Usamah Samuels, a 14 yr old grade 7 learner at the Hyde Park College has been awarded for bravery at his school awards ceremonyand graduation dinner on Tuesday, 26th November 2013. Usamah is described by his parents and teachers as a gentleman, with good manners and character.
On his way to school on thursday morning, 21st November 2013, Usamah and his younger brother Mishal were confronted by an african man. The man asked them to hand over their schoolbags, to which Usamah said no. This caused the man to become aggressive, and once more insisted that they hand over the bags, or else.
The man then takes out his knife and threatens to hurt the young boys. Usamah then instructs Mishal to run to school, while he sorts the matter out. Without hesitation, Usamah grabs the mans arm and applies an arm lock which he just learnt the week before at his silat lesson.
The attacker was quickly subdued, which allowed Usamah to grab hold of the weapon and disarm the guy. According to the 14 year old pesilat (silat practitioner), he thinks he broke the attackers arm due to the aggressive arm lock, as he heard the joint pop. The attacker quickly fled the scene which gave Usamah the freedom to attend school. The knife was handed to the principals office, and Usamah quickly gained popularity amongst the schoolkids. He is also a grade 7 learner and school prefect.
His parents remarked that had he not been trained in Silat, he possibly would have given in to the attacker, and suffer an asthma attack. They believe that silat has boosted his confidence and given him the necessary life skills of self defense. During silat training, the students are always reminded never to believe that they are powerful, but only possess the power which the Almighty Allah has given them. And if you get hurt, it is only through the will of Allah and serves as a test. Allah is All Powerful over all things, and He will never test us with something which we cannot handle.
Usamah and Mishal trains at the gelanggang (training facility) in Skaapkraal as well as the Rondevlei Islamic society in Mitchels Plain. Classes are open to youth from 7yrs and up. check out the training venues page
A father wants his family to learn silat because it is not only a form of martial arts, but steeped in the Malay traditions of adab (respect) and adat (customs).
EPIDEMIOLOGIST Dr Mustafa Bakri’s fascination with silat started from watching old Malay films from the 1960s such as Anak Buluh Betong and Dharma Kesuma.
“I was fascinated by how silat invoked the spirit of heroism and justice. But after being introduced to different silat techniques such as silat lintau and silat panji alamin secondary school, I realised martial arts acts in movies were choreographed, be it in Malay, European, Hollywood or Japanese movies.
“Silat teaches the core art of martial arts, minus the fancy moves seen on the big screen. In a real fight, the scenario is entirely different. Silat is thus far one of the best and most practical,” shares Dr Mustafa, 57, who works at the Seremban district health office.
The Perak-born doctor attends Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 lessons which he considers one of the most practical self-defence tactics.
“It is one of the few silat systems where students (beginners included) are encouraged to use the keris in both armed and unarmed combat. Silat exponents can use simple yet effective movements to counter attack the opponent.
“To me, Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 is the most practical silat by far as it combines skill and rigorous exercise. It requires minimal running, pumping or punching unlike other silat forms that I have seen, making it a perfect martial arts form-cum-exercise for me,” he said.
Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9 is an old system in Silat Melayu that can be traced back to the Malacca Sultanate and it is believed Malay warriors used it to fight Portuguese invaders.
The modern version of this form of martial arts was developed by silat exponent Prof Dr Azlan Ghanie, who had learnt it from his father Abdul Ghanie Abu Bakar, who inherited it from his grandfather Abang Salleh Datu Patinggi Borhassan.
Dr Mustafa, who has been learning silat since 2007, is one of Azlan’s students. He was so enthusiastic about silat that he has persuaded his wife Noraishah Mohamed, 49, and his sons Muhammad Syahridwan, 13 and Muhammad Syahriezlan, 11, to participate in Azlan’s classes.
“Since my wife and sons do not do much physical activities, the classes help to keep them active,” said Dr Mustafa who has six children.
Noraishah, a homemaker, was inspired to join silat classes due to its simplicity and practicality. “We learn self-defense tips for women, be it in public spaces or at home. It is especially useful as I am a housewife and I am home alone most of the time,” said Noraishah, who has been a silat student for two years.
Muhammad Syahridwan’s interest was sparked by his father’s enthusiasm. “My parents have been silat enthusiasts and their interest rubbed off on us. I enjoy my silat lessons as they build confidence and discipline. It is also a good form of exercise,” said the secondary school student. Dr Mustafa works in Seremban but travels back to be with his family in Rawang during weekends. Every Saturday, his family travels from Rawang to Setapak, Kuala Lumpur for their silat lessons.
Students start their classes with Senaman Melayu Tua, an ancient form of physical exercise that focuses on breathing techniques, stretches and movements to strengthen the body. After the warming up session, students learn different forms of loks (a Malay term for the curve on the blade of the keris).
There are five loks (numbered one, three, five, seven and nine) to be learned to complete the basic syllabus. Learning the loks is the key to the principles of fighting in armed and empty hand combat. The basic syllabus takes two years of regular training to complete.
