‘Kuntau’ masters, practitioners to participate in world martial arts festival

Irwin (third left) and his delegates pose for a photo with Uggah (centre) after their courtesy call at the latter's office at Wisma Bapa Malaysia.

KUCHING, Aug 5: A group of 16 Iban, Bidayuh and Melanau “kuntau” masters and practitioners will leave for Chungju, South Korea on September 29 to participate in the 19th Chungju World Martial Arts Festival 2019 and the 2nd World Martial Arts Masterships 2019.

The group is from the Sarawak Dayak Martial Art Association (SDMAA).

This morning its officials led by its chairman Irwin Cartland, secretary Abraham Melai and advisor Rick Hanson paid a courtesy call on Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia

Joining them were Masters Joe Frazier Kemping and Soloman Achu representing Kuntau Iban Lama and Master Philip Edwin (Kutow Rusat Rimoung Singgai Club) from the Bidayuh community respectively.

According to Abraham, SDMAA is the only organisation from Sarawak and one of the only two in the nation accepted and recognised in 2016 as a full affiliate of the World Martial Arts Union (WoMAU) which is under the patronage of UNESCO in preserving traditional martial arts and promoting world peace.

WoMAU has only 62 members from 42 countries.

Abraham said SDMAA serves to identify, research and document, develop and enhance; in other words, to uphold and preserve the traditional martial arts of the Dayak community.

“In 2017, the SDMAA was given special privilege to promote Sarawak’s traditional culture and heritage with its own booth for display of cultural materials and mainstage appearances at the week-long 18th Chungju World Martial Arts Festival.

“It too had last year successfully co-organised with the Sarawak Kunto Federation (SKF) a mass martial art demonstration involving 2,000 martial artists from various disciplines or styles at the Kuching Waterfront.

“The unprecedented event was acknowledged as an international event with the attendance of a few officials from WoMAU and the World Martial Arts Mastership Committee (WMC),” he said.

He added that last year SDMAA together with the SKF again had organised the “MA2018-Tree Planting” event which saw about 500 martial artists from all styles, volunteers fron the army and the public joining hands to plant trees in Demak Laut.

For the coming Chungju event from August 30 to September 5, he said SDMAA representatives including Guru Abang Mustapha Awang Khaider (Kuntau Melanau) would give armed and unarmed Kuntau demonstrations besides holding discussions with fellow martial artists and performing traditional musical performances. — DayakDaily