On June 1st, 15 members of the Al-Azhar Silat Virginia branch attended the Worldgate Karate Tournament in Sterling, VA to compete in forms, weapons, sparring and board breaking. Close to 200 participants in this "open" tournament came from many different martial arts styles including Taekwondo, Karate and Kungfu. 12 of the 15 Al-Azhar Silat students won 1st place in a division, and the others won second, third and fourth place. Instructor Terra Kurnia won grand championship in adult forms and weapons. Abdul-Kareem Zenhom won grand champion in youth weapons.
A month earlier, on April 27th, The Eastern Regional Karate Championship was held at Montgomery College Campus. It was the first competition for many Silat students of the newly opened Bethesda branch. Of the 18 students who participated, most of them received a trophy for first, second or third place including instructors Rendy Sumantri, Richard Subaran and Abdul-Malik Ahmad. Head instructor Wona Sumantri performed a traditional Silat "golok jurus" and received the award of weapons grand champion.
From top to bottom: Hamdan Iqbal scores with a kick in sparring; Sister Sakina Ahmad readies herself to show her form to the judges; Yaseen Baig receives his sparring trophy; Zadran Ayazi, Yaseen Baig, and teacher Terra Kurnia high-five after trophy wins; and Yaseen Baig shows wood blocks are no match for students of Al-Azhar Silat. Photos courtesy of Rubeel Iqbal.
Pencak Silat (or Silat) is a martial art of the Malay people is found in Muslim majority countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunai. Al-Azhar Silat, is one of many styles of Silat and has its headquarters based in Masjid Agung Al-Azhar in Jakarta, Indonesia. Pencak Silat is characterized by its lower center of balance, effective sweeps, locks, trapping techniques, and graceful movements that mimic animals such as the tiger.
For more information about Silat classes in Virginia: www.silatva.com. For classes in Maryland: www.silatma.com
Note: The author is affiliated with Al-Azhar Silat Martial Arts. All photos courtesy of Rubeel Iqbal.