The Warrior Odyssey book author and Destinations columnist for Black Belt magazine learns muay Thai and silat while meeting some of Southeast Asia's top martial arts masters in this international martial arts adventure video!

Travel to Malaysia with Antonio Graceffo, author of the book Warrior Odyssey: The Travels of a Martial Artist Through Asia, in this installment of his ongoing series of international martial arts training videos. As he learns muay Thai moves and discovers silat history, Graceffo meets and trains with two Malay martial arts masters: Kru Jak Othman and Mazlan Man. These martial artists teach him silat techniques from two of the styles found in Malaysia: silat kalam and silat tomoi.


SOUTHEAST ASIAN MARTIAL ARTS TRAINING VIDEO Antonio Graceffo Studies Silat Techniques and Muay Thai Moves in Malaysia!

"Malaysia is one of the coolest countries in Southeast Asia," Antonio Graceffo says. "It's down below Thailand, and it's a place where all the various kinds of martial arts meet because you've got Chinese, Indians [and] Malay all living together, bordering on Thailand with a sea border on Indonesia. You've got silat, you've got muay Thai, you've got tomoi, you've got silambam. In Malaysia, there are 430 registered types of silat. So even if you just study silat techniques, you could be busy for years upon years upon years." Graceffo's encounter with Kru Jak Othman revealed a friendly but feisty man teaching silat techniques from a style called silat tomoi, which "comes from Kelan Tan, which is a border state between Malaysia and Thailand," he says. "[Silat tomoi has] elements of muay Thai boran, but then it's got elements of silat in it, as well. It's a very, very cool martial art."

Travel back in time for Black Belt’s first in-depth look at the Indonesian martial arts with this FREE download! Pencak Silat: Techniques and History of the Indonesian Martial Arts

As Graceffo's journey in Malaysia continued, he encountered another guru for his martial arts training who opened his eyes about silat history. "The second guru that I met was Mazlan Man," Graceffo says. "Guru Mazlan Man teaches silat kalam. When I first landed in Malaysia, what I didn't understand was that a lot of these arts are only for Muslims. It's the predominant religion in the country, and if you want to learn the Malay martial arts — the Islamic martial arts — a lot of times they only accept Muslim students. And what I didn't understand at the time was that kalam is actually the short form of the word kalamat, which means 'to profess one's faith.'" Graceffo explains that Man's style of silat was a strictly Muslim form of the martial art. However, the two men met and the guru agreed to teach Graceffo and to be filmed for the Warrior Odyssey author's ongoing series of martial arts training videos — a double win, as Graceffo would reportedly be the first non-Muslim student of silat kalam. "Most people believe that [silat kalam] comes from Persia," Graceffo explains in the video's section about silat history. "This is an ancient Persian martial art, a grappling art. The original art [has] all but disappeared in modern Iran, but in Malaysia, it lives on as silat kalam." About Antonio Graceffo: Antonio Graceffo is a freelance writer currently based in Asia. In his book Warrior Odyssey: The Travels of a Martial Artist Through Asia, Graceffo details the cultures, languages, people and martial arts he has encountered during his decade-long travels through nine countries, including Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines.

Join Antonio Graceffo for a trip around the world in these exciting martial arts training videos:

How will you perform at the moment of truth?

What's going to happen to you physically and emotionally in a real fight where you could be injured or killed? Will you defend yourself immediately, hesitate during the first few critical seconds of the fight, or will you be so paralyzed with fear that you won't be able to move at all? The answer is - you won't know until you can say, "Been there, done that." However, there is a way to train for that fearful day.

Keep Reading Show less

This week I've asked Robert Borisch to give me a birds eye view on his marketing strategy.

Robert is the head sensei and owner of Tri-City Judo a well-established commercial judo school in Kennewick, Washington. I am very impressed with his highly successful business. Unlike BJJ, TKD, karate, and krav maga, in judo we tend to teach in community centers, YMCA's, and other not for profit outlets. So when I find a for profit judo model that is growing by leaps and bounds, it intrigues me. Below are Robert's raw and uncensored comments spoken like a true commercial martial arts school entrepreneur / owner.

Keep Reading Show less

The man who apparently launched a racist verbal attack on U.S. women's kata champion Sakura Kokumai earlier this month in a California park has been arrested following a physical assault on an elderly Korean-American couple in the same park Sunday. Michael Vivona is accused of punching a 79-year-old man and his 80-year-old wife without provocation.

Mynewsla.com reported that a group of people playing basketball in Grijalva Park at the time of the assault recognized Vivona from his previous harassment of Kokumai and surrounded him until a nearby police officer arrived to make an arrest. The incident with Kokumai, who is slated to represent the United States in this summer's Tokyo Olympics, gained widespread notice after she posted a video of it on social media in an effort to increase awareness about the growing threat of anti-Asian racism.