Novia D. Rulistia, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | People | Thu, September 05 2013
Having lived in the US most of his life, Jakarta-born Wona Sumantri embraced Indonesian culture through pencak silat, a traditional form of martial arts.
And now, the pencak silat instructor wants to teach more people in the US about it as a gateway to learning about Indonesia.
“I have been living in the US since I was five and I didn’t know much about the country I was born in. But through pencak silat, I now feel like I’ve gotten to know Indonesia better,” he said during the recent Congress Indonesian Diaspora in Jakarta.
His interest in pencak silat was sparked when he saw his father practicing Cimande-style silat, a style which is believed to have originated in West Java, at home every morning.
But Cimande-style bored young Wona, because as a kid, he yearned to take part in activities that involved dynamic movements.
“And then I found out that the Indonesian Embassy in Washington offered a pencak silat class. I enrolled in the course and I also signed-up at Al-Azhar pencak silat school in Maryland, Washington, which is currently still active,” Wona said.
The 37-year-old said that it was pencak silat’s movements that made it more special to him than other forms of martial arts.
“It’s unique; the stance where we sit down or stand up still allows us to counter attack opponents. And it’s very receptive, every movement must have its own purpose,” Wona said.
After eight years in the US, he made a trip back to Indonesia at 13-years-old. He used his time in Indonesia to learn more about pencak silat. He took courses at Al-Azhar in Indonesia and met his father’s martial art teacher, Rifai Sahid, who became Wona’s private instructor, teaching him about different forms of pencak silat and its history. The more he learns about pencak silat, the deeper he falls in love with it.
“I should also say that different variations of pencak silat, like silat harimau (tiger-style), makes me interested in it even more,” Wona said.
It was not difficult for Wona to pass a series of tests that were required to progress to higher levels. At just 16-years-old, Wona successfully reached the instructor level and began teaching pencak silat two years later at the Indonesian Embassy. However, becoming an instructor was just the beginning of his long journey in mastering different aspects of the traditional form of martial arts.
“We can’t stop learning even if we become an instructor—that’s actually just the start. I knew that I was nothing, so I had to keep learning,” Wona said.
Wona is currently the head instructor at Al-Azhar pencak silat school, at the Indonesian Embassy and is an adjunct pencak silat professor at American University in Washington DC.
He currently has 100 students at Al-Azhar, mostly Americans who actively take part in many cultural events in the US.
“I teach my students, both at Al-Azhar and at the university, not only about pencak silat and its history, but also about Indonesia itself. I want them to know about Indonesia, too,” Wona said.
He said that one of his students at the university was so interested in Indonesia after taking his course that she earned a scholarship from the Indonesian government to learn about Indonesian culture for three months in Indonesia.
“Many Americans become interested in Indonesia after learning a little bit about the country. Now I realize that pencak silat is also a tool to promote Indonesia’s diverse cultures and tourism,” Wona said.
After teaching at Al-Azhar and the embassy for years, Wona finally decided to open up his own pencak silat school in 2010, naming it Silat Martial Arts Academy in Maryland.
He said that he decided to make it commercial because he wanted to give people an alternative place to study pencak silat that had more flexible hours and offered a variety of courses, including private lessons, bladed weapons training and defense and martial arts for kids. However, it is not easy living in the US relying solely on work as an instructor. In between teaching his pencak silat courses, Wona also works as an IT consultant.
“I’ve always loved IT, and the money is good. To be realistic, it would be hard to get by just as a pencak silat instructor,” the holder of a Master’s Degree in IT from Maryland University said. Nevertheless, Wona’s passion for pencak silat should never be questioned. He is currently working on creating a non-profit association that unites all pencak silat groups in the US.
“There are a lot of pencak silat groups in the US, but we don’t work together. If we have an association, we can tell people that it’s part of something bigger, that it does not only have one style,” he said.
When that goal has been materialized, Wona said was already setting is mind on another target: returning home and seeing the beauty of the archipelago.
“I don’t have the opportunity to explore my own country because I’ve been away since I was small. So when I make my return, I want to travel across Sumatra, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua. Soon, hopefully,” said Wona.
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
Abdul Kadir Ibrahim, former singaporean silat champ passes away. To Allah we Belong, and unto Him will we return!
SINGAPORE - The Singapore sports community lost a former world champion on Friday night with the sudden death of retired silat exponent Abdul Kadir Ibrahim.
It is understood that the 40-year-old had collapsed after complaining of chest pains. He was running errands with his wife at the time, after going for a jog.
