“She”ethnic minority group 

Scattered in China’s southeastern Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi,Guangdong, Anhui Province,  more than 90% living in Fujian, Zhejiang, the broad masses of the mountains. 

They called themselves “Shan Ha.” However, this name is not recorded in history books. 

Tang Dynasty – lived in Fujian, Guangdong and Jiangxi provinces, including the border area, including ethnic minorities

Southern Song dynasty – the history books began to appear on “She-Min” and “boxing people” Tribe said. 

 After the liberation, renamed as “She.”  in accordance with the fifth national census statistics, the population number of 709,592

“She”is Miao-Yao languages Sino-Tibetan languages, closer to the Chinese dialects of Hakka language, 

Got to get back to Roberto on this topic – he wrote in asking for possible Chinese roots of Silats. After some email exchanges, my interest in this matter got stirred up all over again.

I’ve heard elders’ accounts of how Chinese Kung Fu reached the shores of Malaysia and Indonesia and the roles it went on to play in the birth and evolution and on many occasions, I had to opportunity to view Silats and detect these connections; especially in the more “traditional” streams.

Apart from Moslem Kung Fu in the Northern parts of China, many Southern styles, those found within minority non-Han folks also had a big hand in beginning of Silats and fighting arts of Indo-China.

A few entries ago in this blog, I wrote that I’ve only got one big encyclopedia cataloguing these minority fighting systems; well, I was wrong.

I do have a few; “She” tribe fighting and “Miao” tribe fighting systems are 2 I found here in Sarawak with me….

I’ve got the “She” tribe book converted into pdf format for Roberto and Here are a couple of pages from that book…..  



???The technique with the punching to the inner calf of opponent’s leg is something I see frequently in many Silats and Filipino fighting arts.

Silat Blog.

March 7, 2009

One of the few Silat blogs I visit :- Silat Seni Gayang 5.

The pic shows a blocking technique taken from the blog – reminds you of “Lohan Hitting Tiger” right?

Don’t have to aim for the incoming opponent’s attacking leg (or hand) to my groin area – just ensure my downward stabbing fist covers the “vital” area…. Shaolin Lohan 101.

The blog is full of info about Silat – you wanna check it out.


Silat Purut.

February 28, 2009


Silat Purut blends graceful dance form and art of self defence …..full article here.

Silat TV.

October 25, 2008

Received an invite from Uncle Wayne (Welsh) to sign up – Silat TV….

Well, nobody says no to the “old dragon” ….. found some familiar faces in there… Conrad Bui, Bob Orlando & I am pretty certain there will be more.

This “social networking” thing is really sprouting everywhere.

Hmmmm, maybe a “Kung Fu Circle” networking site is in order …. nah, just got hold of a Sony DSLR camera, I will be busy the next couple of days figuring out how to work it.

Well, Eric and I were talking tonight about a lot of things, as usual. This time the topic of silat emerged and it got me thinking about the different silats I have been exposed to and have researched. Then it dawned on me, that I have only written two articles on silat. One on the more spiritual side and one on a style known as Silat Seni Gayong. I have met and trained with quite a few pesilat during my travels in Penang, Kuala Lumpur, the USA… but after a book idea I had pitched to several publishers on silat was squashed more than a decade ago, I put the materials in the archive.

Tonight I decided to dust off my article on Silat Kebatinan. It was actually a paper I wrote for an anthropology class while an undergraduate at Drexel University. In 1994 it was published in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts. It’s a bit dry and has lots of footnotes… so the scholars among us will love it! But the regular guys may start to yawn. Either way, I have a passion for the more esoteric sides of Asian traditions, especially martial arts. And so I’d like to share this article with you now. Later in the week I’ll post the Seni Gayong piece with all the pics… promise. 🙂

(Illustrations courtesy of Carlos Aldrete-Phan)


This is good !

September 27, 2008

Ooookay, what a new sensation, reading this blog with contributions from Russ and Mark ……

Will be on the road soon; some 2 weeks’ duration and I will be leaving this site in the good hands of these 2 gentlemen. I will be logging in to read though and if time permits, update from the road.

But with Singapore and Penang; all that food, shopping …… for MA stuffs I mean – what are you thinking 🙂

So almost everyday of the week I have been working out with Wayne and his students…and now with about a week to go before I fly to Seattle, we are stepping up on White Crane and Tai Zu forms, drills etc.

I am putting extra effort into the White Crane staff form because this is their first encounter with this weapon from Fuzhou Crane.

When I arrived at Wayne’s school today, I was very pleasantly surprised to see Guru Bob Orlando there.

Most folks probably got to know this gentleman through the books that he had written about Indonesian Silat systems. Bob is another longtime student of Uncle Bill.

This is one serious MA “scholar” and I remember the many sessions I had with him comparing notes about Chinese and Indonesian fighting skill sets – always stimulating working with Bob.

I had to conduct class so we couldn’t really talk much but before Bob left, we set up appointments to meet again.

So here’s looking forward to more good weather and even better MA exchanges ……..

You know I am a Singaporean who has been living/working in Sarawak Malaysia for the past 5 years…..

So it’s like everywhere I go I get asked – “What is it like living in Malaysia?” , “Don’t you miss the urban lifestyle in Singapore” etc etc etc…..

Well, to me, Malaysia has got a nice mix of new and old – some places are no different from Singapore, like Kuala Lumpur and then you also got places that seem to have stood still for the past 30 years.

Folks there live close to nature and every time I visit one of those places – I feel “groovy”…..

Now that’s something that’s very scare in Singapore.

And of course, old styles kung fu that left China and got replanted and maintained intact; probably the primary reason why Sarawak is such a discovery.

So instead of trying to impress with words, here’s a clip done up to promote Malaysia tourism.

And if any of you want to visit, give me a shout…..

My Sifu often pointed out – “There is always another mountain taller somewhere and the last thing you want to be is smug”.

MAs training is a never ending quest to be better than; not others but yourself.

To the point of body and mind unison and totally purged of “thoughts”….

I think the greatest contribution of Shaolin is in this aspect – “Zen and fists to become one”.

Found this very sleek Silat clip over at youtube ; I was going through my collection of Malay/Indonesian fighting arts videos and stumbled upon this Guru when browsing youtube.

Another taller mountain, indeed!