Top positive review
If you are interested in the unique martial art of Silat Gayong this is a book for you read.
February 10, 2016
I have had a lifelong passion for the martial arts and over the last 60 years I have seriously studied numerous combat systems (Judo, Jujitsu, Karate-Do, Boxing, Wrestling, Kenjutsu, Tanto Jutsu, Wakizashi-Jutsu, Jo-Jitsu, and Hanbo-Jitsu); however, I never studied the martial arts systems of Malaysia and Indonesia. When I saw this book (The Malay Art of Self-Defense: Silat Seni Gayong by Sheikh Shamsuddin) on Amazon for a bargain price I immediately purchased it.
The little I knew about the Silat system over the years was a few articles in Black Belt magazine. This interesting and informative 247 page soft cover book explains the basic techniques of the Silat Seni Gayong system. The twenty four chapters cover an enormous amount of basic information on this fighting art. The first chapter explains “what is Silat?’ A brief history of Silat is covered in chapter two. Chapters three and four go into more detail of Silat Gayong and the history of this system. Chapter five tells about some of the instructors of this system. Gayong organization today is covered in chapter six. The customs of Gayong and its philosophy is explained in chapters seven and eight. The ninth chapter provides “the meaning of Gayong.” Chapters ten and eleven explore Gayong forms and curriculum. Chapter fifteen is the longest because it goes into detail on Gayong techniques. The remaining chapters (16-24) cover more important details on the martial art of Silat Gayong.
I personally found the techniques fascinating and I like their low powerful looking stances. My only real complaint is the photographs. They were small and I could not make out the details of many of the techniques shown. This is a very comprehensive combat art which clearly focuses on self-defense rather than tournament techniques. One of the things that surprised me was the spiritual aspects of this martial art. Even though all kinds of religions are represented most of the students and instructors in Malaysia who practice this art are Muslim.
Unfortunately, there are very few Silat schools in the U.S. as compared to Judo, Jujitsu, and Karate-Do schools; nevertheless, I think this unique system is slowly growing in popularity. If you are interested in learning Silat Gayong this book is a good reference source; however, like any self-defense book, nothing can take the place of an instructor. This book only provides an overview of a very complex and detailed self-defense system.
Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Shotokan Karate Self-Defense Techniques: Combat karate for the street)