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Silat Seni Gayong

ESMF - Seni Gayong Malaysia

Silat Seni Gayong

Seni Gayong is a style of silat from Malaysia. It was the first martial arts association to be registered in the country, and is now the one of the biggest and most internationally known Malaysian silat discipline. Gayong is overseen by the Pertubuhan Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia (PSSGM) or the Malaysian Silat Seni Gayong Organisation. While it is most popular in Malaysia and Singapore, there are also branches in Vietnam, Australia, France, Kuwait, Tunisia, United Kingdom, and the United States.


Seni Gayong originated among the Bugis people of Sulawesi in Indonesia and was called Silat Sendi Harimau. Literally meaning “Tiger Joint Silat”, the system used the tiger claw technique to lock opponents’ joints.

The Bugis prince Daeng Kuning, descended from a long line of warriors, brought the style to the Malay Peninsula in the 1800s. It was eventually passed down to his great-grandson Dato’ Meor Abdul Rahman.

The teaching of Seni Gayong, as with most styles of silat, was once restricted to relatively few students under each master. In 1942 during the Japanese occupation, Dato’ Meor Abdul Rahman taught Seni Gayong publicly in Sudong Island, Singapore when the locals feared an attack by the Japanese. Having inherited the art from his grandfather; Syed Zainal Abidin Al-Attas, Dato’ Meor Abdul Rahman eventually founded Malaysia’s first martial arts association, Pertubuhan Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia. It was and still remains the method of unarmed combat taught to the Royal Malaysia Police force.

Belt system

Seni Gayong adopts the modern Japanese coloured belt system to indicate students’ progress. The bengkong or waist sash is used for this purpose, and the passing of a test is required before a student can progress to the next stage. Trainees under the age of 12 go through separate stages than older students. These are as follows:

Adult (above 12 years old)

  1. Hitam Mulus (black)
  2. Awan Putih (white)
  3. Pelangi Hijau (green)
  4. Pelangi Merah (red)
  5. Pelangi Merah Cula I (red with 1 yellow stripe)
  6. Pelangi Merah Cula II (red with 2 yellow stripes)
  7. Pelangi Merah Cula III (red with 3 yellow stripes)
  8. Pelangi Kuning (yellow)
  9. Pelangi Kuning Cula I (yellow with 1 black stripe)
  10. Pelangi Kuning Cula II (yellow with 2 black stripes)
  11. Pelangi Kuning Cula III (yellow with 3 black stripes)
  12. Pelangi Kuning Cula IV (yellow with 4 black stripes)
  13. Pelangi Kuning Cula V (yellow with 5 black stripes)
  14. Harimau Pelangi Hitam Cula Sakti I (black with 1 yellow stripe) and so on..
  15. Harimau Pelangi Hitam Cula Sakti II
  16. Harimau Pelangi Hitam Cula Sakti III
  17. Harimau Pelangi Hitam Cula Sakti IV
  18. Harimau Pelangi Hitam Cula Sakti V
  19. Harimau Pelangi Hitam Cula Sakti VI

Children (under 12 years old)

  1. 01. Hitam Mulus (black)
  2. Awan Putih Cula Hijau (white with a green stripe)
  3. Awan Putih Cula Merah (white with a red stripe)
  4. Awan Putih Cula Kuning (white with a yellow stripe)
  5. Awan Putih Cula Hitam (white with a black stripe)

When a child attains Awan Putih Cula Hitam, they are taken in the same level as Pelangi Hijau.