Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Silat Cekak- A Truly Malay Martial Arts.

Silat Cekak was initiated by the late Ustaz Hanafi Haji Ahmad. It is the silat that was practiced and conveyed by Ustaz Hanafi be it in terms of pedagogy, concept, philosophy, principle, integrity, spirituality and example.

According to oral history, Silat Cekak originates from Kedah and was used by its governor-generals (panglima) to defend the land against foreign incursions during the reign of Sultan Ahmad Tajuddin (1854-1879). A trustworthy source mentions that one of these generals, Panglima Ismail successfully defeated a general of Batak descent by the name of Tuah (not the legendary Hang Tuah). Panglima Ismail then taught Silat Cekak to Panglima Tok Rashid, who hailed from Sungai Daun in Kedah. However, to flee an outbreak of cholera, the general had to relocate his family to Kerian of the state of Perak. In Perak, Panglima Tok Rashid entrusted Silat Cekak to his student from Batu Kurau, Yahya Said to teach this silat to a worthy Kedah native when the proper time came.

Panglima Tok Rashid instructed him: “If any of my progeny from Kedah wish to learn, you are to return it to them” In 1965, as per the late Panglima Tok Rashid’s trust, Yahya Said conveyed and entrusted this silat to Ustaz Hanafi.

After 40 years of being hidden away from the public eye, Silat Cekak was reclaimed by Ustaz Hanafi as his Kedah birthright from Yahya Said (who was the trustee). Before then, no one had successfully completed their education in Silat Cekak. It was only when Ustaz Hanafi taught Silat Cekak publicly that students managed to complete their studies in the syllabus. This was done under the auspices of the Perkumpulan Sari Budaya Sri Kedah (The Glorious Kedah Cultural Essence Group).

Since its rebirth at the hands of Ustaz Hanafi, a new era had dawned for Silat Cekak. He introduced a new spirit and a new approach, all the while succeeding in raising the status of Silat Cekak as a movement that is respected by friend and foe; one that is continuously able to contribute positively to society.

Silat Cekak has succeeded in attracting thousands of members from all walks of life including the intellectual and professional realms.

Silat Cekak is a truly Malay art of self-defence and is not a silat for play or sport (Silat Olahraga). Silat Cekak has set methods with strike forms and complete locking techniques. The movement and system of this silat is based on the natural movements of the human being grounded in healthy thought, a calm soul and is clearly compatible with the principles of Islam.

Its studies place emphasis on self-defence to inculcate courage, not violence or violation. Only when absolutely necessary and for the sake of safety does Silat Cekak Hanafi attack first. Silat Cekak Hanafi awaits attacks in a straight-backed high stance (the stance used in salat or solat) and does not employ evasions to the left of right; but moves forward in a single intercepting movement.

In reality, Silat Cekak is a silat based on the study of movement (Silat Gerak). Most surprising and curious of all is, when Silat Cekak attacks, the opponent would find it difficult to evade, and if he were to parry the attack would lead to a devastating counterattack. This is due to the practitioner’s ability to attack and trap in one move. (Cekak menyerang, Cekak menangkap).

Practitioners are taught to defend against empty handed and weapons attacks with only their bare hands. The objective of Silat Cekak is to counter a weapons attack to disarm an opponent.

Silat Cekak is taught to completion in a course package. Normally, the course package may be completed within 6 months. This duration may also be adapted to coincide with the semester schedule of public schools or higher learning institutions.

After completion, the practitioners may increase their level of skill personally or by attending skill classes organized from time to time. As a silat based on fine movements, it does not need to employ a great deal of strength or force to defeat an opponent. The method of study is systematic, is not detrimental to the practitioner and allows the practitioners the ability to defend oneself even in quarters as narrow as a plank.

Not unlike other silat, Silat Cekak also has its own official weapon which is the Lading; famous in the state of Kedah Darul Aman. This weapon is used by practitioners of Silat Cekak to defend against all manner of empty handed or weapon attacks. However, the Lading is only presented to those practitioners who have reached a certain level and whose loyalty to the association has been proven. Most of these recipients are those who have been actively involved in the movement for more than ten years. The size and shape of the Lading depends on the user since each practitioner has a different proportion and body measurement.

Now, the Silat Cekak is operating under the name of Persatuan Seni Silat Cekak Ckeka Malaysia and has 11 state chapters and organizes silat classes in most universities and higher learning institutions in Malaysia.

There are few versions of Silat Cekak in Malaysia which is Silat Cekak Malaysia, Silat Cekak Ustaz Hanafi and Silat Pusaka Cekak Hanafi.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright© Arts As Defence