonet.
Spears can be used as both melee and ballistic weapons. Spears used primarily for thrusting may be used with either one or two hands and tend to have heavier and sturdier designs than those intended exclusively for throwing.
The karambit is characterized by a sharply curved, usually double-edged, blade, which, when the knife is properly held, extends from the bottom of the hand, with the point of the blade facing forward. In Southeast Asia karambits are encountered with varying blade lengths and both with and without a retention ring for the index finger on the end of the handle opposite the blade. However, in addition to being held blade facing forward and extending down from the fist it may also be held blade to front extending from the top of the hand
Monday, September 29, 2008
2.Bumi (world)-represents that the art will be introduced and propagated to all nations.
3. Naga dan harimau (dragon and tiger)-represent strength in water and on land.
4.Keris dan parang (dagger and machete)-represent Malay traditional weapons and culture.
5.The sword of zulfakar(Arabian blade)-reminds us of the warriors that defended the teaching of faith and truth in the era of the uncivilized world.
6.Keris bersilang (two crossed daggers)-represent the spirit of the two legendary Malay warriors, Hang Tuah and HangJebat. This keris is the well-known keris called Taming Sari.
7.Bengkong hitam (mahaguru personal black belt)- The Malay bengkung or selempang represents adat (tradition). The name of the belt is Harimau Pelangi Cula Sakti Gangga Negara. It is the highest belt in silat seni gayong. Bengkung signifies a custom rich with tradition, culture, and respect. Dato Meor's personal belt is called Bengkung Harimau Pelangi Agong Mahkota Sakti.
The connotation of color in:
1.Putih (white)-Purity and Honesty
4.Hitam (black)-Equality. Black is the color of shadow. It symbolizes social status. Our shadow makes no distinction among us in regards to race, gender, or status, thus symbolizing equality. The shadow also means that we are our own worst enemy.
1.Ga-Cenggam. =Uphold the teachings of one's faith; strong determination to achieve and understand the philosophy and secrets of gayong and to hold in trust the master's teachings.
2.Alif-Angkat. Uphold the teachings of one's faith as the guidance of life.
3.Ya-Yakin. Confidence-one must be brave for the sake of truth.
4.Wau-Waras, Common sense and rationality-one must weigh all consequences vigilantly beforetaking action.
5.Nga-Ngeri. One's fear of the Almighty.
Within the gayong community, she was known to be very skillful in keris (wavy-bladed dagger) fighting. On February 20. 1970, she performed a demonstration to welcome the Japanese Prince Akihito and his wife Michiko to Malaysia. They were amazed with her demonstration and invited her to japan for the Osaka Expo in 1970. Due to citizenship issues, she was not able to attend; instead, she sent two other gayong instructors in her place. The silat demonstration in japan received a standing ovation and surprised the Emperor of japan. The demonstration was widely publicized by the media throughout japan.
At the age of twenty-one, she was assigned to teach at one of the gayong centers in Kampong Pandan, in the city of Kuala Lumpur. One day while training, a gentleman named Mr. Omar introduced himself and challenged her. Mr. Omar was a martial artist from a different discipline. The challenge was accepted and the combat began. Kalsom admitted that Mr. Omar's kicks were powerful but she ultimately defeated him. Later. they became good friends. Kalsom was chosen to teach gayong to 100 selected Malaysian army members.
Terengganu, Kelantan, Perak, Selangor, Perlis, Penang, and Medan, Indonesia. Majid was known to have single-handedly fought forty-five gangsters to protect the village of Pekan Bukit Jenun in the state of Kedah. His act of bravery made him known as hulubalang legenda (the legendary Malay warrior). He was given a Pingat Jasa Kebaktian Medal of Honor by the Sultan of Kedah. The headquarters of pusaka gayong is presently located in Kampong Kepala Bukit, Curun, Kedah. Under the teaching of Majid, many outstanding students have emerged as gayong instructors.
Cikgu Hussein Kaslan and his son Cikgu Mohammad Rahim are leaders of SSGPS. PASAK stands for Perkumpulan Angkatan Sandiwara Anak anak Kesenian (Singapore Youth Society of Dramatic Culture). Hussein was one of the earliest gayong students of Dato Meor Rahman in Singapore. Hussein began learning gayong in 1950. After 1960, before Dato Meor migrated to the state of Kedah in Malaysia, he entrusted gayong to Hussein to continue its propagation. I Iussein is the imam khalifah of gayong Singapore, with the title of seri mahkota agung rclang pelangi given by Dato. Hussein is Dato Meor's right-hand instructor in Singapore. As the gayong leader in Singapore, he organized and formed the group PASAK in 1963, known as Gayong PASAK Singapore. Hussein is now over 80 years old. He has endorsed his son Mohammad Rahim to continue the gayong mission, culture, and tradition.
