Saturday, September 5, 2009

Take it, or Leave it

Buka Gelanggang: a fridany morning training at Kamil secondary school

To master something, one must learn it, repeat it, train it, feel it, develop it, teach it, and has to trust to it. The most difficult thing is to trust. When a European, wants to be a great Gayong Cikgu, he must learn it with the Gayong masters at it's birthplace, in Malaysia. He must learn Malaysian language, or he won't understand the art and the science of Gayong.
He must come to feel how a Malay thinks and how he lives. He must know what he eats and drinks. To be a great Cikgu in Gayong, one must have a teacher, or teachers. But the "sanad" (the links) must be clear.

In Gayong, there is Adat, the Malay tradition that we have to respect. I always teach my students here in France, to do Gayong the way that I learned. I'm pointing this out because, I had some experience of dealing with certain students who came to learn Gayong with me. There are 3 types. First type, the good one. They come to learn, and could be the potential Gayong instructors in France. Second type, the fighter. They come and pretend to be my student, but have the high ego level and always find the way to "surpass" his small Malay teacher. As usual, I made them quit our club after two to three session of free sparring,and those who stayed, become the "defenders" of our Gayong club. Third type, the "extremist" (I know this word is quite disturbing). They could be a French, African or Arab. I had a real hard time dealing with them. They are sincere learning Gayong (I suppose), but when it's time to do some Adat, they refused and said "Oh, this is 'Bida'ah'! The prophet (pbuh) didn't do this!".

When I sat with other students for Buka Gelanggang (opening before training), they start to run around the Gelanggang to warm up. When I hold the Keris up and kissed it during a Jurus, they don't want to follow my movement to do that. When I teach the traditional locks, they will say , "Oh! Is this useful in the real fight?" (this always leads to an 'extra explanation' that will shout their mouth up..! hehhehe) , when I showed them step by step clearly a technic, they will do it they way they have learned in other martial art. Even when I asked them to wear Gayong uniform properly, they just smiled back at me! In a word, I can say that I was quite frustrated.


For them, they just want the self defence part of Gayong. They don't want the traditional stuff. Personally, I think that they are just disgracing Silat Seni Gayong. They don't want the traditions, and claimed it as Bida'ah, while at the same time "adapting" and "inserting" Silat Seni Gayong with their culture? I'm not saying that to be a good Gayong Cikgu one must eat Durian or what ever, and don't eat your Couscous anymore, but what I'm saying is, at least, respect the minimum requirement Adat inside the Gelanggang!

The recitation before the opening also disliked by them. For non Moslem students, I asked them to close the eye, and make a meditation to prepare themselves for the training. For Moslem students, I asked them to recite Al-Fatihah one time, Al-Ikhlas eleven times and Salawat a'lan Nabi three times, and finish it with Do'a. These Sourah, are from the Qur'an, and no harms at all to recite it before and after training. In Do'a, you can ask anything you want, it's completely yours! It shows that every Gayong student has a strong relationship with His God, not only when doing his daily prayer, but even when training in the Gelanggang!

After thinking deeply, I decided to make them leave. Since for the first time I have been teaching, never for the reason of money. I don't need their Euros. I got mine and happily live with it! ;) What I need is the loyalty and respect. I love and respect all my masters. So in the same way I'd like it for me. I would be happy when once I leave France, my 'small' effort would last forever, and they will come to visit me in Malaysia. That's what I want.

So that day, I said to them. If you want to be my student, then take and do everything that I ask you. If you refuse, then you must leave. I still remember, that was a really tough day for me. But that day, I finally felt that I am the "real" Cikgu. They must listen to me, not me who listen to them! I was too kind to compromise, too much actually, that hurt me inside badly.

Well, hopefully God will replace their "vacancy" in our club with those who will listen to me. The way of Gayong is too hard for certain people. And now, every time there is new student comes to register in our club, I explain them about Gayong and say: Take it, or Leave it.

What is your choice then???!


  1. Absolutely Correct! As a Gayong student who is not Malaysian, I have gone to Malaysia to train and absorb the culture. You should see where your art comes from, and it will expand your mind and answer questions you never knew you had, it will create more questions to be answered, and it will broaden your mind to understand the "why" of Gayong. You only find out when you go.

  2. That's why i'm saying that Gayong USA is blessed with the presence of Cikgu Sam there. As what we can see, he must have been teaching all anak gayong USA with the real way of Pendekar! ;) hope this could be understood by other Gayong practitioner all around the world!

  3. Also, to be a good Cikgu you must at least try Durian:)