He was buried on Saturday morning and leaves behind six children, the youngest was born just under a month ago.
Kadir won the Match Male Class 'E' title at the 5th World Championships in Kuala Lumpur in 1997. Two years later, he won the gold medal in the same class at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Brunei.
Singapore Silat Federation (SSF) chief executive officer Sheik Alauddin told TODAY that he is still reeling from the news about his friend who worked as a national coach for a few years after retiring from the sport.
in picture: Kadir, who won the Match Male Class 'E' title at the 5th World Championships in Kuala Lumpur in 1997, died on
Friday night, aged 40.
"I received a call from a friend yesterday, and I was in disbelief when he told me the news," the 46-year-old former three-time world champion said, with a heavy sigh.
"And then, one by one, I kept getting calls and messages from friends with the same news. It is a very sad day for the Singapore silat family.
"This just shows that death can strike anyone at any time. Somehow, it seems that it doesn't matter how fit or healthy you are."
Former national fencer Nicholas Fang remembers Kadir as "a great sportsman" as well as "a really nice guy." They had travelled to a few editions of the SEA Games together as part of the Singapore contingent during the late 1990s.
"He was a very fierce competitor but off the mat, he was very warm, genuine and always smiling," said Fang who is now the president of Singapore Fencing and a Nominated Member of Parliament.
Sheik said he will meet up with the SSF Council to discuss what forms of support the national sports association can provide for Kadir's family.
Inosanto, the late Herman Suwanda & Cikgu Sulaiman after training Danny in his living room in Marina Del Ray for his weekly private Gayong lesson back in 1991.
Sulaiman Sharif is the expert to whom the world's leading martial arts teachers turn when they want guidance. A teacher's instructor, Cikgu Sulaiman is Harimau Pelangi Cula Sakti--Highest ranking Black belt--and holds the rank of Black Warrior in the Malay Warrior Art of Silat Seni Gayong. Personally selected by Silat Gayong's founder, the late Dato' Meor Abdul Rahman, to propagate the system around the world, Cikgu Sulaiman spent seven years living and teaching martial arts instructors in Europe and a further thirteen years in the U.S. where he founded Gayong Amerika USA. After returning to Malaysia, he established Gayong International USA, which he continues to lead today. His 45 years of experience in the martial arts have allowed him to teach Silat Seni Gayong to martial artists from dozens of disciplines including krav maga, kung fu, tae kwon do and karate. His students are the masters of their martial arts forms who pass Cikgu Sulaiman's teachings to their own students.
Cikgu Sulaiman wrote the book titles 50 Martial Ats Myths, of which the first one is available for reading on the internet. The book can be purchased online at amazon.
Myth #1 - The Shaolin Monastery is the origin of all martial arts
Back in the days of the Wild West, there was only one fist-fighter the bad guys really feared. Kwai Chang Caine was a hard-punching half-American, half-Chinese orphan with a weakness for spiritualism and hands that were more dangerous than a gunslinger’s holster. But Caine, a character played by David Carradine in the 1970’s television series Kung Fu, wasn’t just some bruiser who knew how to defend himself. He had grown up in the Shaolin monastery where he was trained by a Shaolin kung fu master — the ultimate source of all martial knowledge There was a reason the show’s producers chose Shaolin as the place where Caine was trained. For those who aren’t familiar with the full range and variety of martial arts, it can appear that fighting skills have one central origin: a temple in China’s Henan province where Buddhist monks copied the actions of birds and animals to produce a unique form of fighting from which all others developed. Some methods have enhanced the Shaolin style; others might have misinterpreted it, producing weaker versions that are no closer the real thing than the last Chinese whisper is to the original message. But all forms of hand-to-hand fighting, it appears, owe their origins to Shaolin.
The truth though is very different. While the history and development of martial arts has certainly been heavily influenced by the fighting monks of the Shaolin temple — at least in the way martial arts are shown in movies, if not in their actual fighting forms — Shaolin is just one of many places where martial arts have been practiced.
And it certainly wasn’t the first.
Even in China, martial arts have been around long before the foundation of the Shaolin temple in the fifth century. The Spring and Autumn Annals, a historical document dating from the eighth to the fifth centuries BC, mention “hard” and “soft” forms of martial arts. Other documents dating to the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) refer to differences between sports wrestling and unarmed combat, for which manuals were available even then.
Nor was martial arts training restricted to China even at this time. Pankration, a sport practiced at the Greek Olympics in 648 BC, combined wrestling and boxing to produce a complete system that included kicks, locks, throws and even chokes. A tournament might have looked a little like a modern mixed martial arts meet — except that pankration fighters fought naked, something that mixed martial artists tend to avoid.
