Malaysian Silat | Major Developments in the UK and Europe

Glenn (Left) in Malaysia with Rafee Majid (Middle)
and Cikgu Johari (far Right) 
Work, family and life just get in the way. So after 15 years I found myself on a plane bound for Malaysia once again. My last trip was 1999- for the weekend! Then, I was awarded the highest grade in Silat Lincah from the then Deputy Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, who has since retired as PM.

We, my trusted assistant in Europe Christopher Bogaerts and I, were invited to a ceremony at the new Silat Lincah Complex- KLMO- Komplex Lincah Mahaguru Omardin- a Penyumpaian Ijazah. 

It was supposed to be quite a big event so we went with more than a few concerns. It all went well. We saw Maha Guru as soon as we could. It was I very emotional reunion for us to see him again. So much had happened in the intervening years and we had so much to find out. We had heard that his daughter Ina had passed last year from cancer, and the grief and shock we all felt was immense. She had been a sister to us. 
We discussed many things and he very proudly showed us some of his new titles and positions. Maha guru has been decorated by the states in Malaysia and the country itself in many ways. He was awarded the title Tan Sri, in itself a very high title in Malaysia, but the one that stands out is a title Pendekar Negara- Knight of the State or country. The title has not been used since the greatest of all Malay warriors Hang Tuah. 
Glenn (left) training Keris in Maylasia with Cikgu Johari

500 years have passed before another person was considered for the title, and there we were sitting with our Silat father. Such pride. The greatest living martial arts master in Asia.. No one in the whole of Nusantara, irrespective of how many articles he may write about himself or how he sells himself, can match the contribution of Tan Sri Hj. Omar Din to Martial arts in Malaysia. 

At the Ijazah hundreds of student lined up during the day to receive various grades. The evening event was officiated over by the President of PESAKA, the Malaysian Silat Federation, and the minister for Culture Dr. Rais Yatim, but in attendance were various heads of so many organisations all wanting to be in attendance at this special event- representatives of silat gayong, silat cekak, royalty, and I believe an admiral from the military. Such is the reputation of the art, and the man, they all wanted to be there and the hall was packed! 

On the night, various high titles and grades were awarded. The selendang Hitam- black sash is the highest grade in Lincah, but there are titles above that. My teacher Johari jantan was one of 4 people awarded the title of Paduka Guru Muda, and the son of the Maha Guru, Senator Hj, Megat Zulkarnain was appointed Paduka Maha guru Muda- the next Maha guru. My assistant Chris was appointed Timbalan (assistant or Deputy) Paduka guru to my title: Paduka Guru. I will do a piece about titles in silat since this is something that needs clarifying!! 

Over the meetings we held with Maha guru he was keen to discuss how we can spread Lincah around the world, as I promised him over 20 years ago. It has frustrated me that the cultures are so different, that we haven’t been able to communicate the differences we experience. But this time, the message seems to be received and understood.. As a result the promise was made to put me, and my needs in front of the people who could make it happen. 

Glenn being presented with a certificate as the
official representative of Malaysian Silat in Europe (May 2015)

So, on the 16th May, I was invited along with some of my students to a ceremony and presentation at Malaysia Hall in London. Present were the president and Gen Sec. Of PESAKA, the Malaysian silat federation who presented me with a certificate of recognition of my grade and as a representative of PESAKA and Malaysian silat in Europe. After a talk from a representative of PETRONAS, the Malaysian oil giant, Tan sri ..... spoke about Malaysian silat and the future, and then I was asked to talk about Malaysian silat, and my hopes and aspirations for the future, with their support. We also gave a short demo to show the Malaysians that a foreigner albeit not orang putih can also do silat and that I have earned the grades and titles that I have been given by the greatest silat guru possibly of the last century. 

We have been given a task, A burden, an honour and a privilege to develop a beautiful art, with the integrity and respect it deserves in a manner that will ensure it grows into the art and association that has proven its longevity and dynamism in Malaysia for the last 50 years. 

Because of the trust placed in us, my senior students and I, we are looking for regional instructors to help develop silat in their areas, and build training groups, with a possible ultimate aim of competing either professionally in the new Silat format or in one of the major games.. 

If you have the drive, integrity and loyalty to stick with us for our 5 year plan, I believe we can offer you a life changing experience. Contact the me for more details:

About the Author:

Paduka Guru Glenn Lobo has been practicing Silat since 1985, and is one of the foremost teachers in Britain. He received the highest grade available in Silat Lincah directly from the then Prime Minister of Malaysia in 1998 and has several other accolades awarded to him. He is the Founder of the British Silat Association and Official UK Representative of the Malaysian Silat Federation.

Glenn also works as an Osteopath, Acupuncturist and healer in Luton, UK. His profession has led him to work with international elite athletes, and other sportsmen too. He brings his professional skill to the silat training. Have a look at his other website at:

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