The Malay Art of Self-Defense: Silat Seni Gayong (英語) ペーパーバック – 2005/7/28
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Silat Seni Gayong is an art of self-defense, a fighting art but one that also emphasizes the development of the self, becoming a better person, and serving humanity. Sometimes compared to a tiger ready to devour its prey, Gayong helps practitioners develop and increase physical fitness, flexibility, mental conditioning, and self-confidence. Author Sheikh Shamsuddin, who has studied Gayong for 25 years, introduces this little-known practice to Western readers in this first book on the subject in English. The most comprehensive study in any language on Gayong and its customs, The Malay Art of Self-Defense explores in depth the system, techniques, crucial elements, and philosophies involved. Also covered are the art’s history, profiles of the most notable practitioners, and an informative Q&A collected from various martial art practitioners to expand readers’ knowledge and appreciation. Included are photos of Gayong demonstrations, traditional training centers, customs, and events.
"Guru Sheikh Shamsuddin helps the art of silat flourish. His pace precisely exhibits the legendary slogan ‘No Malay shall perish from this earth.’ Congratulations to Guru Shamsuiddin – he is definitely not an amateur, he is Tok Guru."
-Azlan Ghanie, director and owner of Seni Beladiri magazine, Malaysia, and founder/chief instructor of silat melayu keris lok-9
"I consider Shamsuddin one of the great pioneers of pentjak silat gayong in the United States. He has increased the popularity of the silat gayong practice and always upholds the grace, traditions, and honor of the art."
-Bapak Willem de Thouars, chief instructor of kuntao silat, Denver, Colorado
The little I knew about the Silat system over the years was a few articles in Black Belt magazine. This interesting and informative 247 page soft cover book explains the basic techniques of the Silat Seni Gayong system. The twenty four chapters cover an enormous amount of basic information on this fighting art. The first chapter explains “what is Silat?’ A brief history of Silat is covered in chapter two. Chapters three and four go into more detail of Silat Gayong and the history of this system. Chapter five tells about some of the instructors of this system. Gayong organization today is covered in chapter six. The customs of Gayong and its philosophy is explained in chapters seven and eight. The ninth chapter provides “the meaning of Gayong.” Chapters ten and eleven explore Gayong forms and curriculum. Chapter fifteen is the longest because it goes into detail on Gayong techniques. The remaining chapters (16-24) cover more important details on the martial art of Silat Gayong.
I personally found the techniques fascinating and I like their low powerful looking stances. My only real complaint is the photographs. They were small and I could not make out the details of many of the techniques shown. This is a very comprehensive combat art which clearly focuses on self-defense rather than tournament techniques. One of the things that surprised me was the spiritual aspects of this martial art. Even though all kinds of religions are represented most of the students and instructors in Malaysia who practice this art are Muslim.
Unfortunately, there are very few Silat schools in the U.S. as compared to Judo, Jujitsu, and Karate-Do schools; nevertheless, I think this unique system is slowly growing in popularity. If you are interested in learning Silat Gayong this book is a good reference source; however, like any self-defense book, nothing can take the place of an instructor. This book only provides an overview of a very complex and detailed self-defense system.
Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Shotokan Karate Self-Defense Techniques: Combat karate for the street)