In India too, the Akananuru and Purananuru, two poetry collections dating from around the first century AD and the second century BC describe a martial arts system using spears, swords, shields, bows and silambam, a kind of staff.
And the techniques used and taught by Roman gladiators and legionnaires might be considered a form of martial arts training too, even if they weren’t spread widely, had little influence and are no longer practiced today.
In truth then, while Shaolin martial arts are certainly important, they’re not the origin of training in armed and unarmed combat. Martial arts began in different places and at different times, in response to certain conditions — such as the attitude of local religions or the violence of the surrounding environment. Each form developed in its own way, influenced by local changes, by talented teachers who discovered ways to improve the technique or by meeting with other forms that inspired new moves altogether.
So how then did one temple in one country come to be seen as the model for all martial arts and the source of knowledge for hand-to-hand combat?
Much of the reason lies in Shaolin’s history . The temple was founded on the slopes of Mount Song, one of the five holy peaks to which Chinese royals were supposed to pay homage. Located just 35 kilometers from Luoyang, an imperial capital, it was also easy to reach and was therefore given plenty of gifts from emperors keen to show their spiritual side.
The temple’s links to royalty didn’t stop with a fortunate location though. The first evidence that the monks took part in combat dates to the early seventh century, when they joined a campaign against bandits. In 621 Shaolin monks helped Li Shimin seize the imperial throne. As a reward, one of the monks was appointed General-in-Chief of the imperial army.
However, it’s not until a thousand years later — during a time of banditry, violence and a weak imperial military — that we first see evidence that Shaolin monks actually engaged in a unique form of combat training. Texts dating to the seventeenth century describe Shaolin monks practicing spear-fighting, unarmed combat, and most importantly, fighting with a staff. That last technique might have been influenced by the fighting technique used by the Monkey King in Journey to the West, a hugely popular book that predates by two centuries the first known use of Shaolin skills.
It was also around this time that we begin to see the spread of the Shaolin myths. When the monks were called on to support the military in its campaigns against pirates, Friar Tianyuan, a Shaolin monk, was placed in charge of the monastic troops. Monks from Hangzhou challenged his command by picking eight champions to face him in combat.. Tianyuan spotted them climbing towards his terrace and beat them off. When they attacked again with swords, Tianyuan used a door-bar to defeat and disarm them single-handedly, winning their respect and their obedience.
And that perhaps is the greatest evidence that Shaolin is not the source of all martial arts. The temple specialized not in animal forms but in fighting with a staff, a method rarely used today outside the ritualized sport of kendo. It is however a rich source of martial arts stories.
Info taken from http://www.fighttimes.com and Cikgu Sulaimans page http://gayonginternational.blogspot.com/
YAHYA Bakhit is a young man from Uganda who has become enamoured by the beauty of Silat Garuda.The Albukhary International University (AiU) foundation student was introduced to the Malay martial art when his roommate signed up for Silat Garuda training last December.
"I followed my roommate to one of his training sessions.
"Next thing I knew, I was a member of the Kedah-based Malay martial art troupe," he said.
What struck the 21-year-old was the combination of style and power in the moves of Silat Garuda.
"When I first saw it, I thought to myself that I must sign up to learn silat, and I am glad I did.
"It is a fun and healthy way to spend my free time," said Yahya.
He is one of 25 foreign students to join AiU's Pencak Silat Club. The foreign students are from Fiji, Somalia, Kosova and Sri Lanka, among other countries.
Training is from 9pm to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays at the club.
As a kickboxer, Yahya has little trouble picking up the moves and sticking to the strict training regime for Silat Garuda exponents.
In fact, he won the silver medal in the Silat Combat Festival in Penang last December -- just a few weeks into training.
He lost in the tough battle against a silat exponent from Universiti Pertahanan Malaysia in the finals.
"Silat Garuda has been very good for me. I hope to introduce it in my country after I have completed my studies here," he said.
Yahya's coursemate, Mohammad Yazid Razali, 21, who is from Acheh, Indonesia, said it was patriotism that drove him to sign up for silat training.
"Indonesia's national coat of arms is the 'Garuda Pancasila'.
"By learning Silat Garuda, I feel that I am upholding the pride of my country," he said.
Yazid said there was a martial art with the same name in Indonesia.
"I wanted to know if there were similarities between the two.
"On top of that, I have also made many friends among my silat partners," he said.
Yazid has participated in four silat tournaments, and won a bronze medal in one.
