Thursday, December 25, 2014


Pendita Jak Othman was one of the world‘s renowned Silat figure from Malaysia .He is often considered as the father of British and Irish Silat; some even consider him a legend. Guru Othman started teaching Silat actively across the UK and Ireland in 1980’s, founded the British Silat Association and returned to do fully book seminars several times over the years. He is one of the fore fathers of world famous kerambit internationally, where  he started teaching the weapon art in the UK and Europe during  mid 80’s.

    Today, he is the founder and Grandmaster to the Harimau Berantai Pencak Silat International, Pancasila Gayong Harimau Silat International, Silat Tomoi Group, Bladetech International, King Tiger Muay Thai Kickboxing International & the Jak Othman Kickboxing & Martial Arts Studio which is based in Selangor, Malaysia. He is a professor and a member of senate to the Asia Pacific Open University ( USA/Malaysia) . He is a member of 2009 Malaysian Martial arts hall of fame; awarded the title Pendita (professor) and Ajarn (Grandmaster) by the Harimau Berantai Pencak Silat and Silat Tomoi organization elders respectively in 2011. He is a world authority in Silat and one of the most sought after Silat and blade expert in the international seminar circuit.

Silat : Through My Eyes

Part 1. By Prof. Jak Othman

Hello and how are you, reader? Yes, I am writing Silat again and I hope my series of articles will clear the path for all to see, learn and embrace real Silat direct from someone who was born ,grow up and train from  the source of Silat. Let’s go through some facts  so that you readers will know the truth nothing but the truth about Silat the mother combative art of the Sunda plate, which influenced majority martial arts of South East Asia. 

Silat from in source.  

    We often read or heard that Silat is Indonesian. Well it is not wrong, but definitely not accurate. Just because the Indonesian Silat exponents were the early people who spread their arts across their shores to the western world; that didn’t give them the right to call Silat; Indonesian. There are Silat from Malaysia, Brunei, southern Thailand, southern Philippines and the east coast of Vietnam.

    The early international martial arts researchers have named Malaysian Silat as ‘bersilat’. This is again not wrong, but definitely not accurate. Ber means to do , bersilat is to do Silat. It has nothing to do with regional terms on the matter. In Malaysia, the art is referred as seni Silat or the art (science) of Silat. The same goes with Pencak Silat, without pencak there will be no Silat. Pencak is modern Indonesian term added to Silat, which have the same meaning of seni ; meaning the art or the science of Silat. 

    Here are the facts. Silat is the martial arts of the Malay race who is the oldest race living in Nusantara the Malay world which is the core of south East Asia  It is the fighting art of ancient people of the Sunda plate which was drowned by the sea when ice melts 15,000 years ago to form was most of south East Asia today. Among the  earliest form of Malay civilizations after the melt was 100 BC  Chi tu  and 2nd century Gangga Negara on the Malay Peninsula followed by 7th century Champa kingdom on the west coast of Vietnam. Parallel to Champa was Langkasuka and later Kedah at the northern region of the Malay Peninsula ( west Malaysia) boarder to southern Thailand which control the spice route between the east and the west.  Next was 7th century Sriviajaya in Sumatra, which has her capital cities in Palembang ( Sumatra ) ,Java island  and Chaiya  in southern of Siam (Thailand). The downfall of Srivijaya, gave turn to 13th  century Madjapahit a Javanese empire to control the spice route. The last of the greatest Malay Empire was 14th century Melaka which continue to rule the spice route for the Malay world before the coming of the western colonials. It was during this era, silat greatest warrior of all time Dato’ Laksmana (admiral) Hang Tuah served the Sultan and Empire of Melaka.

    The word Silat itself which mean martial art has other names in the ancient Malay world such as Gayong which is very Langkasuka@Kedah possibly Champa, Cekak from Kedah and Sumatera,  Sendeng from Sulawesi (Celebes) , Kali of southern Philippines and  Kuntau the hybrid Malay-Chinese systems. But today most of these terms are use with the world Silat like Silat Gayong, Silat Cekak, Silat Sendeng, Silat Kuntau and Kali Silat. A couple of years ago, the word silek were used by many to represent their Silat styles. Don’t worry about it. Silek is a Minangkabau/ Sumatran term for Silat.  Silat and silek is the same word. It is just dialect.

