Women In Sport: Master The Basics Of Silat With World Champion Nurul Suhaila

Kicking it up a notch

There's no denying that Silat can seem like an intimidating sport. After all, this Southeast Asian martial art is famed for its combat moves that aim to get the opponent on the floor as quickly as possible. But 2018 World Champion and our 'Woman In Sport' Nurul Suhaila shows us that it could also be a fun fitness activity, even for newbies. 

Her number one tip? You just have to be comfortable with feeling uncomfortable, and eventually, you’ll get the hang of it — no kidding! Watch presenter Naomi Yeo as the rookie learns and masters the basics of Silat from Nurul Suhaila.

What you need to get started

Before Naomi dips her toes in the world of Silat, Nurul explains that there are two types of Silat: artistic and combat. The first one is a performance, while the latter is all about sparring with an opponent. which Nurul practises.

You don’t need much to start in Silat, Nurul says. All you have to do is engage your upper and lower body strength. On top of that though, you need to develop mental strength. A newbie can start with basic kicks and punches then eventually graduate to more complex moves.

Frontal vs. roundhouse kick

The most basic move you have to master in Silat is the kicks. Nurul starts by showing Naomi how to do a simple frontal kick on a punching bag. The first step is to place your dominant foot at the back so you can have momentum when you kick it up. You have to keep your eye on your target and get comfortable with the motion of kicking straight.

Next on the list of Silat moves to master is the roundhouse kick. This is used to attack an opponent on the side of the rib and is similar to the frontal kick, though one has to engage the hips and swivel them to deliver a powerful kick to the side.

Learn the takedown technique

In Silat, if you manage to get your opponent on his knees — literally — that will earn you three points. To do this, you need to learn the takedown technique. You start with your basic stance, then you quickly slide into your opponent’s space and then encircle one of their feet to trip them down. 

Curious to know more about how you can master these moves? Watch the video to see how you can get started with Silat.

Curious to know more about Silat? Watch the full video here to learn more about this fascinating sport.

This story was created in partnership with SportSG.

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