Mahaguru Dato' Meor Abdul Rahman bin Uda Mohd Hashim
Silat Seni Gayong was formulated and founded by Mahaguru Dato' Meor Abdul Rahman bin Uda Mohd Hashim. He was of bugis decent born in 1915 and was the great-grandson of Daeng Kuning, commonly known as Panglima Hitam. Meor Abdul Rahman began learning the knowledge of silat at the age of twelve from his grandfather Tuan Syed Zainal Syed Idris Al-Attas. Syed Zainal is one of the warriors who fought against the British colonialism of the 19th century, in Pahang. Syed Zainal inherited his silat knowledge from Daeng Ambok Solok, a bugis warrior residing in Jambi Sumatra at that time.
For three years, Meor Abdul Rahman trained and learned with other students of Syed Zanial. At 19, Meor Abdul Rahman successfully achieved the understanding and the 'selok-belok' (the ins and outs), the art of seni gayong. However, his grandfather did not perform the "ritual of authorisation" of silat gayong on him, as he had foreseen in a prophecy that Meor Abdul Rahman will have this ritual performed on him by a greater (unseen) warrior.
In 1936, the "ritual of authorisation" was performed on Mahaguru Meor Abdul Rahman by none other than the legendary Hang Tuah. Needless to say, this was an incident on the meta-physical (spiritual) level. Some stories report that the whole ceremony took place in a kind of "dream". This incident occurred on a large black rock by the river at Hutan Menam (now Southern Thailand). All the secrets and knowledge of Silat were transmitted to him and he was given the trust to teach and spread Silat Seni Gayong to the best of his ability.
Meor Abdul Rahman was given the title Panglima Sendo (invincible warrior), by his Royal Highness Sultan Alang Iskandar, after demonstrating his skills and ability to the royal court and dignitaries. The Sultan was so impressed and pleased by Meor Abdul Rahman that he took him as his adopted son. Meor Abdul Rahman stayed at the palace until the Sultan's death in 1938.
In 1938, Meor Abdul Rahman moved to Singapore looking for work. There he found work at the British Royal Signal Corp Barrack, Killman, Woodland. From there he later became the un-armed combat instructor to the British soldiers. When the Japanese army attacked Singapore in 1942, Meor Abdul Rahman escaped with his family to Pulau Sudong (island south of Singapore). He underwent much hardship and trials before finally being allowed to reside there. Being a "lawless" island, Silat Seni Gayong was much needed for the protection of one self and the community; therefore the art was re-introduced to the community.
When Meor Abdul Rahman successfully saved the population of Pulau Sudong from the "Japanese threat", Silat Gayong was 'accepted' by the population, and taught throughout the island. Meor Abdul Rahman and his family then returned to Taiping, Perak.
In 1943 Meor Abdul Rahman was captured and imprisoned by the occupying Japanese Army. He was charged with treason against the Imperial Army and was sentenced to death by hanging. (This followed an incident in which Mahaguru 'fought off' a Japanese officer who had made rude advances towards his wife.)
On the day of the execution Meor Abdul Rahman, bravely and against the odds, 'overpowered' his armed captors. For fear of further losses, the Japanese authorities released him. Soon after however, the Japanese managed to 'force' him to become one of their own soldiers.
When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, Meor Abdul Rahman and his family migrated yet again to Pulau Sudong. He was offered to become the 'Headman' of the island. During these years, Silat Seni Gayong spread to the neighbouring islands including those in Indonesian territories.
The year 1947 saw the appointment of Meor Abdul Rahman as an investigator with the Crime Investigation Department in Singapore. In this year too, he was awarded the 'King George VI' medal, an honour from the British Government, for his service in fighting the Japanese occupation of Singapore. In 1948 he actively spread Silat gayong throughout Singapore and on to the Malay Peninsula. After retiring from the police force, Meor Abdul Rahman established the first Silat Gayong Training School, at Lorong Fatimah, Woodland, Singapore. It was here that the early teachers or gurulatih of Gayong underwent their training.
In 1959, Meor Abdul Rahman met Dato' Onn bin Ja'afar, the founder of UMNO (United Malay National Organization), who offered himself to be a disciple of Silat Gayong. Dato' Onn suggested that Silat Gayong should be registered legally as an organization. Efforts began to register Silat Gayong and finally in 1963, this silat was officially registered as 'Pertubohan Silat Seni Gayong Malaya' with the registration number, 361. PSSGM is the first silat ever to be registered in Malaya.
