Thursday, May 27, 2004

Malaysia: A Martial Arts Centre

After my Law paper2 exam, I was quite depressed. I did some careless mistake in it.. but I guess I can't do anything with it anymore. I went back to my place, and try to calm my self. Spending my evening by writing an article on martial arts. Tonight, I have to continue study, coz got paper this Tuesday. My article:

It has been quite some times since the Majalah Seni Beladiri magazine announced the campaign of making Malaysia the centre for martial artists around the world. For those who are not familiar with the Majalah Seni Beladiri magazine, it is actually a malaysian martial arts magazine. The magazine comes out once a month, and it covers various styles of martial arts - from the famous art of Taekwondo, Karate, Silat till to the more unknown of Kali, Sikaran and so on. In every volume of the megazine, there will be this tag in the cover page: KEMPEN: MALAYSIA PUSAT BELADIRI DUNIA Sihat & Cergas dengan beladiri. (CAMPAIGN: MALAYSIA A MARTIAL ARTS CENTRE...... Fit And Healthy with Martial Arts).

It is a genuine effort of the Majalah Seni Beladiri magazine to have such a vision. There are alot of advantages that would be enjoyed by our country if the aim of the campaign is acheived. Being a centre of world martial arts would certainly invite people from all around the world to come visit our country. Hence it would improve the tourisme sector of the economy. Take Korea and China as an example. These two countries are very well known for their traditional martial arts. China for Shaolin, Wushu, Tai chi and so on, while Korea for its national martial arts and sports of Taekwondo. A large number of practicioners of these specific martial arts from all around the world would certainly feel unsatisfied until they get a chance to pay a visit to the birth place of the art they are devoted to. Thousands of people, or millions perhaps, visit Korea to meet the grand masters of Taekwondo, and to get the feel of training in the Taekwondo country. Korea Open Taekwondo Tournaments also will certainly invite players to put their Taekwondo ability to test.

In today's world, one cannot resist that as martial arts is growing and spreading sport, it is also becoming more and more commercialised. Taekwondo has spread to 153 countries today and has an estimated 40 million practitioners worldwide. And these practicioners would certainly have to pay the membership fees to the World Taekwondo Federation, which is based in Korea. Every year, whevener the practicioners apply for black belt up grading more and more income is generated for the country. Count also the various products of Taekwondo equipments which the country export to others. These all improves the gross domestic product of the country.

Despite of all these advantages, it is sad to say that Silat is not doing well as how Taekwondo and Shaolin is doing in both China and Korea. It is not doing good as how Karate and Aikido is doing in Japan.

There are still a long way to go before the campaign of Malaysia: A Martial Arts Centre could be accomplished. We should learn from countries like Korea, China and Japan. Not to say that Silat is an inferior art compared to those arts from the countries, but it is the technicality and the management part of the martial arts organization which actually brought Taekwondo, Karate and Wushu up. While management and technicality part actually puling down Silat. I'm emphasizing Silat here, because Silat is the art which is born in Malaysia. And in order to be a centre attraction of martial arts, one should first of all have a main product. Taekwondo is the main product of martial arts attraction in Korea, while Wushu, Shaolin and so on are the mains for China. Japan has Jujitsu, Karate and Aikido. What about Malaysia? Of course, Silat would be the answer.

In China, they have shaolin temples and centres for martial arts training. These temples would be the place for practicioners to have a feel of training the art in an ancient and traditional manner. Further more, these temples also provide demonstration for tourists attraction. Hong Kong is famous with its chineese boxing or kung fu movies. Jackie Chan, Jet Lee, and Bruce Lee are all well known for their chineese Kung Fu. They acts in movies while promoting their country's culture. Movies can tackle people's interest and way of thinking in a very unique manner. An example, Kung fu would not have been as well known as it is today, if it were not for Bruce Lee's movies. South Korea has a university known as Yong Inn University which major in sports, particularly martial arts research. As we are now in a modern science and technology era, those who can tackle these two subjects has great advantage to the others. These are the examples of competitors of Malaysia, in order to be a martial arts centre. Malaysia is far away behind. We do not have any centres operating scientific research, nor do we have martial arts movies which are as well known as those Chineese boxing movies. Silat demonstration?... Well, we do have them, but not as commercialised as Shaolin's demonstration. We can see Shaolin demonstration team moves from one country to another, and they are paid well!

As a conclusion, I'm not saying that Malaysia cannot become a world centre for martial arts, but what I am trying to stress here is that we are still having a long way to go. If countries like Korea, China and Japan are running, we are still crawling and not yet even learning how to walk. We have the product, but lack of management and support from the government burries the product deep beneath the practicioners' effort. If we do not have the product, than how come Silat can establish their names in countries like the UK and the US? How come Silat Lincah won the first prize for the International Martial Arts Discipline contest in Korea? How come a Malaysian born martial artist, Dato' Dr Sabree Salleh can be recognized as the Grand Master of Global Taekwondo Federation and become the Second person in the world to be conferred the ‘Honorary Doctor of Science’ in Sport Science from Staffordshire University, England after the English football legend, Sir Stanley Mathew? Well.... having the product, and having the sales managements are deffinitely two different things.


lieawulf said...

Hi ideal. Do you write for the SB magazine? I buy it every month and have only found your brother's name, Azizi as one of the contributors. If you haven't, I think you should start writing and get your articles published ^_^. I agree with you that Tkd and many other well-known martial arts are being commercialised nowadays. I have to say that the point you mentioned about Silat not being as successful as Tkd, Shaolin, etc. is quite true. And it is a sad reality. I have encountered some situations where people accuse us - the non Silat practitioners because we're not doing our job in popularising Silat. I strongly disagree with that. There are so many ways to contribute to Silat's development that doesn't require one's physical involvement in learning the Silat. One of it is to write about Silat and introduce it to the world like what you're doing now. E.g. when people come across the word Silat, they would start searching for more information on the internet, feom libraries etc. I think by this we've done some justice to Silat even though we are not the practitioners of Silat - at the moment.

p/s: belajar sikit2 Silat masa sekolah dulu

Rajiv Finn said...

heyaaa!! holidays started!! i think youve got the potential of a budding writer! u knw wht.. u could be the next dina zaman! whoaaaa! go silverfinn! err silverfish! currently, im aspiring to be a part time short story writer.. hehe i'll pick up a copy of bela diri if my wallet permits.. :)

Rajiv Finn said...

hey aidil.. u interested in submitting tht article for the ECHO magazine? if u want to try contact me, ill submit your article to the editor,, maybe you could do a feature n martial arts/silat or something.. (if ur interested) :D get back to me k!

Ideal said...

Erm.. Alia, in my oppinion, learning silat, or taekwondo, or any martial arts... they are all arts to be treasured. Ilmu tuhan itu luas, dan kita perlu menuntut sebanyak mungkin. Jadi, tak timbul soal bila belajar martial arts lain, maknanya tidak patriotik silat. I see martial arts similar to languages. You can go learn as many language you want, but as a Malay, one must not neglect to learn Malay language. Same thing apply to martial arts, one can learn as many martial arts they wish (the more the better), but one must not neglect the arts which had been developed by their very own ancestor.
Rajiv, it is such a good Idea. Hope you can submit the article to Echo magazine. Thanks alot, man...

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