Dr Mustafa adds that besides an art of self defence, silat also places emphasis onadab (respect) and adat (customs). Traditional Malay values are maintained throughout classes where students are taught how to respect their elders and each other. Students are also taught how to confront danger (with or without weapons) which is useful for different age groups and gender.
“Silat practitioners are taught to respect our opponents and training tools. Before each session, we have to bow a little to shake hands with partners and kiss our weapon as a sign of respect. This traditional martial arts form teach us to avoid trouble and protect ourselves from danger. Being able to handle the keris during practice has helped boost my sons’ self confidence,” explained Dr Mustafa, adding that plastic or wooden knives are also used during sparring sessions.
Traditionally, the keris is regarded more than just a weapon and the adab (manners/ rules of behaviour) surrounding this art is extremely important. The keris is a symbol of the ancient Malay culture and must be respected, and those who own a keris carry heavy responsibilities. Learning the customs and traditions associated with the kerisis an integral part of the syllabus.
Another benefit of learning silat is that it is good for health as its practitioners learn how to regulate their breathing. “Some silat students with asthma and shortness of breath are now more aware of proper breathing techniques. Learning how to improve breathing is among the core essentials of silat,” said Azlan, who charges RM50 monthly for his silat classes.
Azlan has also further developed Senaman Tua – a traditional exercise system based on the movements found in Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9. He had turned to this exercise form after he suffering from a stroke at 32, which left him partially paralysed.
“Although I sought all sorts of treatments ranging from modern to traditional, I didn’t show signs of improvement. I eventually started to practise various techniques ofSenaman Tua (which I had learnt from my father) and my health gradually improved,” recounted Azlan, who is the founder and editor of Seni Beladiri, a monthly magazine dedicated to the Malaysian martial arts scene.
Dr Mustafa hopes more youngsters will learn silat as it is a self-defense art passed down from the warriors of the olden days. “Sadly, some feel that silat is out of fashion and not a necessity. Hopefully more students will sign up for classes as it is a powerful martial arts form that stresses on team spirit and confidence.”
*For more details on Silat Melayu Keris Lok 9, go to senibeladiri.com.my.
article from: http://www.thestar.com.my/Lifestyle/Family/Features/2013/09/25/Bonding-over-an-ancient-art.aspx
Here is your free report on how to help your child develop their ability to concentrate.
Distracted. Easily frustrated. Hyperactive.
If any of these words describe your child, you're probably worried that he or she lacks the ability to stay focused.
A rare few children are born with the innate ability to concentrate, but sometimes a healthy attention span is harder to develop. These children are sometimes referred to as "dreamers," "fidgety" or even "a problem child." Society seems quick to label them as having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD).
There is no dispute that the ability to concentrate is an important life skill. Knowing how to help your child develop that ability is the real key. In this report, we'll share some ideas on how to accomplish this.
Know What Is NormalFirst, it's important to make sure that certain factors are in the right balance.
Is your child's daily diet a nutritious one? Does he get enough sleep? Does she get plenty of exercise? Are there other factors that are making your child sad, mad, worried or excited?
Second, it's important to make sure your expectations, and those of other adults in your life, are reasonable. For most children (and, let's face it, some adults), the ability to stay focused takes practice. It's a learned skill, not a natural reflex.
Waiting for that development to happen naturally can be more frustrating for first-time parents than for those who have experienced it all before.
Compare your child's behavior to others who are about the same age. Talk with other parents. Ask educators or your pediatrician what the average attention span is for your child's age. You may be surprised by the answers.
"A 'normal' attention span should be 3-5 minutes per year of a child's age. For a 3-year-old, that would be nine to 15 minutes; for a 10-year-old, it would be 30-50 minutes," explains Dr. Becca Harrison, resident of psychiatry at the Medical College of Wisconsin and an assistant martial arts instructor.
"It is a little more complicated than that though. Attention is thought to develop in stages," Dr. Harrison adds. "First, kids tend to be overly exclusive, focusing on one thing for a long time to the exclusion of everything else. We see this mainly in babies. Second, they tend to be overly inclusive. Toddlers tend to switch from activity to activity rapidly. Third, kids develop selective attention, the ability to switch focus when they want from being exclusive to inclusive, for instance. Some kids just take longer to reach that third stage, just like some kids walk later than others."
Still, your child may be described -- by you or by others -- like this:
* Fidgety: Can't "sit still" for the expected amount of time that is average for his or her age; constantly gets up to do other things.
* Daydreamer: Routinely seems lost in his or her own world; facial expression goes blank or takes on a "dreamy" look as he or she stares off into space.
* Easily distracted: Regularly goes from one activity to another or can't stay on-topic in a conversation.
* Hyperactive: Routinely and excessively excited; always on the go.
* Impulsive: Constantly acts before thinking; uncontrolled physical and emotional responses or verbal outbursts.
Find a solutionThere are many ways of addressing these issues. From our experience with kids of all ages and discussions with other professionals, we've found the following methods to be effective solutions in helping focus-challenged children.
