Team Singapore Silat aims for Gold
01 December 2018
Au Wai Ling
Edited by Alice Wong / SportSG
Hailed as the face of Singapore’s Pencak Silat scene, Sheik Alau'ddin is not only a two-time World Champion and a multiple SEA Games medallist but also the father to two of Singapore’s top Pencak Silat exponents and mentor to another.
As an athlete, Sheik created history by winning Singapore’s first Silat gold medal in 1990 at the 6th International World Invitational Championships in Den Haag, Netherlands, and clinched his second World Championship a short four years later.
In 1998, Sheik was appointed co-coach of the National team. In 2000, he was awarded his first Coach of the Year award for successfully guiding the National Pencak Silat team to three golds, two silvers and eight bronzes at the 1999 SEA Games. To date, he has three Coach of the Year titles to his name.
His two sons, Sheik Farhan bin Sheik Alau'ddin and Sheik Ferdous bin Sheik Alau’ddin share the same passion for the sport as their father.
The Rising Star
Ferdous at the recent Asian Games, where he won a silver medal in the Class I event.
Ferdous recently clinched a silver medal at the 2018 Asian Games, and is training hard for the upcoming World Championships – in a bid to equal, if not better, his Asian Games performance.
Ferdous hopes that the sport will rise in popularity through this tournament in Singapore. He expressed hope that sooner rather than later, Pencak Silat will be included in the Major Games, such as the Commonwealth Games and one day, the Olympics.
“It’s always nice to compete in a major competition on homeground because we get to have our hometown fans supporting us in the stands, which is an added advantage psychologically,” he said.
Ferdous will be taking part in the Class I (85 - 90kg) event at the upcoming Championships.
The Consistent Warrior
Two-time World Champion Farhan at the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, where he outclassed his opponents to win the gold medal.
With two world titles and a SEA Games gold medal under his belt, younger brother Farhan will be competing in the Class J (90-95kg) event at the upcoming World Championships, and expects nothing less than a win.
“For every competition I take part in, I aim to win,” he declared.
Farhan’s passion for the sport grew after his first win at the 2014 National Championships, at the tender age of 17.
Two-time World Champion Shakir will be looking at outshining his mentor Sheik Alau'ddin at the coming World Championship.
Joining the list of successful Silat champions who have done Singapore proud on the world stage is Muhammad Shakir Bin Juanda.
A two-time World Champion, Shakir has been practising Silat for 15 years and has spent the last 10 representing on the world stage.
Despite not bringing home any medals from the 2018 Asian Games, Shakir discovered something about himself whilst training for the artistic event.
A mere fortnight before the Games, he was told to prepare for the artistic segment even though he was only due to compete in the Tanding category. He and his teammate, Hamillatu Arash bin Juffrie, both knew that it would require a great deal of practice and discipline to perfect their routine before the Asian Games - and they were determined to do it.
“If I set my mind on something, and believe that I can achieve it, I will eventually be able to do it,” he said.
At the upcoming World Pencak Silat Championships, he hopes to clinch his third gold medal and honour his mentor by out-medalling him.
The Way Forward
Asian Games silver medallist and SEA Games gold medallist Nurzuhairah Binte Mohd Yazid will also be aiming for the World title come 13 December.
Like many of Pencak Silat exponents, Shakir hopes that the sport will gain more popularity in Singapore, something that he believes shouldn’t be limited to just the Malay community.
Increasingly, with the appearance of the sport in Hollywood movies (like Mile 22), more Western countries are taking an interest in the sport.
“More than 40 countries will be participating in the upcoming World Championships, including USA, UK and Japan. I believe it will be a big and exciting event as Singapore has a good track record of organising events like these successfully.”
Shakir will be competing in the Class E (65 - 70kg) event and will be up against tough fighters from powerhouses Malaysia and Indonesia.
Catch our Team Singapore athletes in action during the World Championships from 13 to 16 December at the OCBC Arena Hall 1. Admission is free.