Coach Norhayatudin Othman, 45, described his foreign trainees as very hardworking.
Silat Garuda, founded by Datuk Abdul Raof Hussain in Kampung Pegawai, here, in 1962, is a combination of Silat Minangkabau, Silat Kuntau Jawa and Silat Sadang -- all of Indonesian origin -- as well as tomoi, the Malaysian form of the Thai martial art.
It has about 30,000 members in Kedah, Penang, Pahang, Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Terengganu.
Article from website:
Once known as a hamlet of warriors in colonial times, Jampang village is now striving to pass on that legacy to its younger generation.
The sun shone brightly one Sunday in the village in Parung, Bogor. Dozens of children wearing black-and-white uniforms swarmed onto a field to learn and to practice the traditional Indonesian martial art known as pencak silat. Teachers soon led the pack and showed the students a few moves, followed by the students’ echoing shouts under the scorching sun.
The practice sessions are part of weekly activities in Kampoeng Silat Jampang, a training center of traditional martial arts in Indonesia.
The country, with its diverse cultures and ethnic groups, is home to what has been estimated to be 150 variations in style. Different provinces even have their own self defense traditions. The Minang
kabau in West Sumatra have silek harimau, the Sundanese have their cimande style and Bali has bakti negara. Some of those fighting methods have even gained reputations on the global stage, with their popularity reaching Australia, the US, Europe and Japan.
The self-defense technique got another boost from the success of the action movie The Raid, which features Indonesian actors performing pencak silat.
But despite the global fame, it is still a challenge to maintain the pencak silat tradition in the midst of modern society.
This has occurred in Jampang, where the heirs of the Betawi folk hero of the same name are believed to reside and are struggling to preserve the art.
According to local legend, Jampang was a warrior from Sukabumi, West Java. He was a good fighter and used his skills in pencak silat to battle against Dutch colonialism. On his way to Batavia (now Jakarta) to confront the enemy, the man was believed to have sojourned in what is now called Jampang, where he taught local people fighting skills.
A few hundred years later, Jampang’s legacy is now under threat, according to Saptadji, 47, who was one of the teachers at Sunday’s training session and the head of Kampoeng Silat Jampang. He said that youth in the area these days seem to have lost interest in pencak silat.
“They prefer to watch television or play video games,” said the man.
The current situation is much in contrast to the past, Saptadji explained. In the old days, pencak silat was more than a self-defense technique but a way of life, as almost all the people in the village, both young and old, knew how to fight.
This strong cultural influence can still be traced through family histories, with almost all locals interviewed for this article explaining that their ancestors — either fathers, uncles or grandfathers — were pencak silat fighters.
Saptadji himself is the nephew of Sukarna, who is believed to be a sixth generation descendant of Jampang.
In attempts to pass on the legacy of his predecessors, Saptadji with the support of private foundation Dompet Dhuafa, initiated Kampoeng Silat Jampang in 2009 to revive the fighting tradition in his village.
One of the programs is free pencak silat training for everyone.
Saptadji said more than 1,000 people, mostly under 18 years of age, had joined.
“Most of them are residents of Jampang,” Madroi explained.
In order to expand, fighting lessons are not only given on Sunday at Kampoeng Silat Jampang’s headquarters at Rumah Sehat Terpadu Hospital for the poor founded by Dompet Dhuafa in Parung. Trainings are also offered at schools in the form of extracurricular activities.
Dompet Dhuafa representative Moh. Noor Awaluddin said the program had so far entered 17 schools in Jampang subdistrict.
Apart from regular exercises, Kampoeng Silat Jampang also holds an annual festival. The latest Kampoeng Silat Jampang festival was held at the beginning of November, which coincided with the program’s fourth anniversary.
The event is a major gathering for traditional Indonesian martial arts groups. Saptadji said different self defense clubs attended the last festival to show off their unique skills and styles.
In the long run, Awaluddin hopes that Kampoeng Silat Jampang will become a new center for the development of the ancient self defense method in the country, standing side by side with the existing martial arts hub at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, or perhaps replacing it.
“I hope in the future Kampoeng Silat Jampang will become the destination for people interested in finding out about traditional Indonesian martial arts,” the man said.
Currently, Kampoeng Silat Jampang is the training ground for four different martial arts groups (Satria Muda Indonesia, Pancer Bumi Cikalong, Perisai Diri and Beksi Traditional Haji Hisbullah) and targeting two more (Tapak Suci and Merpati Putih), he said.
