The idea came about when I (Faheem Jackson) was approached by Moegammad Noordien on behalf of Imam Ebrahiem Tofa to start silat training at the masjid every saturday. I then offered the Imam 2 options; the first bieng weekly classes, and the second option was an intensive 40hours of silat aimed at youth over the holidays to give them a kickstart in martial arts education. Needless to say, option 2 was preferred.
Initially we had 58 applicants registered for the course, and 48 of them which actually followed the course. Eventhough only 30-40 regularly attended, the turnout was successful. The same course was also offered to the Colorado Park Masjid which gave us an extra 10 participants.
Seni Silat Pukulan Melaka was the silat style taught and participants learned the basis of self-defense tactics of the first level (bengkong kuning). Stretching, warm-ups, and martial arts drills were part of their daily routine. Although the training seemed very tough for some, only 40% of the actual course content was completed. This was mainly due to the fact that we worked with a vast age group ranging from 6yrs - 37yrs. Kids are naturally excited when they are taught something new and many of them were too eager to try out the techniques before instruction was given. Alot of time was taken to regulate and control the excitement.
Students felt an improvement in self-esteem and confidence which was evident from the improvement in application of techniques. Kicking, punching and blocking drills were also practiced with a partner. Learning to tolerate and work with each other during exercises helped students overcome self-esteem issues and taught them respect for their peers. The fear for aggression is decreased when martial arts is practiced. Correct breathing methods also helped maintain mental focus.
Not only were students taught martial arts, but mainly the correct co-ordination between mind, body and spirit through daily Tazkirah (islamic advice) which is important in silat training. Honour, dignity, respect, discipline and focus are words which will not be forgotten by participants of this course.
To officially conclude the 40hours course, participants will be honoured for their effort and sacrifice of their holiday time. A certificate ceremony will be held on Saturday 14th January 2012 at the Colorado Park Masjid between 5pm and 6:30pm Insha-Allah.
We let the students speak for themselves when we asked them to relate their experience in a short paragraph. Here are some of their comments.
"Assalamu Alaikum. My name is Abdun-Nur Jacobs and 10 years old. I was taught self defense, self discipline. I loved all the techniques that was taught to me. I would love to go to Malaysia to study silat further, Inshallah. Tramakasi, Abang Fahiem."
"Yes. I like the silat. I like the kicks and boxing and kudah. I will not forget is silat."From: Qudsiyyah May, 10 years old. Grade 5.
Ma'rouf Kriel: "To Aadang: The first time i came here I did not know what to expect. I never heard of the word silat. I whould to know more about the art. Yes, i would like to continue practicing silat.
"It was insperational, it helped boost my confidence and self esteem. During this course we met new friends and made peace with others. It taught me respect and honour to our fellow maits and others. We believe the class should continue becuase it keeps us busy, fit, and active during the holidayz"
From: Zaheer Boltman & M. Saliegh Kader - The Warrior Gang! ;)
"I enjoyed silat very much because it is not only a self defence but also a life skill. A life skill that teach you to respect other human beings and not to think you are better than the next human being. You become humble.
The Fatigah is one aspect I will forever practice. When I'm about to patrol at night in my community, I recite the Fatigah & I can feel the presence of Allah protecting me & the community.
Yes, I would like to continue with silat and live a life of fulfilling the 5 promises of silat."
Abduraghiem Latief. Wednesday 4 January 2012/ 9 Saffar 1433.