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Workshops and Events > Past Workshops and Activities Silat: martial arts in dance - an academic collaboration with Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts

Silat is a form of martial arts that is used for both combative and ceremonial purposes. The origins of the word ‘Silat’ comes from ‘Si Elat’ which carries the meaning of efforts to confuse, deceive, trick the opponent. The distinctive forms of Silat with other Asian martial arts, such as kung fu, taekwondo, or karate, lie in the cultural aspect. Silat is not only for combative purposes, but can also be transformed into a dance form with the addition of traditional musical instruments. Moreover, Silat is a form of spiritual training. Spirituality in Silat focuses on the development of a person internally and externally, which in turn enhances one's discipline, morals and self-identity. 

As part of the module called Dance Techniques (Asian Dance and Movements), this academic collaboration involved local practitioners from Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts, a performing arts company founded by renowned Cultural Medallion recipient, Madam Som Said. The course was taught by Madam Som Said, along with Silat Master Fareed Sallim. A total of 21 lessons combined theory, practical and field trip for Year 2 students, which culminated in a final class presentation of Bandong Sihat, Silat Serantau, bersanding (Malay wedding) ceremony, in addition to group presentations of modern interpretations.