Joining Sunday’s training session was the Satria Muda Indonesia group under the leadership of Saptadji, and Perisai Diri, believed to be the most popular Indonesian fighting group, with memberships extending to
Europe, Japan and the US.
One of the Perisai Diri members is 16-year-old Bella Oktaviani. The senior in high school may be the perfect example of a Jampang village youth who helps to preserve pencak silat. The long-haired girl said she started with Perisai Diri one-and-a-half years ago through an extra curricular activity at her school.
“I wanted to learn about self-protection and through this program I have so many new friends,” said the girl who participated in the Pencak Silat World Championship in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, this year.
The program’s good influence on the young seems to have encouraged many parents to enroll their children in the Kampoeng Silat Kampang training program, including 35-year-old Lilis Kartika, who enlisted her 7-year-old, Muhamad Arravi, in Satria Muda.
“The main thing is so we don’t lose what we had,” said the woman, who is a native of Jampang.
The mother of two explained that her father and grandfather were pencak silat masters in the village and she said she was eager to see her son follow in the steps of his predecessors.
However, it turns out the program has strayed from its original mission of preserving the tradition. But in a good way.
Self defense skills, international recognition and soon financial benefits are on the list of good things coming from the efforts to save pencak silat in Jampang.
During an interview with The Jakarta Post, Awaluddin revealed Dompet Dhuafa’s plan to develop a local home industry to produce martial arts weapons and accessories.
“We want to support locals in the production of daggers or silat costumes,” he said.
This kind of support, Awaluddin added, is expected to improve people’s living standards in the region and give residents strong reasons to continue preserving the tradition.
And good things lead to other good things. That is the lesson from Kampoeng Silat Jampang with its effort to preserve the pencak silat tradition, which in the end brings wider benefits to the whole village.
— Photos By Jp/Ika Krismantari
article taken from thejakartapost.com
A brief biography of O'ong Maryono
O'ong was born on July 28, 1953 in Bondowoso, East Java, Indonesia. Actually, his real name is Sumaryono, but since childhood his friends gave him the name of 'O'ong Maryono' and he has maintained it until today.
Since he was 9 years old. O'ong learned pencak silat Madura and Bawean and practiced Kuntao. When pencak silat was introduced as a competitive sport in 1973, O'ong Maryono started his career as "fighter" winning the regional championships in the regency of Bondowoso. In the same year he moved to Jakarta where he also practiced karate, judo,aikido, ju jitsu and tae kwon do, besides training pencak silat in the school of the Keluarga Pencak Silat Nusantara with Master Mohamad Hadimulyo.
From 1979 until 1987 he won national and international competitions and was never defeated. Among his international achievements, he became twice world champion pencak silat in the free class in 1982 and 1984. He also won the first prize in the same category in the South East Asia Games XIV held in 1987 in Jakarta.
In between 1982 and 1985 O'ong also dominated national Taek Won Do competitions as champion in the heavy weight class. After he concluded his carrier as athlete because of age limits, O'ong worked as instructor in Brunei Darussalam, Holland, the Philippines, and more recently in Thailand.
O'ong also began a profession as freelance writer and researcher on martial arts. In 1998 he published a book entitled "Pencak Silat Merentang Waktu" (literally "Pencak Silat Stretched Across Time) on the socio-cultural aspects of pencak silat and its historical development which has received wide public recognition.
Presently O'ong and his wife live in Bangkok. He still teaches around the world.
Taken from Master O'ongs website http://www.kpsnusantara.com please visit for more exciting info on silat!
The launch of Assegais, Drums & Dragoons: A Military and Social History of the Cape by Willem Steenkamp went off, quite literally, with a bang when a nine-pounder muzzle-loaded cannon was fired by Mogomat Hartley, dressed in a unique straw hat, the uniform of the loyal Javanese Artillery Corps who fought at the Battle of Blaauwberg.
Steenkamp reflected briefly on the nature of the history of the Cape. “I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s totally different from what we generally think,” he said. This book, which is part military history and part social history, aims to answer the questions that were raised for him in his capacity as the organiser of the bicentenary celebrations of the Battle of Blaauwberg.
Steenkamp recalled this watershed battle on 8 January 1806, which ushered in the Second British Occupation of the Cape: “Something very strange happened there. The best trained Batavian soldiers cut and ran, almost at the first shot.” He noted that the last ones on the battlefield were a small group of Dutch gunners, a small contingent of French, and three Cape regiments, the Hottentot Light Infantry, the Light Dragoons of Swellendam and the Javanese Artillery Corp.
