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The Sarawak Dayak Martial Art Association (SDMAA) is aiming to promote the state’s traditional Kuntau native martial arts among the new generation. -- NSTP Archive

KUCHING: The Sarawak Dayak Martial Art Association (SDMAA) is aiming to promote the state’s traditional Kuntau native martial arts among the new generation.

Its secretary Abraham Melai said the effort, however, is likely to be a challenging task as youths were already taken up other martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Karate, Muay Thai or Hapkido, which are very well established.

“But, if we want to preserve kuntau we must go to the youths and we need to restructure the teaching to make it more appealing, promote its health benefits as well as making it more practical for modern times.

“We have to include sport science concepts, such as having warm ups and warming down exercises, stretches, basic movement, strength and speed training, a proper class training syllabus, what to do and what not,” he said in a statement here today.

He added that when these could be done, Kuntau masters could then teach full time and make the martial arts instruction as a profession.

“On the SDMAA, it is one of the only two in Malaysia to be recognised as a full member by the World Martial Arts Union (WoMAU), which comes under the patronage of UNESCO.

“The union has a total of 62 members from 42 countries,” Abraham, who’s a Kuntau master himself, said.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah has also allocated RM50,000 sponsorship to the association to allow its senior officials and kuntau exponents to participate in the coming 19th Chungju World Martial Arts Festival 2019/ 2nd World Martial Arts Mastership 2019 in Chungju city in North Chungcheong province in South Korea from Aug 26 to Sept 6.

The 20-member delegation will comprises Kuntau grandmasters, masters, exponents and traditional music and dance performers.

They will give group and individual demonstration of their respective styles, including the use of traditional weapons like the “Terabai”( war shield), the “Parang Ilang” machete, the “Sangkuh” or spear, the “kerambit” or tiger claw, the blowpipe and small dagger.

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