    If you know and understand the history of the Malay world, you can trace easily where the Silat style that you are learning today.  Is it from Langkasuka-Kedah- Champa ? Srivijaya ? Madjapahit ? Or Melaka? You will realize by now that Singapore and Brunei did not pop up in this conversion. Don’t worry Silat styles from these home of the Malays are very authentic. Singapore was always under the last 3 ancient empires. So Brunei was always allied to these empires too. So the styles that exist in these countries today are original Kedah, Sumatera, Java or Melaka styles or its hybrids.

Silat in UK and Ireland.

I was one of the early Silat instructors teaching the art across the UK and Ireland during 1980’s. From my lineage we have Gayong Harimau Silat which originated from Kedah and Harimau berantai Pencak Silat from Java. I learnt it from renowned Mahaguru and Pendita which we can trace their lineage to great Silat warriors of ancient time. So if you come across Silat guru teaching Gayong Harimau or Harimau Berantai certified by me you are learning authentic Silat from the source. 

At the same time I met my Silat brother Mahaguru Richard De Borde who was very active promoting Lompat Harimau Minangkabau Pencak Silat in the UK since the 1980’s. He is student of Mahaguru Aditoyo Hanafi from Sumatera Indonesia. His Silat is definitely authentic. So all Guru under his organization are teaching authentic Silat. Guru Paul Deans of Yorkshire Silat academy is one of them.

     Guru Besar Liam MacDonald of Ireland is my student  in the art of Gayong Harimau since 1984. He is also a student of Mahaguru Richard DeBorde and become the representative to  Pendekar William Saunders  of Chemande Pusaka Pencak Silat.  His Silat is obviously very authentic.

    Guru Glen Lobo Silat studied Silat Lincah Malaysia which is a Melaka origin Silat from the national organization; so his knowledge on Silat Lincah from Malaysia is authentic. He  was my student in the art of Gayong Harimau, but did not continue learning the art under me. He is not my representative in the UK and has no authority to teach Gayong Harimau. Silat Lincah, yes. Gayong Harimau , no!

    There is Pendekar Steve Benitez teaching Satria arts, which is a blend of Pencak Silat from Indonesia. And from Pendekar Benitez’s lineage Pendekar Alvin Guinanao who rebrand his Silat as Buka Lingkaran Silat. Since their arts originated from Indonesia, it must be authentic.

    There are other authentic Malaysia and Indonesian Silat practising in the UK. Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia and Silat Sendeng are two top Malaysian Silat schools taught  here. Many Indonesian Silat styles are with Pencak Silat Federation of United Kingdom an amateur national group that promotes olahraga and seni competitions of PERSILAT the International Pencak Silat Federation.

    Then we have the Jeet Kune Do groups practising Mande Muda, Bukti Negara , Serak and modern Silat blend from Guru Dan Inosanto. Another Silat style active within the Jeet Kune Do circle  would be Guru Cass Magda’s Buka Jalan Silat. He is a student of the great Guru Inosanto. Basically, the Jeet kune do group Silat base are quiet authentic,if they practice the old styles.

    The last but no least are styles pop up in the British & International Silat scene popularity driven by you tube. I call them the you tube sensation Silat Gurus. Most are former students of Mahaguru Richard De Bordes and mine; others are students of our students who just like their Gurus left  the parent organizations to become new founders. There is also Guru Maul Mornie who is also a you-tube sensation who came from one of source of Silat which Brunei Darul Salam. 

Silat made in UK and other countries not the source of Silat.