After its registration, Silat Gayong continued to develop even more. From Singapore, Gayong spread to Johor. Meanwhile, in the north of the peninsula, Gayong spread on the effort of Meor Abdul Aziz, the elder brother of Meor Abdul Rahman and other 'gurulatih' sent from Singapore. Tengku Laksamana Kedah, on the royal command of Sultan Badlishah of Kedah had invited Silat Seni Gayong for a Command Performance in 1957.
The Silat Seni Gayong Training School was moved from Singapore to Kota Sarang Semut, Kedah, when the Mahaguru moved there in 1964.
In 1970, Silat Seni Gayong was invited by the Malaysian Government to be part of the National Entourage for The '70 Expo in Osaka, Japan. The Mahaguru and En. Razali Salleh (The Secretary General PSSGM then) accompanied two Gayong exponents, Che'gu Mustapha Kamal and Che'gu Mohd. Norsaii ,for the performances at the Expo, for two weeks. The Silat Demonstration was received with much encouraging enthusiasm and even 'surprised The Emperor Of Japan.
The Silat demonstration was also widely publicised by the media networks in Japan.
And yet again, in 1971, The Silat Seni Gayong Training School moved to Air Kuning, Taiping Perak, when the Mahaguru moved there. Mahaguru Meor Abdul Rahman was then awarded the highest honour, The Dato' Paduka Cura Simanja Kini, by Sultan Idris Shah, the sultan of Perak. In this year as well, Silat Seni Gayong was introduced to the Malaysian Armed Forces. 87 personnel from the rank and file of the military underwent an intensive Silat Gayong training for six months at a military camp in Taiping. Upon completion, they were given authorization as teachers or Gurulatih of Silat Gayong and this Silat was taken to all the military camps in the country.
Silat Seni Gayong was then introduced to The Royal Malaysian Police in 1973. A similar intensive training course was held for 48 police personnel from the lower ranks. Similarly, upon graduating, they were ordered to spread Silat Seni Gayong to all the Police training schools in Malaysia.
In 1978, Mohammed Moncef Abdullah returned to his home in Tunisia, after acquiring the knowledge of Silat Seni Gayong in Malaysia. He is now responsible for propagating Silat Gayong in the Middle East. His students have been to Malaysia in the early 1990's to further their training in Silat Seni Gayong.
In Western Australia Silat Gayong is being taught by Jan de Jong, an expert in the martial arts specializing on the Japanese systems. He had studied Silat Seni Gayong from Mahaguru Meor Abdul Rahman himself during the mid 80's.
Che'gu Sulaiman Shariff and Che'gu Sheikh Shamsudin of Gayong America is responsible for promoting Silat Gayong in the USA from the early 1990's, although before that, Che'gu Shaharudin Abd. Hamid had introduced Seni Gayong to a few known martial artists there.
Che'gu Mufti Ansari brought Silat Seni Gayong to Europe in the late 1980's. In the United Kingdom, Silat Gayong was taught by Che'gu Adlin from Negeri Sembilan. Beginning from middle of the year 2000, Gayong UK was formed and headed by Ketua Khalifah Tuan Haji Ariffin Mahidin.
In July 2000, Silat Seni Gayong was established on the island of Mauritius by Che'gu Ridzuan Abdul Razak with blessings from Che'gu Siti Kalsom Dato' Meor Abdul Rahman. To date, two Gayong centres have been opened there.
Mahaguru Dato' Meor Abdul Rahman passed away and returned to Devine Presence on the 23rd of June 1991. According to the Will of The Mahaguru, after him, no one of his successors shall be titled 'Mahaguru'. Silat Seni Gayong would from then on be administered by a Board of Trustees, comprising of members who are trustworthy and strong on the 'cause' of Silat Seni Gayong. Before blowing his last breath, Dato' Mahaguru then appointed his daughter Che'gu Siti Kalsom as Trustee I, and Che'gu Mohd. Razali Salleh as Trustee II of Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia and the World.
The origin of Silat Gayong as taught by the late grandmaster and founder, Dato' Meor Abdul Rahman is from Silat Sendi Harimau which means The Tiger's Joint Silat. This is why characteristics of a tiger can be found in the style. It can be clearly seen in the logo of the silat and many physical movements such as Lompat Anak Harimau (which means the cub's leaping techniques). The hand always imitate the paw of a tiger and the verbal sound when practising combat techniqes sounds like the roam of a tiger.
