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Aug 7, 2009

Silat Club at Kg. Ubi Community Centre

As I was passing by the Kampong Ubi Community Centre (KUCC) this evening, I noticed a group of young people at the open courtyard beside the CC. The participants wore black training gear and there were a few young children in the group.

The Kampong Ubi CC is usually abuzz with activities in the evening and I have written about the "Qigong Shi Ba Shi" group in a previous blog topic.

I learnt from Che Kamariah Bte Hosni that members of the Silat Club at KUCC practise the Silat martial art at the CC every Tuesday and Friday evening from 8:00 pm to 9:30pm. Membership fees is $10 for the 3-month course.

The group instructor, Inche Mohd Hidayat Bin Hosni is Che Kamariah's brother.

Che Hirwati Bte Mustaffa (left of photo) is the mother of Hanis Bte Muhd Haizal (centre). Hanis is only 5 years old and the youngest member in the group. Isn't this amazing? A kindergarten child learning "Silat" at such a tender age :)

When I was at her age almost 60 years ago, I was still drinking milk from the bottle and sucking on a pacifier....hahaha "paiseh"...

In this photo (left to right) Alex Shroder, Che Kamariah, friend, Camille.

Alex Shroder is from Switzerland. The 25-year-old student at MDIS in Singapore, is a multi-linguist who speaks Malay, French, Vietnamese, English and several European languages. He has been in Singapore for over a year now and is interested in the Malay language, culture, and "Silat" which he studied for over 6 years.

Alex's friend, Camille is from France. She took up the "Silat" course about 3 years ago. Although she speaks mostly French, she could understand the basic instructions in Malay, such as belok kanan, belok kiri, belok di-belakang. Alex is always around to help her to do the translation if she doesn't understand, I am sure.

The following relevant excerpt is reproduced with permission from Caroline Chen-Whatley, BellaOnline's Martial Art Editor:


Silat, sometimes also called Pencak silat, panchak, or montjak, generally refers to Martial Arts styles that originate from the Malay. These people can be found spread throughout Southeastern Asia, more specifically around Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, and the Philippines.

Silat isn't just one style but is used to describe anywhere on up to a hundred different styles, or what they call alirans, and schools.

As with many Martial Arts styles, learning silat is not just about fighting. While learning Silat, one learns the mental or spiritual aspects of life, self-defense, the fighting techniques, and the culture of the people the art originated from. For more traditional schools, this includes having a uniform that is based off the Malaysia culture, rather than the Japanese or Chinese one that most people see in Martial Arts. In addition, the schools will have their own "dance", which is composed of movements from their particular style. It is a way to distinguish one style of silat from another.

Silat has a strong influence of learning from the environment. Many of the movements will reflect animals that you will find in nature moreso than some of the other Martial Arts. One of the most important animals to them was the tiger, being seen by the culture as a symbol of importance....


Sent from my Treo 650



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