Next, we have a few new styles pop out of the UK which is the result of politics and power. They are basically created in UK or outside UK by you tube popular Silat instructors. These experts are mainly empty hand Silat people. Some studied Jeet Kune do and Filipino martial arts concepts here and there. I can see from their  Silat weapons performance are rather incomplete. This is probably due to their minimal knowledge learned from the source. Their weapons techniques are based on logics and mainly extension of the hand. However, these guys are doing very well flying the flags for Silat, but soon they will run out of material to teach. When this happens; normally the stealing and lying begins. Most would travel for friendly visits to old gurus in Malaysia , Indonesia, Singapore and possibly Holland ; stole their techniques and market it to rest of the world in their seminars. Some are so bold that they said they exchanged techniques with the old Mahagurus. Exchange? Wow! A young dude with less than 30 years of Silat training exchange techniques with a 70 years old Mahaguru? Please, give me a break guys!

    The stealing and lying has to stop. First, this is very unethical for Silat man and second their versions are bastardized techniques with shallow interpretation. Based on their creativity and marketing skills; these guys got away with it. But how long are they going to continue doing this unethical practice? Sooner or later, the truth will surpass creativity. When this happen their Silat teaching business will disintegrate. This is sad, all the hard work will be lost. Their names tarnish.
My message to these young Silat brothers is go back to school. Enough playing top dog with limited Silat knowledge. Learning a system from an old guru will no tarnish your reputation. Look at Guru/Ustad Inosanto, he trained under so many teachers and yet still very famous. He is not afraid to reveal who are his teachers.  I trained under more than 30 grandmasters and I am proud to tell the world who my teachers are. Let’s face it, without them there will be no us.  So guys enough borrowing/stealing, acting and last but not least misleading your students and seminar participants. Go back to your old guru and continue learning real Silat. Or come and train with the old Gurus from the source. In Malaysia  I have all the contacts, you can always contact me and I will connect them to the old Guru. But remember, do not abuse the old Guru teachings.

    I would like to end the article with a famous saying from Silat greatest warrior of all time. Dato’ Laksmana Hang Tuah who said, ‘Tak Melayu Hilang di dunia’ which roughly means Malays will never vanish from this earth. He is actually referring to the Malay culture(adat &adab) and the way of life which will not vanish. Silat is a way of life with adab and adat. Anyone who practise and live the way  of Silat is doing what the great warrior said. To all Silat teachers and practitioners, from the bottom of my heart I would like to wish Terima kasih meaning thank you for keeping the Silat torch burning wherever you are. Last but not least thank you MAI for publishing this article.

See you in part 2 of Silat ...through my eyes, where I will be talking about the Keris the weapon of  Malay Pendekar ( warrior). See you next month. Take care.    

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

with  Prof  Dr. Jak Othman
Ahli Senate Asia Pacific Open University of  Martial Arts M’sia/USA
Pengasas British Silat Association &  Silat Federation of Ireland.
Ketua Jurulatih Harimau Berantai Pencak Silat International
Pengarah siri TV popular `Mahaguru’ & dokumentari `Inside Silat’.

Gelanggang Pusat PSSPGM Cawangan Terengganu, Kampung  Bukit Tunggal. 21200 Kuala Terengganu.

Tarikh & Masa
22 Jun 2013 ( 8 pagi - 4 petang  )


Rm150 ( dewasa) & Rm100 ( pelajar )
Terbuka hanya pada ahli beladiri 18 tahun keatas.
Setiap peserta kursus akan diberi sijil tamat latihan &
layak untuk mengikuti  Kursus Fasa 2.

 Berminat sila hubungi segera :   

En Rahim (0199055149)
Syahidan (0139265084)

Nota : Kerambit latihan ada dijual dilokasi dengan harga Rm 35 sahaja.
Peserta juga digalakan memakai `safety specs’ masa latihan
yang juga dijual dilokasi dengan harga Rm15 sahaja.

You tube :  Jak Othman  Kerambit & Jak Othman martial arts maestro

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


1.  Sikap pasang.

2. Tangkap tangan musuh dan potong pergelangan tangan.

3.  Tarik kapak ke luar

4.  Hentak tangan musuh

5.  Hayun kapak ke leher dan potong.


1. Sikap Pasang

2. Elak ke luar dan hentak mata kapak ke bahagian mata.

3. Potong bahagian dalam lengan musuh.

4. Tangkap pergelangan tagan musuh.

5. Pusig keluar

6. Hentak kapak ke tangan musuh.

7 Tikam leher musuh.

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