Friday, October 14, 2005

Some Malaysian Silat Info

The following information stems from a correspondence between a student of mine and a highly knowledgeable and well-spoken Silat teacher in Malaysia known as Saiful Azraq. - JD

Silat Cekak Hanafi & Silat Kuntau Tekpi
Based on my encounter and studies, all of the arts have the potential
to be a softer, more circular art depending on who teachers it. For
example, I studied Silat Cekak Hanafi when I was 18 from instructors.
The way the syllabus is performed by the instructors is undoubtedly
hard, fast and brutal. However, watching my Principal, Tuan Guru Md.
Radzi Haji Hanafi execute the very same moves, is like watching a more
streamlined version of the buah. Physically the look is the same, but
has less of an edge to it.

Conversely, I studied Silat Kuntau Tekpi from cikgu Norazlan Wahid,
incidentally also cikgu Omar's immediate teacher. Cikgu Norazlan
already has a softer edge to him and those who study under him tend to
flow easier through the buah. An example, when I visited cikgu
Amirul's gelanggang in AU3 Kuala Lumpur, he was still in yellow belt
and training under cikgu Azhar. When we performed the same buah on our
partners, I completed mine before he managed to. Both of us were
surprised and cikgu Norazlan confirmed this difference due to cikgu
Amirul studying the syllabus 'by the book' while I studied it in terms
of flow. This is not a difference in quality, simply method.

Silat Kalimah, on other hand as taught by guru Eusoff Ali (aka Pak
Jauhari), as a 63 year old man is far softer and economical than Silat
Kalimah as taught by anyone else. Previously, SK was as brutal if not
more than SCH and had a harder edge. Twenty years of thought and
development (and 3 months of discussion with cikgu Omar and us) and
Pak Jo has redeveloped the Kalimah syllabus into a more economical
version, correcting and compensating for problems inherent in the
present SCH syllabus. You won't find this development in other Kalimah

Just so you don't get confused. Silat Kalimah in Malaysia is in a
fractured state. After guru Yahya Said taught Allahyarham Ustaz Hanafi
in 1965, he established Silat Kalimah sometime in the early 70s with
the assistance of cikgu Azmi Long and cikgu Radzuan Long. Due to
administration differences, guru Yahya set up Gabungan Kalimah, cikgu
Azmi Persatuan Kalimah and cikgu Radzuan Persatuan Seni Silat Kalimah
Malaysia. After guru Yahya passed away followed by cikgu Radzuan,
there was a drive to combine all current Kalimah students into cikgu
Azmi's organization but nobody could agree on it. This resulted in a
fracture that saw eminent students of guru Yahya setting up their own
organizations. Guru Zohdi Mat Yusof helmed Persatuan Seni Silat
Kalimah Yahya Said (comprising cikgu Radzuan's former Kuala Lumpur
students), Pak Muslim reregistered his state chapter of cikgu
Radzuan's organization as Persatuan Seni Silat Kalimah Amin and cikgu
Mazlan Man founded Persatuan Seni Silat Kalam Utama Malaysia (PIKUM).
There is no enmity between the organizations, but slight differences
in approach, and syllabi.

Within the Persatuan Seni Silat Kalimah Yahya Said organization (which
is not national, currently only comprises three states), there was an
initiative to create a federation between them and Silat Kalimah Amin.
Pak Guru Zohdi was appointed Guru Tinggi (I think this is the term
they used. Have to check. Sorry) while two other eminent masters, Pak
Muslim and Pak Jo were appointed Guru Utama under him.

When cikgu Omar expressed his interest to study Silat Kalimah, Pak
Zohdi recommended that Pak Jo teach him as Pak Jo had a better command
of English than he and the rest as you said, is history. Therefore,
the current syllabus being taught in the United States is Pak Jo's

In comparison Silat Cekak Hanafi has 21 buah split into two levels of
advancement, Asas (Basic) and Jatuh (Takedowns) while Silat Kuntau
Tekpi has 42 buah and Silat Kalimah, 27 buah taught in the original
format of straight to takedown forms.

Silat Cekak Hanafi under Ustaz Hanafi espouses a very practical
spirituality, preferring to inculcate their students with simpler
methods of recognizing Tauhid. They are taught to never disobey their
mother, father and teacher, never to lie and always keep promises.
They place performance, hard work and diligence first. There is only
one common du'a practiced by all SCH pesilat and is provided at the
end of the syllabus.

For Silat Kuntau Tekpi, you will have to ask cikgu Amirul. He has
better resources than me on this. Seriously.

Silat Kalimah as I understand it is not any more spiritual than SCH
but the impression is there because of cikgu Omar's studying from Pak
Jo. There is a difference between studying from a master and an
instructor. Students also receive a similar du'a at the end of the
syllabus. I have not gone far enough within Silat Kalimah to elaborate


Anonymous said...

Assalamu'alaikum and peace to all,

My goodness :) Cikgu Saiful say that i know more! That's a very high and undeserving complement coming from him, honestly.

Anyways, thank you Brother Jeff for this publishing this article. Truly Cikgu Saiful (i know he hates me calling him Cikgu, but it's better than to call him Jurulatih in my opinion :P ) is a gem in Malaysian silat circle.


guro jeff davidson said...

Salaam Amirul,

I have a lot of respect for Saiful. What a blessing it has been for all of us to have met. I owe Guro Omar so much...


Anonymous said...

Hi folks

Just so that you know.

Silat Kalimah is getting their act together and we have launched an official website filled with what else? History.... and what Silat Kalimah is all about.

We appreciate your support so do join us in the forum, look for the English speaking section below the Malay forum....cheers
Goto Http://


Anonymous said...

Good info