Why did he change the name to Silat Gayong? Well, Dato Meor lived in Ayer Kuning near Taiping (a small town in the state of Perak). As he was going to register his silat as an organised institution, he needed a comercialised name to go with it. In Taiping, the most famous term for silat is 'Gayung' or 'Bergayung' which means silat but in a more artistic way. So, in order to get recognition from the nearby society, he wisely chose the name 'Silat Gayong Malaysia' Which also incorporates the name of the country it originates from Malaysia.
Since Gayong Malaysia Association is the first silat to set up an organization, it was easier to influence not only the public, but also schools, armed forces, actors and even politicians.
Nowadays, Silat Gayong Malaysia is well-known not only in Malaysia, but also internationally.
Basically, to master Silat Seni Gayong, practitioners must learn at least 4 out of seven stages of Silat. They are as follows:
1. Tapak Gayong (Foundation of Silat Seni Gayong - practitioners will study all techniques of self defence and offence using all parts of human body especially hand, leg, elbow, knee. No weapons are taught in this stage. Practitioners learn to use their bare hand as their weapon).
2. Seni Tapak Gayong (This is an advanced form of the foundation. Practitioners will study in depth about the possible development of free-hand techniques in the Silat Seni Gayong).
3. Seni Keris (Learning how to apply defensive or offensive techniques using Malay dagger and other small sized weapons such as Kerambit, knife, tekpi)
4. Seni Simbat (In this stage, practitioner learns how to apply defensive or offensive techniques using long weapons including spear, long stick, and parang).
5. Seni Yoi (Aerobic techniques that are applied to defeat stronger or bigger opponent. Silat practitioner will apply brilliant traps to ensnare their foes. Its approach is a cross breed between aikido and judo).
6. Seni Cindai (This technique applies ordinary clothes like kain sarung, belt, and tudung as weapons to defeat the opponent).
7. Seni Belian (Spiritual aspect of Silat Seni Gayong. Only Muslim practitioners who managed to achieve high level of discipline and dedication to Silat Seni Gayong have the opportunity to learn this technique - normally senior instructors and future leaders of silat organizations).
Daeng Mempawah, Daeng Telani, and Daeng Pelonggi.
In search of a better life, they all went their separate ways throughout the Malay archipelago. Some moved to the state of Kedah, others to the states of Pahang, Johor, Terengganu, Selangor, and Malacca. Daeng Kuning settled in the state of Perak, married Princess Raja Patani, and decided to reside in the village of Air Kuning. They had a son named Penghulu Che NgahTambak who later had a son named Uda Mohd Hashim, the father of Meor Abdul Rahman. Daeng Kuning died in August 17, 1875 in Taiping, Perak. It is documented that seni gayong undoubtedly came from the lineage of the Bugis royal family Prince Daeng Kuning (The Black Warrior) Penghulu Che Ngah Tambak Daeng Uda Mohd Hashim
Dato Meor Abdul Rahman Grandmaster of Silat Gayong
It was not until early 1942 when, on the Sudong island village of Singapore, inhabitants were worried about an attack by the Japanese army and the secret of gayong became more widely known The incident was the first step in making gayong available to the public. From the Sudong island, gayong spread to other vicinities such as the island of Seking, Bukum, Sebaruk, Sekijang, Sembilan, Semakom, and Damar island. It spread throughout the Indonesian islands as a way to protect the villages fi'om pirates.
Today, gayong is widely practiced in Malaysia and Singapore. The art is being taught in schools, colleges, to the armed forces, and to the Royal Malaysian Police. It also plays an important role for younger generations. Gayong has become a way to educate and introduce good character,discipline, morals, and ethics. It inspires the youth of Malaysia to appreciate the legends of the nation, the culture and tradition, and the achievement of freedom and liberty.
Gayong has traveled beyond Malaysian society to Australia, Kuwait,Tunisia, Vietnam, France, Europe, and now to the United States
The definition of the word silat varies from one guru or cikgu (teacher) to another. The Malay dictionary defines silat as a seni (art) with the intelligence to attack and defend gracefully. Another meaning states that silat originated from the word kilat (lightning). A practitioner tries to acquire the characteristics of lightning: speed,dominance, sharpness, fluidity, and danger. A person with these qualities and intelligence was called sikilat.There are a variety of silat styles.
In Malaysia alone there are more than 150 known silat styles. Some of the known styles found in
· Gayong Fatani
· Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9
Examples of Indonesian silat are:
· Perisai Diri
· Bahkti Negara