Silat Gayung Mahaguru’s Abandoned House In Dire Straits

t’s not surprising that  deserted and historic homes succeed in charming visitors as they offer a glimpse of the glorious past.

A drive up to Taiping, the historically rich town in Perak, will take visitors to an old and decrepit residential home near Jalan Ayer Kuning, the main road to Changkat Jering, which is gradually becoming a topic of curiosity for an increasing number of people.

Despite its rich history, the double storey mixed wood-brick house, which is surrounded by trees and thick bushes, is in a sad state of disrepair. It stood there abandoned and forlorn, with its crumbling walls, broken doors and shattered windows as well as dilapidated rooftops, like a relic of forgotten days.

Sazali Salleh (in front) with the late Datuk Meor Abdul Rahman Daeng Uda Mohd Hashim (left) and his family members.

A vintage signage on display near the house indicates the property belongs to the late Datuk Meor Abdul Rahman Daeng Uda Mohd Hashim, the founder of Malaysia’s first martial arts association, Pertubuhan Silat Seni Gayung Malaysia.

It was in this house that thousands of silat champions and instructors of the traditional self-defence art in the country were produced, earning credit for formulating the training modules, namely Tempur Tanpa Senjata (TTS) or unarmed combat for the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) and the Malaysia Armed Forces (MAF).

 “It’s really heartbreaking to see the deplorable condition of this house. In the past, this used to be the training base for silat exponents, with the house abuzz with silat practitioners across the nation performing various styles and tactical approaches here,” Sazali Salleh, who is the successor trustee for the Pertubuhan Silat Seni Gayung Malaysia, told Bernama.

Sazali, 60, who is also the adopted son of the silat gayung Mahaguru (Grandmaster), said the association did try to raise funds to repair and restore his late father’s house, but was met with failure.

 “Our fund which was set up for the purpose in 2016 only managed to collect RM3,000,” he said.



According to historical records, Meor Abdul Rahman who died in 1991 at 76 as the founder of the Pertubuhan Silat Seni Gayung Malaysia, was recognised for his immense contributions to self defence art in the country.

On his mother’s side, he was the grandson of Pahang warrior, the late Syed Zainal Syed Idris Al-Attas or Tok Jenai, while on his father’s side,  he was the grandson of the renowned 18th century warrior in Perak, Tengku Daeng Kuning, who was also known as Panglima Hitam.

Photo of the extended family of the late Datuk Meor Abdul Rahman Daeng Uda Mohd Hashim.

According to Sazali, the late Meor Abdul Rahman learned the silat art since he was 12 from Tok Jenai and his traditional martial arts prowess was endorsed by the British as the first Malay armed combat trainer for the British navy in 1939.

 “Not many are aware that my late father received recognition from MAF to provide unarmed combat training by including the silat gayung art in our military training modules,” he said, adding that TTS was created in early 1970’s, drawing participation from over 100 police and armed personnel to undergo training at this house.

 A total of 87 military personnel and 48 police personnel completed a six-month intensive silat gayung course and were later appointed as trainers to train other staff.



“In actual fact, the silat training base was built in collaboration with the armed forces led by their supreme commander who directed them to extract sand and stones from the Ayer Kuning mine for the site work construction prior to setting up the balai adat and training centre,” said Sazali.

The late Datuk Meor Abdul Rahman Daeng Uda Mohd Hashim with jujutsu expert Jan De jong.

The late Datuk Meor Abdul Rahman Daeng Uda Mohd Hashim with world renowned wrestler King Kong.

The late Meor Abul Rahman’s contribution to the silat art and the security forces in the country caught the attention of national leaders including sultans, among others the late Sultan Idris Al-Mutawakkilalallahi Shah II, the 33rd Sultan of Perak, who visited the Mahaguru’s house at the height of his popularity.

Meor Abdul Rahman, who was also known as Rahman Sendo in the world of silat art also piqued foreign interest, among others, Daniel Inosanto, who is credited for training martial arts to a number of Hollywood actors including Bruce Lee.

“Daniel came to Malaysia and told my father that he wanted to learn the art of silat gayung from him, to which my father agreed. However, my father did not teach silat gayung to foreigners but only taught the punch techniques and steps movements,” said Sazali adding that Daniel stayed at the house for almost a week.

“As at end of 1980’s, many martial arts exponents were here to learn the self defence art from my father, among others actor Blaise Loong,  jujutsu expert Jan De jong as well as world renowned wrestler King Kong to learn about the silat art as well as to show their own skills,” said Sazali.

Meor Abdul Rahman also attracted the attention of a documentary production company from France who documented his silat gayung training in the early 70’s.

The late Datuk Meor Abdul Rahman Daeng Uda Mohd Hashim with Blaise Loong.

Sazali said while he is the adopted son, his late father and late mother Datin Paridah Mohd Yusope who died in 2008, showered him with love and treated him just like their own son.

“My late father had two children, namely Fadillah and Aishah as well as three adopted children, myself, Rokiyah Naning or Siti Kalsom and Badekruzaman Zainal Abidin. At first my late father entrusted my sister Siti Kalsom to continue with his legacy in silat gayung training, but before her death in 2007, she passed the baton over to me.

“As the biological daughter, my elder sister Fadillah was not active in the silat world while Aishah had passed away,” he added.



Albeit the challenges, Sazali said he remained steadfast in continuing the legacy of the silat gayung Mahaguru.

On the difficulties in raising funds, the silat teacher cited disintegration and bureaucratic red tape as among the hurdles faced.

The late Datuk Meor Abdul Rahman Daeng Uda Mohd Hashim (in the middle, left) with Mat Kilau (right).

Newspaper clippings of Sazali Salleh being crushed by a 30-kilogram stone while lying on a bed of sharp nails.

In fact, he said the association had earlier been given the funds to carry out its activities by the previous government, but alleged that the money were used for other purpose by certain quarters.

Concurring with his view, Mohammad Farez Akmal Abdul Aziz, a trainer from the Daeng Ramal Bugis in Bangi, Selangor, said Sazali has made many sacrifices to protect the house.

In fact, he said, prior to this, a proposal to demolish the house was made to pave way for the construction of a highway, but Sazali managed to thwart the move.

 “Sadly, my silat teacher (Sazali) does not have a fixed income, but out of his obligation and love for the mahaguru’s house, he was willing to fork out his own savings to pay the land tax although the land is not fully under his name.

 “We had even completed our plan and submitted it to the National Museum to turn this house as a historical site, but were informed that the museum will assume ownership of this house. It is our sincere hope that the Mahaguru’s house is owned by silat gayung exponents and that’s why we would make every effort to defend and protect it,” he said.



Upholding the motto, "SeGayong, Sekendi, Seperigi, Seperminum, Sejalan, Sejadi, Sedarah, Sedaging dan Sepadu" to promote camaraderie among gayung exponents, Sazali hoped that its efforts would create public awareness on its invaluable historical relevance and to ensure that its rich history is not lost to time.

Sazali Salleh (in the middle) with the students of Silat Seni Gayong.

“There are many benefits to be derived from restoring my late father’s house as besides serving as a source of reference for silat athletes, other gayung exponents as well as self defence activists across the world, it is poised to attract tourists to Perak.

 “As with other self defence art such as shaolin kung fu, which continues to be regarded as a special cultural heritage of its founder at Shaolin Temple, China, why can’t we do the same here?” he asked, adding that currently, there are about one million silat gayung exponents in various associations in this country.


Translated by Salbiah Said

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