1. Encourage age-appropriate "brain" exercises. Paint and color. Play board games. Put together a jigsaw puzzle. These are especially effective in helping younger children because parents and older siblings can participate. These types of activities can be completed in a short amount of time, and there is a tangible "reward" at the end (a pretty picture to hang on the refrigerator or a finished puzzle that looks just like the picture on the box). More complicated games and larger puzzles can be introduced as your child gets older.
2. Provide a challenge. Word searches, crossword puzzles and chess let children exercise their minds on their own or with a partner. These also require self-directed concentration as the child works independently or, as is the case in a game like chess, must anticipate upcoming moves.
3. Sign up for lessons. Dance classes. Violin lessons. Cake decorating. Whatever your child's interest, consider signing him or her up for classes. While it may seem like the last thing you want to do is put your child in yet another class where he or she won't pay attention, matching the right class to your child's interest can make a world of difference. He'll want to pay attention, which will help him teach himself how to stay focused.
4. Get into sports. Exercise is the best remedy for all that pent-up energy. Solitary sports like swimming, skiing and track are even better because participants are constantly in motion without the added pressure of letting down the team.
5. Praise more than you criticize. We all work better and want to try harder when the result is positive. Children want, and need, praise. That may seem easier to do when they're adorable and tiny, but it doesn't lose its value when those tiny tots start turning into real people. Tell them when they've done something right and they'll want to do it again.
6. Turn off the TV -- and video games too. Both TV and video games cater to short attention spans. Limiting a child's time with each will ease your battle.
But here's the challenge.
These all seem like good, easily-implemented ideas, but committing to them on a regular basis is difficult. Schedules are hectic and, at this point, you're as easily frustrated as your child.
The good news is that there is one solution that incorporates all the above described methods.
This one solution is Martial arts - here's why?Martial arts strengthen minds and muscles
Among the many benefits of a martial art is the way it strengthens the mind. There is a certain discipline that develops quickly among students, a shift in their ability to pay attention.
Martial arts provides brain exercise
From the very first day in class, students are challenged to think as much as they act. Learning new forms and movements takes concentration. One reason why martial arts is so effective is that it reinforces working memory. Anthony Meyer, MD, medical director of Aurora Psychiatric Hospital in Milwaukee, Wis., and a specialist in attention deficit and child/adolescent issues, compares working memory to that of an executive secretary, taking in all the sensory information, sorting through it and compiling a list of priorities for the "CEO," or frontal lobe of the brain. If the executive secretary isn't working properly, that list of priorities isn't correct or in some cases not delivered.
To enhance working memory, Dr. Meyer says, it's important to use repetition and multi-sensory stimulation -- meaning one sees, then hears and then attempts the task at hand. Martial arts fits that bill. Students are taught by example, explanation and repetition.
Martial arts provides a challenge
Martial arts teaches life skills like discipline, respect and concentration. A student can't move up in rank without showing those characteristics at an age-appropriate level. And as students advance, their level of precision and even the intricacy of their movements become more challenging.
Together these factors help children retrain their brains so that, whether in class or in the real world, they are able to act and react in a responsible manner. "It's exercising their ability to focus," Dr. Harrison says. "They tune out other things around them when they're in martial arts class, and that is transferable at school and at home because they've learned how not to be distracted so easily."
Martial arts provides a great class environment
Martial arts keep kids engaged physically and mentally. They have fun while in class, and take pride in knowing that they are learning something most kids don't know how to do.
Dr. Meyer explains that martial arts "enhance motivation, which is like turbo power that gives you interest to attend to something. The master is able to give one-on-one instruction or work in small groups, which helps motivate. It uses the whole body, a number of sensory modalities, and has to do with focus, centering and getting along with friends and family, as well."
Martial arts provides vigorous exercise
Like swimming, skiing and track, martial arts is a solitary sport. Martial art classes remove the pressure to do well in front of the other kids or to score a winning play. Students concentrate on their own movements rather than what everyone else is doing. They never have to worry about disappointing their team mates. Instruction is focused on the individual and his or her journey toward attaining the next belt rank. And every class is wall-to-wall movement. There's nothing like an hours worth of running, jumping and blocking to get rid of any pent-up energy.
Martial arts instructors are trained to praise more than criticize
In a sport like the martial arts, the emphasis is on learning the basic steps and techniques. Good martial art instructors use a "praise, correct, praise" approach in which the student is praised for what he or she did right, instructed on how to improve what was not quite right, and then praised for making the correction. Children also get rewards like stickers, trophies and belts.
"Martial arts require a certain amount of focus to participate. The process of them learning their forms and coordinating the movement of their hands and feet is helpful, and the kids get tangible rewards like stickers, trophies and their next belt," says Dr. Harrison.
Martial arts pulls kids away from the TV
When kids are in class, they're not in front of the television. They're moving, active and engaged.
"I have heard parents say that they have seen a change," says Dr. Harrison. "They see a difference in their children's behavior, and the teachers tell them that their children pay better attention in class."
This report was written by Maureen Waslicki, an independent writer (www.workingwriters.org/waslicki) and regular contributor to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Metroparent Magazine (www.milwaukeemoms.com).
She and her family have been active martial arts students since 2005.
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