Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Beofore an audience of nearly 500 dignitaries, martial arts author Antonio Graceffo has been awarded the prestigious title of Pahlawan Silat Kalam, or Silat Kalam Warrior, in the Malaysian art of Silat Kalam.
Graceffo is the first non-Muslim student to achieve this award, having commenced training in 2009 as the first non-Muslim, non-Malay student.
In paying tribute to his instructor, Grand Master Guru Dr. Mazlan Man, Graceffo said that learning Silat Kalam under Guru Mazlan was “one of the most important experiences of my life in martial arts.” He described Guru Mazlan’s public declaration of him as being “the most important Kalam student ever” as a significant honour.
Graceffo said that he is a proud beneficiary of Satu Malaysia, or One Malaysia, a government program that encourages openness through celebrating and enhancing the country’s multicultural diversity. Satu Malaysia is promoted by Grand Master Guru Dr. Mazlan Man and the Silat Kalam Association.
In addition to training with local students, Graceffo studied Bahasa Malay daily and gained a deeper understanding of Silat Kalam’s relationship with Islam.
Determined to live up to the responsibilities associated with his new title, Graceffo is relishing his new role as an ambassador for Silat Kalam. He has vowed to help Guru Mazlan promote the art across Malaysia and abroad.
Requests for seminars in Silat Kalam have been received from the United States, the Middle East and Europe, Graceffo said.
The award ceremony, sponsored by the Malaysian government and Satu Malaysia, took place on April 3.
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