Seni Silat Malaysia: The Malay Arts of Self-Defence

Mohamad Nizam Mohamed Shapie1, Mohd Shahiid Elias2

1Faculty of Sports Science & Recreation, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia
2Seni Gayung Fatani Malaysia Association, Selangor, Malaysia

The purpose of the present paper is to provide the review of Silat curriculum based on the effective ancient roots Malay warfare. It is intended to introduce the background of Malay martial arts in the modern context and its contribution to world civilization. Silat is the type of self-defence originated from Malaysia. Silat is deeply entrenched in the traditions and culture of Malaysian civilization. The knowledge of self-defence is especially concerned with methods of defending oneself from any attacks, be they through erosion, parrying,  dodging and others, which may endanger the attacker. Seni Silat (the arts of silat) not only to defend oneself from being attack but also to attack the opponent thus preventing the attacker from causing any harm. The attacks and defence must be well executed to  achieve the maximum effect. Compare to other silat schools in Malaysia, Seni Gayung Fatani is the only styles to have truly originated  from the Malay Peninsula. It is an original silat whose syllabus does not hold techniques taken from other martial art forms or other silat styles. The school has been acknowledged as a Malaysian heritage of martial art and its curriculum has become the basis for the Malaysian Seni Silat Curriculum (Seni Silat Malaysia). This curriculum teaches self-defence techniques, arts, combat, and also trains exponents for Silat Olahraga (silat sports). The techniques learnt here gives the student a better understanding of right techniques and their applications to real combative situations.
Key Words: Martial Arts ? Gayung ? Curriculum ? Combat ? Seni

Published online: 17 September 2015
Copyright: ? 2015 the Authors. Published by Archives of Budo
Contributors: Mohamad Nizam Mohamed Shapie, Mohd Shahiid Elias conceived the study design. Mohamad Nizam Mohamed Shapie, Mohd Shahiid collected the data. Mohamad Nizam Mohamed Shapie, Mohd Shahiid analysed the data. Mohamad Nizam Mohamed Shapie, Mohd Shahiid prepared the manuscript. Mohamad Nizam Mohamed Shapie, Mohd Shahiid secured the funding.
Funding: Departmental sources.
Conflict of interest: Authors have declared that no competing interest exists
Ethical approval: Not required
Provenance and peer review: Under responsibility of HMA Congress
Corresponding author: Mohamad Nizam Mohamed Shapie, Faculty of Sports Science & Recreation, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Academic Building No.3, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia; e-mail: nizam7907[at]
Open Access License: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-commercial 4.0  International (, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the  original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license