“Why did these three units fight so hard against the British? What did they have in common? They all spoke what was not yet called Afrikaans!” He said that writing this book had been a journey of discovery, beyond the writing of his thesis. “I discovered many new things about the Cape, including details of my ancestors!”
Generous sponsorship for the book’s launch, received from Uwe Koetter, Cynergy Liqueur and Longridge Wines, was gratefully acknowledged by Jonathan Ball’s Ingeborg Pelser. Guests mingled afterwards in the remarkable Chavonnes Battery Museum, getting their books signed by the author, who had a personal note for each one.
In defence of the Cape
The Cape Contingent at Blaauwberg was a small one, only 563 men out of a total of just under 2 000 in the Batavian forces, and consisted of the following units:
54 gunners of the 'Javanese Artillery Corps', assisted by l04 auxiliaries such as wagon-drivers. These Malay artillerymen were volunteer citizen-soldiers like the Swellendammers, members of a 'corps of free Javanese' from the 'Mardykers', the substantial community of freed slaves of Asian origin, which by that time was playing an increasingly important role in the social and economic life of the Cape. The corps was raised in 1804 to help in manning the Castle's guns, but served as foot artillery at Blaauwberg, firing traditional Indonesian light cannon known as 'lantakan', the only time these weapons are ever known to have been used in Africa. Less is known about their 104 auxiliaries, but it is known that they represented a cross-section of Cape Town's very cosmopolitan proletariat; some of them were almost certainly blacks who had come to the Cape from Mozambique and elsewhere.
Read about the battle in Assegais, Drums & Dragoons: A Military and Social History of the Cape by Willem Steenkamp.
Sourced from http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol134ws.html and http://jonathanball.bookslive.co.za/blog/2012/04/24/willem-steenkamps-assegais-drums-dragoons-launched-with-a-bang-at-the-chavonnes-battery-museum/
OUT of the many Malay warriors of Pahang who stood up against the British in the late 1880’s, only one lived to witness with his very own eyes the nation’s independence. He was Mat Kilau, the son of local chieftain Imam Perang Rasu (aka Tok Gajah), and one of the Malay warriors who rebelled between the 1880s and 1890s when the colonial masters extended their rule to Pahang.
Gallant walk: Mohamed bin Ibrahim being taken to the town hall to be declared the true Mat Kilau, the fighter against British rule.Mat Kilau even had the opportunity to shout the magical word “Merdeka” on August 31, 1957, something that his contemporaries Datuk Bahaman, Haji Abdul Rahman Limbong and Tok Janggut or the earlier ones like Datuk Maharaja Lela and Dol Said did not live to do. But on that historic day, none of the hundreds who turned up at the state mosque field in Kuantan realised that the high-spirited but frail-looking centenarian standing among them was Mat Kilau, the man who once tormented the British. Mat Kilau’s obscurity is equally legendary. The feared warrior went into oblivion for more than half a century as he was on the run after the British put a price on his head and branded him a traitor to the Sultan. At the initial stages, Mat Kilau, Datuk Bahaman, Mat Kelubi, Awang Nong, Teh Ibrahim, Haji Mat Wahid and Mat Lela staged a formidable resistance that unnerved the British. Mat Kilau and Datuk Bahaman’s names are etched in the nation’s annals as those responsible for the Lubuk Terua war where they attacked a police post set up by the British and fatally wounded two British policemen. They even conquered Temerloh. However, with more reinforcement and a clever ploy of accusing the group of betraying the Sultan, the British succeeded in stopping more locals from joining the group and isolated it from the community. This eroded the group’s strength that at one time reached 600 and prompted them to flee.
