Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia is the first martial arts association to be registered in Malaysia. It was founded by the late Dato' Meor Abdul Rahman. He started to teach Silat Gayung at Pulau_Sudong (now part of Singapore) during the Japanese occupation of Malaya in World War II. The highest ranking master is Siti Kalsom and is named heiress to the late grandmaster. In Malaysia, Gayong is currently operated under an organization called P.S.S.G.M which stands for "Persatuan Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia." This organization is led by Cikgu Razali Salleh.
Martial Arts Techniques
This martial art covers hand and leg techniques. A student is also taught aerobics and weaponry. The core of the art is on Tapak which focuses on body mobility and coordination. Many of its techniques involve grippling and locking of opponents' limbs. Spiritual training is normally introduced at higher levels. There are various ancient Malay weapons in the Silat Seni Gayung syllibus such as kris, machette, staff, knife, tekpi (sai) and javelin. Usually weaponry is introduced after two years of unarmed training.
Today Silat Seni Gayung training centres can be found in USA, UK, France, Syria, Spain, South Africa, Russia and Maldives. Among the well known students of Silat Seni Gayung are the second and third prime minister of Malaysia.
The origin of Silat Gayong as taught by the late grandmaster and founder, Dato' Meor Abdul Rahman is from Silat Sendi Harimau which means The Tiger's Joint Silat. This is why characteristics of a tiger can be found in the style. It can be clearly seen in the logo of the silat and many physical movements such as Lompat Anak Harimau (which means the cub's leaping techniques). The hand always imitate the paw of a tiger and the verbal sound when practising combat techniqes sounds like the roam of a tiger.
Basically, to master Silat Seni Gayong, practitioners must learn at least 4 out of seven stages of Silat. They are as follows:
1. Tapak Gayong (Foundation of Silat Seni Gayong - practitioners will study all techniques of self defence and offence using all parts of human body especially hand, leg, elbow, knee. No weapons are taught in this stage. Practitioners learn to use their bare hand as their weapon).
2. Seni Tapak Gayong (This is an advanced form of the foundation. Practitioners will study in depth about the possible development of free-hand techniques in the Silat Seni Gayong).
3. Seni Keris (Learning how to apply defensive or offensive techniques using Malay dagger and other small sized weapons such as Kerambit, knife, tekpi)
4. Seni Simbat (In this stage, practitioner learns how to apply defensive or offensive techniques using long weapons including spear, long stick, and parang).
5. Seni Yoi (Aerobic techniques that are applied to defeat stronger or bigger opponent. Silat practitioner will apply brilliant traps to ensnare their foes. Its approach is a cross breed between aikido and judo).
6. Seni Cindai (This technique applies ordinary clothes like kain sarung, belt, and tudung as weapons to defeat the opponent).
7. Seni Belian (Spiritual aspect of Silat Seni Gayong. Only Muslim practitioners who managed to achieve high level of discipline and dedication to Silat Seni Gayong have the opportunity to learn this technique - normally senior instructors and future leaders of silat organizations).
Silat Gayong has 5 color belt ranking:
Senior Red (1-3 Stripes)
Senior Yellow (1-5 Stripes)
Senior Black (1-6 Stripes)
Senior Black 7 Stripes cannot be obtained; it is the late Grandmaster's property only
Origin of Gayong Name
Why did he change the name to Silat Gayong? Well, Dato Meor lived in Ayer Kuning near Taiping (a small town in the state of Perak). As he was going to register his silat as an organised institution, he needed a comercialised name to go with it. In Taiping, the most famous term for silat is 'Gayung' or 'Bergayung' which means silat but in a more artistic way. So, in order to get recognition from the nearby society, he wisely chose the name 'Silat Gayong Malaysia' Which also incorporates the name of the country it originates from Malaysia.
Since Gayong Malaysia Association is the first silat to set up an organization, it was easier to influence not only the public, but also schools, armed forces, actors and even politicians.
Nowadays, Silat Gayong Malaysia is well-known not only in Malaysia, but also internationally.