The 2015 World Pencak Silat Championships took place at the Saphan Hin Stadium Phuket, Thailand, earlier this year, with two British fighters representing the UK. The 16th World Pencak Silat Championships brought Silat to the land of Thai Boxing, with over 200 competitors from 33 countries.
Organisers & Hosts:
Pencak Silat Association of Thailand (PSAT)
Sanctioned by International Pencak Silat Federation (PERSILAT)
Mr Aidinal Alrashid: President of PSF UK & Head of UK delegation
Sue Gault:, PSF UK Secretary General
UK Team Coach: Tom Mohamed
UK Team Manager: Adeel Akhtar
UK International Wasit Juri, Level I:, Arif Kokkoz
UK Competitors: Samir Ghanim, Sean Kardar
Arif Kokkoz, UK National Referee & Jury (Wasit Juri) attended the 3 day intensive Upgrade course, held prior to the start of the Championships, successfully passing the course & achieving an International Wasit Juri Level II Qualification.
The Championships began with a spectacular Opening Ceremony, attended by the President of PERSILAT, Mr Prabowo Subianto, the Governor of Phuket, Mr Nisit Jansomwong, & by the Minister of Sports & Tourism, Ms Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, who officially opened the Championships. Other local dignitaries & the Presidents of the National Pencak Silat Federations taking part also attended.
The first day of Tanding competitions was a tough start for the UK’s Sean Kardar, current European Champion in weight category B, as he was drawn against Indonesia in the first round. Sean took down his opponent twice in the opening minute of the first round, but the take-downs were disallowed. Despite fighting well, Sean went on to lose the subsequent two rounds on points. An early exit for a one of the most successful British pesilat, showing there are no certainties in the Championships.
Joining Sean to represent the UK was British fighter Samir Ghanim, current European Champion in the Open Weight category. On the second day of the competitions, Samir drew Singapore in the first round fight.
With a skilled & controlled performance, Samir beat the experienced pesilat from Singapore, to go on to face Thailand the following day. The fight with Thailand got quite heated, but Samir kept his cool & overcame his opponent with relentless take-downs in each round, so that he was through to the semi-final the next day. Samir had a tough fight against Malaysia, but fought strategically & again went on to win.
After a rest day for athletes on 15th, the final saw Samir face off against Vietnam. This was a really challenging match, against a highly skilled professional athlete, & this time, Samir did not win, but he had secured the Silver Medal for UK, the highest level ever achieved by a British pesilat at a World Championships.
During the athletes’ rest day, the World Pencak Silat Congress took place at the Royal Phuket City Hotel. The Congress meeting, chaired by Mr Prabowo Subianto, the President of PERSILAT, was attended by representatives from all member countries of PERSILAT present at the Championships. The Secretary General of PERSILAT, Mr Teddy Suratmadji gave a presentation on developments since the 2010 World Congress meeting. Mr Sheik Alau’ddin Yacoob Marican, President of the Asian Pencak Regional Federation presented on progress within the Asian Region. Mr Aidinal Alrashid, President of the European Regional Federation, reported on developments within Europe, including the growth in the number of member countries.
Sue Gault, PSF UK Secretary General gave a report on developments in the UK since the last World Congress meeting.
Following the Tanding competition Finals, & the awarding of medals, a spectacular Closing Ceremony was held, including Silat demonstrations by members of PSAT, & traditional dancing from the region of Phuket. In his closing speech, PERSILAT President Mr Prabowo Subianto congratulated the President of PSAT, Mr Panu Uthariat, & declared that these Championships had been the largest yet, with 37 countries taking part. He declared that the next target for Pencak Silat was to be in the Asian Games in 2018, & that PERSILAT were working very hard for Pencak Silat to be included in the Olympics in 2022.
There was a great cheer from the packed auditorium for Mr Subianto’s statement that Pencak Silat was a way to promote friendship & harmony between all peoples & religions.
Attended by Acting Governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand, H.E. Mr Montri Chaipun, the 16th Pencak Silat World Championships were officially closed by Ms Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, the Minister of Sports & Tourism. The PERSILAT flag was handed from Mr Panu Uthariat to a representative from the Australian Embassy in Phuket, symbolising that Australia would host the next World Championships in 2017.
Watch interviews with Sean & with Samir, shortly after his Silver Medal win.
The 17th World Pencak Silat Championships took place in Denpasar, Bali in December 2016, with 5 British fighters representing the UK! The PSF UK team was one of 38 teams taking part from across the world in the Sports (Tanding) & Artistic (Seni) categories.
For the first time, a UK Wasit Juri was selected for duty at a World Championships, - Arif Kokkoz, International Wasit Juri Level II - performed as both Wasit & Juri throughout the Championships.
The Championships began with a fantastic Opening Ceremony, attended by the President of PERSILAT, Mr Prabowo Subianto, Indonesia's Minister of Sports & Youth Affairs, Mr Imam Nahrawi & also the Deputy Governor of Bali, I Ketut Sudikerta, who officially opened the Championships. Other local dignitaries & the Presidents of the National Pencak Silat Federations taking part also attended.
Fahim Ahmed was the first UK fighter to compete. In his first World Championships, Fahim was up against a much more experienced competitor from Malaysia in Male class D, & did not get through to the next round.
That afternoon, British pesilat Arash Adami faced Felix Fernando of The Netherlands in Male class I. Arash made a promising start, winning the first of the 3 rounds, but eventually lost to his opponent.
The following day, the PSF UK's Racan Osman was pitched against Eckhan Javarov in Male class C. British hopes were pinned on Racan, who had recently won Silver for the UK at the Dutch Open Championships, but it was a tough match, & Racan did not get through to the next round, while his opponent went on to win the Silver medal.
Later that day, in the first round in Male Open class, the UK's Samir Ghanim faced Loic Latyr Sar of Senegal. Samir beat his opponent with a decisive 5 flags to 0, to go on to the Semi-Final.
On the 3rd day of competitions, the UK's Djibril Aoudou was fighting in Male Class J. Djibril had won Gold at the 2016 Dutch Open, but was now facing an experienced professional fighter from Indonesia, & eventually lost the match.
On the afternoon of the next day, Samir was pitched against Roland Goedhart of The Netherlands. Already an experienced competitor, & current European Champion, Samir had won Silver at the previous World Championships. The points looked very close, but Roland managed to take Samir down twice in the last round, building on his points, & was declared the winner, 3 flags to 2, so that Samir was the winner of a Bronze medal, while Roland went on to the Finals.
The last day of competitions was attended by His Excellency, Bapak Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia, & featured exhibition fights, in front of a packed stadium. The UK's Arif Kokkoz was one of the Juri scoring the Finals, a first for UK match officials.
After the medal ceremonies, a spectacular Closing Ceremony was held, including demonstrations of traditional Silat from across Indonesia.
In his closing speech, Mr Prabowo Subianto declared that these Championships had been the largest yet, with 38 countries taking part, & emphasised that Pencak Silat was a way to promote friendship & harmony between all peoples & religions.
Before closing the Championships, His Excellency Bapak Joko Widodo congratulated all the competitors & revealed that Silat will be an exhibition sport in the 2020 Olympic Games, adding that it was indeed time for Pencak Silat to be acknowledged on the international stage.
Organisers & Hosts, 17th World Pencak Silat Championships:
Sanctioned by International Pencak Silat Federation (PERSILAT)