Demise: Mat Kilau died at the age of 122 years on August 16, 1970. His body was buried in Pulau Tawar, Jerantut, Pahang.The British continued to hunt them. Records show that his father Tok Gajah who was also involved in the resistance took refuge in Hulu Terengganu and died there, while Datuk Bahaman and several of his followers surrendered to the Siamese rulers. What happened to Mat Kilau then is unclear till today but he definitely went through a lot of hardship especially when he had to move from place to place and take refuge under different names like Mat Dahan, Mat Dadu and Mat Siam. After being on the run for many years, he returned to Pahang and settled in Kampung Batu 5, Gambang, Kuantan, under the name of Mohamed bin Ibrahim @ Mat Siam. Mat Kilau’s real identity only came out into the open when he himself made a declaration after the Friday prayers at the Pulau Tawar mosque in Jerantut on Dec 26, 1969. After months of research and investigations, the Pahang state government finally confirmed that he was indeed Mat Kilau. Unfortunately 10 days after the confirmation, Mat Kilau died on Aug 16, 1970, at his home in Kampung Batu 5. He is said to have died at the age of 122 based on his estimated birth year of 1847. He was buried with full honours befitting a national hero at his birthplace, Kampung Masjid Pulau Tawar, Jerantut. His adopted son who later became his son-in-law as well, Abu Bakar Awang, 80, said that before he revealed his real identity he was very evasive each time when asked about his background. Mat Kilau probably feared that he was yet to be pardoned for the allegations that he had betrayed the Sultan. During the uprising, Pahang was under the reign of Sultan Ahmad Al-Muazam Shah. He waited almost 12 years after independence to reveal that he was Mat Kilau as he feared the Sultan hadn’t forgiven him,” said Abu Bakar. One of his daughters, Aminah, 80, when met at her home in Kampung Batu 5, confirmed that before Mat Kilau declared his actual identity, none of his children had the faintest idea that their father known as Mat Siam was actually a warrior dreaded by the English. Aminah is among four out of Mat Kilau’s five surviving children who have settled around Kuantan. The others are Sabariah, Abdul Rahman, Salamah and Razali, while the eldest, Zaleha, married to Abu Bakar, died in 1978. Continuing the story, Abu Bakar, despite his advanced age, recalled vividly Mat Kilau’s excitement on the run-up to the proclamation of independence. “On that day (Aug 31, 1957), he woke up early and after the subuh (dawn) prayer he got ready to leave for Kuantan as he was aware that the proclamation was also being held in the states, other than at Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. “I was wondering why he was so eager to go to the state mosque field. Even though he was more than 100 years old then, I noticed he was so excited to celebrate the historic occasion,” he said. Abu Bakar who is the lead instructor of Seni Silat Tapak Setia Suci, the art of self-defence he inherited from his warrior father-in-law, remembered clearly how Mat Kilau had donned a white round-necked T-shirt with a grey overcoat and a kain sampin wrapped over the top part of his dark long pants. He wore shoes and his head was wrapped with a piece of cloth known as kain cindai. “Even I was intrigued where he got all those things and what the kain cindai signified,” he said. According to tradition, the kain cindai is a piece of silk cloth used by Malay warriors to wrap around their head before getting into the ring to confront their foes. Abu Bakar said the bizzare clothing and behaviour prompted Mat Kilau’s wife Ajrah Bakar to reproach him, asking, “what’s wrong with you?”. Upon getting ready, Abu Bakar and Mat Kilau left the house together and waited for the free bus ride made available by the authorities in conjunction with the celebration. Though the bus was packed with people, nothing could deter Mat Kilau who was obviously impatient to get to the field. “When we arrived at the field, we waited for the proclamation of independence. We managed to see the parade ... there were decorated cars too and he (Mat Kilau) was visibly exulted,” Abu Bakar recalled. When the shouts of Merdeka began, Mat Kilau too joined in chorus. While at the field Mat Kilau told Abu Bakar, “see, who would have thought I too will live to see this country’s independence”. This made Abu Bakar wonder what this man was actually trying to say. Abu Bakar, who lived with Mat Kilau since the age of 18, noted that his father-in-law felt contented with the opportunity to shout “Merdeka” at the field in Kuantan. He was too feeble to go the Merdeka Stadium in Kuala Lumpur to witness the proclamation of independence there. Abu Bakar said the declaration of Merdeka was probably the most defining moment for the warrior who tried to defend his race, religion and the sovereignty of his nation from occupation by foreign powers. Abu Bakar now hopes that some historical texts especially those describing him as someone who betrayed the Sultan be revised. “The English labelled Mat Kilau and his colleague Datuk Bahaman as rebels and traitors just to hoodwink the people so that they wouldn’t support their struggle,” said Abu Bakar, who is also the Kampung Batu 5 headman. Mat Kilau’s grandson, Alhamadi Abu Bakar, 40, said though his grandfather did not leave any wealth, he left a legacy and unparalleled gallantry to be inherited by the coming generations in defending the nation from various forms of colonisation. – Bernama
Cut Nyak Dhien or Tjoet Nja' Dhien (Lampadang, 1850 – November 6, 1908, Sumedang was the widow of Teuku Umar. She led guerrilla actions against the Dutch after the death of her husband. She fought against the Dutch for 25 years. She was awarded the title of National Hero of Indonesia on May 2, 1964.
