Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Cikgu at a school....

I would like to talk a topic here, which must be clarified for the Anak Gayong from outside Malaysia. As we know, due to the different language and culture, and martial art background, people can misinterpret something that can lead to the misunderstanding.

One of the topic concerning of this matter is the title "Cikgu" in the Malay culture. We don't call an older folks by his names, but rather with the titles and his status in the society. The title "Dato'" for example, only can be given by the Sultan (the King) himself. We call the eldest brother as "Along" (meaning "sulong": the first child),"Alang", "Andak", "Angah", "Achik", "Ateh","Asu" for other childs.

The title "Cikgu", meaning a teacher. Those who teach at school, will be automatically called by the society as "Cikgu". My Mom and my Dad, for example, known as Cikgu Nah and Cikgu Noor by neighbours. We use this terms also in Silat. In Kelantan, it is rare to hear students call their Silat teacher as "Cikgu". We use more words like "Abe" (Abang)+ his name, meaning 'Big Brother' for young Silat teacher and "Ayoh" (Ayah)+his name, meaning 'father' for older Silat teacher.

However, in Silat Seni Gayong, this phenomena is different. "Cikgu" is a word that you use to show your respect to your teacher. It is like "Sensei" in Japanese culture, or "Sifu" in Chinese. This term, although not written in your belt certificate, will be automatically "delivered" to those Jurulatih or Gurulatih of Gayong that has at least a Gelanggang under him, while himself has a sufficient leven in Gayong in terms of his belt ranking or Sandang.

In general, those Jurulatih who has red belt, and has at least one Gelanggang that he teaches weekly or daily, and had passed the test of "Kegurulatihan" under a certified Gurulatih, can be called as "Cikgu". Those who has the certificate of "Pembantu Gurulatih" (assistant of Gurulatih), is formally called a Cikgu.

For me personally, I don't care whether people calls someone as Cikgu or not. I don't care those title, as it means nothing for us. How many Gayong seniors don't call them selves as Cikgu, but instead using more familiar name like "Tok Ayah","Tok","Ayah", "Pak", or "Ayahanda"? Title Cikgu don't give us any super power or special abilities. There is no value in it, so we don't seek it. But we, as a student, we call our Masters like this to show our respects...

I write this article, suddenly came in my mind, to those Pencak Silat or Seni Silat instructors, internationally and in France especially. I am not talking to those Cikgu-Cikgu of Pencak Silat, Seni Silat or Gayong who do really deserve to be called that.

Don't learn Silat just for the title. For example,in Silat Seni Gayong, we practice day and night, for at least 10 years (which is in my case), before passing the level of "Kegurulatihan". Don't think that a 2 months trip to Malaysia, or Indonesia, with training plus visiting plus sightseeing is enough for you to make you a "Guru" (master), "Cikgu"(teacher) or even "Guru Besar"(principal) when you come back to France! A "Cikgu" is the one who is loyal and serious in his years of training. He knows the art, he knows the Adat, he knows the Adab and he is the Artist, the Fighter, the Teacher, the Student and the Choreographer!

I know my writing would make certain feel unconfortable, but believe me, it is also a lesson for me myself. Learn Silat as deep as possible, and train your self to be a real Silat practitioner.Silat is not in the book or in the computer harddisk, but inside you. A Cikgu, he lives with it, he moves with it and he reacts with it. I like a cotation by one of a Pencak Silat instructor in France, who is a good friend of mine. He said "Many Pencak Silat instructor lives by the art, but few who lives with it"....

So, think first before writing your name "Cikgu". There won't be anyone who will control it. But ask yourself sincerely, do you have the level of a Cikgu or not? Do not ever try to call yourself a Cikgu if you can do only one or two Silat moves without the help of your books or videos. . There is A BIG DIFFERENCE of mastering the art and how long have you learned it.

By the way, don't mix Silat with anything that you have learned in other martial arts. You risk to make it ugly. ;)

PERHATIAN...*article ni ditujukn khusus buat sorang anak gayong didikan saya di perncis, yang tlah pun mninggalkn prtubuhan gayong kami di sini. Tnpa rsa sgan,dia dgn sndirinya mmakai title Cikgu di hdpn namanya, dan mmprgunakan title ini untuk kpentingan peribadinya. Wlaupn hanya brtalipinggang putih gayong sjak blajar dgn saya (2 tahun), dia hanya 2 bulan brguru dgn sorang guru silat lain di mlaysia dan kmbali ke sini dgn brgelar Cikgu. Satu pngajaran buat kita di prantauan. Mcm yg Cikgu Mufti ckp, jgn dijaja habis ilmu, biar benihnya tinggal di Malaysia. Hanya buah yg dijual. Nasib baik baru bagi "bau" buah. Tak bagi lagi buahnya. Kalau bagi buah mau jadi Guru. Kalau bagi benih, rasanya title Mahaguru, dia yang punya.....!!!! ;)

Harap tiada Cikgu2 Gayong di mana2 pelusuk dunia dan di Malaysia yg terasa atau salah faham dgn article ini. Ia sama sekali tidak ditujukan pada anda semua... Salam Gayong!

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