Cut Nyak Dhien was born into a religious aristocratic family in Aceh Besar in VI Mukim district in 1848. Her father, Teuku Nanta Setia, was a Ulèë Balang in VI Mukim (Ulèë Balang was an aristocratic class in Aceh who led a district), while her mother also from an aristocrat family. When she was young she was renowned for her beauty. She was also educated in religion and household matters. Many men proposed to her until her parents arranged for her marriage to Teuku Cek Ibrahim Lamnga who was son of aristocrat family when she was twelve.
On 26 March 1873, Dutch declared war on Aceh which was the beginning of Aceh War. At the first war Aceh was led by Panglima Polem and Sultan Machmud Syah while Dutch army sent 3000 soldiers led by Johan Harmen Rudolf Köhler to take the Sultan's palace, much to his surprise The Sultan requested and possibly received military aid from Italy and the United Kingdom in Singapore. The Aceh army was rapidly modernized and enlarged from 10,000 to 100,000 soldiers. Dutch forces successfully pushed back, and Köhler died in action.
In November 1873, during the Second Aceh Expedition the Dutch successfully took over VI Mukin district and the Sultan's Palace in 1873 and 1874 respectively. In 1875, Cut Nyak Dhien with her baby other mothers and people were evacuated into a safer location while her husband Ibrahim Lamnga fought to reclaim the VI Mukim.
Ibrahim Lamnga died while fighting Gle Tarum on June 29, 1878. Hearing of this, Cut Nyak Dhien was enraged and swore to destroy the Dutch.
At the some point after Ibrahim Lamnga died, Teuku Umar, one of Aceh heros, proposed to her. At first she rejected him. But when Teuku Umar allowed her to fight, she at last accepted the proposal and married him in 1880. This greatly boosted the morale of Aceh armies in their fight against the Kaphe Ulanda (Dutch infidel). Teuku Umar and Cut Nyak Dhien had a duaghter together named Cut Gambang.
The war continued, and the Acehnese attacked the Dutch with guerilla warfare, particularly using traps and ambushes and declared Holy War against the Dutch. On September 30, 1893 Teuku Umar with 250 troops "surrendered" to the Dutch. Dutch army were happy to welcome him and gave him the title of Teuku Umar Johan Pahlawan and appointed him to be a commander. In fact, Teuku Umar secretly planned to betrayed Dutch. Even Cut Nyak Meutia came to Cut Nyak Dhien and insulted her for her husband's betrayal. However, two years later Teuku Umar set out to assault Aceh, and so he departed with his troops, heavy equipment, weapons, and ammunition from the Dutch. But he and his wife never returned to the Dutch. This is recorded in Dutch history as "Het verraad van Teukoe Oemar" (the treason of Teuku Umar).
Teuku Umar and Dhien kept resisting the Dutch with their new equipment until the Dutch sent the Maréchaussée (Marsose) to attack the Acehnese. This Dutch action is considered barbaric because the Dutch troops destroyed everything in their way and the Achenese people found them extremely difficult to resist until at last Van Der Heyden disbanded the Marsose. This event also led to the success of the latter Dutch general because so many people were killed.
The Dutch general, Joannes Benedictus van Heutsz took advantage of the condition and sent a spy to Aceh. Teuku Umar was killed during battle when the Dutch launched a surprise attack on him in Meulaboh. When Cut Gambang cried over his death, Cut Nyak Dhien slapped her and then she hugged her and said:
“ Sebagai perempuan Aceh, kita tidak boleh menumpahkan air mata pada orang yang sudah syahid ”
(translation: As Acehnese women, we may not shed tears for people who have become shahid)
After her husband died, Cut Hyak Dhien continued to resist the Dutch with her small army until its destruction in 1901 because the Dutch already adapted their tactics to the situation in Aceh. Furthermore Cut Nyak Dhien, getting older, suffered from myopic and rheumatics. The numbers of her troops was also keep decreasing and they suffered from lack of supplies. This made her troops feel sorry for her.
One of her troops named Pang Laot felt "sympathy" to her and told the Dutch about the location of her headquarter. The Dutch then assaulted Cut Nyak Dhien headquarters in Beutong Le Sageu. They caught in surprise and desperately fought back. Cut Nyak Dhien tried to take her rencong to fight but unfortunately the Dutch already caught her. While her daughter Cut Gambang successfully escaped and continued the resistance.
Old age and death
She then brought to Banda Aceh and her myopic and rheumatics slowly healed, but in the end she exiled into Sumedang, West Java because the Dutch afraid she would mobilize the resistance of Aceh people because she keep connected with them. She died on November 6, 1908 due to her old age. In May 2, 1964 she appointed to be national heroine by President Soekarno.
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